Athletics is one of the most followed sports worldwide after soccer. To achieve stunning results on the track requires resilience and determination.
But having good track spikes is an added advantage if you want to achieve the best results.
You should understand what you ought to look for when purchasing any pair of tracks pikes. It is never an easy task making that valued decision.
In this article, we take you on a deep dive of what you need to understand about track spikes.
Table of Contents
- Best Track Spikes Sizes and Where They are Suited
- Tips for Selecting the Best Track Spikes
- Types of Track Spike shoes
- General characteristics of Track Spikes
Best Track Spikes Sizes and Where They are Suited
Generally, we have two types of spikes which are the needle spike and the pyramid spikes. Each model is designed for particular events and surface where it works best.
In sporting arenas, there are three significant surfaces which can either be natural, asphalt or synthetic. Later on, we shall take a look at the different type of track spikes.
For now, let us focus on the spike sizes and relate them to the surfaces that are best suited. Standard spike sizes range from 3mm to 1.8 cm. If the surface you are using is synthetic, then needle spikes of 3 to 5 millimeters work well.
Any higher dimension of spikes is problematic as far as this surface is concerned. You cannot use pyramid spikes on synthetic surfaces.
On a natural surface which is often an earth surface, longer needle spikes are good. Try going for 6 to 9-millimeter spikes for the best experience.
But pyramid spikes are highly active on natural surfaces. Any pyramid spike ranging from 3mm to 18 mm is excellent for use in track events happening on natural surfaces.
Asphalt is a bitumen standard surface. As you know, this kind of cover is quite hard; you require well-designed spike sizes.
Pyramid spikes are the only choice for asphalt surface of any kind; you ought to avoid needle spikes on this surface at all costs.
The best size for asphalt surface pyramid spikes is anything between 3mm to 6mm.
Any more extended spark sizes could potentially be dangerous to your stability during the race.
When participating in different events, match the spike type and sizes with the surface of play.
For high jumps, go for needle spike sizes below 5 mm. For short track races like 800 meters, consider using 9mm needle or pyramid spikes. With javelin, use only pyramid track spikes that are longer.
A good recommendation is those between 9mm to 18 mm. Sprints performance is better when using a 3-9mm needle or pyramid spikes.
Tips for Selecting the Best Track Spikes
There are lots of things to consider before buying a track spike. You do not want to make a mistake before starting your next race.
Here are some tips to help you make the best decision before buying.
1. Check for additional spikes/Wrench
After rigorous pieces of training, sometimes spikes may open and fall off. Avoid disappointment extras are right with you.
That is a prudent tip; however, it is best to make replacements before you get to the third season of using spikes. Make sure you have a wrench too to fix the spikes in a firm position.
2. Choose based on Sport
Every track event has a specific track spike suited for better performance. 5 to 6-millimeter spikes are suitable for long-distance track spikes.
For any marathon track spikes, pick those with a range of 6 to 12-millimeter spikes, they withstand the rigor of long distance racing.
There are two main types of spikes to choose from. These are the needle and the pyramid spike. Again, be careful at which one you decide on to ensure it is relevant to the competition that you are participating in.
Pyramid spikes are good for athletes who weigh less while needle spikes are generally recommended for use on dirt courses because it offers a tight grip.
3. Check fit
Oversize or undersize may pose a challenge when competing. Keenly look at the sizes to make sure they fit well to your feet.
You should be able to wiggle you’re the feet gently without feeling much pressure.
4. Understand your preference
Decide in advance how you would like to wear them. All track spikes can be worn with socks on or without them at all. The choice is up to you; the good thing is that there is no harm if you decide not to wear socks.
5. Check the latest models
As time passes by, manufacturers develop new models of track spikes. When going on your shopping spree insist on newer models since they have superior features. Older types could save you some bucks but could potentially be unsatisfactory.
6. Count the spikes
There are clear rules of any championships on the spike counts acceptable for use. A good example is a rule set by IAAF where they allow a maximum of 11 spikes on the shoes.
That is not different for many other championships in the US and elsewhere in the world. In short distance races, try those with more spikes but for marathons, the more the spikes, the better.
Types of Track Spike shoes
1. Spikes for sprinting
These are popular for short runs. They usually have sturdy spike plates to withstand heavy pressure over a short period. Its plates are aligned parallel to the ground for maximum grip.
2. Middle distance track spikes
This option is suitable for middle distance races such as those starting from 3,000 to 5,000 meters. This type of track spikes has reduced number of spikes for reliability and steadiness.
3. The Javelin Boot
With javelin boot, there are more spikes concentrated on the heel side. The reason for that positioning is to facilitate easy landing and takeoff.
4. Marathon Spikes
Long distance spikes have superior features to enhance the comfort of the user. It has thick foam and cushioning that makes them durable. Spikes begin from the center towards the heel section for better support.
5. High jumpers Track Spike
This type is unique, featuring a thick sole for feet protection. The spikes are mounted at the area of the heel for proper strength. Its spikes are fundamental in facilitating good grip to the surface at play.
General characteristics of Track Spikes
1. Plastic and Rubber Sole
Most track spikes are made using rubber soles for better comfort of the user. That means you can rest assured of a higher endurance in harsh or extended hours of gaming.
2. Plastic Outsole
A plastic outsole enables more natural cleaning of shoes. If you want to use the boots in the next few hours, you get them clean in a short period.
3. Firmly attached spikes
Track shoes offer strongly fixed spikes. When the spikes are sturdy, it guarantees a better grip on any surface. Often, spike shoes come with wrenches for tightening any loose spikes.
4. Comfortable design
Track shoes have considered the comfort of an athlete. Of course, no athlete wishes to get injured from blisters as that can be controlled using the right spikes. The track spikes have proper cushioning from soft materials to serve this purpose.
5. Pin count
Track spikes offer a flexible number of spikes depending on the event that a player I participating in. For short distance, you get them in 6-7 and for marathons on around 7 to 10. That helps merely in achieving top performance by an athlete.
6. Proper aeration
Manufacturers put into consideration the environment for using the spikes. To manage hot climates, the track spikes have perforated for good air circulation.
7. Thick sole
For long distance track spikes, the sole is usually very thick. That is through the use of thick foam for reduced injury from the pressure exerted by the body.
Overall, track spikes the highest standards of quality that promise long lasting usage. However, you get the best by using them for 2 seasons.
Track spikes are cleverly desired to reduce the weight that may cause drag during your races. Carbon fiber material used in many of spikes is lightweight in nature.
Track spikes are available in the colors of your choice. Everyone has their favorite color; teams also have their own color choices. Manufacturers usually take a tone as a top consideration to ensure maximum satisfaction of the diverse sportsmen tastes.
Track spikes come in different sizes depending on the track event, or surface one is playing in.
Generally, track spikes sizes range from 3mm to 18mm. It is worth noting that the maximum recommended number of spikes in any track event is 11.
However, there is a high level of flexibility when it comes to the amount that a player likes to pick. Understand the surface you will be playing in; whether it is natural, synthetic or asphalt to guide you in making a good choice.
Also, consider picking a few tips from the article when trying to choose the track spike for your sport.
Hopefully, the information laves you more knowledgeable than before.