Best Track Spikes of 2019 Reviewed and Ranked
When the race is on the line, step into these rockets to pave the way!
Best Track Spikes in 2019
With the ever-changing advances in technology, track spikes are being designed specifically to become more functional than ever before. By creatively using technology and materials in the design process, manufacturers are developing track spikes with features that include plates made of carbon fiber and lightweight Boa-powered lacing systems.
Track spikes provide a clear advantage over regular running shoes since they are so versatile. You can remove them and change their configuration in order to best meet your specific needs. This usually depends on the kind of racing you are doing.
There are several varieties of spike types available. The sharper and smaller spikes (metal needle ones, for example) work great on standard styles of tracks used for racing short distances. The distance (cross-country) spikes are comparatively larger and slightly heavier, and they are designed to be durable in order to last for a longer period of time through the more difficult terrains.
It is now possible to choose from a variety of shoes specifically constructed based on the intended use, whether it be sprinting (400 meters or less), distance running (5,000-10,000 meters or 1-mile), or middle-distance running (generally in the range of 400-5,000 meters).
The amount of cushioning in these running shoes are also dependent on the style of running. Distance spikes have limited cushioning beneath the heel while sprinter spikes are without any at all. As the name also implies, the middle-distance varieties usually have a degree of cushioning that falls in the middle somewhere.
To help with choosing the best track spike for you, we have tested the following batch of the newest options to make the decision easier and get you moving forward!
For short racing, your best bet is a pair of these sprinter spikes with substantial rigidness.
Spike Type: Sprinter
Optimum for: Sprinters running in the 100-200-meter range
Weight: Unisex – 6.3 ounces (oz.)
These Speedform Sprint 2 track spikes from Under Armour are a unique, unisex option for even the most elite racers. They offer an impressive level of stiffness and boasts a platform that is forward leaning for ultimate performance.
Not only have they been crafted with great precision, but they have also been visually designed using reflective and gleaming colors that span the rainbow. This eye-catching creation demands that you be respected as you make your mark on any track with these Speedform Sprint 2 sprinter spikes. As one tester noted, “I cannot wait to put on these shoes because I get a compliment each and every time that I wear them at the track.”
After you have begun your rapid journey, the substantial rigidness in the shoe’s platform seemingly transforms and gives you a feeling that you are absolutely flying down the track. This is mainly due to the Pebax plate that is full-length with a shape that is convex (pointed outward) underneath the middle of the foot which is instrumental in launching you into a desirable forward motion each time you are ready to bolt.
The plate’s raised part has been cored out to reduce the weight. The upper part of this Speedform Sprint 2 will mold to your feet and has the bonus of being breathable. The interior portion has an incredibly comfortable feel, making socks optional. The Threadborne material used by Under Armour has been reinforced for security with a TPU film. This material is known for its smoothness and utterly seamless qualities, allowing you to run while forgetting about chafing.
Grab a pair of these sprinter spikes with a Boa lacing system that will grip your feet so you can hug the road.
Spike Type: Sprinter
Optimum for: Sprinters wanting an ultra-secure fit who will dish out the cash for this important feature
Weight: Unisex – 6.2 ounces (oz.)
These Vazee Sigma Harmony spikes by New Balance have been created and designed to be a lightweight option to give runners the needed edge when races often come down to a matter of seconds. The lighter the weight, the quicker you can lift your feet with less fatigue.
These spikes come equipped with ultra-strong and lightweight Kevlar laces that cinch down in a uniform fashion with a dial that is incredibly easy to use. Compared to all of the other track spikes in this list, these laces wrap more around to create a more secure and snug fit. This is balanced with the shoe’s full-length plate that is obviously rigid and made of nylon polyamide. This winning combination makes you feel more like you are stepping into a cycling shoe.
This Vazee Sigma Harmony model is a lightweight shoe that has 8 spikes that are fashioned in an asymmetrical design. Although the Boa-powered lacing system can be slightly heavier than other traditional laces, it has a speedy feeling overall that will leave you more than ready to bolt out of the blocks at any time. One of our testers noted, “When I put these sprinter spikes on my feet, I knew I had made a good decision because I had the immediate urge to dart off as fast as I could.”
It is clear that New Balance has refreshed and updated their spikes with this Vazee Sigma Harmony model. They are now offering a premium and sleek knit collar along with a stronger plate that has clearly been created and manufactured with the input from athletes you know what sprinters need and want in their track spikes.
Sprinters usually will have zero or very few turns on the routes of their races or events, so it is necessary that they spread their pins in an evener fashion across their soles under their toes, and these spikes provide the perfect solution. A tester stated, “the cushioning is more in its front half, and this leaves my heel without any cushion which works for me because as a sprinter, I obviously tend to run more on the balls of my feet.”
