Best Cross Country Shoes for Practice and Competition

Best Cross Country Shoes for Practice and Competition

As you head back to the course this cross country season, not just any shoes will do. You need the best gear possible to help you leave your legacy in the record books. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best cross country shoes of the season. So, whether you compete in spikes or flats or just need a new pair of shoes for practice, has the best gear from top brands. So, get ready for your best season yet!


When it comes to shoes for race day, you want to make sure they’re light as can be with ultimate traction to grip the surface of the cross country course, whether you’re running on grass, gravel, or dirt.

1. Nike Zoom Victory XC 5

Colors: Black, Metallic Silver, Black

Take on tough courses with these cross country shoes. Multilayered, translucent mesh provides a lightweight, breathable, and water-resistant upper that stays snug on your foot throughout the race. The spiked version has a carbon fiber plate in the midfoot to enhance stability and support and features rubber heel pods, extra lugs, and six spike pins on the outsole to give you multisurface durability and aggressive traction. The waffle version of these shoes sports a CushIon midsole for lightweight, responsive cushioning and an all-rubber outsole for gripping traction.

2. Saucony Havok XC2

Colors: Black and Green

These cross country shoes are a great option for varsity runners. Both versions are made with a seamless sock-like upper with FLEXFILM overlays to provide an enhanced fit without adding extra bulk. While both versions feature a full carbon rubber outsole, the spiked version also features a six-pin Pebax® plate to keep you leading the pack on aggressive terrain.

3. New Balance XC Seven V2

Colors: Black and White

These shoes combine the lightweight cushioning of elite racing shoes with a more traditional fit and extra protection, making them a perfect choice for new racers. An engineered knit upper provides lightweight structure while unique midsole cushioning gives a responsive feel underfoot. Finished off with a lugged rubber outsole and six removable spikes, these shoes provide superior traction on every type of course.

4. Nike Zoom Rival XC

Colors: White, Black and Atmosphere Grey

These shoes look as fast as they feel with a multilayered mesh upper featuring striped skin overlays. Both versions are great, affordable options for cross country shoes with lightweight, responsive cushioning in the midsole and an anatomical rounded heel to roll with the ground. The spiked version has strategically placed lugs on the perimeter of the outsole to enhance grip in all conditions, while the spikeless version features a waffle plate with a rubber outsole for traction.

5. Saucony Carrera XC4

Colors: Black and Slime

Even the best can get better, and these racing shoes are proof of that. A fully engineered mesh upper features ISOFIT that adapts to the shape and motion of your foot for a secure fit. The midsole is made from a super light, high-abrasion foam to increase durability without weighing you down. The spiked version features a durable rubber outsole with a six-pin Pebax® spike plate that provides unrelenting grip for your fastest race yet.


Built for training, preparing for race day, and beating your PR, these shoes are guaranteed to get you closer to annihilating your goals.

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Colors: Phantom, Riderock, Electric Green and Moon Particle

These running shoes are exactly what you need to get your practice miles in throughout the week. They feature a slimmer design than the last Pegasus model with less weight in the tongue and heel collar. The upper is made from engineered mesh, and the midsole features a full-length Zoom Air unit along with CushIon foam to provide responsive cushioning.

2. Saucony Type A8

Colors: White, Black and Citron

These versatile running shoes have an engineered mesh upper with FLEXFILM overlays to provide a seamless sock-like fit. A super light midsole gives rebound while you run, and a carbon rubber outsole provides durable traction so that you can comfortably put in many practice miles before the big race.

3. New Balance 1500 V5

Colors: White and Neon Emerald

Designed for aggressive road runs, these shoes promise speed and support. The upper is made of breathable mesh to keep your feet feeling fresh, and the midsole sports responsive cushioning to keep your steps light and springy.

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes & Flats

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes & Flats

words // Brandon Richard

With cross-country training at its peak during the summer, serious runners are looking for racing spikes and flats that deliver substantial grip, lateral support for tight cornering and a lightweight feel to achieve maximum cross-country performance. Saucony delivers in spades with the Shay XC3 – a shoe that like you, just wants to go fast. Maneuverability is achieved though the use of secure overlays. barefoot-inspired tread brings added traction and the shoe’s sleek silhouette allows athletes to feel fleet-footed throughout the duration of their run.

These Saucony cross-country shoes are broken down into two versions that will suit the needs of both trail and track racers.

The Shay XC3 is a lightweight cross country racing spike, built with ripstop mesh and a welded FlexFilm overlay to provide a snug fit and shed weight. Saucony’s Super Light CMEVA midsole maximizes rebound, while XT-600 hard rubber on the outsole with six-pin spike configuration enhances durability and traction. Each pair comes with 3/8″ pyramid spikes and a wrench.

We have multiple men’s and women’s colorways of the Shay XC3 Spikes to suit your cross-country needs today.

Available: Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes Men Vizpro Orange Black Citron (1)

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes Men Vizpro Orange Black Citron (1)

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes Women Purple Yellow (1)

Saucony Shay XC3 Spikes Women Purple Yellow (2)

For more street or marathon-oriented runners, there’s the Shay XC3 Flat, featuring the same ripstop mesh and FlexFilm construction and Saucony Super Lite CMEVA cushioned midsole. Durability is enhanced through the use of XT-600 hard rubber and an aggressive tread pattern provides optimal traction on gravel and other rough surfaces.

We also have the Shay XC3 Flat available in a variety of men’s and women’s styles.

Available: Saucony Shay XC3 Flat

Saucony Shay XC3 Flat Men Red Black White (1)Saucony Shay XC3 Flat Men Red Black White (2)Saucony Shay XC3 Flat Women Blue Orange White (1)Saucony Shay XC3 Flat Women Blue Orange White (2)