High School Freshman and Youth Runner Magazine Blogger Jesse has been checking out track & field spikes....so you don't have to read through the technical jargon in the cataglogs here is his take on Sprinter Track Spikes. As he suggests you have to make sure the spike is a good fit for your foot. Best way is to hit the local specialty running store and get fitted. Thanks Jesse!
When it comes to track spikes, there are so many options. I have chose some of the more common or some of the best track spikes out there. Also you may be thinking why not just use my old cross country spikes (if you did cross country)? You should definitely not use your cross country spikes. It is better to use cross country spikes for track then to use track spikes for cross country, but it is still not good. Cross country spikes are made to be more flexible, and have a little more stability. They also normally have a harder bottom. As for track spikes have they are made to be as light as possible. They are made to run on flat surface. They are normally really light and are not fit for bumpy terrain. By using the wrong spikes for either cross country or track you are risking major injury such as a stress fracture. Here are some track spikes to consider or not to consider.
Saucony Men’s Spitfire($65)
This is one cool looking spike. This spike has a curved figure, which is something really good. Most of the sprinting spikes are made like this because they want to keep you on your toes for the majority of the race, and they fit in the blocks better that way. This spike has a 7 pin plate, so it may be more ideal for events like the 200 meter and the 400 meter. And not so much for 100 meter dashes. It has a welded quarter and eye row, so the point of that is to keep your foot in place around the turns. So that means that it really is a spike for events such as the 200 and 400. Also because of the welded quarter and eye row it will be more ideal and appealing for hurdlers so it can keep their foot in place. They weigh 5.1 oz. Which is not too bad for a sprinting spike, it is very average. It has no mesh so it will be hotter but that does not matter at all for sprinters because of how little they actually are racing with them. It is a very stable, something you need in sprinting spikes. It is also very cushioned which helps but not something that you ultimately need. I would rate these spikes a 8.5 out of 10 because of welded quarter and eye row, how stable they are, and because of their curved figure. I would down rate them a 1.5 because they are mainly only for events like the 200 and the 400 and not all sprinting events.
Saucony Men’s Showdown ($110)
You will not see another spike like this. It has a 10 pin plate! That would be perfect for 100 meter racers and even 200 meter. But for events like the 400 it might slow you down a little. It would also be a good spike for hurdlers also because of the max attraction you will get. It has a slight curved up figure which is something good, it could be curved up a little more but does not need to be. With its mesh and comfort feel this spike is truly one for comfort, it has a sock like feel. It weighs 5.9 oz. That is a little heavier but that is the price you pay for having a 10 pin plate. With the shoes ISOFIT technology it gives the shoe a unique feel it is almost as if you only have a sock on. The spike is a little wider that is something you don’t typically want in a spike, but that does not mean that it does not perform well but if you have a skinner foot you may want to try it on to see how it fits your foot. I would rate this spike a 9 out of 10 because it is a true sprinting spike, its ten pin plate, and its sock like feel. I would down rate it a 1 because of how wide and heavy it is.
Brooks 2 Qw-k ($110)
This spike has a 8 pin plate which can be good for all distances 400 and below. This is a perfect racing spike for someone who is not committed to one event but many in the sprinting distances. These spikes weight 5.7 oz. so they are a little heavy for sprinting spikes. But they are more stable than some of your other spikes also. These spikes are not good for people who are flat footed or close to it, it has a high arch. Probably because of the curved figure they really want you stay on your toes. With the high arch though it may hurt you when running events such as the 400 or doing any events with hurdles. Besides the actual spikes it has very minimal traction, the heel of the spike has a little thing to gain traction but otherwise it has nothing. Again will probably hurt you in the 400. I would rate these spikes an 8 out of 10 because of the 8 pin plate and the stability. I would down rate it 2 because of the high arch and the minimum traction besides the actual spikes.
Asics HyperSprint 6 ($65)
I would not recommend this as a sprinting spike. It has a 5 pin plate. You would use this spike for the 2 mile, actually I probably would use it for the 2 mile before I would the 100 meter. Not only does it have a bad spike arrangement, it also weighs a ton. It weighs 6.2 oz. That is one heavy spike. The only good thing about the spikes are the support, they do have very good support, but they are not comfy and lack the comfort they need on the bottom of the spike. It has a very narrow fit, sometimes you want that in a sprinting spike, but not always. In this case you do not want it because of the way they made this spike. I would rate this spike a 4 out of 10 because of its support. I would down rate it a 6 because of the 5 pin plate, the lack of comfort, and how heavy the spike is.
Asics Sonic Sprint Elite ($150)
This is a weird spike. It has a 7 pin plate. That can be good or bad. Its good because it can be used for the 400 and 200 but maybe not so much the 100. It is bad because they arranged all of the spikes towards the middle of the shoe. With only 7 spikes that means it is a 400 meter or 200 meter kind of spike, but with no spikes on the outside it will lack the traction you need to get around those turns. That is not the only weird thing about the spike arrangement. Some are very close together (where they definitely don’t need to be) and some are too far apart (were they should be). The good thing about the spike is that it does not lack comfort, it will be one of your more comfy spikes. Also it has very good support and a good arch for everyone and not just flat footed people or people who need a higher arch. And it has very good traction on the heel for all parts of the race so you have more traction, and can get better grip around the corners. In the end not a good spike for its money. I would rate this spike a 6 out of 10 because of its support, arch type, and the heel traction. I would down rate it 4 because of the weird spike alignment, and how it only has 7 pins.
Now you may be saying that the Saucony Men’s Showdown is the best spike. That is not always true. If you have an injury or something along the lines of that or if you just need more support. Then that spike is not the best one for you. Maybe one of the Brooks spike is. In the end this was just to give you an idea of what spikes are out there and what ones to avoid and what ones are good. Also if you pick a spike a lot of it is how it fits your foot, so to really know that is to go to a store and try it on. In conclusion, I hope you get the most out of your track season with one of these spikes (or not one of these spikes).