ANSWERS: 1
  • Track spikes are worn by runners to gain better traction over running surfaces. Understanding how track spikes work and which ones to wear for various conditions can help track and field athletes get their times down.

    Significance

    Track spikes allow runners to have the proper footwear when running on indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as over cross-country courses.

    History

    The first spiked running shoes were invented in the mid-1800s, with six spikes placed into the sole of the shoe and have been perfected and diversified throughout the years since then, with a leather strip around the top not added until 1907.

    Function

    Track spikes allow a runner to gain as much traction as possible, which prevents wasted motion and energy, thus lowering racing times.

    Size

    Racing spikes come in various sizes, from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch or larger, with the smaller spikes working better on hard terrain and all-weather tracks and the larger ones working best over sloppy, soft terrain or gravel tracks.

    Types

    Rubber spikes are permanently placed in the shoe and don't grip the ground as aggressively, but are softer and therefore easier on the foot. Metal or ceramic spikes can be removed and can be either in a pin or pyramid shape.

    Source:

    Runner's World: Spike It

    Run The Planet: The History of the Athletic Shoe

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