There are different categories of running shoes or racing spikes. Categories of running shoes make a difference so hopefully this little summary will help when you enter the store and see a wall full of racing spikes. Try to resist the temptation of merely choosing running shoes that look the coolest and get into something that will provide a good racing experience.
- Racing Flat (no spikes)
- Sole is flexible
- There is some thickness to the sole for cushion, but not as thick as a training shoe
- Distances of 2-mile and above, including cross country courses
- Mid-distance spikes
- Sole is stiffer than long distance spikes but is still semi flexible. This allows mid-distance runners some rigidity in the middle of the foot for quicker toe off.
- Sole has some thickness for overall foot protection
- Distances of 800 meters – 2 mile
- Long-distance spikes
- Sole is flexible but with some rigidity under the mid-foot for support of the spike plate
- There is some thickness in the sole for protection for overall protection
- Distances of 2 mile and above, including cross country courses
- Sprinting spikes
- Sole is very stiff and rigid for the quickest toe-off as possible
- There is no cushion in the sole for foot protection
- Distances of 100 – 400 meters
You would never want to run distance races in sprinting spikes. You can see they look similar enough that purchasing the wrong type of spike can be an easy mistake.
By shopping at a specialty running shoe store you’ll increase the odds of getting into the right racing shoe, or you can simply click on the links we’ve provided for you in the article.