Best Running Spikes
During the Olympics and other sporting events, many viewers noticed that the world’s best distance runners were usually wearing running spikes in 5,000 km and 10,000 km events. There is a general misconception that the best running spikes are only for sprinters participating at races for short distances.
Technically, even in short races, this type of running shoes are essential. Spiked running shoes are close-fitting and lightweight placed on a fixed rubber outsole or plastic outsole adorned with metal spikes firmly screwed in their intended holes at the bottom part of the shoes.
Whether you are planning on going to the track to improve your endurance or going for a cross-country, a good pair of running spikes could definitely improve your performance. However, with the assortment of styles available in the market these days, knowing which one is the best running spikes could be tricky if not confusing.
In this buying guide, we listed ten of the best products. We try to narrow down your choices while including the pros and cons of each brand or product so you could match it with your preferences and needs. Check out the ten best running spikes and their respective product review below.
- Saucony Endorphin
- ASICS Hypersprint
- Saucony Vendetta
- Nike Zoom Rival
- ASICS Turbo Jump
- ASICS Long Jump Pro
- PUMA Evospeed Sprint
- Under Armour Kick Sprint
- Saucony Ballista
- ASICS Cross Freak
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Saucony Endorphin
Affordably priced for its functionality and quality
With breathable mesh to provide air circulation
Hugs the runner’s feet to keep him on his toes
With good surface traction
Uses a six-pin system for great traction
This product is ideal for middle distance running
This could be the best choice if you are looking for a product that is specially designed for middle distance running.Read more
This product is made from 100 percent synthetic materials. Its sole is made of rubber with breathable mesh to cover the user’s feet. Its spike plate and outsole are made of durable and high-quality plastic.
This six-pin shoe offers a great traction level. Saucony is a trusted name in running shoes and has specially engineered this model to feature a system based on the sole that offers ideal stability and superior cushion factor.
The upper structure of this product embraces the foot and allows the runner to move at a lightweight speed. This also ensures a great surface tension. This product has an impressive blend of durability and comfort giving runners a better push and inspiration to perform better.
It has a product dimension of 12 –inches x 8 -inches x 4 –inches. It has an item and shipping weight of 2 –pounds.
2. ASICS Hypersprint
It uses a five-pin design
With hotmelt TPU overlay
Uses breathable mesh
With EVA heel pad for great landing cushion
With rubber sole
Pyramid shaped spikes
Spike measures 6mm
Some users complained that the item is too small
This could be the perfect choice if you are looking for a lightweight product that performs impressively well in sprint running.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. Its spike plate is made of Nylon that can withstand extreme heat or cold temperatures and is very durable. The entire shoe is made of a blend of synthetic leather and mesh in the upper part, and hotmelt TPU overlay in the rear foot part. It has a rubber sole for better surface traction.
This five-pin designed product ensures the runner gets the ideal surface traction. The spikes are shaped like that of a pyramid and measure 6 millimeters. This product uses the patented EVA heel pad to ensure that the user’s landing is properly cushioned.
This product is designed to give comfort to its user while ensuring that superior performance is achieved. It is very lightweight so the user will not be burdened by the weight of the shoe.
You can run for a long distance wearing this without hurting your sole since it is very lightweight. It only weighs 2 pounds. It has a product dimension of 11.5 –inches x 4.5 -inches x 7.5 –inches.
3. Saucony Vendetta
Reasonably priced product
This product offers a snug fit
With carbon rubber outsole for better bounce
It has breathable mesh for proper ventilation
Allows blood to circulate properly
It is lightweight
It has a six-pin spike plate to ensure great surface traction
This product is not designed for long distance event
This could be the ideal choice if you are looking for a quality product that you can use for middle distance running.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. It has full body breathable mesh that allows proper ventilation and right feet comfort. The materials in this product are specially crafted to push the moisture away from the skin. This makes the skin dry.
In addition to the breathable materials used in making this product, it also features removable spikes. This enables the wearer to customize the shoes based on the type of terrain or event that he is going to participate. This means that this pair of running shoes is ready for any type of trail or track.
This six-pin spike plate has its midsole injection molded to boost speed and achieve superior performance. Its outsole is made of carbon rubber to ensure that it bounces back.
This is a lightweight product that only weighs 5.6 –ounces. It will make the wearer feel like there are no shoes on their feet.
