Roost Guide to Spikes

Roost Guide to Spikes

by Brittney Kocman

It’s that time of the year again to grab your spikes and hit the track! Whether you are new to the sport, looking for an upgrade, or want to try something different, Runners Roost has brought in a variety of spikes that are bound to work for you.

Spikes are an additional tool that allow you to reach your potential and conquer your goals. Whether you are a jumper, thrower, or runner, they provide traction and allow more force to be transferred forward instead of down and eliminate unnecessary weight that is seen in traditional footwear.

Some spikes come with quite the price tag, which is a little disheartening considering that spikes are saved primarily for competition day. But, there are plenty of options that will still give you a lot of bang for your buck while enhancing your capabilities.

At Runners Roost, we recommend you chat with your coaches and us about what might suit you best. What works for someone else might not necessarily be what works for you. Roost Tip: Try on different spikes within your event’s category to see what you find most comfortable!

So, what spike is right for you?

These are a few major questions you should ask yourself before purchasing gear:

1. What event is your primary focus?

2. Will you be doing more than one event?

3. What is your budget?

The first question is definitely the most important. Let’s break it down into categories.

Sprints (60 meter – 400 meter)

In this category, you’ll find spikes that lack a heel, are extremely lightweight, and typically have stiff spikes plates with a lot more pins than other categories. The spike plate is also far forward, further encouraging you to run up on your toes.

Entry-level: Nike Rival S 9 ($65.00), Saucony Spitfire 5 ($65.00), Adidas Sprintstar ($65.00)

Premier: Nike JA Fly ($125.00), Saucony Showdown ($110.00), New Balance Vazee Verge ($110.00)

Middle Distance (800 meter – 1600 meter)

Here, you will begin to see a little bit more cushioning at the heel. Some rigidity to the spike plate is still important, seeing as running these events means you are still moving pretty quickly and are more so on your toes than what is seen in distance events.

Entry-level: Saucony Vendetta ($65.00), New Balance MD500V6 ($70.00), Nike Zoom Rival M 9 ($65.00), Hoka One One Rocket MD ($80.00)

Premier: New Balance MD800V6 ($120.00) 

Distance (3000 meter and beyond)

Not only will spikes in this category have fewer individual pins in the plate, they will have full-length cushioning and will typically be a little heavier than spikes seen in other categories. Of course, they are still incredibly lightweight!

Entry-level: Nike Zoom Rival D 10 ($65.00)

Premier: Hoka One One Speed Evo R ($130.00), Nike Zoom Victory 3 ($125.00), Saucony Endorphin ($120.00)


High jump spikes are really easy to spot because they will have spikes near the heel of the shoes as well as the ball of the foot. This allows for better traction during the plant and take-off. Most jumping spikes will also have an overlay on the top of the shoe to further secure your foot during your jumps.

Entry-level: Nike Rival MD ($65.00)

Premier: Nike High Jump Elite ($125.00), Saucony Soarin J ($100.00)


There are actually no spikes in these shoes. Here, it’s all about the grip and supporting you while spinning and rotating. Supportive uppers are also incredibly important to prevent any sliding.

Entry-level: Nike Zoom Rival SD 2 ($65.00)

Premier: Saucony Unleash SD 2 ($100.00)


If you are someone that is looking to do more than one event spanning across different categories, we recommend choosing something with some cushioning and a semi-rigid spike plate (i.e. middle distance spikes). We recommend the same for hurdling.

Entry-level: Nike Rival MD ($65.00)

Of course, Runners Roost encourages you to come in and try on spikes before purchasing any footwear, especially spikes. Chat with your coach to see if your team has set up a Spike Night with one of our locations for 15% off (plus 10% of all sales go back directly to your team!).

Good luck this season!

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