Guide to Buying and Using Spikes

Congratulations, you’re u11-u16 and ready to get into spikes, whether they be your first pair or 10th.

What an exciting time to be alive!

We have provided some information for your journey into the world of Spikes which is generalised to all athletes. Understanding everyone is different and at a different stage of their athletics, for individual feedback please speak to the Knox Coach/es.

U11-U13 Athletes, regardless of event should be looking at:
• Most importantly – A pair of spikes that has a ‘heel’ as that will provide support and limit likelihood of injury.
Generally speaking a Distance Spike will have the most support for younger athletes as there won’t be a ‘negative heel drop’, which is less likely to cause injuries (ie. Growing Pains, Bone bruising, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis).
• Spikes that can bend onto themselves if you pull the toe back over the top towards the heel
• Comfortable fit and isn’t too big, this is a challenge when you have a growing athlete which is why you should always look for the:
• Cheaper priced spikes; there is no need to buy Usain Bolt’s spikes or the latest Nike Air Zoom Maxfly, both of which are $250+.

If you’re in the older age groups U14+ and you have been training for a few years, know your favoured events you can look at the event specific spikes – Sprint Spikes, Distance (Middle vs Long), Jumps (High Jump vs Long vs Triple). Please speak to the throws coaches if you are considering spikes specific to Javelin.

Do spikes make you run faster?

Yes – Spikes are much lighter than normal runners, they grip the track and assist to propel you forward.

Does my Little Athlete Need Spikes?

No – Not everyone needs spikes, you can continue using your runners or waffles to compete. Depending on your athletes competition level (Knox only vs Region/State) you should invest in spikes so you’re not behind other competitors equipment.

When can you wear Spikes?

Training if/ when your Coach advises you and in Competitions;
Little Athletics – u11 upwards in all Sprint events 100m-400m including hurdles, Jumps (Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump).

Should I walk on my Heels so I don’t blunt the spikes?

Absolutely not! Athletes wearing spikes should walk normally, replacement spikes cost $10- but an injury because you slipped will cost you a whole lot more.

Do I need multiple spikes for Training and Competitions or for different events?

Most little athletes u11-u17 will only need the one pair of spikes for training and competitions, this same pair of spikes could be used for all events from the 100m to Long Jump, Hurdles and 400m.

Where’s the best place to go buy/ try on Spikes?

The best physical shop in Melbourne by far is Runners World, Kew. They will have a full range of spikes, throwing shoes, runners, running gear but also previous years stock in a sale bin. Other physical shops in Melbourne;
Runners World (Kew)
The Running Company (Lilydale, Albert Park & Clifton Hill)
Stringer Sports (Clayton)
Replacement Spikes can be purchased on the Knox LAC online store.
Please note stores are currently running low on stock so you may need to shop around.

What spikes should I get?

This will depend on many factors, but it will always come down to;
• How old is the athlete?
• What event/s does your athlete compete in?
• What level of competition does your athlete compete at? Ie. Knox Only, Region, State, National/ International.
• What’s your budget?

Spikes – Heel vs No Heel
This can be very hard to tell the difference when you first come across spikes, hopefully the below can help you understand. The below example we have used 2 of Nikes spikes, ranging from entry level distance spike, to middle range sprint spike through to elite sprint spike. If you consider a normal running shoe has a heel, or support underneath your foot, the far left (Zoom Rival Multi) you can see has support from the heel through the midfoot, compared to the middle (Zoom Rival Sprint) and far right (Superfly Elite) which has less support and in most elite spikes will have a carbon plate and will be incredible hard to bend.

Recommendations for U11-U13

New Balance MD500V8 Mens & Womens

Asics Hyper LD
(Long Distance)

Recommendations for U14-U17

Mens & Womens

Asics Hyper MD
(Middle Distance)

Recommendations for Elite/Open Age

Nike Air Zoom Maxfly (Sprints)  

Allowed Types of Spikes

Always carry spare spikes in case some fall out and keep a spike tool in
the spike carry bag. Spikes get blunt over the course of a season – replace
them when the point has disappeared is rounded & reduced in length by 1mm.