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The sports of track and field consists of three main events that cover running, throwing, and jumping. The category of jumping encompasses four leaping contests. These sporting events are the triple jump, high jump, long jump, and pole vault. 

The long jump has been one of the earliest known tournaments in track and field. It was part of the ancient Greek pentathlon contest. It has been referred to as the “horizontal jump” as athletes try to reach the farthest distance from the point of take-off. The sport tests the speed, strength, and agility of the jumper. 

The evolution of long jump

Best Best long jump track and field shoes - May 2020

The long jump has been a part of Ancient Greece’s original Olympic pentathlon meets. The games in the Olympics were practiced in preparation for warfare. It is claimed that long jump has been introduced because it aided in training participants in crossing obstacles such as streams and ravines. 

Prior to its introduction to the Summer Olympics in the year 1896, the process of long jumping was far different from how it is conducted now. Before, the contender is only given a short running start and had to carry weights in each hand. These weights were named halteres and were swung forward as the athlete jumped to heighten momentum. 

The evolution of long jumping only began during its initiation in the modern Olympics during 1896. During this time, there were some changes made to the method of doing a long jump. The halteres were no longer part of the jumping performance of the athlete. The sport remained a men’s sport until its formal addition to the women’s Olympic athletics program in 1948. 

Long jump techniques

There are four phases when executing the long jump. These are very critical in the overall performance of the jumper and require proper training for optimal delivery. 


The approach is considered as the build-up run and is very much like sprinting. The number of strides in the approach is dependent on the contender, as long as it does not affect the consistency. For beginners, they usually take between 12 to 19 strides. Meanwhile, elite athletes take about 20 to 22 strides. 

A good approach is also dependent on the amount of traction delivered by one’s track spike. A shoe with a good surface grip plus a rigid plate is perfect for maximizing one’s propulsion. 


The takeoff is not merely about the jumper’s foot hitting the board. This phase is also dependent on the last two strides of the athlete. These are very important as they determine the velocity of the contender before the jump. The primary goal of the takeoff is to generate vertical impulse via one’s center of gravity. This is performed while maintaining balance and control. 

With the takeoff method, security and traction of the long jump shoe is very critical. The security of the track spike is a factor that promotes the safety of the competitor. It prevents unwanted shoe removal and slippage. The traction supplemented by the platform poses for propulsion, heightening momentum. 


This is the stage where the jumper’s body is airborne. There are three techniques that can be implemented when in the flight period. These are the sail, hang, and hitch-kick style. Beginners can start with the sail method. 

Similar to the takeoff, the flight requires a secure-fitting jumping spike. Again, this is just to prevent the premature removal of the shoe mid-air. Additionally, the track spike should also have a featherlight composition in order to increase the momentum of the athlete. 


As the name pronounces, the landing is the part where the contender reaches the sandpit.  When the long jumper hits the sand, the legs are flexed. This allows the hips to push forward and slide into the impact area that’s formed by both feet.  

One of the characteristics that are required from a long jumping spike during landing is durability. Naturally, the landing can cause abrasion, especially on the underfoot plate. Thus, it only makes sense that one should secure a high-strength jumping spike when executing the landing phase. 

Guide to choosing the best long jump spike

There are a few characteristics that one should take note of when getting a pair of long jump shoes. These are fundamental in yielding a powerful leap that can outperform one’s competitor and even one’s own PR. Listed below are some of these attributes:


  • Security. This element is dependent on the upper material integrated into the style of the shoe. One telling feature of a secure-fitting shoe is that it wraps snugly around the contours and natural shape of the foot. With this quality, the athlete does not have to worry about premature shoe removal. 
  • Lightness. In long jumping, one of the most important factors in delivering high performance is the weight. So much so, that even the weight employed by the track spike is taken into account. That is why it is very critical for the contender to choose a long jump shoe that consists of featherlight materials. This is also with the consideration that it does not sacrifice quality and durability. 


  • Supportive. A track spike made for long jumping should incorporate a midsole that offers stability, protection, and comfort. A long jump spike usually consists of full-length cushioning that strikes a good balance between stiffness and softness. It should have a sufficient level of softness for comfort, and a good amount of rigidity for storing kinetic energy. This, in turn, helps get the contender into the air.


