The Difference Between Track & Running Shoes

The Difference Between Track & Running Shoes
Track shoes and running shoes are both built for speed and efficient movement, but they have some very striking differences. While running shoes are made for a combination of speed and support, track shoes eschew comfort and support for the sake of speed.

Track Shoes: Tread

Track shoes' outsoles have treads that focus traction on the ball of the foot and toes with aggressive lugs and spikes to ensure maximum grip on a track.

Running Shoes: Tread

Running shoes' outsoles have a tread that runs from the forefoot to the heel, emphasizing traction on varied terrain-pavement, concrete, dirt, etc.


To save weight, track shoes midsoles are minimally cushioned, while running shoes have thicker midsoles to provide support and comfort.

Track Shoe Weight

To maximize speed, track shoes are pared down to as low a weight as possible. Many track shoes weigh from 5 to 7 ounces.

Running Shoe Weight

With heavier materials and thicker midsoles than track shoes, running shoes usually weigh from 12 to 15 ounces to well over a pound.

Article Written By Billy Brown

Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California. An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight,", and, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.

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