Pyramid spikes are the most common type of running spike. These spikes begin from a broad base and come together at the tip, like a pyramid. This type of spike is ideal for almost any potentially slippery terrain, from dirt tracks to grass fields, and can also be used on synthetic, nonsynthetic and urethane tracks. Pyramid spikes aren't as sharp as needle spikes, and they generally range in size from 1/8 of an inch to 5/8 of an inch.
Needle spikes tend to be used more by distance runners, though not exclusively. This type of spike is generally effective for traction on both dirt tracks and rubber, synthetic tracks. Needle spikes aren't typically used on grass fields. Needle spikes generally range in size from 1/8 of an inch to 3/8 of an inch.
Though pyramid and needle spikes are the norm, a variety of specialty spikes are also available to runners and other athletes for use on their shoes. Extra-long javelin spikes are used in especially muddy conditions, their extreme length ensuring grip and traction in the slipperiest of conditions. A camlock spike comes with an ultra-wide base, increasing traction on synthetic tracks. Christmas tree spikes come in ziggurat or terraced shape, thereby reducing the potential damage they can do both to humans and to a track.
Article Written By William Jackson
William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.