Gear West carries racing spikes for a range of events. Cross country spikes are designed to work well on grass and dirt surfaces. Speedy has found spikes can make up to a 10 second per mile improvement in cross country times. They are lighter, give better traction, and that mental edge to allow runners to run their best. Track spikes come in three categories, sprint, mid-distance and distance. Sprint spikes are generally used for 400 meters and shorter. Mid distance spikes are used for 400 to 1600 meters and are popular for field events, due to increased cushioning in the heel but with a stiff sole like a sprint spike. Distance spikes are for 800 meters and longer, and will have the most cushion of all the spikes. The different shoes are made for different foot strikes; sprinters generally run on their toes the entire race while distance runners tend to run with a heel or mid foot strike. Hurdlers often use a sprint spike. Spikes tend to fit a little snugger than training shoes and are often worn with a very thin sock or even no sock at all. For the serious racer, racing shoes or spikes are a must.