4. Nike Zoom Rival
With removable spikes
It comes with Phylon foam for superior cushioning
Extended spike plates to support torsional firmness
Perfect shoe for jumping events
Nanoply covered forefoot for breathability
Flywire cables that support the mid-foot section for superior comfort
Very narrow on the feet
This could be the perfect choice if you are looking for a product that utilizes a Dynamic Fit technology and lightweight mesh for superior comfort.Read more
This product is made of synthetic material. It utilizes a mesh that is single layered to improve ventilation. The heels have Phylon foam for ultimate cushioning. Its spike plate is extended to the back part to back torsional firmness.
This is a great product for short distances, jumping events, and hurdle events. It features a sockliner that is very soft and conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot for superior comfort. It has seven spike plates that offer great traction. It has a forefoot made of Nanoply the delivers breathability and support. It comes with Flywire cables that enable the lacing to offer support up to the mid-foot section.
This product has a solid rubber on top of the heel to enhance grip, performance, and durability. The seven-spike plates provide superior propulsion, traction and speed. It offers a comfortable and smooth feel to the wearer. This product is easy to clean and will not demand much of your time in order to clean it.
You can easily carry this product and can be used to any kind of tracks or events because of its removable spikes.
5. ASICS Turbo Jump
Ideal product for jumping events
With eight-spike plates
Uses SpEVA on the midsole
It utilizes NC Rubber on the Outsole
Track and field spikes for better support, traction, and enhanced take off
Hook and Loop Closure for a perfect fit
This product could not be perfect for cross-country or long distance events
This could be the ideal choice if you want a product that can offer both great traction and stability.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. It uses SharkDuo Outsole for great traction in any types of track or terrain. Its midsole utilize SpEVA to enhance the bounce-back feature and prevent the midsole from breaking down. The Upper is pasted to a fiberboard and affixed to the midsole that makes this product durable and stable. Its outsole is made of NC Rubber, a material that contains natural rubber. This provides better traction on various types of tracks.
In addition to its impressive material components and sturdy build, this product features Hook and Loop Closure that offers a supportive and customized fit. It has extended spike receptacles that enable the user to improve take off. This product features an eight-spike receptacle for superior traction.
This is an ideal product that you can use if you are competing on a jumping or hurdle event. It provides stability for a more powerful takeoff and superior traction when you are sprinting. It has track and field spikes that are laterally constructed to offer perfect support to the foot.
This is a lightweight running pair of shoes that only weighs two pounds. It has a product dimension of 12 -inches x 8 –inches x 4 –inches.
6. ASICS Long Jump Pro
This is a great pair of shoes for expert jumpers and long jump elites
With six-spike forefoot for greater traction
Latest spike design for track and field
Spike plate made of Nylon Pebax
Leather Upper for a snug fit
This product might not be suitable for a long distance run or for a cross-country race
This could be the best choice if you are looking for a product that offers a new generation of spikes for track and field.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. Its sole is made of rubber. Its Upper is made of synthetic leather. It utilizes Solyte for its midsole, which is a much lighter material compared to SpEVA and EVA. This offers improved cushioning. It uses double thick Pebax Nylon spike receptacle for superior traction.
This type of running shoe is specially designed for advanced and competitive Long Jump athletes. The shoe is crafted in a way that it positions the foot in a perfect take-off position. It features a six-spike forefoot plate for ultimate support and great traction.
Any athletes or sports enthusiasts who would like to improve their jumping ability could use this pair of shoes to achieve it. It is equipped with the latest cutting-edge spike designed for optimum propulsion during take-off.
This product is available in different sizes. It is very lightweight and only weighs 7.2 ounces.
7. PUMA Evospeed Sprint
High-performance track runner
Perfect for short distance races
This product offers superior comfort
Made of synthetic materials
Very easy to clean
Ideal product for jumping events
Most suitable for sprinters and jumpers
This could be the ideal choice if you are looking for a high-performance product that has a seamless Upper build to prevent irritation.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. Its sole is also made of synthetic materials. It has a sleek Upper also made of synthetic material. The material components of this product allow the users to easily clean it.
It has a seamless Upper build that decreases the likelihood of irritation. This product has 2/3-pin Nylon Pebax spike receptacle to provide optimum surface traction. Despite its impressive functionality and performance, this product is affordably priced. It is ideal for runners competing in 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400-meter events. Its spike is specially designed for track and field.
