7 Best Track & Field Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Zack Dunn
Zack Dunn on
7 Best Track & Field Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

A well-selected pair of track and field shoes can be a real performance booster or even help you set a new PB.

We have reviewed over 60 pairs of track shoes for running, jumping, and throwing to help you buy the best one. No matter if you are an advanced athlete looking for a premium shoe or a beginner on a tight budget, we’ve got some top picks for you.

How we test track & Field shoes

RunRepeat provides the user with recommendations for the best track and field shoes based on user ratings and expert reviews. These data are aggregated to form the Corescore, which is a numerical value (from 0 to 100) that indicates how well-liked a shoe is.

  • We have 3,000+ user reviews for over 180 track and field shoes
  • Each track shoe product page has been done with around 7 hours of research on shoe details and reviews

Best track & Field shoes overall

Nike ZoomX Dragonfly
Nike ZoomX Dragonfly

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.9 / 5 from 11 users
96 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • Perfect for 3k-10k
  • Works for 400m-1600m as well
  • Bouncy and fast
  • Full-length spike plate
  • Super breathable
  • Perfect laces
  • Wow looks
  • Elite-level spike
  • Worth the price

Cons

  • Tongue bunches up
  • Pricey

Verdict

It's bouncy and fast - it's everything most of the track running spikes we've tested aren't. In other words, the Nike ZoomX Dragonfly is the best of its kind! It's a track shoe that's made to make you run like an elite in high-mileage efforts, and it does so at a hefty price. After putting it through the paces, it's a premier choice for distances 3K to 10K!
Nike ZoomX Dragonfly full review

Best cross Country shoes

Nike Zoom Victory XC 5
Nike Zoom Victory XC 5

CoreScore

88
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 122 users
95 / 100 from 1 expert

Pros

  • True to size
  • Super snappy
  • Stable
  • Anti-clog outsole
  • Flexible
  • Durable
  • Superb traction
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Very narrow

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Victory XC 5 made us zoom through brutal races! It's everything performance-oriented, and it's here to make you win your next cross-country competition. It's featherlight, fast, and grippy, it's everything we wanted to run with speed! Even better, it's durable and will surely go through gnarly terrain with ease.
Nike Zoom Victory XC 5 full review

Best Nike track & Field shoes

Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2
Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.9 / 5 from 20 users
95 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Light
  • Snappy & propulsive
  • See-through breathable upper
  • Sock-like fit
  • Great heel lockdown
  • Head-turning sleek design
  • Elite-level spike
  • Perfect for 100-400m sprints
  • Notched laces keep the shoe tied

Cons

  • Pricey

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2 is a lightweight and powerful sprint spike. And we don't think it can get more elite than this! It's premium and so is its price, but it's not really a drawback. If anything, it's understandable with all the speed-enhancing qualities we got! It's propulsive and snappy, bolting through the track was an easy feat!
Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2 full review

Best sprinting shoes

Nike Air Zoom MaxFly
Nike Air Zoom MaxFly

CoreScore

76
Good!
4.0 / 5 from 19 users
93 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Fairly light
  • Very springy
  • Quite comfortable
  • Snug race-like ft
  • Extremely well-engineered
  • Premium design and feel
  • Perfeect for 100-400m
  • Works for hurdles as well
  • Superb comfort+speed combo
  • Breathable
  • Notched laces stay tied

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Adaptation period might be needed
  • Feels unstable on curves

Verdict

At 0, the Nike Air Zoom MaxFly is damn expensive! But it's a price we'd gladly pay for the aggressive traction and spring we get from this sprint spike. We don't often say this, but it's the best of the best! And for something that screams fast, the MaxFly is surprisingly pleasing to the feet.
Nike Air Zoom MaxFly full review

Best running track & Field shoes

Nike Spike-Flat
Nike Spike-Flat

CoreScore

86
Great!
5.0 / 5 from 5 users
N/A

Pros

  • Light and fast
  • Cushioned
  • Good support
  • Very comfortable
  • Amazing traction
  • Breathable
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Rough upper material

Verdict

This hybrid track shoe from Nike fuses the cushioned design of Nike Streak LT with an aggressive spike grip. The result is a race-ready flat that can go long distances with extra traction. It is lightweight, breathable, and gripping, making it a do-it-all shoe for both racing and training.
Nike Spike-Flat full review

