Cross country spikes are shoes designed exclusively for running and professional athletics. Usually, they are used by athletes, but off late, they have become popular among amateurs as well. The spikes which are attached to the bottom of the shoes provide a better grip on the running surface. This reduces the chances of any slippages, thereby preventing injuries. At the same time, they also provide comfort to muscles and joints of the leg.
There are different kinds of cross country spikes – some are ideal for short sprints while others are meant for long races and events like high jump and javelin throw. For instance, shoes with longer spikes fare better on professional cross country tracks while the ones with shorter spikes are meant for traditional tracks. When you start looking for these shoes, you must have a clear idea of your priorities. Make a mental note of the purpose of the shoes and the amount of money you are willing to spend on them.
In technical terms, there are three kinds of spikes: needle, pyramid and Christmas tree. Among these, pyramid spikes are the most common ones. In these shoes, the spikes are shaped like pyramids with the pointed edge towards the ground. They are ideal for all kinds of racing tracks, depending on the length of the spikes.
As the name suggests, needle spikes are thing and long, all the way down to the end. They are considered better for sprints but the needle shaped spikes tend to stick to the running surface at times. Before buying such shoes, you should take a few trial runs, if possible.
Christmas tree spikes are markedly different from the other types. A typical Christmas tree spike looks light a stack of many flat spikes put together. As opposed to pyramid spikes, they are not smooth. Instead, their edges are rough and spiky, which increases the grip on the surface. The friction between the two minimizes the chances of slippage while the rebound provided by the ground increases the speed of the runner.
Before you start looking for cross country spikes, you must be aware of the above mentioned details. Finally, the choice will depend on your needs and priorities. For best results, make sure that the shoes feel comfortable when you try them on for the first time.