While serving as an affordable alternative, these workhorse spikes do not forego any of the comfort or security you need and want.
Spike Type: Sprinter
Optimum for: Sprinters running in the 100-400-meter range seeking high-quality but less expensive spikes.
Weight: Men – 5.0 ounces (oz.), Women – 4.2 ounces (oz.)
Although the Spitfire 5 by Saucony is less pricey when compared to the majority of our other options presented here in this list, don’t be deterred from this Spitfire 5. We were unable to tell any significant differences and felt confident when we were on the track. As one tester stated, “I had assumed because of the price that these would feel awkward or not made with a high level of quality, but I was pleasantly surprised with I put them on and experienced a great overall feel, particularly when I made the important turns.”
This model has a synthetic upper with rather simple, yet secure foot-feel. This is combined with a durable and sturdy outsole made of rubber underneath the heel, along with a Pebax plate underneath the area of the forefoot to offer you enough superior rigidity. This differs from having a full-length plate which is one of the reasons that the Spitfire 5 is able to have a price that is reasonable, making this a great overall value. The trade-off is that these track spikes are not as breathable and are not going to conform to you feel as well as some of these other options in our list.
Even though sprinters will usually run for the entire (or almost) duration of a race on toes, there usually is very little, if any, a form of cushioning inside the shoe. Due to this, the spike has a weight that is minimal when compared to other types. Sprinter spikes also tend to contain a plate that is made of full plastic which secures the spikes into the shoe’s forefoot.
The Spitfire 5 by Saucony is a shoe that is available in both sizes for men and women. One of our testers stated, “I really appreciated the fact that these spikes didn’t make me guess my size like I usually have to do for unisex or men’s sizes. I am usually forced to discover my size through trial and error which can make ordering spikes a daunting task for me as a female runner.”
Flexing to your feet is a great advantage of the upper’s new knit design.
Spike Type: Middle-distance
Optimum for: Middle-distance runners, particularly in hotter climates.
Weight: Men – 4.4 ounces (oz.), Women – 4.0 ounces (oz.)
This MD800v6 by New Balance is a middle-distance spike that has received fantastic reviews, undoubtedly due to its new upper knit design which contains a higher-cut bootie that has the qualities of being both stretchy but secure. This was a real winner, and we all felt that our feet were tightly (not too tightly) held in place at all times. This fantastic upper is combined on the shoe with full-length plating that leaves the runner feeling great.
These really are an ideal choice for track spikes when you want a pair for what they are intended for which is for racing distances that are generally in the 800-3,000-meter range. The forefront and midfoot mesh are especially breathable, making this a great choice for the hotter climates you may be racing in.
The flat seams on the interior allow you to run in these spikes sockless without any noticeable chafing or internal rubbing. One of our testers stated, “Most of my running is done if my hometown which has very warm temperatures, so I am always searching for new spikes that help me avoid hot spots if at all possible. I wore these and was delighted that I didn’t have any.”
These MD800v6 track spikes by New Balance are a great option for runners in all climates, so do not dismiss these as a viable choice if you do not live in a hotter climate. Their stretchy, yet secure bootie is reason enough to give these a twirl. The level of comfort this can provide cannot be overstated. After all, what is the fun or purpose in running or racing if you have to be uncomfortable?
Explosive performance and grip from this six-spiker created with a plate of carbon fiber.
Spike Type: Middle-distance
Optimum for: Racers who prefer running distances in the 400-1,600-meter range
Weight: Unisex – 4.2 ounces (oz.)
Brooks is well-known for creating particularly comfortable everyday shoes, but they may not have the reputation they deserve in the area of track spikes which may be changing based on the ELMN8 v4 that we tested. These versatile spikes make use of a plate made of carbon fiber to give it an overall bouncy and stiff feeling, leaving us wanting to dart off.
We especially appreciated the durable strength of the carbon fiber, along with its rebounding capabilities. The plate is uniquely configured to give more flexibility to the runner. “Since the plate is cut off underneath the middle of my foot and has cutouts, I feel like I am more flexible and powerful which is of the highest importance to me”, as one of our testers noted.
Brooks has designed this model with a full-length and thin layer of their own BioMoGo cushion material which absorbs at least some of the shock. When testing these, we thought that it provided a good amount of foam that was resilient without making us feel fatigued. “I thought these felt resilient and agile at any speeds that I reached,” noted one tester.