This model is much lighter and much faster than its previous version. It is specially crafted to leave a lasting impression in the field. Its capability to offer superior comfort and outstanding performance make it ideal for hurdle or sprinting events.
This product is lighter compared to other brands available in the market today. Aside from all-weather synthetic terrain, you can also use this product on grass, dirt track, or on a cinder track. It comes with its patented PUMA formstrip on the medial and lateral sides.
8. Under Armour Kick Sprint
Upper designed with 3D graphics
With ¾ -inch long Pebax spike plate
Allows powerful propulsion
Seamless fit that moves along with every step of the feet
Ballistic mesh for durable and breathable support
Some users complain that the shoe has a wide space for the toes that cannot be tightened
This could be a great choice if you are looking for a product that offers a nice snug fit, ultimate comfort, and outstanding performance.Read more
This product is made from imported synthetic materials. It has a synthetic sole and a toe box peppered with perforation for increased ventilation. It also has a ballistic mesh on the heel counter that integrates breathability and sturdy support. The Upper is designed with 3-dimension printed graphics.
This model from Under Armour features an interior with a seamless fit that moves along with your feet in every step you take. It has a specially designed toe box to provide ventilation and flexibility. Proper ventilation fosters blood circulation and prevents the likelihood of cramps while running. It features a Pebax spike plate, which is 3/4 –inches in length for powerful propulsion.
This product offers not only comfort but proper ventilation that helps the user prevent injuries.
You will enjoy wearing this product because it is very lightweight. It only weighs 5.6 ounces. It has removable spikes that you can customize to run on different types of terrain or track. It also fosters proper blood circulation that prevents the muscles and nerves from cramping.
9. Saucony Ballista
An ideal pair of running shoes for 400-meters to 800-meters events
Made of 100 percent textile
With rubber sole that provides flexibility
Textile allows ventilation
This product may not be ideal for a long distance run or a cross-country race
This could be the best choice if you are looking for a quality product that you can buy at a very affordable price.Read more
This product is made of textile. Its sole is made of rubber. The outsole of this product in xt-lite injected. While its midsole uses SSL EVA. The material components that make up this product allow it to be easily cleaned. The textile offers comfort and the rubber sole offers flexibility.
This model from Saucony utilizes a dual molded spike plate to offer the right amount of traction and firmness, especially when used in an 800-meters run. It could be an ideal pair of running shoes for running 400 meters to 800 meters events. It has thin spikes that are great for achieving superior surface traction.
With a lot of variety available in the market today, this product could be your best pick if you want to have a durable pair of running spikes but with minimum budget. It offers superior comfort and right traction that is ideal for short distance running.
This is a very lightweight product that you will surely enjoy wearing which only weighs 4 ounces.
10. ASICS Cross Freak
With removable spikes
It comes with a free wrench
Perfect shoes for cross-country events
Some users complain about its spikes that are made of plastic material
This product is not made for short distance events
This may not be ideal for jumping events
This could be the perfect choice if you are looking for a product that can help you improve your performance especially if you are into cross-country events.Read more
This product is made of synthetic materials. It has a rubber sole for added flexibility. It is made of high-quality materials that make it very functional even when used in various types of terrains.
Aside from its versatile design, this product uses Trusstic System plate and a rubber sole that is deep lugged. It provides traction on different championship tracks as well as stability. Its midsole is compression molded and utilize EVA type that offers superior cushioning especially on harder terrains. It has a five spike plate configuration that offers precise control. Its Upper is equipped with flexible and lightweight mesh overlayed with TPU that covers the foot and provides ventilation.
This model from ASICS is equipped with features and specially designed to help cross-country runners improve their performance. It has perfectly placed spikes that offer stability even in tough terrains. Its high-performance features match its stylish appearance.
This is a lightweight model that only weighs 3 pounds. It has a product dimension of 11 –inches x 4 –inches x 7 –inches. This product comes with nine millimeters spikes and wrench for easy installation and removal.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Technically, there is a difference between a cross-country and a track and field spike. Several technical considerations should be made in selecting the right spikes. Like in car manufacturing that requires testing to be finely tuned; various scientific methods are used to measure the efficiency of most footwear.
