The Best Cross Country Spikes in 2018

When it comes to cross-country shoes, investing in the right pair is essential. Though each runner will have their preference relating to the different types of running, surface, and distance, your cross country spikes need durability and lasting comfort to stay in good shape.

The wait is over. It’s time to get the best pair of spike running shoes, and we’ve put together this list of the best of the best cross country spikes to help you pick.


Top 3 Best and Favorites

Best for Wide Feet

Altra Golden Spike


New Balance XC5000v3

 

This superior cross country spike delivers the speed, aggression and attitude you need for the ultimate racing experience. At the top of the three-tiered selection of cross country footwear New Balance offers, the XC5000v3 adds visual appeal and performance to your game.

The lightweight breathable support of the XC5000v3 gives you an enhanced fit and maximum responsiveness without sacrificing stability. Featuring an air mesh Fantom Fit no-sew upper, your feet feel alive and free, allowing you to deliver an energetic performance at your next event.

Dedicated to helping athletes accomplish their goals, New Balance is driven to make quality shoes for the same reason you lace them up: to achieve the very best. The XC5000v3 is no exception.

The REVlite midsole and 5-spike formation provide a nimble feel with the protection your feet need. With a true-to-size fit, these spikes are colorful and comfortable. Delivering exceptional performance all around, you’ll find these shoes are especially designed for cross-country or long-distance track running.


PROS:

  • Premium design
  • Best for grass, mud, dirt
  • Support across flat surfaces to rugged trails
  • Fantom fit no-sew upper
  • REVlite midsole

CONS:

  • Size may run small
  • High cost for youth competition
  • Design better suited for short distances

Saucony Carrera XC 3

Perfect for grass, gravel, and trail courses, the brand-new spike plate of this gorgeous cross-country shoe is sure to provide extra speed and support for your fastest race yet. The Saucony Carrera XC 3 has a new firmer 6-pin spike plate to deliver increased grip and speed.

Your feet will thank you for the refreshing airflow of the designed mesh upper. And the extreme comfort of the ISOFIT technology creates a dynamic fit that wraps your foot and delivers total relief by adapting to fit your unique shape.

The newly updated design is engineered to adapt to the shape and motion of your foot, pushing your performance to an unbeatable pace. The Carrera XC 3 delivers bursts of energy from the moment you begin to power you through to the finish line.

It’s clear to see these cross-country spikes are perfectly designed and built with the athlete in mind. Delivering superior performance, you’ll love this ultra-lightweight shoe because it creates a flexible running experience while helping you dig into multiple types of racing terrain.


PROS:

  • 6-pin Pebax spike plate
  • SOFIT dynamic fit system
  • Extremely lightweight design
  • Good tread for pavement and trails

CONS:

  • Sizing chart runs small
  • Raised outer edge
  • Thin design lacks support

New Balance XC900v4

 

The New Balance XC900v4 is fully streamlined with a sleek new bottom unit to deliver superior performance from toe-off. The track-inspired mesh upper provides maximum breathability for increased airflow and comfort.

Created for the high-performance athlete, this is an excellent choice for stability and power in any element. With selectively placed lugged rubber, the sleek REVlite technology is designed for aggressive racing and thrusts more energy into every step.

Perfect for running on varying surfaces, ranging from flat fields to rough and rugged trails, this shoe delivers an excellent boost of speed and comfort for the most aggressive racer. With a neutral support type and lightweight, breathable design, you can experience a genuinely flexible response like never before.

The lace-up design of this cross-country spike creates a truly custom fit. Featuring removable spikes for superior traction and a track-inspired upper, the New Balance XC900v4 delivers a snug fit that adapts as it moves with you.


PROS:

  • Removable spikes for added traction
  • HydroHesion rubber for advanced grip in wet weather
  • Track-inspired tongue construction
  • REVlite midsole

CONS:

  • Measurements for width vary by size

Saucony Havok XC 2

 

These high-speed spikes will wreak havoc on the competition. The midsole offers fast, responsive cushioning while the carbon rubber outsole provides the ultimate in strong traction capabilities.

Designed to move moisture away from your skin, the breathable material in this superior cross-country spike is designed to keep you dry and comfortable on race day. With the added strength and traction, you’ll get a fantastic finish and beat your PR.

The strong, lightweight Flexfilm upper allows fewer layers in the shoe to combine the ultimate in long-lasting durability and a flexible feel. Though slightly more substantial than the ultralight Saucony Carrera, the Havok is an equally competitive shoe designed for the athlete.

The seamless sock layer provides a snug fit without adding weight, and the strong features ensure the shoe will last the whole season. Though engineered for your top 7 and varsity runner, all levels of racers will appreciate the advanced features, durability, and affordable price of this performance shoe.


PROS:

  • 6-pin Pebax spike for ultimate grip
  • Affordable price
  • Designed for aggressive grass, trail, and gravel terrain
  • Improved traction
  • Flexfilm upper creates a flexible feel

CONS:

  • Laces are unnecessarily long
  • Sizes run 1/2 size large
  • Not as snug of a fit

Saucony Kilkenny XC7

 

Veteran runners will readily recognize the name of the Saucony Kilkenny, as they’ve been an integral part of race day performance for years. Generally built for beginning runners, the newest shoe in this line, the XC7, features a lightweight upper, molded sole, and reliable traction for added speed and grip.

