5 Best Track and Field Shoes | 2023 Buying Guide
We tested and reviewed many fields and track shoes and found that the Nike Zoom Superfly Elite outperformed in all categories. What edged these shoes further ahead of others is that the design incorporates good performance and value.
Read our full reviews below.
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.Read more
These shoes are breathable thanks to their fly mesh uppers. The DynamicFIt technology allows them to deliver a secure fit. It has a stiff plate that can hold up to 8 removable spikes.
These run a little small and narrow,
Make sure you check the sizing online for this brand's shoes. With removable spikes for more surface choices. They are rigid and flexible where they need to be.
These shoes are durable for sprinters and are made with high-quality materials that are built to last.
2. New Balance Vazee
Versatile enough to be used in races between 100-800 meters.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.
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 durable materials that are designed to hold up to all the wear and tear. Very responsive to your every movement and provide excellent bounce back. Built for speed and good performance.
3. Adidas Adizero MD 2
Comfortable enough to run distances between 800-1500 meters.Read more
These shoes are heavier than other shoes not an option for those looking for lightweight. However, they do run true to size, with good stability and support.
These shoes are highly comfortable and provide both stability and support. The extra weight results from the use of very durable materials.
The outsoles of the shoes are tough rubber, mesh uppers for support and breath-ability. good traction and a Pebax plate for energy return. A six-spike molded outsole.
4. PUMA TFX V4
Puma describes their shoes as having technical innovation and revolutionary performance design. This track shoe has a synthetic sole, a compression-molded midsole, and only weighs seven ounces. Buyers reported the product to be well-priced and affordable.Read more
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.
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
An excellent pair of track shoes made for children. The Reebok Twistform Blaze 2.0 Bright gives a good performance. These shoes have a well-designed spiral insole that helps a young runner move more quickly and smoothly.Read more
These shoes run true to size and are designed for younger track and field athletes.
They have a strong sole and cushioned support that keeps your feet protected and comfortable.
These hold up well as solo shoes making them a great choice for runners of all kinds. 100% Synthetic build with a tough rubber sole for traction and durability.
The outsole on these shoes is less durable than other options on our list. However, they are flexible and will allow for an excellent range of motion.