Spikes for Track and Field Athletes

Track and field spikes are specialized shoes. They are not only designed for track and field but designed specifically for each individual track or field event. I have been asked where to buy track and field shoes since entering the track equipment business. First, it is important to recognize that there are different types of track shoes depending on what track and field event you participate in. At the younger ages and lower abilities it isn’t as important to have specialized track and field shoes. However, as the athletes’ ability increases it is important to purchase the appropriate footwear. Multi-event track and field athletes have several pairs of track shoes, generally speaking one for each event. There are spike shoes for hurdling, mid-distance, multi-purpose, pole vault/long jump/ triple jump, high jump, distance, sprint, and javelin. At the upper levels appropriate footwear is critical.

Each different track shoe is designed for a specific purpose.

Sprint shoes are made for distances between 100m to 400m sprints. They generally have spikes only on the front half of the shoe, from the arch forward. They are very lightweight.

Hurdle spikes are used for those athletes that have chosen to sprint while jumping hurdles. They are flexible and designed to help cushion the athlete as they “land” after having jumped the hurdle.

Mid-distance shoes are used in the 800m to one mile race. They usually have a small cushion in the heel and are built sleeker than those built for distance.

Distance spikes are used in 3000m to 10,000m races. These athletic shoes usually have fewer spikes in the bottom of the shoe and more cushioning to handle the impact over a longer distance.

Pole vault/long jump/triple jump shoes they are designed to allow the athlete to jump well while still able to run fast in the run up.

High jump spikes have spikes on both the toe and the heel. They are the only track and field shoe that has spikes on the heel other than javelin shoe.

Javelin shoes are a heavier shoe with spikes that cover the whole bottom of the track shoe. The spikes can be as long as 1″ in length.

Multi-purpose spikes are low end mid-distance spikes. They are meant for athletes to generally wear during practice.

Spikes are metal “points” screwed into the bottom of the athletes spike shoes. They range in length from 1/8″ to 1″ in length. There are 5 different types of spikes.

Tartan spikes – Are used for rubber tracks and look like a dull needle.

Compression Spikes – (X-mas Tree) – they look like a Christmas tree and are used on rubber and tartan surfaces. They are used to help the athlete to avoid their shoes sticking into the track.

Studs – (Blanks) – These are used on indoor tracks and have no spike on them.

Needle – (Slim) – Needle spikes are used on all weather tracks and 3/16 ” is generally the recommended length. This allows for good traction while allowing for the athlete to still “release” from the track surface while running.

Pyramid – These are used on dirt or grass surfaces and can range up to 1″ in javelin spike shoes.

There are many places that sell track and field spikes. One place an athlete can purchase spike shoes is at your local “Foot Locker” or such stores. However, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Ther

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US Olympic Track and Field Trials

The US Olympic track and field trials are perhaps the most competitive track and field event outside the actual Olympics track and field events and some other international competitions. Definitely, it is the most competitive athletic event in the world at the national level. It is a competition, which attracts the attention of the global media. Despite their rather subdued performance in recently concluded Beijing Olympics in general, and athletics in particular, the United States remains one of the proudest sporting nations in the world. It has been the world leader in the track and field events.

They are still the leaders despite a far bigger China and a much smaller Jamaica are quickly narrowing the gap. The US track and field history can boast of several historical names such as Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, and Michael Johnson. If the American hopeful Tyson Gay has not won a medal in the Beijing Olympics, it is because of the thundering Jamaican invasion in the Olympic track and field games led by the aptly named Usain Bolt.

The uniqueness in US Olympic track and field trials is not just in its competitiveness. Here what counts is the performance of the athletes at the meet. The previous records and recent performances are not counted. In many countries, the overall performance of the athlete is considered. Only thing is that the athlete should manage to meet the qualifying criterion at one of the competitions during the qualifying year. The qualifying criterion can be a particular time for race events and a particular distance for jump and throw items.

But in the USA, the qualifying procedure is very simple and straightforward. There is a qualifying competition. If an athlete finishes in the first three places and they pass the qualifying criterion, they can book their tickets to the Olympics. There are critics to this system pointing to the number of eligible athletes who were not able to participate in the Olympics simply because they had an off day on the day of US Olympic track and field trials.

But the supporters of the system point to the fact that the USA is the country with the best record in track and field events in the Olympics. Whatever be the flaws in the system, the system of Olympic track and field trials allows the country to send medal-winning athletes to the Olympic Games, and medal tables of the past Olympics is the biggest proof for this.

The history of US Olympic track and field trials is quite a long one, starting from 1908. It has undergone many changes over the years. At present, the actual meet is a culmination of many grass root level competitions, which ensure every sporting talent in the country gets an opportunity. The event does not have a permanent venue. In 2008, it was held at Eugene.

Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

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