How to Configure Spikes on Track Shoes

Written by kim evans
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How to Configure Spikes on Track Shoes
Shoe spikes (track shoes image by jimcox40 from

When you open the box that holds your new track-and-field shoes, you'll also find a small tool and a bag of spikes. Where do they go? And what is that flat spike that comes with the sharp ones? Fortunately, configuring the spikes on the bottom of your shoes is a simple procedure.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Track shoes
  • Bag of spikes
  • Spike tool or wrench
  • Petroleum jelly

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  1. 1

    Turn the shoe over so that you are looking at the sole. The holes for the spikes are normally on the top half of the shoe or on the heel. Count the holes to see how many spikes you need for each shoe.

  2. 2

    Open the bag of spikes and separate the pointed ones from the blank, or flat, ones. Count out enough spikes for each shoe.

  3. 3

    Take a spike and add a tiny dab of petroleum jelly to the threads of the spike.

  4. 4

    Carefully set it into one of the holes and tighten the spike using your hand. Then use the spike wrench to tighten it firmly in place.

  5. 5

    Place all the spikes in the holes around the edge of the shoe.

  6. 6

    The blank, or flat, spike, if used, is often put into the centre hole, if there is one. It is optional, but if it is used, it will keep that spike hole free of dirt.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have sprinting or middle-distance shoes, the spikes will go in the holes in the top half of the shoe. If you have high-jump or javelin shoes, there are additional spaces for spikes in the heel of the shoe.
  • Try out the shoes on a track. If the spikes irritate your foot in a certain spot, use the blank spike for that spot to lessen the discomfort.
  • The petroleum jelly dabbed on the threads of the spike makes it easier to remove the spikes when they need to be changed. Spikes should be checked prior to every meet, tighten them if they are loose and replace them if they are worn down. Always keep your spike wrench and some extra spikes in your shoe bag so you can quickly fix your shoes during a meet.

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