10 Best Track and Field Shoes | 2021 Buying Guide
Track and field events require certain levels of protection and specific features. When we looked for the best track and field shoes, we evaluated their overall compatibility, size, features, outsole, and any advanced features they offer.
Unlike any other type of running shoes, track and field shoes will protect your joints from the events you are participating in, will prevent injury, and are specifically designed for track and field athletes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Running spikes are specifically designed to help you move faster on uneven surfaces.
Track and field shoes are a great way to improve your running and will enhance your performance and endurance. When searching for the right pair of track and field shoes for you it’s important you take your own needs and considerations into account. The right shoe for you will push your training to another level and allow you to reap all of the benefits they provide.
They will lower your risk of injury and ensure you are comfortable during your competitions as well. Many runners tend to overlook the following important factors when searching for the best pair of shoes for them:
- Make sure to try on new shoes in the afternoon or after a competition because your feet will have swollen to their largest size at this time.
- When shopping at a store make sure to bring the socks you would normally wear on your workouts. This will allow you to ensure you get the right size and that the shoe fits comfortably with them.
- Ensure the toe box is wide enough by wriggling your toes. They should be able to move around comfortably without being too loose.
- Make sure the shoe provides you with a secure and comfortable fit–while some have a break in periods, these periods shouldn’t be long.
- Take a walk around the store while wearing the shoes you are considering. If you are at a running store you may even be able to take a short run with them to make sure they are the best option for you.
- Running spikes are specifically designed to help you move faster on uneven surfaces. They provide you with optimal grip and enhance your stride turnover when running. They are also lighter than normal running shoes which also helps increase your speed.
There are several types of running spikes to choose from, and that’s because there are different types of running to engage in.
Below you will learn more about the different types of spikes out there.
Spikes for Sprinting
Short distance races focus on speed, so it’s easy to assume these spikes are geared towards distances between 100-400 meters. They are the lightest running shoes out there and are designed to enhance alertness–which is why they are stiffer and minimally cushioned.
The spike plate is typically located to the front of the shoe and have the highest number of spike-pins so they can withstand extra force and provide maximum grip.
Spikes for Middle Distance Runners
These are pretty lightweight and have extra padding on the heel section of the shoe. This means they have more cushioning, which will allow them to cover 800-1500 meters. They are less rigid than sprinting spikes and their spike plate isn’t as far forward which allows you to maintain a moderate speed.
Spikes for Long Distance Runners
These are perfect for running events that cover 1500-10,000 meters because they provide maximum cushioning as well as a great grip for all types of terrain. They are designed so handle force for longer periods of time and thus have more durability. They are heavier but are sometimes grouped with spikes for mid-distance running.
All-Rounder/ Versatile Spikes
These have cushioned soles with front spikes that are more aggressive. They can be considered versatile and are meant to work well on all tracks as well as for athletes looking for spikes they can use for multiple sporting events–from long-jumps and sprinting to steeple-chase and hurdles.
Getting the right sized shoes that give you the right fit is critical to having a successful run every time you head out the door!
Fit and size are some of the crucial factors that most athletes look at when shopping for any sporting sneaker. Running spikes are made to offer a snug fit to the foot and still over maximum control of the foot. While still be the most comfortable shoes for your feet hence not interfere with your running session.
Fit plays a major role in how comfortable the shoes are, that is why getting the right size of running sneakers is paramount. While looking at the fit, it’s also worth considering pin placement and number of pins in a spike; usually either six pins or four pins. Four pinned spikes tend to have the pins towards the center on the spike plate, best for runners for supinating (under pronate).
Which ones you go for is down to personal preference, comfort, and fit. Try fitting on the sneakers / track spikes while shopping in the store or mart before any buying that is if you are making a physical purchase. Most running stores will encourage their buyers to try the shoes before buying the shoes.
If there’s a jogging section inside the store, then you can use that will great opportunity to fact check on the fit of the shoe. If you will be making an online purchase, check if the return policy covers fitting problems, also make sure you try the shoes’ fit with laces on and without the laces, so that to avoid having a size smaller when you tie up the laces.
Make sure when you tie up the laces you can still enjoy the free natural movement of your feet. Getting the right sized shoes that give you the right fit is critical to having a successful run every time you head out the door!
All track and field shoes have spike pins on the bottom of the shoes–and these spike pins/studs come in specific sizes.
Advanced features such as spike size and type can have a big impact on how your shoes feel during your run as well as how you perform during adverse conditions such as wet or muddy trails. All track and field shoes have spike pins on the bottom of the shoes–and these spike pins/studs come in specific sizes. Each size is designed to offer special benefits:
6mm pins: These are ideal for cross-country events in dry terrain. They work best on tracks and most tracks or centers do not allow athletes to use pins that are longer than this.
9mm pins: These are great for cross-country racing and provide excellent grip on wet and muddy terrain.