Best value track & Field shoes

Nike Air Zoom Victory
Nike Air Zoom Victory

CoreScore

81
Good!
4.2 / 5 from 17 users
92 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Snug race-like fit
  • Secure lockdown
  • Lightweight
  • Very springy feeling
  • Unrivaled breathability
  • Fairly cushioned
  • Perfect for middle distance
  • Elite level, insane quality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Adjustment period might be needed
  • Unstable on curves

Verdict

The Nike Air Zoom Victory is a mid-distance spike that banks on its marathon sibling - the Alphafly Next% (a.k.a Nike's fastest shoe). And for us, not only did it run fast, but it's also the best of its kind on the market! It's insanely grippy, responsive, and comfortable. It's expensive at 0, but it's a premium price we'd gladly pay for a premium track shoe.
Nike Air Zoom Victory full review

Why use a track shoe

Here are some of the distinct components of a track and field shoe that make it more efficient for the sport than other types of athletic shoes:

features.png

  • Lightweight and breathable: Track and field shoes are light and airy because of the thin mesh upper that usually accompanies them. usually have a rigid upper construction to provide a snug fit.
  • Snug fit: Aside from a thin mesh, the upper of track shoes have a rigid structure to provide a snug fit and keep the foot in place.
  • Minimal midsole: Unlike other cleat-type footwear such as those for football and soccer, track shoes usually have a midsole that is thin and minimal. It acts as both underfoot cushioning and impact absorber.
  • Spike pins and spike plate: Some track shoes use spike pins. These are small pointed attachments on a plastic plate that aid in gripping the track surface. Spike pins vary in type, size (pin width), and number depending on the event it is used for.

Spike pins.png

Track shoes vs running shoes: 3 key differences

Although track-and-field as a sport includes running events, the shoes used for those are different than the typical running shoe. Each shoe has its particular design and purpose, which we can differentiate through the following:

  • Weight: Track and field shoes are significantly lighter than running shoes. They use fewer materials and are relatively smaller in figure because they intend to boost the athlete’s momentum.
  • Cushioning: Track spikes for running events are thin and minimal. On the other hand, running shoes are plush and substantial as their focus is on underfoot cushioning and arch support.
  • Overall appearance: The most noticeable difference between track shoes and running shoes is the use of spikes. Track shoes for running use spike pins to make the forefoot higher and promote better traction.

Track and field shoe categories

The various events within the track-and-field sport are distinctive from one another and, as such, require the use of different shoes. Here are the types of track spikes and the notable qualities of each one:

Running events

Running
Sprints Mid-distance Long-distance
Sprints.png Mid distance.png long distance.png
  • lightweight
  • little-to-no cushioning
  • around 7-8 spike pins
  • little-to-moderate amount of cushioning
  • more tapered forefoot compared to sprint spikes
  • around 6 spike pins
  • most flexible of all running track shoes
  • around 4-6 spike pins (to keep the shoe lightweight)
See track and field shoes for sprints See track and field shoes for mid-distance See track and field shoes for long-distance

Jumping spikes

Jumping
Long-jump / Triple-jump High-jump Pole vault
long jump.png high jump.png pole vault.png
  • has an extra layer of cushioning for protection
  • usually flat in the heel area for more stability and power during the jump
  • uses a sturdy upper material for durability during varied movements
  • has a midfoot strap to keep the foot in place during run-up and take-off
  • employs spikes in the heel for increased support and traction
  • underfoot structure is the most rigid among all jumping track shoes
  • heel area is more padded compared to other jumping shoes
See long-jump and triple-jump shoes See high-jump shoes See pole vault shoes

Throwing events

Throwing
Javelin / Shot put / Discus throw / Hammer throw
Javelin.png Shot put.png Discuss throw.png Hammer throw.png
  • Throwing shoes are versatile and can be used in any of the sports included in the throwing events
  • These shoes do not use spike pins as throwing events include circular and pivoting motions that do not require the additional grip
  • Slightly bulky, to keep the athlete firm on their position without unnecessary movements
  • Has a smooth (but not slippery) outsole to allow for a fluid spinning motion
See javelin shoes See shot-put shoes See discus throw shoes See hammer throw shoes

Frequently asked questions

Are spike pins important in track shoes?

There is no absolute rule that track and field shoes should be used with spike pins. Additionally, not all track shoes are used with spike pins. When used accordingly, spike pins improve traction and support.

Are socks important?

You might be hesitant to use socks because track shoes are intended to fit snugly on its own. Socks are not important. Many athletes prefer not to wear socks because it makes the fit of the shoe too tight and the movements uncomfortable.

Author
Zack Dunn
Zack Dunn

I race distances between 800 meters and 10K whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. I run anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My personal bests are 2:00 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K.