Hi, I would like some advice on spikes. My son is in need of a pair of mid to long distance track spikes (running from 800m up), he also runs xc. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between long distance track spikes and xc spikes? He's grown out of his xc spikes from last fall, so he'll need track spikes this spring and then xc spikes next fall. I'd like to just get him one good pair for both sports, but not sure if that's what's best for him. I do understand the spikes would have to be changed out for track vs. xc running. Anyone have any advice? Thanks!!
Though, I was a sprinter and sprinting coach, I do have a pretty good understanding of the spike situation.
Dedicated distance spikes (used on the track) tend to have more spikes in them and can tend to have slightly thinner soles, since the runner won't really exceed 2 miles. Dedicated XC spikes sometimes have fewer spikes but have thicker, more aggressively patterned soles.
My advice would be to go to a websites that offer both types (i.e. eastbay.com) so you can get a good look at both types. As for solving the problem of buying 1 pair that can do it all, I have had teammates and athletes that have worn XC spikes for both track and XC, and they have performed just fine.
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Along with different spike patterns, long distance track flats have a plastic spike plate which is not suitable for cross country. I personally wear XC spikes for the 800+ events, unless your running under 2:05ish spikes are not important. You can run in cross country flats for track but you cannot run in track flats for cross country.
Here is a link to the new balance xc spike I have
Mine are last years model. I use them to run on the track when I am doing 400m work.
I was finding that the regular shoes were turning too much and losing traction as I went around the curves. I feared slipping and hurting my knees.
The spikes -- of course -- give positive traction.
The shoe is not like a traditiona; track spike shoe which appears to have a narrow base and made of a lot of hard material on the sole. This shoe has a regular rubber-type sole and is comfortable to wear.
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