This model has sharp spikes found in the very bottom, but the spike contains a tiny amount of heel cushioning. This is useful because the farther that you run, the greater the chance of hitting your heel. The ELMN8 v4 by Brooks model was found to provide our test team with the desired amount of durability and explosiveness without having to give up any level of comfortability.
Unwavering swiftness and reassurance are traits of this middle-distance sprinter.
Spike Type: Middle-distance
Optimum for: The middle-distance racer who wants a balanced combination of speed and comfort.
Weight: Unisex – 5.0 ounces (oz.)
In this new model of distance spikes available from ASIC, the balanced Cosmoracer MD design proved to be a high-rating option that performed well for our testing team. We tried these out for a spin and recognized the notable comfortability these provided.
This model contains an upper with an ultra-light weighing paneling of mesh that is breathable. It also maintains overall security around your feet through their seamless overlays and does not have the commonly found feature of a rough and rigid interior. Even though there was an obvious level of thinness in the material, it still left us feeling both secure and springy. “The fit of the forefoot is a little too high-volume for me, but I felt that the midfoot locked me in place which was surprising even at the higher speeds I reached,” said one of our testers.
We all agreed that we liked the shoe’s combination of very little (but adequate) cushioning along with a strong rigidity that was delivered well by the Pebax plate (full-length) and the nice, thin layer of the brand’s Solyte foam for the midsole. It was also noted as having a respectable strength-to-weight ratio. One tester noted, “I found that the faster that I go, the shoe feels better to me which is great. I thought it had a surprisingly snug fit for having such a slim design.”
This woven and cutting-edge upper gives this spike a “like-air” feel.
Spike Type: Distance
Optimum for: Runners who want spikes that are light as a feather when taking on 1-mile and 10K racing.
Weight: Men – 3.2 ounces (oz.), Women – 2.9 ounces (oz.)
In terms of the weight of these spikes, the Endorphin 2 hands-down beats the scale in this category. These shoes contain Saucony Super Lite (SSL) EVA which is the company’s blend of cushioning developed to maximize the durability as well as the rebound. The woven upper is new and breathable. We found it to be soft with the overlays flow onto the new woven material. This provides a little bit more structure without the added weight to slow you down.
The fit of the upper was of a higher volume when compared to the others on this list. This is the second version of this shoe and it now has better, more supportive overall spike plate as opposed to the first version of the Endorphin. The better your feet are able to grab onto the track, the quicker and faster you are able to propel yourself and get moving.
Traction is not the only effective way for you to increase your speed though. Among the main benefits, you will notice when you wear these track spikes is that they have an excellent ability to grip the track better to give you with a good level of traction in even the harshest or wettest conditions. The super-light technology was a huge benefit and really made a difference when I was racing.”
Although this model provides perhaps the most cushioning from all the other spikes, we still fell that it was minimal when compared to an average running shoe but is just barely enough to cushion the feet from the sure impact you will experience with the longer races.
This is a great model for distance runners who are used to landing on their heels using a much more traditional stride of running. One of our testers noted, “The spikes are a little bit heavier which is great for me because it allows for extra and needed cushioning. This will also give me more comfort when I am running frequent long distances.”
A 3D-printed heel will mold your feet to the road in this comfortable distance spike.
Spike Type: Distance
Optimum for: Runners who value comfort when racing distances up to 10K.
Weight: Unisex – 5.9 ounces (oz.)
There was a highly noticeable level of comfortability in these Kick Distance 2 spikes, most likely because they have a slight amount of cushioning on each tongue and surrounding the sculpted heel. The 3D-printed heel is a molded design which is meant to hold your feet securely all of the time, and this definitely proved to be effective among our test team members. “I never felt like I had to sacrifice any amount of comfort for increased speed which is rare for spikes.”
We found that the Kick Distance 2 shoe was always comfortable in the places that matter the most, and we appreciated its quality combination of flexibility and stiffness. Also noticeable is a slight bit of EVA midsole which combines with a Pebax plate beneath the area of the forefoot.
Since long-distance spikes will always use soles with greater amounts of flexibility, it enables you to have much more of a natural movement of your foot, and it provides a higher level of comfort when compared to others. One of our testers noted, “These spikes truly felt great throughout varying distances”.
These Kick Distance 2 spikes by Under Armour use more flexible soles that enable a runner to experience a much more natural and enjoyable foot movement and also provides a higher degree of comfort. The shape of these distance spikes also usually tends to be on the flatter side. As one tester noted, “As a distance runner, I like the group pins that run along the edges of the shoe to really dig in around the many turns. By positioning these spikes to face the wider edges of the turns, it really helped me to push inward more towards the shallower sides of the turns to make them less likely to drift outward when racing.”
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