Track running is an Olympic event with a long history, dating back to the ancient Greeks. The sport has seen many changes since then, but one thing that remains constant is that runners need quality shoes that can withstand the pressures of the track surfaces.
Track surfaces come in three varieties: artificial turf, rubberized asphalt or cinder/concrete mix, or natural dirt/grass fields. Rubberized asphalt is most common on indoor tracks because it can be rolled out like carpeting and provides great traction for sprinters.
Artificial turf is often used outdoors on grassy surfaces during wet weather conditions where mud could be an issue with natural dirt tracks. These track running shoes are designed to have a flexible, lightweight outsole that is made for the quick turns and stops of track racing. There are many different brands on the market, but these 6 great options will help you find your best match!
1) Adidas Adizero Boston Boost
Adidas Adizero Boston shoes are designed for running under 9 seconds in the 100-meter dash with their lightweight, breathable mesh upper that provides comfort weighing only 7 ounces.
Their TPU plate is engineered to provide stability through quick transitions, but it does lack some rigidity and support compared to other brands like Nike and Brooks.
These shoes also contain a dual-density midsole that helps to reduce ground force impacts and decrease the shock felt when traveling over the track surface – ideal for middle distance runners during training sessions.
2) Asics Gel Speed 6
Asics Gel Speed 6 shoes are designed to be light and fast with a lower drop of 4mm, ideal for shorter track races. The gel cushioning system in the midsole provides great shock absorption and rebound and helps protect feet from high-impact landings.
These shoes provide an excellent fit thanks to the lacing structure that allows runners to customize their desired comfort level by ensuring a secure, snug fit around the toes and arch.
Some runners have noted that the toe box is quite wide in this model, however, making this shoeless suitable for people who need closer fitting athletic footwear.
3) Brooks Pureflow 2
Brooks Pure Flow 2 running shoes are designed for distance runners who need more cushioning due to their weight and lower impact on their joints.
This shoe has a 4mm drop with Brooks’ plush BioMoGo DNA midsole that gives great rebound and responsiveness – the more you wear these shoes, the better they become.
These shoes contain special pods in the heel and forefoot areas to give even greater comfort and durability on the track surface. Runners love how light these shoes are and find them extremely comfortable – perfect for longer track events like 5k or 10k races!
4) Nike Lunar Control Vapor 2
Nike Lunar Control Vapor running shoes are made out of lightweight material with large mesh areas for optimal breathability. The outsole is made of rubber with small cuts in the heel and forefoot areas to provide additional traction when accelerating, making them ideal for long jumpers who need to push off quickly during their event.
These shoes are also very lightweight at 6 ounces per shoe, which makes them great for shorter distance track running events too. These are largely popular for golfing, but they offer great comfort for track running as well.
5) Asics GEL-Nimbus 19
Asics Gel Nimbus 19 shoes are designed to handle high mileage while providing excellent cushioning along with durability. This model uses an extra-thick layer of cushioning on both the medial and lateral sides to control foot movement for runners with high arches.
This shoe does have a larger heel-to-toe drop at 12mm, which may be more suitable for long-distance track events like 10k races rather than shorter sprints. Runners love how durable these shoes are and many say that they run even better after being broken in.
6) New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Solas
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Solas running shoes are designed for runners who need more stability and support in their footwear, like heel strikers. The outsole of this shoe provides plenty of traction while the midsole uses a unique rebound foam that is firmer than similar designs from other brands.
These shoes also contain an engineered mesh on top of the toe box to provide extra ventilation when you run – perfect for warm summer track events.
How To Pick The Right Track Shoes?
If you’re a new track runner or looking to improve your performance, one of the worst mistakes you can make is assuming that all running shoes are the same. The right kind of shoe for you will depend on what event you’re competing in and what type of athlete you are.
Before purchasing any running shoes, it’s essential to do your research about what types there are and how they work best.
Here are some tips to help you find the perfect pair:
- The main purpose of a track shoe is to provide a secure grip while maximizing speed. While many people assume that a track shoe will be designed for sprinting, most will do better with a longer distance event like 5k or 10k races because they have a lower heel-to-toe drop and a more flexible sole.
- Check out your local track to see what kind of surface it is made out of. Outdoor tracks are typically more durable, while indoor tracks tend to be harder surfaces. If you’re training indoors, opt for a pair that will last longer on hard surfaces with built-in cushioning like the Fresh Foam Zante Solas from New Balance or the Brooks Pureflow.
- Make sure you have some time after buying your new shoes before competing in them! A lot of runners throw away a perfectly good pair just because they don’t feel great right away – this isn’t necessary. Most running shoes require a breaking-in period before feeling amazing – so if you feel tight or uncomfortable after a run, try again the next day.
- If you’re unsure about which track shoes to buy, go for a running shoe from an established brand like Nike, Brooks, Asics, New Balance, etc. Most companies design their track shoes using similar technologies to other models in their line so if you love the way one pair feels it’s likely that another will as well!