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Best Mid Distance Track Spikes in 2021

 

Track spikes have been worn since the 1920’s, when Adi Dassler, founder of Adidas, first created them. Track events encompass sprinting events, mid distance events, and distance events, and it’s vital to make sure you have the right shoe for your foot and your event. Today, we’ve rounded up the top six mid distance track spikes for running events from the 600-meter to the 10,000-meter.

A sprinting spike has almost no heel and pushes the runner up on her toes for maximum liftoff, but a mid distance spike has more support, as the runner needs more over a longer distance. You’ll also find a fairly stiff forefoot in the spike plate that still has enough flex for heel landing.

The spikes themselves – also called pins – are also different. Generally speaking, the longer the event, the fewer spikes you’ll need. With a mid distance shoe then, you won’t see as many spikes as a sprinter, but you’ll still have more than a long distance shoe.

Mid distance spikes are the most versatile of all the track spikes. If you are new to track and trying lots of different events, mid distance spikes are a good option as they work fairly well for events like jumping and sprinting.

Ready to find the best mid distance track spike? Let’s get started!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Saucony Ballista MD

 

  • Extremely lightweight
  • High levels of flexibility
  • Breathable
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Nike Zoom Rival M 9

 

  • Lightweight
  • Seamless, breathable upper
  • Good for variety of events
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Nike Zoom Victory 3

 

  • Great design
  • Awesome spike for price
  • Good for multiple events
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Best Overall

1. Saucony Ballista MD

The Saucony Ballista MD has everything you’d want in a high-quality mid-distance track spike.

This version comes with a woven upper and a firmer spike plate in response to racers wanting a crisper toe-off. That woven upper is made with flexfilm, a melded fabric in the upper. Athletes enjoy a feel that’s more seamless and flexible.

The Ballista reverts back to a traditional lacing system. But it still hugs your foot to hold it in place without any pressure points.

Like most mid-distance spikes, the Ballista comes with six spike implements, all of which are removable. Despite its extremely low weight of 3.9 ounces, there’s still a padded collar for ankle comfort and a lace-up closure for added fit benefits. This shoe has a very thin foam insole that will provide some padding.

This track spike also has a unique look that is both eye-catching and attention-grabbing.

PROS:

  • Extremely lightweight (only 3.1 ounces)
  • Locked-in and fast
  • Breathable

CONS:

  • Not as much cushioning as other spikes
 

Top for High School Athletes

2. Nike Zoom Rival M 9

For high schoolers looking to run fast on the track, the Rival from Nike checks all the right boxes.

The Rival comes with great support and comfort without sacrificing extra weight and overall performance.

The Zoom Rival is designed to work for a wide variety of events from traditional mid-distance events like the 800m and 1600m to hurdles, long jump, and pole vault.

The outersole features sticky rubber on top of the 7-pin spike plate for added traction. An arch band in the upper provides support while the mesh helps your feet breath.

This shoe does tend to fit a bit wider, so if you’ve got a narrow foot it might not be a good option.

PROS:

  • Lightweight feel
  • Good for new athletes
  • Nice color options

CONS:

  • Sizing runs small
 

Best Value

3. Saucony Vendetta 3

The Vendetta is a great all-around shoe.

While not as light as other shoes featured here (this Saucony shoe weighs in at 5.3oz) it is still so light you might forget you’ve got them in your gym bag! The Vendetta is the perfect spike for new track athletes. It’s versatile enough to work as a jumping and longer sprinting shoe.

And this in a spike that’s economically priced, ideal for new athletes.

Thanks to the Vendetta’s six spikes arrayed around the front of the shoe, you’ll get great traction as you run around the track.

It should also be noted that this shoe comes in male and females sizes compared to many other spikes that are unisex. This means less hassle about converting sizes.

It does run slightly narrow, so if you have a wide foot, it might not be the best choice. The breathable mesh upper and molded EVA midsole create a shoe that will give you that extra burst of speed you need.

PROS:

  • Great design
  • Awesome spike for price
  • Works well for variety of events

CONS:

  • Spikes are too narrow for some athletes
 

Most Aggressive Traction

4. New Balance MD800v7

The MD800v5 from New Balance is another lightweight track shoe with a range of supportive benefits for the runner.

An innovative shoe, the MD800 takes advantage of several technologies from its creator, New Balance, among them Fantom Fit and a Pebax plate.

The upper fuses two thin materials in the upper together in a no-sew process. This provides support that is extremely light, as well as flexible. The seamless upper increases comfort and cuts down on opportunities for blisters. It also allows for running without socks, if that’s your preference.

The Pebax plate provides strong support under the toebox, important because it holds the six spikes that provide the power for you to push off the track. The Pebax plate is comprised of a high-strength thermoplastic polymer that extends the length of the sole, providing a unique look and superior traction.

This track spike provides great traction even with the spike implements removed.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Seamless, breathable upper
  • Superior traction and support, thanks to the Pebax plate

CONS:

  • Extra support on outer sole means small amount of weight is added to shoe
 

Best For 800m

5. New Balance MD500v7

This spike from New Balance is another top contender in the best mid-distance spike category.

While the MD800 from New Balance is slightly more aggressive, the MD500 will be more comfortable over longer mid-distance runs. The extra comfort comes from the EVA heel wedge that provides added protection for longer mid-distance events.

Of course, the extra heel protection adds more a bit more weight. Every runner, however, will have to make a personal decision about the trade-off between weight and comfort.

With that in mind, the MD500 comes with some spectacular tech. A Pebax bar made from high-strength thermoplastic polymer lends support and flexibility (without much weight) to the outsole, while the new-so upper on the New Balance shoe lends itself to increase comfort and support.

PROS:

  • Extremely comfortable, thanks to the EVA heel wedge
  • Added strength from the full-length Pebax plate
  • Strong support
  • Seamless upper

CONS:

  • Heavier than other spikes
 

Top for 1600m

6. Brooks ELMN8 v5

This unisex spike from Brooks will help you speed around the track at full-throttle.

It’s ideal for 400m-1600m distances, but we like it better for the longer distance given its good mix of comfort and aggressive features.

The carbon fiber plate stretches from heel to toe across the entire spike. This gives it the optimum ratio of flex and stiffness for speed and efficiency.

It features 6-pin spike plate, plenty of traction for going around corners at top speed.

Finally, the woven upper is lightweight and durable. It’s comfortable enough to wear the spike without socks, if that’s your preference.

PROS:

  • Carbon-fiber spike plate reduces weight
  • Perfect amount of traction
  • Customizable upper

CONS:

  • Fit is small
 
The Wired Runner