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About wearing spikes

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Dear Coach, A comment about sprinters who wear spikes - for those with large feet. Suggest to not buy a shoe without asking just because the shoe fits. The best spike for young people are general purpose:they have full cushion backs. The hard plastic are more expensive and look better, but are very hard on your heels and hamstrings, If you want to wear this type it shouldn't be used for practice. Only wear in races, but sometimes use for practice as not to race in new spikes. If you buy all-wear only spikes, please remember that you may need two pair of shoes, because some races are on dirt tracks. General purpose or all around spikes cover 100 to 400meters. 100 meters spikes only are for just that, and also 200-400meters spikes aren't for the 100meters. The sports doctor said this is a common foot problem now. because children are getting bigger faster. Many are now wearing spikes that were designed for adult, like the "100meters only" spike. but many parents don't ask or don't know. They purchase this sometime very expensive spike which in the long run will do more harm than good. A special spike does no good if used incorrectly. A young person should wait until their muscles have developed fully first. If you ask a store who sells special spike, they will tell you they aren't for children. I myself have six different pair of spikes:(two pair all around spikes for practice) one pair for dirt races, one pair for the 100meters only, but no 100meters specials. One pair for 200meter and 400meters. and one pair for 800meters which were a present. Thanks, Shizuka

Answer

Dear Shizuka, Most kids will not benefit from wearing spikes, since they tend to not be in great shape. They would benefit a lot more from training and just wearing flats in races. Sprint spikes are very hard on the bottom and would be a terrible idea for distance runners. (I don't recommend our kids run longer than 800m on the track until around age 14.) I recommend that my kids wear light, flexible road racing flats in many of our races. The best kids wear just a basic distance spike. I very rarely have them wear spikes in practice. There is something to be said about doing some training in spikes because they force the athlete to be more up on his toes and really strain the calves. Since our kids are not trained professional athletes, I suggest keeping it simple and inexpensive. Have fun, Coach Mick and John

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