12mm to 15mm pins: These are perfect for running in steep hills or fell terrain–specifically the steeple-chase race. These pins are designed to be used on difficult terrain, which is why they offer maximum grip.
It is impotant to consider how the outsole is made, how the spikes are incorporated into the sole of the shoes you are considering buying.
Running shoes have spikes embedded into the outsoles as a way to provide added grip and traction during your runs. It is important to consider how the outsole is made, how the spikes are incorporated into the sole and how your shoes feel while you are walking and running.
Over time your spikes will wear out and need replacement and this will depend on how often you use them as well as the terrain you typically use them on. Replacement is specifically during track season when you really need them to work.
Unfortunately, many athletes make the mistake of failing to replace the studs until they are stubs which makes it extremely difficult to remove the pins. However, some more informed and cautious athletes tend to use new spikes after every race.
The common shoe spikes:
The Pyramid Spike: these are ideal for cross-country races where there is plenty of grass and dirt ( some can even be used for soccer). However, many sprinters opt for these only when they aren’t permitted to use needle spikes. They are known to have good durability and are 1/4 inch in size.
The Needle Spike: unlike the pyramid ones, these offer great traction and can be used on tracks. They come in a 3/16 inch size.
The Christmas tree Spike: this one is a hybrid mix of the other pyramid and needle spikes. Sprinters love these even though some tracks don’t allow their use. This 1/4 inch spike is something, but make sure to check the meet rules before using them in a race.
When you think about spike replacement make sure you have a spike wrench since it helps you pull out and install the new spikes.
Top 10 Track Cleats and Shoes Reviewed
1. Nike Zoom Superfly Elite
These shoes are built for speed and will make you fly during your next sprint. They are comfortable, lightweight, and durable--and well worth the investment.Read more
These shoes are breathable thanks to their flymesh upper and their DynamicFIt technology allows them to deliver a secure fit. It has a stiff plate that can hold up to 8 removable spikes.
When it comes to size, these track and field shoes run a little small and narrow, so make sure to double check the size--and try them on if possible--before making your purchase.
When it comes to features, these shoes offer removable spikes so you can have the option to use them when necessary.
They are rigid and flexible where they need to be--to ensure your comfort during your sprints.
These shoes are durable for sprinters and are made with high-quality materials that are built to last. They are a great investment for any runner looking for a pair of shoes that will last hold up to all the wear and tear that lies in store!
2. New Balance Vazee
These sprinters are also meant for speed and provide optimal comfort and flexibility. They are built for speed and will keep you comfortable during your training and events.Read more
These shoes come with a full plate that can hold up to 8 pins. They are flexible, comfortable, and easily adaptable to different terrains. They adjust to your foot shape and provide a snug and secure fit. They are comfortable and versatile enough to be used in races between 100-800 meters.
These Nike track and field shoes run narrow when it comes to size, so make sure to refer to the sizing chart carefully before you make your final purchase.
These are made of high quality and durable materials that are designed to hold up to all the wear and tear that avid runners subject their footwear to day in and day out.
When it comes to advanced features, these shoes are really responsive to your every movement and provide excellent bounce back.
The outsole on these shoes are really durable and flexible, so you can maintain your full range of motion
3. Adidas Adizero MD 2
These mid-distance spikes are a more affordable option on our list that provide comfort, flexibility, and will help you push your performance to another level.
Read also about custom running shoes.Read more
They are comfortable enough to run distances between 800-1500 meters thanks to their additional cushioning that provides support and protection.
These shoes are heavier than other shoes on our list and if you are looking for a lightweight shoe, then you will want to stay away from these. However, they do run true to size, so they are easier to purchase.
These shoes are highly comfortable and provide both stability and support. The store energy and help you comfortably keep you on your toes.
These are the most durable option in our top three, although they do weigh a little more. This additional weight is a problem for some runners but lends itself to a more durable shoe.
The outsoles of the shoes are really durable and built to last. If you want a pair of track and field shoes that you can rely on for the long haul, these are certainly it. That being said, some of the additional durability the outsole provides is part of the reason why these shoes are on the heavier side as well.
4. PUMA TFX V4
When looking at these shoes, the PUMA cat logo and bright colors present a very attractive form of footwear! This track shoe has a synthetic sole, a compression-molded midsole, and only weighs seven ounces.Read more
Finding running shoes at a better value than PUMA Men’s TFX Sprint V4 is unlikely. Buyers reported the product to be well-priced and affordable.
Many users report that these shoes run small and narrow--so if you have larger or wider feet you will definitely want to adhere to the sizing chart and size up.
These shoes incorporate very lightweight features and include a spike plate. The spikes are also removable or replaceable for added comfort and stability.
Most reviews reported a good fit, strong design, and holds up well after several races. Some of the buyers felt the spike plate was too loose and posed a durability issue with long distance runs.
These shoes have a really durable outsole that you can believe will hold up to the test of time.
