3 Best Sprints Track Spikes in 2024 (2024)

Jens Jakob Andersen on

| Reviewed using methodology 1.6

3 Best Sprints Track Spikes in 2024 (2)

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Fast and light — these are the marks of a good sprint spike. With so many track and field sprinting shoes possessing these, finding the right pair can be a challenge.

But don't fret. We've done the job for you. Setting their popularity aside, we've examined and selected the best sprint spikes among the ones we have personally tested.

Even more, we've chosen our top picks from different categories because when it comes to sprint shoes, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Best overall

Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2

Best for race

Nike Air Zoom Maxfly

Best for beginners

Nike Zoom Rival S 9

Table of contents

How we test track spikesBest overallBest for raceBest for beginnersComparison

Overview

How we test track spikes

Our choices for the best sprinting shoes are based on multiple (rigorous) testing. And to stay objective we:

  • Buy the shoes with our own money to avoid brand loyalty. We avoid playing a part in partnerships because we do not want to give ourselves and our readers a reason to think we should thread lightly with our comments and opinions.
  • Clock up 30 to 50 miles of test runs in each shoe. We engage in different sprinting activities in different circ*mstances and conditions. As much as possible, we broaden our experience with the shoes so we can come up with a comprehensive review, as well as a valid conclusion.
  • Go mad with numbers. We do all sorts of testing on the shoes to measure and score their various characteristics. One thing we subjectively check is the stiffness of the heel. We use our bare hands in pushing and squeezing the sides and the back of the collar, rating the stiffness from 1 to 5, with 5 being the stiffest.

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What makes it the best?

Among all the sprint track spikes we tested against flat-out and intense workouts, Nike’s Zoom Superfly Elite 2 is undoubtedly the best overall. It almost feels weightless on foot, but its power and speed are hard to ignore. This elite-level spike shines best in our 100m-400m sprints.

We experienced a different kind of energy with this lightweight and snappy spike. It’s lined with a stiff full-length Pebax spike plate that ensures great propulsion and maximum speed. It gives way to some flexion for smooth toe-offs and is comfortable enough to go all-out til 400m.

Underfoot, the sole has a honeycomb pattern with 8 removable stainless-steel pins that effectively grip on track. We had no slip issues even as we ran through fast corners.

The upper feels delightful on top, hugging our feet with a stretchy and breathable Atomknit upper. It fits like a glove for that race-ready fit, with a heel cup that locks us down effectively.

Unfortunately, this elite shoe is on the higher end of the market. Its $150 price tag proves it’s a premium shoe to invest in for all its speed-enhancing features.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Light
  • Snappy & propulsive
  • See-through breathable upper
  • Sock-like fit
  • Great heel lockdown
  • Head-turning sleek design
  • Elite-level spike
  • Perfect for 100-400m sprints
  • Notched laces keep the shoe tied

Cons

  • Pricey

Full review of Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2

Best sprint spikes for races

Nike Air Zoom Maxfly

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What makes it the best?

Nike Air Zoom MaxFly showed unmatched speed and comfort among all the sprint spikes we brought on track, making it our top choice for races. It has all the advanced technology to enhance speed while ensuring a light, steady, and comfortable ride. It’s undoubtedly one of the most advanced and aggressive spikes — we think its $180 price is well worth the maximum performance.

MaxFly has a unique ride — blending insane snappiness and comfort into one. It feels airy on foot with its 5.6oz (162g) weight but feels way lighter because of its speed-enhancing features. The Flyplate is one of the stiffest we’ve tried, ensuring maximum energy return. This is balanced by the ZoomX foam and the Air Zoom Unit in the forefoot, which promotes smooth transitions and dampens landing impact. MaxFly can be used for hurdles too. Yet we discovered it performs best on 100-400m events.

The spike plate ensures reliable traction, allowing us to focus on our races. There is a full-length ShockWave Generated Outsole Plate for a smooth ride, while the 7 forefoot spikes guarantee optimal traction on speed curves.

Note that MaxFly’s ride takes some time to get used to. We recommend testing it out for better adaptation before bringing it to races.

Pros

  • Extremely springy ride
  • Snug, performance-oriented fit
  • Propulsion from Flyplate and Zoom Air
  • Premium design and materials
  • Ideal for 100-400m sprints
  • Can be used for hurdles
  • Unmatched comfort and speed
  • Notched laces for secure lockdown

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires some adaptation
  • Can feel unstable for some

Full review of Nike Air Zoom Maxfly

Best sprint spikes for beginners

Nike Zoom Rival S 9

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What makes it the best?

Among all the sprint track spikes we tested against hard efforts, we learned Nike’s Zoom Rival S 9 is the best for beginners. It’s really fast and grippy for an affordable $65 price tag vs. the $117 average. It’s a great entry-level sprint spike, providing enough comfort until 800m races.

