Track and Field Gear Guide

Track and field stars, it’s time to start gearing up for the upcoming outdoor season. Eastbay has what you need to succeed, so out with the old and in with the new. This gear guide was created to help you figure out which qualities to look for in competition shoes, based on your event, and provide you with our top recommendations.

If you’re not sure how your spikes should fit, check out this blog post, to learn how to shop track and field shoes.

Jump To: Sprint Spikes, Mid-Distance & Distance Spikes, Throwing Shoes, Jumping Shoes

Woman sprinting in tank top with trees in the background.

When choosing a sprint spike, you should focus on two things : light weight and aggressive traction. You’re used to speeding through and relying on instinct when you’re on the track, but when it comes to deciding on sprint spikes, make sure to take your time. Look for a snug fit on the upper and a strategic spike plate to keep your feet stable in the blocks and help you grip the track with every stride.

  • First up is the adidas Sprintstar, which works best for events 400m and under. The mesh upper with Sprintweb technology provides a secure fit without hindering air flow. And the soft collar around the ankle is designed to reduce pressure on the Achilles.
  • Your next option is the Nike Zoom Rival S 9, designed specifically for sprinting events ranging from 60m to 400m, including hurdles. The traction pattern on the outsole and updated, seven-spike plate grip the track to help you fly out of the blocks.
  • And our final sprint spike recommendation is the New Balance SD100 V3. These spikes feature bootie construction that hugs your foot for a sock-like feel and a textured rubber outsole to provide ultimate traction in the blocks.

Finding the right pair of mid or distance spikes can be tricky since you want the rigidity of a sprint spike but with added comfort and support. Because you run farther than a sprinter, comfort and support are extra important when it comes to your racing spikes.

  • Your first option is the adidas adiZero Avanti, designed for mid- and long-distance track events from 500m to 10,000m. The Primeweave upper is designed to stretch with your foot, while the Boost midsole provides energy-returning cushioning, and the nylon sprint plate delivers a fast, responsive ride.
  • Next up is the Nike Zoom Rival D 10, designed for track events ranging from 800m to 5,000m. The upper is created from single-layer mesh for lightweight breathability. It also features comfortable cushioning under the heel to balance out the five-spike Pebax plate added for dynamic propulsion.
  • And the last mid/long distance spike option is the Saucony Endorphin 3. Weighing in at just 3.2 ounces, it’s the lightest spike for any miler to 10,000m runner. The toothy plate design provides superior traction and the reimagined woven upper flexes with your foot as you run.

Power is priority number one for throwers, and that begins with a solid pair of throwing shoes. Look for features to ensure a secure fit so that you don’t lose control during your release and follow-through.

  • First, the Nike Zoom Rival SD 2, perfect for entry-level throwers who use either the rotational or glide techniques. These shoes are as durable as they come with a forefoot Pebax plate and a carbon rubber outsole featuring an anatomically contoured design to reinforce your follow-through form.
  • Next, there’s the Nike Zoom Rotational 6, which looks similar to the previous shoe, but is designed for the advanced shot put, discus, and hammer thrower. These shoes feature Flywire cables near the laces and an external heel counter for ultimate lockdown. The smooth rubber outsole covers a full-length Pebax plate for a propulsive follow through.
  • Finally, there’s the adidas adiZero Javelin which, as you can tell from the name, is created specifically for javelin throwers. The mid-cut design provides you with a secure, yet flexible, platform to throw. The outsole has the usual 11 spikes but also features adidas’ unique Sharkskin traction pattern to provide grip regardless of the weather conditions.

To run and jump with ease you need a hybrid shoe that combines the lightweight speed of racing spikes and the stability of throwing shoes. Look for a jumping shoe that fits securely on your foot, offers grip to gain speed on your approach, and has enough padding to protect your foot when you land.

  • First up is the adidas adiZero HJ, designed for high jumpers looking for flexibility and support. The upper features a SPRINTWEB overlay for support and lightweight cushioning in the midsole. The outsole, to ensure aggressive grip on the track, features a Pebax plate and Sharkskin traction pattern.
  • Next up, designed for the serious long jump and pole vault athlete, is the Nike Zoom LJ 4. A forefoot lockdown strap and zippered shroud provide a snug fit. The forefoot plate helps you achieve a more natural plant for takeoff, and the midsole cushioning reduces impact when landing.
  • Last, but not least, there’s the adidas adiZero TJ/PV, designed to provide flexibility and support for both jumpers and vaulters. The hook-and-loop strap ensures a secure fit across the midfoot. The midsole cushioning adds comfort where it counts, and the outsole features adidas’ Sharkskin pattern to increase traction during your approach.

Now that you know which shoes you need, what about the rest of your track gear? Eastbay.com offers elite apparel and equipment from top brands so you can have your best season yet!

And did you know Eastbay has a Test Run Program? It allows you to try on the shoes to make sure they work for you, and if they don’t perform as you’d hoped, you can return them free of charge within 30 days of purchase. For more details, click this link.

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