However, it is not as simple as just popping down the store and buying the cheapest spiked running shoes you can find! Even if you are a single race specialist – for example, a 100 meter sprinter – you will almost always need several pairs of track running spikes, or at least have several sets of the detachable spikes which fit a single pair of shoes. There are two main reasons for this: firstly, the rules of the race meeting may specify a certain maximum length of track spike. You will need to investigate this for each race you intend competing in, as there is nothing more soul destroying than running an absolute flyer to win the race, only to get disqualified on a technicality later on. The second reason for having a selection of different running spikes is that all tracks tend to have their own idiosyncrasies. You will need to determine which length and type of spikes to employ for the track the race is to be run on; sometimes you will need to wear longer or shorter ones – just make sure they are legal under the race rules.
Track and field running spikes can be somewhat different from the sprinting shoes. Javelin spikes for example are more like short boots, and they have the spikes over the entire soles, including the heels, in contrast to sprint spikes which only have them attached at the front of the foot.
If you are more into middle and longer distance running, the general difference is in the comfort aspects; there is more padding for longer distance although middle distance running spikes are still much more lightweight than standard training shoes.
The best thing you can do is to get yourself some running spikes which fit into the general category that you compete in, whether that is sprinting or middle distance, and just try them out. As long as you do this, you will have shoes that fit your feet and have threads in the right places for your discipline. If the spikes themselves are an uncomfortable length, or just don’t perform the way you’d like, you can simply buy a new set of spikes and swap them, rather than having to buy an entirely new pair of spiked running shoes.