Steeplechase track & Field shoes

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The steeplechase is one of the most challenging running events in the world of track and field. Some of the qualities that an athlete should possess are speed, endurance, stamina, and a hurdling ability to clear the steeples and water jumps. And since there is a chance for an athlete's feet to get exposed to water, the right spikes must be chosen not just for its performance but also for health reasons.

Why you should invest in a steeplechase spike  

Best Steeplechase track and field shoes - June 2020

Having the right steeplechase spikes can make or break an athlete's season. A remarkable amount of time will be spent wearing these shoes, so they must perform not only great but also be lightweight and comfortable. The right steeplechase spikes that are worth investing in should check the following boxes:

  • It should be lightweight and provide comfort when running the steeplechase distance.
  • It must perform well in the steeplechase and minimize the risk of injury by having a durable construction.
  • The spikes are to be made with breathable materials, providing a healthy in-shoe environment.
  • It should have a design that drains easily or that is waterproof for all those water jumps.
  • The outsole and plate feature should be aggressive enough and has a reliable grip to run the race in.

Best steeplechase shoes by brand 

Most big shoe brands have their own line of track and field spikes, and some even specifically designed for steeplechase. Each shoe model offers the best performance that the brand promises to deliver. Featured below are just some of the most popular brands competing to be the best steeplechase spike out in the market.


Nike Zoom Mamba 5. Designed significantly for the steeplechase, the Zoom Mamba 5 provides reliable traction and a consistent, secure fit even in wet conditions. The upper mesh material is built for water drainage and fresh air ventilation. These characteristics keep the wearer's feet comfortable while still being lightning fast on the track. These spikes also offer a grip like no other with a traction-filled Pebax® spike plate and sharkskin pattern outsole. The Zoom Mamba 5 has all the makings of great steeplechase spike, allowing the athlete to focus on the finish line.


Adidas Distancestar. The Adidas Distancestar has proved to be a fast and lightweight track shoe. Built for different types of track competition, these spikes are generally comfortable, durable, and primed for maximum performance. A steeplechase spike that aims in propelling athletes forward, making them beat their personal bests on every race.


Puma TFX Distance V5. The TFX Distance V5 is a Puma track spike that is built to race the distance. It is designed with a graphic treatment inspired by Usain Bolt. These track spikes are lightweight and breathable, making it perfect as an all-around choice for track races such as the steeplechase. It also offers a very light stride, an aggressive grip, and great traction altogether. Lighter, faster, and now more aesthetically pleasing, the Puma TFX Distance V5 is a versatile track designed to win races.

A brief history of the steeplechase

An obstacle race that originated from Ireland and with a name derived from the steeplechase in horse racing, the steeplechase has proved to be one of the most exciting athletics in history. In the 1900s, the Olympics featured the 2500 meters and 4000 meters steeplechase. Back then, only men were allowed to compete with the notion that it would harm women's uterus if they participated in such a strenuous event. It was not only until 2008 that women's steeplechase was officially made one of the events in the Olympics. The event of steeplechase for women is 3000 meters but with lower barriers than that with men. Prior to the current race format being established, a distance of 2000 meters with shorter jumps was experimented with in the past.

It was in the 2005 World Championship in Helsinki that steeplechase made its first major championship appearance. Owing to the popularity of steeplechase picking up in the mid-2000s, women's 3000 meters was officially launched on the Olympic tracks in Beijing.

Understanding steeplechase

A 3000-meter steeplechase race, as defined in the rulebook, is having 28 barriers and 7 water jumps. The 2000-meter steeplechase race, on the other hand, has 18 barriers and 5 water jumps that the athlete needs to go through.

Water jumps are never on the track oval, making the steeplechase racecourse never a perfect 400 meters lap. The water jump is located inside the turn which shortens the lap. There would also be cases where a water jump is placed outside the turn which lengthens the lap. And because of such a possibility of different lap lengths, the starting line for the event conventionally moves to compensate for the adjustments.

In cases where the water jump is inside the turn, the 3000-meter start line will be at the backstretch, relative to the steeplechase finish line. When the water jump is outside, the 3000-meter starts from the home stretch. The 2000-meter reverses that pattern and uses 5/7 the amount of compensation for its starting line.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to wear socks when wearing steeplechase spikes?

As steeplechase spikes usually offer a snug fit, wearing socks or not is entirely up to the wearer. Going sock-free, however, can increase the chances of blisters. If one is not comfortable with going sockless, make sure to look for a thin technical sock. It is also always suggested to break in a pair of running spikes before competing in them to reduce the risk of injury.

How are steeplechase spikes so light?

Shoe technologies are rapidly improving, and the vast majority of steeplechase spikes are designed to be less than 6 ounces in weight. Manufacturers create the shoes so that the wearer's feet will only have what it needs to perform their best. Most steeplechase spikes are built with no extraneous materials. Ideally, these spikes will consist of seamless uppers, ultralight fabric, and special outsole constructions to deliver that featherweight steeplechase spikes.