For instance, the spikes of the shoes in the product review section have undergone rigorous testing in their respective manufacturing process and by independent consultants. In running, the fast and the second best is decided by milliseconds so every single part that contributes to the overall performance of the product greatly matters.
Consumers these days are looking for a superior and high quality running shoes. In writing this buying guide, we made sure that the information we have reflects what the readers and the consumers want and need to know about the product. We provide you with the features and properties of the shoes so you could decide which one is best for you. It appears that users, specifically runners, appreciate if the product offers an alternative like choosing the number of spikes. It is also an advantage if users can interchange them. Runners want versatility and personalization in their shoes.
Another important factor that should be given a lot of consideration is the material composition of the product. While most brands are offering synthetic fabrics, cutting-edge materials, and extra durable foams for cushioning, it is important that these components are efficiently utilized so they can deliver optimum comfort and benefits to the users. Regardless of the choice you make, the majority of this type of shoes is designed to exceed user’s expectations on build quality and performance. In making a choice, it is easy to pick the product that comes with the best materials. It is one of the reasons why construction and the type of materials used are crucial factors in choosing for quality spikes.
In addition to the material composition, build quality, and use, another important criterion to consider is the performance of the shoes on the track. There are several factors that affect the performance of this product. This includes the style of the spike, the materials that make up the shoe, and the comfort that it offers to the wearer. Spikes should be lightweight and should give the users a better grip on the track.
A good set of spikes should enable you to make use of your stamina by supplying you the force for a full range of action. The type of spikes is dependent on the type of event that you will be undertaking. There are several types of spikes; the entry-level spikes or those that are good for sprinting, mid-level spikes or those for mid-distance, and the long-distance spikes or those better with long-distance running. These distances vary, which is why mid-level spike can be ideal for many events because its spikes are intended for 800 to 5,000 meters run.
It is important to note that shoes designed for sprinting are much stiffer while long-distance track shoes provide more cushion. Other features factored in the performance of the shoes include running style and the type of race. Most sprinters run on the forefoot and they need footwear that pads well to absorb the shock the runner releases in each step. Long-distance runners may opt to heel-to-stride running type. In these kinds of situation, you will realize that shoes that are mid-sole type can offer the best shock-absorbing features.
The weight is another most wanted feature among running shoes. Based on customer preferences, those that have a lightweight feel and design are the ones usually picked first. Users love to run with a lightweight shoe and love the feeling that they are not wearing almost anything on their feet. The design of the shoe contributes to the overall feel of the footwear.
While the traditional running shoes could cost fairly affordable, running spikes are much costly. Most users are willing to pay for the price given that the product offers optimum performance and ultimate comfort. Our list of products above does not include the most expensive ones or those that are heavily advertised as we all know that marketing and advertising cost are added on these shoes. Our buying guide includes various choices that will fit your budget while delivering great performance and superior quality.
In running, the right ventilation inside your shoes is crucial especially if you are running long distances. For sprints, ventilation is not as crucial since there is only a minimal time spent. But, in the mid or long distances, shoes made of breathable mesh fabrics and those with holes all over aids in proper ventilation and blood circulation. This type also reduces friction and eliminates the feeling of discomfort to the wearer.
Aside from these, well-ventilated shoes could eliminate the risk of developing athlete’s foot and other foot problems. There are several events that last for a few days. In this kind of set-up, your foot health plays an important factor in your performance. Wearing breathable running shoes should be done during the practice up until the actual event. This is to allow your feet to be familiar with the kind of environment.
Various types of running shoes are crafted for a different level of skills and events. All of these function a bit different from the other. If you are running a short distance, consider getting hard shoes with a firm sole at the bottom part of the foot. This type is made for pushing and producing more power and momentum.
If you are running in a long distance, choose a pair of shoes that have more give and are made of flexible rubber components. You should also get the ones that have bouncy mid-soles for maximum return of energy. In addition, the spike plate also plays an important role in the functionality of a pair of shoes. The maximum number of spikes allowed for short-distance running is eight. In long-distance running, track shoes usually have spike count ranging between five and seven.
This is the most important criterion in buying the best running spikes. All of the criteria and features discussed above will have no bearing if the shoes do not have the right fit on your feet. It is important that the fit should not be too tight rather it should have a snug fit. A tight fit prevents proper blood circulation and could cause muscle and nerve cramps. On the other hand, a loose fit may cause your feet to slide out causing more injuries.