The all-new aggressive rubber outsole features a 4-pin spike design for the ultimate in traction when facing tough dirt courses. As an ideal choice for high school athletes, this cross-country spike is a flexible option that delivers lightweight performance.

Though not an Olympic-level racing shoe, the Saucony Kilkenny XC7 is wonderfully comfortable and comes at an affordable price. Available in both spiked and spikeless models, younger runners may opt for this shoe in races where spiked shoes aren’t allowed.

The new soft mesh upper delivers added style and much-needed breathability. The near seamless fit of this mesh design will fit snugly around your foot and allow you to quickly push past the competition.


PROS:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Lightweight, seamless upper
  • Affordable price point
  • Available in spiked and spikeless

CONS:

  • Less durable than more advanced models
  • Designed for beginning runners
  • Less form-fitting around the foot

New Balance XC700v5

 

This stellar cross-country shoe helps you prepare to tackle the road ahead. As a long-standing name aimed at emerging cross-country runners, the New Balance XC700v5 is full of performance-enhancing features.

Now in its fifth version, the new 6-spike rubber outsole allows for enhanced traction in even the worst racing conditions. Designed to run on varying surfaces, the re-engineered upper contains a hidden internal support cage designed to give beginning runners the edge they need.

Combining premium features, the XC700v5 delivers aggressive performance on flat, groomed fields and superior grip and stability on uneven, rugged trails. Additionally, the extra exposed EVA provides an extra level of enhanced traction.

With the neutral support type, removable spikes, and lightweight cushioning, you get a snug fit that molds to your foot while the flexible response surges you past the competition.

The extreme durability and internal support system gives you the support you need on race day With the New Balance XC700v5, you tap into a wide array of performance-driven features to push through your goals and achieve the very best.


PROS:

  • Extra exposed EVA for more grip
  • Snug fit with flexibility for performance
  • Internal support cage
  • Lightweight, breathable design

CONS:

  • Entry level shoe
  • May not fit as snug

Nike Zoom Rival XC

The sturdy cushioning and lightweight outsole of the Nike Zoom Rival XC means it was made for cross-country running. Featuring a Pebax plate with a 6-spike design for increased traction, you’ll find the perfect balance of technology and comfort to level up your ability in style.

Thanks to the dynamic arch band, this superior cross-country spike offers a secure fit like never before. The combined Flywire technology with the carbon fiber midfoot shank gives added structure and stability to push you past your limits and into new heights.

Don’t worry about comfort when it comes to the Nike Zoom Rival XC. Between the breathable mesh construction and the lightweight, responsive cushioning of the midsole, you’re given maximum airflow and flexibility to increase comfort and capability.

Featuring a Nike Anti-Clog traction outsole to help prevent mud and rocks from clogging up your performance, you’ll push past the competition to the finish line.


PROS:

  • Anti-Clog traction for maximum grip
  • A dynamic arch band for a secure fit
  • Lightweight design

CONS:

  • Size runs big for loose fit
  • Thin bottom sole

Altra Golden Spike

Delivering performance like never before, you’ll feel like a real VIP on race day in your Altra Golden Spikes. As the newest member of the Altra family, the Altra Golden Spike features a sock-lit fit to give you a secure fit that conforms to the movement of your foot.

Made for cross-country and off-road training and racing, the foot-shaped toe box accommodates toe splay for increased traction and stability as you push off from each step. Bearing the name of Altra founder Golden Harper, the golden spike design is a tribute to the sport and history of cross-country racing.

The breathable and extra lightweight upper provides extreme support for a secure, locked-in fit. Featuring a 5-pin spike plate, you’ll find stability and grip from flat, groomed racing surfaces to rugged and uneven trail races in this shoe.


PROS:

  • Secure, sock-like fit
  • Increased stability and traction
  • 5-pin spike plate
  • Foot-shaped toe box for natural splay

CONS:

  • Sizing runs half-size large
  • Zero drop design is super-thin

Brooks Mach 18

Propel past the crowd with the lightweight Brooks Mach 18. Featuring a compression-molded EVA midsole, you’ll experience long-lasting cushioned comfort as you finish race after race.

The secure fit is nothing like you’ve experienced before. The new and improved sock-like design lets very little get between you and the course, providing the ultimate race day experience. This increased comfort gives lightweight stability to performance that just doesn’t quit.

The asymmetric, breathable mesh upper features enhanced microfiber for better internal support and a snug fit. Experience greater traction and grip through the aggressive lug pattern and leave the competition in the dust with your Brooks Mach 18.

With maximum ease and grip, you can focus on the race and not your feet with this pick of cross-country spikes. The centralized lace-up closure provides for an adjustable fit while the lighted padded tongue and collar adds lasting comfort to beat the competition.


PROS:

  • Aggressive lug pattern for traction
  • Lace-up closure for an adjustable fit
  • Microfiber for comfort and support

CONS:

  • Spikes don’t perform on hard surfaces
  • Sole plate not sturdy enough to hold spikes

The Verdict

No matter where you live, getting out there and winning races is likely your top priority. To get that done, you’ll need to consider all the key factors that make a great running shoe such as durability, grip, flexibility, and comfort. And you can’t go wrong with these top picks for the best cross-country spike.