There are five basic types of replacement spikes:
- Pyramid spikes - used for dirt or grass surfaces as well as muddy cross country. 1/4 inch should be enough for any surface except grass javelin runways.
- Needle - Also called "slim". Needle spikes give traction on all weather tracks. 3/16 is the ideal size, any larger and they tend to stick into the track when you lift your foot.
- Studs - Also called "blanks". They have no spike on them. They are used for indoor tracks, cross country and sometimes asphalt.
- X-mas tree - Also called Compression spikes. These look like a christmas tree and are used for rubber and tartan surfaces. Use in place of longer needle spikes to avoid "sticking".
- Tartan - These look like a dull needle spike. They are meant for rubber tracks only.
Always ask your coach if the meet you are going to has any spike requirements.