You would not your running shoes that cramp or pinch your toes in any way. This could cause fatigue on your feet and could lead to injuries. If possible, personally try several pairs of running shoes at a specialty store to actually get the feel of it. The fit of a particular track shoe could be because of collars and tongues that are padded and the use of a certain type of lace closure.
Other Factors to Consider
Our tendency to stick to a particular brand is not at all bad. Usually, this kind of loyalty is formed because of the good performance and quality that we have experienced wearing the brand. But, there are also other brands that are much better and could offer comfort and superior performance. Some of these brands are more affordable than our favorite brands. Once in a while, try other brands so you will also experience the kind of quality that they are offering. It is important that before making a purchase, try to check other brands and see if it meets your criteria.
In this section, we will give a detailed explanation of the different types of spikes and their uses. Spikes used in shoes that are intended for cross-country running are the athletes and professionals’ favorite. Runners who are running on muddy and uneven terrains also like this type of spike. The second most popular spike is the sprint.
This type of design is centered on speed while keeping the grip of the runner secured safely. The latest type of spike is the standard distance. When runners start to compete they learn that running a track between 800 meters and 10,000 meters they need to use the standard distance type of spike. In choosing a spike, it is important that you base your judgment on what you intend to use your shoes for.
After reading the product review section and the criteria for evaluation, it is safe to assume that at this point, you already have an idea of what the best running spikes would be like. In this buying guide, we find the Saucony Endorphin Men’s MD4 Track Shoe as the best running spikes in the list. This product is reasonably priced and is very affordable if you compare its quality and performance. It has a durable quality and it is designed for middle distance running.
This product is equipped with features that ensure that proper cushioning is given to your feet. It also allows proper propulsion that enables the wearer to have a powerful take-off. It is covered with breathable mesh that facilitates ventilation and allows blood circulation. It reduces the risk of getting injured while running. These features and more make this product the best running spikes in this buying guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
As discussed in the criteria for the evaluation section, the right fit is the most important factor that one should consider before buying a pair of running shoes. The right fit should give you a snug feel. It should not be too tight to hamper the circulation of blood. The best way to know if the brand you like has the right fit is to try it on. If your choice is not available, you can go to a specialty store and find the same brand and size. While your choice could be a different model, manufacturers use the same size standards in their different models. If the shoe is to loosely fit, it might cause your feet to slip and could cause injuries. The right fit should not pinch your toes that could cause cramps.
There are various types of track spikes that are used in different kinds of distances and events. Pyramid-shaped spikes are ideal for cross-country events. They are dense, sturdy, and do not deteriorate fast. This type of spike also offers a good bounce back while you are on the track. Another type of spike is the Needle type. This one is used in almost all types of tracks. It is much thinner but offers great grip. Then there is the Compression spike. This is a combination of pyramid and Needle spikes. It offers good grip and bounces that best fit to the needs of sprinters.
Spikes on running shoes come in different shapes and sizes. It is important that the type and size of the spike that you choose are fit to the type of activity that you will use it with. While it is fine to have closer placed spikes on running shoes, but it is quite different for track shoes. Even the tiniest slide of the feet could mean a second loss on the timer. It could also trigger incoordination and could even trigger injury.
The level of frequency of replacing the spikes depends on how often you use the shoes and on what type of event you use it. Frequent use of your shoes will cause the spikes to deteriorate as friction is created as the spikes hit the track. This entails that the spikes need to be replaced. While it may appear costly, you will realize that in the long run, it is worth it. A good set of spikes could boost your performance and could save you from possible injuries that might occur due to defective spikes.
Track shoes have a spiked design that enables the wearer to feel traction with the track boosting his speed. Typical running footwear does not have the proper grip required when running at a fast speed on a possibly slippery surface. Weather condition is one of the factors that can affect the condition of the track. Wearing the right pair of track shoes can prevent you from accidentally slipping or falling that could even lead to career-ending injuries. Running shoes are not really intended to provide users with the right traction for different types of terrain.
Depending on the rules of the event, you can use spiked shoes on an indoor track. However, there are several indoor tracks that prohibit the use of spiked shoes. Some others even require a particular size or style of spiked shoes to be used in their indoor track.