Are you a track and field participant looking to purchase the perfect pair of shoes that will give you a competitive edge? That edge that lets you run faster and jump higher may partly be hidden in your spikes, so shoe selection is very important. But before you run to the store and dash inside to make your purchase, let’s jump on a few considerations.
- Know the events you will be participating in, and the USATF regulations governing spikes in those events
- Know your destination. You should be shopping at a specialty shoe store, not a discount shoe store
- Touch base with someone who can help you make the best purchase for your event, or multiple events
Shoe designs for each event are specialized, in fact, you may require multiple pairs. But alas, economic realities probably do not allow for this. So how do you make the best decision?
If you only participate in sprint events, the decision is probably easier. You would choose a light weight shoe with a firm plate in the forward part of the shoe that allows you to get up on the balls of your feet easier. For longer distances you would probably prefer a shoe with more cushioning and maybe no spikes on the bottom.
If you pole vault, high jump or run hurdles, you will have the more specialized shoes because you need to run and jump in the same event. If your event involves throwing (javelin or discus), you will probably need over the ankle shoes for protection from injury as you twist and throw.
If you participate in multiple events that cross these genres, you may opt for a shoe that has moderate cushioning and allows you to change spikes. Comfort is important. Try the shoes on at the store. Do not order the shoes untried. Young athletes need to protect their feet. Develop your style and execution first. Once you perfect your technique and then go for the shoe that allows you to maximize your effort.
Participation in sports is encouraged, but it’s never wise to deny pain. If you get a foot or ankle injury, have Dr. Vargas check it out. Call him at (281) 313-0090 in Sugarland or (281) 342-8700 in Richmond/Rosenberg.