Track Spikes Buying Guide

The question on the minds of athletes and parents every year.. How do you decide what kind of spikes are best to buy? What's the difference anyway? Each kind of shoes has its own tradeoffs, so let's get into it.
Sprint Spikes
The most unique thing about sprinting spikes is that they offer almost zero heel support in order to be more lightweight. That's great for running slightly faster when every millisecond counts, but can be a contributor to injury if you do a lot of running and jumping in these. Another major feature is the angle. Spikes are slightly angled to make it more natural to run with proper running technique on the balls of your feet. The sharper the angle, the more it was designed for sprinting and the worse it is for jogging. Finally, the hard spike plate tends to stretch the entire distance of the shoe. This allows for more power transfer into the track.
Mid-Distance/General-Purpose Spikes
Mid-distance spikes typically feature a minimal, but still noticeable, amount of heel support. This helps avoid strain to your foot and legs over time. For this reason, these can also serve as general purpose spikes, by being lightweight while not offering zero support like a sprinting spike shoe. The other difference between these shoes and sprint spikes is the spike plate only covers the front of the foot. While this offers slightly less in terms of power transfer for speed, it helps make the shoes lighter to help save energy and also allows the shoes to flex a little which makes running curves on the track smoother.
Pole Vault/Jump Spikes
These spikes are our specialty. In the jumping events, your feet and legs take the biggest beating because of the unmatched forces generated at your takeoff. Not only that, jumpers typically have to exert these extreme forces more than 100 times per week while working on their technique. That's why these spikes have such a thick bottom to help you handle that force as well as a support strap over the laces.
Not only do you have generous foam cushion support like training shoes, the bottoms of pole vault spikes are also fully plated like sprinting spikes to maximize power transfer into your takeoff! Similar to sprint spikes, the more expensive options are even plated with carbon fiber to take that power transfer to the next level.
If you're interested in buying some spikes, we have some of the best designed pole vaulting spikes available for you here:
Pole Vault Spikes
Carbon Fiber Plated Pole Vault Spikes
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