best running shoes for middle school track

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Nike ZoomX DragonflyTop pickSee our full review and factsNike Spike-FlatAlso greatSee our full review and facts

Best track & Field shoes for sprints

Nike Air Zoom MaxFlyTop pickSee our full review and factsNike Zoom Superfly Elite 2Also greatSee our full review and facts

Best track & Field shoes for jumps

Adidas Adizero TJ/PVTop pickSee our full review and factsAsics Long Jump ProAlso greatSee our full review and facts

Best track & Field shoes for throwing

Nike Zoom SD 4Top pickSee our full review and factsAdidas Adizero ShotputAlso greatSee our full review and facts

Best budget track & Field shoes

Nike Zoom Rival XCTop pickSee our full review and factsNike Zoom Rival M 9Also greatSee our full review and facts

Why use a track shoe

Here are some of the distinct components of a track and field shoe that make it more efficient for the sport than other types of athletic shoes:

  • Lightweight and breathable: Track and field shoes are light and airy because of the thin mesh upper that usually accompanies them. usually have a rigid upper construction to provide a snug fit.
  • Snug fit: Aside from a thin mesh, the upper of track shoes have a rigid structure to provide a snug fit and keep the foot in place.
  • Minimal midsole: Unlike other cleat-type footwear such as those for football and soccer, track shoes usually have a midsole that is thin and minimal. It acts as both underfoot cushioning and impact absorber.
  • Spike pins and spike plate: Some track shoes use spike pins. These are small pointed attachments on a plastic plate that aid in gripping the track surface. Spike pins vary in type, size (pin width), and number depending on the event it is used for.

Track shoes vs running shoes: 3 key differences

Although track-and-field as a sport includes running events, the shoes used for those are different than the typical running shoe. Each shoe has its particular design and purpose, which we can differentiate through the following:

  • Weight: Track and field shoes are significantly lighter than running shoes. They use fewer materials and are relatively smaller in figure because they intend to boost the athlete’s momentum.
  • Cushioning: Track spikes for running events are thin and minimal. On the other hand, running shoes are plush and substantial as their focus is on underfoot cushioning and arch support.
  • Overall appearance: The most noticeable difference between track shoes and running shoes is the use of spikes. Track shoes for running use spike pins to make the forefoot higher and promote better traction.

Track and field shoe categories

The various events within the track-and-field sport are distinctive from one another and, as such, require the use of different shoes. Here are the types of track spikes and the notable qualities of each one:

Running events

Running
SprintsMid-distanceLong-distance
lightweightlittle-to-no cushioningaround 7-8 spike pinslittle-to-moderate amount of cushioningmore tapered forefoot compared to sprint spikesaround 6 spike pinsmost flexible of all running track shoesaround 4-6 spike pins (to keep the shoe lightweight)
See track and field shoes for sprintsSee track and field shoes for mid-distanceSee track and field shoes for long-distance

Jumping spikes

Jumping
Long-jump / Triple-jumpHigh-jumpPole vault
has an extra layer of cushioning for protectionusually flat in the heel area for more stability and power during the jumpuses a sturdy upper material for durability during varied movementshas a midfoot strap to keep the foot in place during run-up and take-offemploys spikes in the heel for increased support and tractionunderfoot structure is the most rigid among all jumping track shoesheel area is more padded compared to other jumping shoes
See long-jump and triple-jump shoesSee high-jump shoesSee pole vault shoes

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