  • Durable. Just like the minimal weight integration of the track jumping spike, sturdiness is also a key feature. The landing can be damaging to the spike plate because of the friction between the shoe and the ground. Thus, it is only necessary that the outsole component is made of high-strength materials that promote its longevity. Some of the track spikes that exhibit strength are the Adidas Sprinstar and the Nike Zoom Rival S 9
  • Traction. This element is necessary for a propulsive ride that allows the momentum build-up of the long jumper. The surface grip can be supplied with the help of the shoe’s plate engineering and the spike pins that are affixed to the plate. Additionally, good traction promotes the slip-resistant properties of the long jump spike. 

Brands that produce the best long jump spikes

Because there’s a significant portion of the population that’s involved in the sporting meet of long jump, several brands have found an opportunity in the hype. These companies mostly compete in terms of technologies and functions. Here are some of the world-famous brands that have become a household name for track and field enthusiasts: 


Having roots in the sport of track and field, it’s no surprise that Nike continues to innovate its track spikes. The brand’s long jump spike is no exception. Its jumping shoe is recognized for its sturdiness, support, and grippy traction. 


Just like Nike, Adidas started out in the athletic shoe manufacturing industry by introducing track and field spikes in the market. The company was a pioneer in the production of track shoes. To this day, Adidas continues to make track and field jumping spikes that have lightweight support, unmatched comfort, and superior surface grip. 


A Japanese brand that chiefly focuses on producing quality track spikes, it’s no wonder that Asics is one of the top competitors in the track spike manufacturing industry. It is hailed by many for garnering the award of having some of the best performance footwear in the market. Given this, Asics long jump spikes are graced with components that yield maximum propulsion, ultra-lightweight, and security. 

Famous long jump athletes

Below are some of the prominent names in the track and field meet of the long jump. The list contains their respective top marks in long jumping.


  1. Mike Powell (Tokyo, 1991)- 8.95 meters 
  2. Bob Beamon (Mexico City, 1968)- 8.90 meters
  3. Carl Lewis (Tokyo, 1991)- 8.87 meters
  4. Robert Emmiyan (Tsakhkadzor, 1988)- 8.86 meters
  5. Larry Myricks (Indianapolis, 1988)- 8.74 meters


  1. Galina Chistyakova (Leningrad, 1988)- 7.52 meters
  2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (New York City, 1994)- 7.49 meters
  3. Heike Drechsler (Neubrandenburg, 1988)- 7.48 meters
  4. Anişoara Cuşmir (Bucharest, 1983)- 7.43 meters
  5. Tatyana Kotova (Annecy, 2002)- 7.42 meters

Frequently asked questions

Are long jump spikes expensive? 

Just like any other athletic footwear, there are long jump shoes that are expensive. These types of jumping spikes usually cost more than $100. However, there are also those that belong to the category of cheap track shoes. On average, these retail below $100. Cheap or expensive, the important consideration that one should ponder on is the quality and function of the platform. 

Is a sprint spike good for long jump? 

There are those who claim that a sprinting shoe is also a good company for long jumping. This is because the configuration of both the sprint spike and the long jump spike is quite similar. They employ more spike pins to generate more surface traction. The componentry of the platforms also consists of lightweight materials that enable energy conservation and swift performance. Lastly, both are equipped with supportive elements, especially in the heel, for slip resistance and stability. 

What type of spike pin should I attach to my long jump spike? 

The first thing that one should consider is whether the spike plate houses permanent or removable spikes. Second, the type of pins that are affixed to the plate is dependent on the surface one is performing on. 

What are the benefits of using a long jump shoe? 

There are several gains when using a track shoe that’s specifically fashioned for long jumping. One, this type of tracking spike is composed of supportive materials. This aids in maintaining stability. Second, it is equipped to permit aggressive traction for a robust leap. Third, its slip-resistant qualities solicit safety and additional grip, heightening speed. The last and most important aspect of the platform is its comfort. It allows the contender to last in the competition.