Q and A - How do the different shoes make you run faster? - - Track Talk

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Q and A - How do the different shoes make you run faster? -

#1 15 February 2011 05:33 PM
RunnerSpace Founder / DyeStat CEO 62 Rep Points
Join Date: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 1635


How do the different shoes make you run faster?

Coach Jay - I just went to a running store for some shoes to get ready for track
season. This is my first time running track and I was a little overwhelmed. How
do I know what shoes will be the best for me or make me faster?

Kelly -

Hi Kelly.   Glad to hear you're getting ready for track season and hopefully I can help you figure out what shoe to purchase.

First thing we need to establish is that Nike makes the best line of track and field shoes in the world.  Period.  Discus throwers, high jumpers, hurdlers and milers are all taken care of in Nike's line of shoes.  That said, because you said you went to a running store I'm going to assume your running, either sprints or distance events.

If you're a sprinter, you'll probably run everything from 100m to 400m (even if you're a 200m specialist who hates the 400m, you'll probably find yourself on the 4x400m relay).  While Nike makes some shoes for the 60m and 100m with a rigid sprike plate that runs the length of the shoes, I would recommend you wear something like the Zoom Rival S V, which has a "sprinter" spike plate under your forefoot, but is a bit more flexible in the mid-foot.  This shoe is also appropriate for 400m runners who run the 800m as well, but if you're a true 400m/800m I'd go with the Zoom Rival M D as it's bit more event specific.

If you're a distance runner you've got plenty to choose from and if one shoe fits better than another, then you're decision is easy.  The Zoom W3 is not only a great choice in my mind, but is highlights Nike commitment to women's running.  The original Zoom W was the first performance shoe (i.e. spike) that took into account a woman's body and the fact that the Q angle at the knee causes a slightly different foot strike.  The Zoom W simply had the outside heal shaved down to account for this, something no other company was doing.  Anyway, it's a great all around shoe; you could run the 3,200m in it and also run a leg on on the 4x400m in it.

And that leads to my final thought.  While I preach to high school coaches at clinics that distance runners should run the the 4x400m, by no means does a distance runner need to get a special shoe for that event.  If you wanted another pair of shoes, I'd get a racing flat that you can use for some threshold workouts and for summer cross country workouts.  Having a faster pair of shoes that you can run on every surface from cement to grass to synthetic track is nice and you'll feel fast when you put them on.

Best of luck with your track season Kelly and thanks for the question.

Jay Johnson

*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.

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#2 02 March 2013 07:33 AM
Member 42 Rep Points
Join Date: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 121

Rivals are quite possibly the worst Nike spikes ever created. Never, EVER, go with the Rivals.
If price is the reasoning, there is always ways to get cheap Nike spikes. You just need to look around.
If you have the choice between let's say a 40.00 pair of Maxcats and a Rival S, then you better take those Maxcats.
Maxcat, JA Fly, R4>>>>>>> Rival S
Mamba, Victory, Miler >>>>>> Rival MD
Matumbo, Ventulus, Kennedy >>>>>> Rival D

As someone from the old dyestat once said,
Rivals give you AIDS which is only curable with the Jasari treatment.

If you are completely serious about this sport go with a good spike not some cheap Rival crap. If you're a distance runner and are unsure about whether this is the sport for you then go with a racing flat for a season. Much better than that silly excuse for a plate that Nike tries to pass off as a track plate.

Nike makes AMAZING spikes but that doesn't mean that they don't also make trash.

A spike nerd.

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