For short distances at speed, sprinting spikes are best for 100 metre to, maximum, 400 metre sprints on a track or field. The lightest running shoe on the market they are designed to put the runner on their toes, leaving them with little to no cushioning at the heels and usually quite stiff.
The spike plate at the front will have the maximum number of pins to take more force and provide as much grip as possible.
Best suited for events from 1500 metres to 10,000 metres these running spikes provide the best cushioning while still maintaining good purchase on muddy or dry terrain.
Designed to take on more force over a longer period of time they're made from more durable, but heavier, materials. Sometimes middle and long distance spikes are grouped together.
Still fairly lightweight middle distance running spikes will have more padding at the heel for greater cushioning over an 800 to 1500 metre distance.
They're less rigid than sprinting spikes and the spike plate is not as far forward on the toe allowing for a more moderate speed.
More like a trail running shoe, these running spikes have a more durable upper as well as outer sole for better grip and a flexible spike plate to ensure traction on unstable ground.