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About sprinting spikes

You'll hear many professional athletes discuss sprinting spikes, but what are they and can they help improve your performance on the track?

Put simply, sprinting spikes are a set of needle-like protrusions in place of the more common grip that you would find on a shoe.

Spikes help the athlete achieve maximum grip and speed for unparalleled performance in track events. There are a variety of spike designs, all of which offer their own unique benefits to the runner. The main designs found on sprinting shoes are pyramid spikes, pin spikes and compression tier spikes.

Pyramid-shaped spikes appear as their name suggests and point in a conical fashion. Pin spikes also have a sharp point, though the diameter of their cone is smaller. Both these types of spike, while different in shape, share the same purpose: provide the runner with improved traction by penetrating the track's surface. It is worth noting that some venues have banned the use of pin spikes as they can damage the surface of the track, preferring athletes to use pyramid spikes instead.

Compression tier spikes consist of a terraced cone, with a blunt edge instead of a sharp point. The purpose of utilising a blunt end as opposed to a sharp one is so that it compresses the track rather than penetrating it. This increases the 'bouncing' action of the athlete's sprint, adding to their overall speed.

Sprinting spikes are not simply sharp points that lie underneath a training shoe; there are various types, all of which offer their own unique benefits.

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