2017 Cross Country Gear Guide: Own Every Meet With The Best Spikes Of The Season

Cross country season is almost here, and that means it’s time to step up your training and your gear. If you’re looking to conquer the course and own every meet, then you need the best shoes. At Eastbay, we have the fastest options around, so no matter which pair you choose, you’ll feel confident every time you lace up.

Nike Zoom Rival

Nike Zoom Rival

Occupying the sweet spot between performance and price, the Nike Zoom Rival is the perfect racing shoe for JV or entry-level competitors still exploring their love for cross country. Here are the most important things to know about the Zoom Rival XC and Waffle:

The Rival’s breathable mesh upper features a Dynamic arch band and Flywire cables that work together to hold your foot firmly in place over the footbed. This means a secure fit you can depend on and no wiggle room for injury. As an added plus, the Flywire cables are incorporated into the shoe’s laces, so you can adjust your level of lockdown whenever you need to.

Cushlon in the midsole delivers lightweight, responsive cushioning that returns energy with every step, making it the perfect choice for long-distance running over unpredictable terrain.

The Zoom Rival XC features a six-spike forefoot plate with 7mm pyramid spikes for dependable grip, while the Zoom Rival Waffle has lugs placed around the perimeter of the outsole for aggressive traction that’s tough enough for the most audacious courses.

Nike Zoom Forever 5

Nike Zoom Forever

For fleet-footed speed, choose the Nike Zoom Forever 5, an aggressive racing shoe that’s ready to leave it all on the course. Because when you’re giving blood, sweat, and tears to every race, you need a shoe that won’t falter.

The Forever’s breathable, open-hole mesh upper features a dynamic arch band and Flywire cables that lock down the midfoot and hold your foot securely in place. The Flywire cables can be adjusted by tightening the shoe’s laces, so you get a custom fit every time you lace up.

Rocks and mud are no match for you and Zoom Forever, thanks to a stiff, carbon fiber midfoot shank that adds stability and support so you stay running strong over even the most unpredictable terrain.

The outsole of the Zoom Forever XC 5 uses a six-spike forefoot plate shaped like a horseshoe to evenly distribute pressure and the force of impact while also digging into the ground and firing you forward with each step. The Zoom Forever Waffle 5 features Nike’s iconic Waffle pattern outsole, promising time-tested traction from the starting line to the tape.

Nike Zoom Victory 4

Nike Zoom Victory 4

A step ahead of the competition, the Nike Zoom Victory 4 wants to win as much as you do. And thanks to a lightweight design that delivers exactly what you need and nothing extra to slow you down, your dreams of a season PR are just a stride or two away. The Nike Zoom Victory XC and Waffle feature:

A Hyperfuse upper with seamless construction that eliminates bulky seams and weight and keeps you light on your feet. Flywire cables work together with a Dynamic arch band to deliver supportive lockdown, securing the midfoot and creating a stable running platform you can trust over trails, fields, and everything in between.

A 360-degree, mid-cut collar connects the shoe’s midsole and outsole, allowing the Zoom Victory to become a natural extension of your foot.

The Zoom Victory’s rubber outsole features an anti-clog traction pattern to eliminate debris while still gripping wet and dry terrain so you can race with confidence.

Saucony Kilkenny XC7

Saucony Kilkenny

The Saucony Kilkenny XC7 Spike and Flat offer another great entry-level option for those who are new to long-distance racing. Comfortable and competition-ready, the Kilkenny combines the lightweight support and dependable traction you need for a point-scoring finish. Here’s how:

The shoe’s breathable mesh upper uses FLEXFILM overlays to lightly lock your foot in place for a snug, second-skin fit that supports and moves with you as you run.

SSL EVA foam in the midsole is ultra-light and ultra-responsive, cushioning you from the repeated force of impact and returning energy with every step, so you can work towards a faster run.

The Kilkenny XC7 Spike features a four-receptacle Pebax plate and comes with a wrench and 3/8” pyramid spikes that dig in to any terrain and launch you forward into your next stride. Racing on non-spike courses? No problem. The Kilkenny XC7 Flat delivers unrivaled traction thanks to XT-600 carbon rubber throughout the outsole.

But don’t stop at just the footwear — from socks to shorts, compression to shirts, we’ve got the essential running apparel you need for every practice. So gear up, get out there, and make this fall your best cross country season yet!

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