Sprinting is a sport where the fraction of a second can be the difference between a first or a third place. Therefore the runners need all the help they can get from their running gear, which most importantly includes their shoes, to be able to perform at top speeds on the track.
Sprinting and Track Running
Sprinting is basically running over a short distance in the shortest limit of time, also called dashes. Sprinting is done on either a track or field and is one of the oldest running competitions, being recorded at the Ancient Olympic Games.
Professional Sprinting is done by crouching at a strat bloke, right before driving forward and gradually moving into an upright position, as the race progresses. Body alignment is key and pushing off requires maximum force. The athlete remains on the same lane throughout the event and is focused upon maximum acceleration and speed for the entire durance of the race.
With this in mind, there is a clearer view as to what is required from an appropriate shoe and gear for Sprinting.
Endurance and acceleration at top speeds are the two main requirements for this sport, so you do not want anything holding you back because of pain, discomfort or weight. Then you also need adequate protection against potential injury at those speeds as well as high levels of shock absorbency.
Track Spike shoes are the best option for sprinting, there are different types of spikes from steel, to rubber depending if it is an outdoor or indoor track.
Tips for Finding the Best Spikes for Sprinting
Finding the right pair of track spike shoes for your specific requirements will depend on the field, your running style as well as your level, being a beginner or professional.
You may likewise need different types of shoes for different tracks and events. In the end, there is no magic Track Running or sprinting shoe, the ideal is to look for something with a stiff and lightweight design, and spikes that offer you the best advantage for every group of events.
While a Sprinting spike may have a stiff plate underneath the entire foot to promote running on the toes and better forward motion, they will not work for longer distances as they can not endure. However, a mid or long distance sprinting spike is designed with a thinner heel and less cushioning for use over longer races.
Besides this here are some key characteristics to look for in a good Sprinting Spike Shoe;
- Event Specific Shoes – Make sure you have the right shoe type for the event, shoes for short distance sprinting have different features than those for mid or long distance sprinting.
- Fit – The fit, is a personal preference, although a more snug fit is always advisable. Some athletes choose a shoe size or two down for w very tight fit, while others prefer a more relaxed and regular fit. However, make sure that your feet are not cramped or squeezed in the shoe, and that you can splay out your toes in the toe box.
- Socks – Socks is another debatable factor. Some athletes choose to run without socks to enable a better grip for their feet inside the shoe and to better feel the track under their feet. Other athletes again prefer socks to prevent friction, blisters, and sweat build up in their shoes. So socks are completely a personal preference.
- Breaking – Any new Spike Shoe or sprinting shoe will have some hot spots or friction areas, and a short break in period is required. Never try to race in a new pair of shoes that have not been broken in yet.
- Save Some Money – Many manufacturers bring out newer models of Tracks Shoes and Spikes regularly, which usually only have a few new features, most of the time nothing critical. So why not opt for some older models, and save yourself some money.
- Spike Plate – The most important part of your Sprinting Shoes. For short distance sprints, there should be around a maximum of seven to eight spikes on the spike plate, whereas for long and mid distance sprinting less spike, around five to six is needed.
- Extras – Always make sure to carry extra spikes with you, as well as blank spikes, as some tracks may require a blank spike use.
Features of a Good Shoe for Sprinting
Spikes – Look for a rigid and firm spike plate with around 8 spikes for short distance sprints, and 5 or 6 for mid to long distances. Some tracks may require that you use blank spikes, and always make sure to have spares in your bag.
Uppers – Lightweight, flexible and breathable uppers are key. Woven uppers or mesh is a good quality and desirable material, with seamless interior linings and reinforced toe and heel.
Heel -A grip heel lock and extra cushioning or shock absorbency in the heel are good to have for protection against impact and injuries.
Midsole – Look for a lightweight RevLite or EVA midsole that offers firm support.
Reviews: Best Shoes for Sprinting
New Balance SD100V3 track and field shoes are ready to sprint. This pair boasts an innovative elite-race-inspired spike plate and gives you the dynamic experience you need to dominate the track.
These shoes have a removable six-spike forefoot plate and texturized rubber sole that provides superior traction. The mesh upper includes a socklike bootie that hugs the contours of your foot, while the molded heel prevents discomfort in the back of the foot.
