CROSS COUNTRY SPIKE OVERVIEW
First off, why does someone in high school need spikes to compete in Cross Country? The answer is very simple: you can run faster and get better traction when wearing them. Spikes allow you to grip the terrain whether it is hard compacted dirt, grassy fields, uphill, downhill or sloppy slick mud.
The key to finding the right pair of cross country spikes comes down to how they feel.
Choosing spikes the easy way.
While you can use cross country spikes for track, it is really hard to use track spikes for cross country. The reason we do not advise using track spikes for cross country is due to the hard plastic plate in track spikes. That hard plastic plate doesn’t have as good of a grip in fields, mud or compacted dirt. Cross country spikes having a rubber bottom and track spikes have a hard plastic spike plate that will slip on wet or non-grassy areas. Since cross country spikes are for the same event, meaning everyone runs the same course, it is all about comfort. Check out this awesome video from Scott Conner taking you through a Cross Country Spike tutorial:
Spike Options at TRWS
Deep into the race on the Cross Country course rules stop applying, the race between the course and you begins. The Havok XC3 delivers everything needed to create chaos and separate yourself from the competition. A tight breathable mono mesh upper and aggressive full length rubber outsole provide the confidence needed to tear up the grass, dirt or anything else thrown at you. Have no fear, you’ll be shredding the competition and wreaking Havok on any course this XC season.
The spikes purchased at The Running Well Store will come with a 3/8″ size spike or “pin” in the shoe box. This pin screws into the bottom of the shoe. If the course is going to be muddy, or it has been raining we also carry 1/2″ replacement spikes. In addition we have 1/4″ replacement spikes for those races that may cross roads or the ground is really compacted and dry. Legally, student athletes can go up to a 1″ spike. If an athlete loses or breaks the spikes that came with the shoe, we do sell 3/8″ replacement spikes.
The Running Well Store does sell refill spikes. You can see all our options here.
Are spikes mandatory?
A person does not need cross country spikes to compete in a cross country meet. But a runner, especially a new runner, needs a good pair of training shoes. These shoes will be worn everyday at practice and most of their running will be done in these shoes. At the Running Well Store, we fit the shoe to the runner to make sure they are in a shoe that is right for them. We offer student discounts to runners in middle and high school the entire month of August and guarantee our shoes for 30 days.
If you would like to speak with a TRWS Fit Guru, you can come to any one of our three locations in Kansas City (Lee’s Summit, The Northland (Barry Road) and Mission, KS), or you can make an appointment here.
About The Author
Scott Conner is a retired teacher/coach with over 25 years experience coaching high school track and field and cross country. He has been in the running specialty retail business for over a decade helping all types of runners become the best they want to be. Scott is a huge fan of running (obviously), track and cross country, disc golf and classic rock! We love having Scott as part of the TRWS Dream Team and are honored he spent time helping us write this blog about spikes!