Selecting Spikes

Selecting Track SpikesTop of Page

  • Get a shoe with a nylon upper.
  • The lighter the better. The single easiest way to improve, other than to get in better shape or compete better, is to wear lighter shoes for racing. Compare the listed weight in ounces for the different models you are considering. Make sure the listed weights are for the same size-shoes among models. (Obviously, larger shoes are heavier than smaller shoes.)
  • If you run sprints (400m and below) and jump, do not get a shoe with a heel, as it is unnecessary weight.
  • If you run middle distance or distance events (800m to 3,200m) you need a shoe with a heel or you will get cramps in your calves. Sprinters run on the balls of their feet. Middle distance and distance runners land on their heels, roll forward on the outside of their feet, and drive off the balls of their feet. If you run these events, you need shoes with a heel to cushion your heels against repeated impact with the track, while preserving your calves from cramps.
  • Get a shoe with metal spikes which you can remove/replace with a t-shaped wrench. Most schools with all-weather track surfaces will not let you compete unless you have spikes which are 1/4" or shorter; to minimize damage to the surface of the track. Conversely, if you are running on dirt tracks (and particularly if they are muddy) you will need longer metal spikes to get the best traction/prevent your feet from slipping.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to obtain spikes. If you order by mail, and the spikes don't fit, you will need adequate time to return them to the store and reorder. Some shoes are sized a little big or a little small

Sources for obtaining spikes by mail
We have provided three sources for obtaining spikes by mail. An alternative is to talk to other athletes on the team to learn about local sources.

Fleet Feet, Inc. - Chico
241 Main Street
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 345-1000
Fleet Fleet, Inc. - Roseville
Douglas Blvd., Suite 700
Roseville, CA 95661
(916) 783-4558
Fleet Feet - Sacramento
2311 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 442.3338