How to Put Spikes on Running Shoes

Written by steve silverman
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Running shoes are very light so that runners will be able to go their fastest or go for very long distances. The key to the runners' ability to perform is the spikes that are on their shoes. Runners need to change their spikes depending on the condition of the track, the weather and the distance that will be run.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Screw your 1/2-inch spikes when your are running on a dry outdoor track under normal conditions and you are running 440 yards or less. Any race of that distance or less is basically a sprint. The 1/2-inch spikes will help your get a great hold of the track and then push off to accelerate. Your spikes will screw into holes in the bottom of your track shoe and you will do the final tightening with a device called a spike wrench.

  2. 2

    Put your 1/4-inch spikes in your shoes when you are running more than 440 yards. These spikes will not dig into the track quite as much and will allow you to make quick manoeuvres to get in and out of traffic on the track. Screw in the spikes and use your spike wrench to make the final adjustment.

  3. 3

    Put your 1/8-inch artificial turf spikes in when you are running on an artificial turf surface. These spikes are made of plastic and will adhere well to the surface. Trying to wear metal spikes when running on an artificial turf surface would be disastrous. It would also get your kicked off the track because the long spikes would damage the track surface.

  4. 4

    Put 1/2-inch spikes in your shoes when you are running cross country. The outdoor cross-country courses have varying terrains and the runner needs to be digging in to maintain his fitting. Screw these spikes into your shoes and finish the process by tightening with the spike wrench.

  5. 5

    Change your running shoes after every 300 miles or so. You could probably continue to wear your shoes even longer, but they will no longer have the support they once did. It will be better to buy new shoes and take the time to break them in than to slip on your old, comfortable shoes that no longer have the support they once did.

Tips and warnings

  • Change your spikes depending on the conditions that you are running in.

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