How Much Do Spikes Improve Track Time?

By Brendan O'Brien

Competitive track athletes are always looking to gain an edge. From equipment to technique, the search for a second here and a second there is the ultimate goal for you as a runner. One of the basic equipment elements of track are your shoes, which, when they have spikes, can help your times.


Spikes will help you decrease your times on the track. The amount of time they will save depends on the track event and your ability. It could mean cutting a half a second in the 100 meter dash or two seconds in the quarter mile.

Make a Purchase

You should purchase spikes with the help of a professional who understands the track shoe market. Go to a track and field or running equipment specialty store where the salespeople are well versed in the technology. They can tell you exactly the type of spikes you need given the track you run on, your ability and your foot size.

How Spikes Help

Spikes help by removing the slight slippage that occurs as your shoe hits the track surface. It helps you push down onto the track without slippage, which can cause you to lose a small bit of time each time you take a step.


Once you have purchased spikes, you should train in them as much as possible. Although your technique will most likely not change, they do take some time to get used to. If you find that your spikes are providing the wrong amount of grip, you may want to change the actual spike in the shoe. Also, if you are feeling unusual soreness in your feet or knees after running in them, consult your coach, trainer or the professional who sold you the shoes.


About the Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.

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