High School Freshman and Youth Runner Magazine Blogger Jesse has been checking out track & field spikes.... here are his suggestions and observations for Distance Track Spikes. Thanks Jesse!
When it comes to track spikes, there are so many options. I have chosen some of the more common or some of the best track spikes out there. Also you may be thinking why not just use my old cross country spikes? You should definitely not use your cross country spikes. It is better to use cross country spikes for track then to use track spikes for cross country, but it is still not good. Cross country spikes are made to be more flexible, and have a little more stability. They also normally have a harder bottom. As for track spikes have they are made to be as light as possible. They are made to run on flat surface. They are normally really light and are not fit for bumpy terrain. By using the wrong spikes for either cross country or track you are risking major injury such as a stress fracture. Here are some track spikes to consider or not to consider.
Nike Zoom Rival 8 ($65)
If you are looking for a less expension option. This one may be the one for you. With Nike’s best distance track spike it has a 6 spike pin plate, so it could be used for events all the way down to a 400 meter dash. But when using it for events such as 1600 meter or up, you may want to remove the two middle spikes. With phylon cushioning and a layer of mesh it is very breathable, and perfect for running races up to 5,000 meters. Also has a open mesh construction, so that means they are very supportive with less weight. Out of 10 stars I would rate this spike a 7.5, because of the support and mesh/phylon that make it light yet breathable. I down rank it 2.5 because it has a 6 pin plate, while true distance spikes would only have a 4 pin plate. Overall a good spike for not a lot of money.
Saucony Endorphin LD4 ($100)
With being the lightest track spikes on the market and weighing in at 3.2 oz. with the spikes in them. That is one light spike. This is an ideal racing spike for anyone running the mile and anything up. You could go down to the 800 but it would not give you the traction you would need for end sprint of the race. Some middle distances runners prefer this spike because of how light it is and gives them that edge. If you are a person who needs more stability this is not the spike for you. It lacks support but that is the price you pay for such a light spike. Another upside is that the mesh hugs your foot for a more comfortable and cool race. With very light martial it will keep your foot cool throughout a race. With a 4 pin spike plate it maximises traction for a more powerful stride. I would rate this spike a 9 out of 10 because of how light it is, and how the mesh lets your foot breathe at the same time. I would down rate it one because of the lack of support.
Brooks Men’s PR LD 3
This spike has the support many people need. With this little cheaper spike, it still gives more support than most spikes offer. It has a no sew upper, which means that your feet can get hotter than the other mesh spikes. With the more curved up front it is more ideal for middle distances such as the 800 or even 400. It has a 6 pin plate which means it again is not a true distance spike. Also with a little wider spike it is more ideal for people with wide feet. It would be your more comfortable spike. I would rate this spike a 8 out of ten because of its more comfortable feel, and its more supportive structure. I down rated it 2 because of its 6 pin plate and its no sew top which would mean it would be a hotter run.
Asics Hyper LD 5 ($65)
Take a look at the LD 5 if yor are not quite sure what event you will be competing in. This track spike is made for those who will be doing multiple events or a wide variety of events and mainly for people who may be a beginner to track. It is a heavier spike weighing in at 6.1 oz. Does not have a ton of mesh on it only a little in the front so that means that the spike does not breath very well. It has a 6 pin plate, probably because it is made for a variety of events and not just distance events. It is more stable than some of your other track spikes. That is because of the increased weight. Generally a comfortable shoe, because of the lack of mesh may be a little hotter. I would rate this spike a 6 out of ten because of its increased weight, and because it is not a true distance spike with its 6 pin plate. Also because it is made for a variety of events, normally not what you want in a track spike.
Asics GunLap ($110)
This spike has a unique look, you won’t find a spike that looks like this anywhere else. Not just the look but in general this spike is a little different than your average track spike. This spike has a 5 pin plate, normally it is a 4 or 6. That does not mean it is bad. You could use this for more of a variety of events. From 800 meter to 5000 meter. Also it has a more narrow fit, probably because they were trying to cut off some weight. This spike weighs 4.3 oz. If you are going to buy Asics, this would be the spike to guy. It has a sock like fit and is generally a little more comfy. It does not have much mesh on it at all so that means the shoe does not breath all that well. This might also be your more durable/stable spike. If you are looking for a quilty spike but yet want the stability of a normal running shoe this is probably as close as you would get. I would rate this spike a 8.5 out of 10 because of its 5 pin plate, and its lighter yet stable feel. I would down rate it 1.5 because it does not breath all that well and it is a narrower spike so that probably means that it would be very hot when running.
Asics Heat Chaser ($100)
This spike is one that you will not see anywhere else. With the cross country claws on it. It might not be the best spike out there either. If you are looking for a more supportive spike this one is probably it. It might not be your best spike because of the way they tried to make a track spike and a cross country spike. In my opinion you can’t do that and you are ruining the shoe by trying. The good things about the shoe are that they are very comfortable and very duable/stable. They are a little heavier at 6.1 oz. Probably because they tried to make a track and cross country spike. It is a very flexible spike. Which is not good, normally a cross country spike is supposed to be more flexible. All in all it is not a track spike. This spike has a 5 pin plate. So it is good for a wide variety of events. I would rate this spike a 5 because of its 5 pin plate, and its comfortable and stable feel. I would down rate the spike a 5 because of how heavy it is also because of the fact that they tried to make it a two in one. Something that you can not do.
Now you may be saying that the Saucony Endorphin LD4 is the best spike. That is not always true. If you have an injury or something along the lines of that or if you just need more support, then that spike is not the best one for you. Maybe the NIke spike is. In the end this was just to give you an idea of what spikes are out there and what ones to avoid and what ones are good. Also if you pick a spike a lot of it is how it fits your foot, so to really know that it's best to go to a specialty running store and try it on. In conclusion, I hope you get the most out of your track season with one of these spikes (or not one of these spikes).
Have some comments on Jesse's review? Maybe you have some experience with these spikes...go ahead and leave your comments below.