5. Reebok Twistform Blaze 2.0
If you’re looking for an excellent pair of track shoes made for children, look no further than the Reebok Twistform Blaze 2.0 Bright footwear! These shoes have a well-designed spiral insole that helps a young runner move more quickly and smoothly.Read more
The price isn’t very low nor too high. Customer says the price is great for the value and that is it a great shoe to have on hand and as part of their running gear collection.
These shoes run true to size and are designed for younger track and field athletes.
Buyers report these running shoes can be worn comfortably all day! They have a strong sole and cushioned support that keeps your feet protected and comfortable from the start of your run to its finish.
These track shoes tend to last longer especially if rotated out with other sneakers. They hold up well as solo shoes compared to others worn and used in the same manner, making them a great choice for runners of all kinds.
The outsole on these shoes is less durable than other option on our list. However, they are flexible and will alow for an excellent range of motion .
6. Saucony Endorphin MD4
The Saucony Endorphin track shoes are at the top 10 list of many other sites and are also recommended by actual users. These shoes are incredibly lightweight, comfortable, and durable—so if you want a long-term pair of shoes, then you have got to check these out.Read more
When it comes to compatibility, These shoes are perfect for middle distance events where you can go a little farther than just a sprint.
In terms of size, these shoes seem to run on the smaller and more narrow side—so make sure you take that into consideration before making your purchase.
These track and field shoes are completely manmade and feature lots of great colors to choose from if you want something that is more stylish.
As far as advanced features, these track shoes have 6 pins for added grip and traction, so you can focus on your speed and form.
The synthetic outsole on these shoes is incredibly durable. It is made of high-quality materials that can take on track events and help you push yourself to the limit.
7. ASICS Hyper MD 6
ASICS is a name known and beloved among runners and they are well known for their quality shoes. The ASICS Hyper MD 6 continues this legacy and offers runners everything they are looking for in a track and field shoe! These shoes have good soles, plenty of support, a comfortable fit, and an affordable price tag- what more could you ask for?Read more
These shoes provide the comfort and support your feet need for longer runs and harder workouts while also offering stability for your feet and ankles as you run.
Many users and previous buyers report that these shoes run small when it comes to size, so make sure you size up and take a look at the sizing chart before making your purchase.
You can find the ASICS Hyper MD 6 track and field shoe in a wide range of prices depending on where you buy and what style and color you choose, so it should be fairly easy to find something within your price range that fits your unique style and flare!
Reviews enjoyed the style of the ASICS Hyper MD 6 and say to design is comfortable and durable and serves them well on their runs. Some did mention that they run a little small and some wear and tear is seen on the soles sooner than expected with rough terrain runs. But all in all, this is a great quality shoe!
The soles are designed for optimal traction and shock absorption to keep you moving easily from start to finish,
8. PUMA Evospeed Star V4
These running shoes are perfect footwear for teenagers looking to become a track runner and that need an entry level track spike. The PUMA sneaker has synthetic material including a synthetic sole as well as spikes.Read more
The spikes in these shoes are versatile and can be applied to multiple track and field activities including sprints, long-distance running, and even hurdles or jumps.
Unlike a lot of the shoes on our list, these actually run a little big--so you may need to size down with these.
Buyers report comfort and general appreciation for these shoes. The spike plate was found to be better than in other shoes by one reviewer.
These track and field shoes are very affordable and few choices come at a better value than these particular sneakers.
The outsole on this shoe is a little less durable than other option on the list. However, they are flexible!
9. ASICS Throw Pro
The structure of these running shoes allow a runner to turn more quickly and easily. If you’re looking for great shot put or sprint shoes, you can’t go wrong with ASICS Throw Pro! These track shoes have a rubber sole and synthetic material with a hook-and-loop fastener.Read more
Some buyers felt the price was great, but the value was more expensive than the PUMA TFX Sprint V4 running shoes. Compared to the other track and field footwear on this list, these are on the more pricey side.
If you have wide feet, you will find that these track and field shoes are narrow and even maybe too small.
The ASICS running shoes fit well and have more stability when a runner rotates around a track. Buyers reported the shoes to be very comfortable.
The quality of these shoes shine through when athletes are looking for discus/shot put footwear. For those searching greater support from their footwear, ASICS track shoes will meet their needs.
The outsole on these shoes is made of durable materials that is designed to handle track and field sprint events.
10. Saucony Ballista
The tough and ready runners and athletes will love the look and feel and performance of the Saucony Ballista track and field shoes. These shoes are great footwear and will serve you well for any track and field events including runs, sprints, jumps, and any other event you have lined up!Read more
These Saucony shoes are designed to take a beating and can handle the wear and tear and abuse of track and field events and long training sessions.
When it comes to size, these track and field shoes run too small, so you will need to size up.
These shoes are lightweight and breathable, and have the support and flexibility you want and need in track and field footwear.
The design allows for a greater range of motion and reduces shock impact with every step you take.
They are made to last and will serve you well, whether you are looking for new training shoes or competition shoes these are a great choice to consider.