This speedster feels snappy underfoot with some flex in the spike plate for smoother toe-offs. It can compete against its more expensive counterparts with a little more effort. It displays unquestionable grip on speed curves with 7 spikes for that extra bite on the track.

The midsole has a Phylon wedge in the heel area, which we found adds comfort for sprints up to 800m and even for jumping and hurdle events. This is great for beginners who are still getting used to the ride of spikes.

The mesh upper has overlays in the midfoot area to secure lockdown and durability. The overall fit feels race-ready and comfortable, with no unwanted heel slips.

Unfortunately, the upper feels toasty and breathable. We don’t recommend wearing this pair on warm days.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Snug race fit
  • Fast and snappy
  • Good traction
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Poor breathability

Full review of Nike Zoom Rival S 9

Author

Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

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Similar buying guides

Best track spikes

3 Best Sprints Track Spikes in 2024 (2024)

FAQs

3 Best Sprints Track Spikes in 2024? ›

Nike Zoom Maxfly | $190

This is the most top-of-the-line sprint spike and is designed specifically for elite athletes. It features a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for responsive cushioning, a carbon fiber plate for propulsion, and a Flyknit upper for a lightweight, breathable fit.

What are the best sprinting spikes in 2024? ›

Nike Zoom Maxfly | $190

This is the most top-of-the-line sprint spike and is designed specifically for elite athletes. It features a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for responsive cushioning, a carbon fiber plate for propulsion, and a Flyknit upper for a lightweight, breathable fit.

What are the best sprinting spikes? ›

What Shoes are Best For Sprinting
The Best Sprint Spikes of 2024
Best Overall Sprint SpikeNike Zoom Maxfly
Best for Long Sprint DistancesNew Balance FuelCell SD-X
Best Super Shoe Sprint SpikeASICS METASPEED SP
Best Sprint Spike for Beginners and High School AthletesNike Zoom Rival Sprint
3 more rows
Jan 15, 2024

What spikes does Usain Bolt use? ›

Bolt competed in Puma track spikes throughout his career, while Bromell does so in New Balance track spikes.

How do I choose sprinting spikes? ›

Sprint, jump, and throw spikes should fit like a glove. They will be snug and provide a narrow fit. Your toes should reach the end of the shoes, but not be jammed into them. This is because these shoes are intended to act as an extension of your foot to allow for a more explosive feel.

What track spikes do pros use? ›

Nike Dragonfly/Dragonfly XC

If you've watched any professional or collegiate track or cross country race over the past 3 to 4 years, you will have seen all of these runners wearing some outrageously loud neon spikes. Those are the Nike Dragonfly.

Is adidas SP2 the best sprinting spikes? ›

Among all the sprint track spikes we tested against flat-out and intense workouts, Adidas Prime SP2 is undoubtedly the best overall.

Do sprint spikes make you faster? ›

The spikes or pins on the bottom of the shoes provide improved traction and stability, allowing athletes to run faster and jump further. This can make a significant difference in races and other events, leading to better times and distances.

What sprint spikes does Noah Lyles use? ›

Noah Lyles most recently has worn the Adidas Adizero Prime SP2. He calls these spikes his “favorites.”

What spikes does Mo Farah wear? ›

Away from the sprints, the No1 distance runner in the world is Mo Farah. The Briton is going for a 5,000m and 10,000m double in London and will be wearing the Nike Zoom Victory Elite 2 spikes.

Are 1/2 inch spikes legal? ›

In many states only 1/4 inch spikes are allowed, and most of the time 'pyramid' spikes, not 'needle' spikes. (needle spikes on a powerful runner can tear the surface of a lot of all weather tracks, hence the rule).

Do you need spikes for an 800? ›

Running spikes are necessary for runners who want to compete at their best on the track. Mid-distance track spikes are lightweight, but they still offer some cushioning in the heel to provide comfort during 800 to 1600-meter runs.

Should sprint spikes be tight? ›

Running spikes are intended to be snug to give you the most control over your foot but it's important they're still comfortable to keep you running at your best.

Do maxflys make you faster? ›

We tested the Maxfly's in a 100m sprint we found that our test athlete improved from 10.90 to 10.75. A considerable difference for any sprinting event. To conclude they really do seem to make you faster and are worth the high price tag.

What spikes do 400m runners use? ›

Shop Spikes for Sprints (Up To 400m)
  • Nike track spikes.
  • New Balance track spikes.
  • Saucony track spikes.

Can I sprint in XC spikes? ›

Can't I just wear Track (sprint) spikes in Cross Country races? While Cross Country spikes and Track spikes are similar, they are NOT the same. You can wear XC spikes in Track, but not the other way around.

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