How to Get Track Spikes That Are Stuck Out

Written by matthew bettinazzi
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How to Get Track Spikes That Are Stuck Out
Stuck spikes can stop a runner in his tracks. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Almost all track athletes and coaches can attest to the advantage track spikes give competitors when racing. The removable spikes can be easily dulled, and that advantage nullified, by a few steps taken on concrete, asphalt or any rough terrain. Often, however, the removable spikes become stuck due to prolonged use, the grit that tends to work itself into the thread of the spikes or the spike wrench that comes with the footwear strips the spike, as a screwdriver can with stuck screw.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Vice-grip pliers
  • Slip joint pliers (optional)
  • Flat metal file (optional)

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  1. 1

    Apply the vice-grip pliers to the two flat surfaces already etched into the sides of the track spike so that the pliers are gripped firmly and will not slip.

  2. 2

    Turn the tightly applied pliers slowly to the left until the spike is loose enough to use your fingers to completely remove the spike.

  3. 3

    Repeat steps one and two for every stuck spike.

Tips and warnings

  • If the spike is stripped or worn to the point where there is no longer flat surfaces, use a flat metal file to etch two flat surfaces for the vice-grip pliers to grip. This may be necessary if you do not have vice-grip pliers and are using slip joint pliers.
  • It may also be possible to set the vice-grips pliers so that they grip the spike so tightly that the pliers slightly flatten the spike.
  • When applying pressure using the pliers upon spike, it is possible to slip, causing minor injury.
  • Remove the sharp, unstuck spikes first.

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