January 29, 2010, Newsletter Issue #119: Track Spike Materials and Performance

Tip of the Week

Track spikes are made primarily from one of three materials: steel, aluminum or ceramic.

Steel spikes have a cost advantage, while aluminum and ceramic are lighter. Ceramic, though less durable than steel, doesn't corrode, which can make spike removal and replacement easier.

The major manufacturer of ceramic spikes, Omni-Lite, is now the supplier of choice for several of the largest track shoe companies.

For the vast majority of runners, the material used in the manufacture of their spikes will have little measurable effect on performance.

More importat than the material is having the appropriate spike type and length for the running surface, and being sure that the spikes are clean and undamaged.

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