- Removable Six-Spike Plate
- 6.3 ounces
- Molded Heel
- Texturized Rubber Sole
- Rigid Forefoot
For longer sprints, you want a shoe that stands up to the test. The Asics Hyper XC2 Spike is an excellent choice for entry-level through intermediate athletes.
This shoe has 9mm pyramid spikes, which are ideal for running on dirt, rubber, and grass surfaces. What’s more, a contoured arch and lightweight build prevent pain and fatigue so you can train harder.
The Hyper XC 2 weighs 6.1 oz and has a narrow heel. The arch is a medium height, which does limit your ground feel. As for traction, these shoes have fantastic hold and keep your feet from sliding. These Asics sprint shoes come in sizes for both men and women.
- 9mm Pyramid Spikes
- 6.1 oz
- Enhanced Traction
If you prefer to sprint without spikes, Adidas Nova Run shoes make an excellent choice. This pair has ultra-soft cushioning that hugs the shape of your foot. It supports from the forefoot to heel and stabilizes you while you stride.
An engineered mesh upper makes the Nova Run a breathable choice so that you won’t get too sweaty. Something to consider is the 12mm midsole drop, which limits your ground feel. But, if you can overlook the higher drop, this is a high-performance shoe that keeps you more comfortable while you train.
- OrthoLite Sockliner
- Supportive Heel
- Engineered Mesh Upper
- 322.4 grams
For women who sprint, the New Balance 100v2 Vazee offers an incredible lineup of features. This shoe has a six spike Pebax plate and lightweight bootie construction for superior performance.
The unique spike configuration gives you superior traction at the front so you can reach top speeds with comfort. The upper fits snugly, and the low-top shaft lets you power from start to finish.
- Six-Spike Pebax Plate
- Bootie Construction
- Superior Forefoot Traction
- Form-Fitting Synthetic Materials
The Havok XC 2 from Saucony is an industry leader in innovation. This shoe has a six-pin spike plate and a stretch bootie construction that makes it perfect for short-distance bursts.
Weighing in at 5.6 ounces, the XC 2 is one of the lighter shoes on the list. It has an SSL EVA midsole that makes it more comfortable and prevents foot pain after long training sets.
- Six-Pin Spike Plate
- Bootie Construction
- 5.6 Ounces
- FLEXFILM Overlays
- Locked-Down Fit
The Saucony Vendetta is the perfect choice for men and women who enjoy sprinting short distances. This shoe’s build promotes faster speeds and keeps you comfortable while you train.
Vendetta track and field shoes have a lightweight synthetic upper that locks your foot in place. What’s more, a molded quarter cage provides excellent support without adding unnecessary bulk.
The great thing about Saucony’s Vendetta is that it works well for middle-distance events, as well as short bursts. This pair is a solid choice for rookie sprinters, or for seasoned pros looking to enhance their performance.
- Synthetic Upper
- Lightweight Build
- Molded Quarter Cage
- Enhanced Support
- Made for Short and Middle-Distance Events
The Asics Sonicsprint track and field shoe is ideal for sprinters thanks to its Pebax spike plate that gives you optimal flexibility and long-lasting design. This shoe is a lightweight choice that lets you reach top speeds without feeling bulky.
A synthetic upper and streamlined shape eliminates any excess drag and ensure you run your fastest. These shoes are a comfortable choice that prevents foot pain and fatigue while you train.
- Pebax Spike Plate
- Synthetic Upper
- Streamlined Design
- 4.5 ounces
The EvoSpeed Haraka from Puma is a lightweight and comfortable Sprinting Shoe with Spikes and a snug Glove like fit. Available in two bright color options for men and women.
- Breathable and lightweight mesh uppers.
- Offers a comfortable glove like fit.
- A snug lace closure.
- Rubber outsole with spikes.
- KMS Lite EVA cushioned midsole, for comfort and shock absorbency.
When it comes to choosing shoes for sprinting, you want a lightweight pair that lets you reach top speeds. If your shoes are too heavy, it will drag you down and affect your overall performance. With sprinting, every second counts, so your shoes must have you on the top of your game.
Look for a shoe with a quality spike plate, preferably Pebax, that has the right number of spikes for your training. Additionally, you want shoes with minimal padding so you can stay connected with the ground beneath your feet.
Index Table: Best Shoes for Sprinting