After many trials and test runs, I found the best track shoe without spikes to be the Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe because of its Flexible Bounce midsole, elite responsiveness, and above-average stability.
As an avid runner, I have been through my fair share of running spikes over the years. And while these spikes have been at the heart of many memorable moments, they have been just a small part of my running journey. It has been the off-track trainers that have been with me all the way, so I decided to jump into an exhaustive review of the best running shoes without spikes.
My research led me to the Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe as the best track shoes without spikes. This shoe is lightweight and responsive, has an extremely comfortable Flexible Bounce midsole–and even comes with the option to add spikes if you ever need to get serious on the track!
While the Adizero XC is my top overall choice, it may not be everybody’s personal preference. Therefore, I reviewed a number of other shoes that perform well along with a variety of factors, such as cushioning, width, and durability.
Keep reading to find out all of the key features of the best track shoes without spikes!
Top 6 Track Shoes Without Spikes
- Best Overall – Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe
- Best Training Shoe – Nike Air Zoom Winflo
- Most Durable – Asics Hyper LD 5 Track & Field Shoe
- Best Lightweight Training Shoe – New Balance 1400 V6
- Best for Runners With Wide Feet – Reebok Adult Nano X1 Cross Trainer Shoe
- Most Versatile – Adidas Adizero Boston 8
The Best Track Shoes Without Spikes Reviewed
The best track shoes without spikes were reviewed based on their unique strengths.
Best Overall – Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe
The best overall track shoe without spikes is the Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe.
It is a high-performing shoe for all types of runners. Although it is a favorite among cross country runners, the shoe comes with optional spikes, making it a truly multi-purpose solution.
Despite being lightweight and responsive, this shoe does have solid support, with a reinforced mesh upper to give runners a sense of stability.
With Flexible Bounce midsole cushioning, this product is able to provide a reasonable amount of comfort without contributing to unnecessary bulk.
- Extremely fast and highly responsive shoe
- Can help runners hold their own in competitive situations or simply be a premier training shoe
- Can add spikes if so desired
- Some consider this more of a cross country than on-track shoe
- Some runners note durability is not as great as some similar products
Best Training Shoe – Nike Air Zoom Winflo
If you are prone to overtraining injuries, the Nike Air Zoom Winflo should be at the top of your list.
The robust rubber outsole protects the foot from abuse from all different types of surfaces.
There is also ample foam and rubber on the insole that provides extra cushioning and support to the runner.
As an added bonus, this shoe is stylishly designed to give it appeal as an off-track option as well.
- Premier cushioning and comfort make it ideal for avoiding training injuries
- Outstanding arch support
- One of the top options for runners with overpronation issues
- Not ideal for people with wide feet
- Strictly a training shoe and far from ideal in highly competitive situations
Most Durable – Asics Hyper LD 5 Track & Field Shoe
If you are a competitive track runner who wants a durable pair of track shoes to make it through a long season unphased, the Asics Hyper LD 5 is up to the test.
Built with the option for adding spikes in competitive situations, the Hyper LD 5 has a well-stitched upper that is glued to the midsole for extra tough bonding, allowing the shoe to maintain its structural integrity in the face of heavy use.
Despite being lightweight, this shoe still provides a solid amount of cushioning to absorb shock and provide comfort to the runner.
- Extremely flexible and lightweight
- Can be used with or without spikes
- Elite traction even without spikes
- Full length EVA midsole helps disperse weight, provide stability, and contribute to the shoe’s long-lasting performance
- Largely unappealing color scheme
- Some users note that these shoes run a bit larger than they would like
Best Lightweight Training Shoe – New Balance 1400 V6
While the Air Zoom Winflo gets our top mark for the best training shoe, if you are in the market for a more lightweight option for some high-performance training sessions, the New Balance 1400 V6 fits the bill.
Extremely lightweight and versatile, this shoe is designed specifically for daily, high-intensity training sessions on a wide variety of surfaces.
The blown rubber outsole makes it soft, light, and durable while providing maximum traction for sprinting on all kinds of tracks and trails.
Finally, the upper is fabricated from engineered mesh, providing optimal breathability to keep the foot cool and dry during intense sessions.
- Can be worn with or without socks
- Snug fit
- Good for people with high arches
- Not as much cushioning as some runners would like
- Some runners note that these shoes wear out a bit faster than similar shoes
Best for Runners With Wide Feet – Reebok Adult Nano X1 Cross Trainer Shoe
Finding the ideal running shoe can be difficult for people with wide feet.
The Reebok Adult Nano X1 with its extra-wide toe box makes for a great solution.
With an open weave mesh upper and breathable mesh lining, the Nano X1 offers excellent comfort and ventilation for high-intensity workouts.
These lightweight shoes are durable and comfortable enough to be used for a wide variety of running purposes.
- Wide toe box makes a more comfortable fit for people with wide feet
- Lightweight and breathable
- Excellent traction
- EVA midsole
- Iconic look
- Has a high heel that causes too much friction for some people’s taste
- Some runners are not impressed with the durability
Most Versatile – Adidas Adizero Boston 8
For runners looking for a great shoe for both sprint workouts and cross country training, the Adidas Adizero Boston 8 provides the necessary versatility.
Equipped with Adidas BOOST technology, this shoe absorbs a great deal of shock and transfers energy back to your feet.
The upper of this shoe is designed with a stretchable multilayered mesh, allowing it to provide a snug fit that conforms to the dimensions of your foot.
- Lightweight and breathable
- Outstanding cushioning
- Premier return on energy
- Not the best for people with wide feet
- Wears down quicker than some similar shoes
Buying Guide for Track Shoes Without Spikes
While there are countless considerations when shopping for track shoes without spikes, the following are a few of the factors that serious runners look for.
Track shoes without spikes will need to have some special features not included in regular jogging shoes or casual sneakers. Some of the most critical to look for include:
- Overpronation support – this will prevent the foot from rolling inward during foot strikes and help prevent sprains
- Arch support – it is essential that you know your foot type. If you have high arches, you will need a greater amount of support. If your foot is wider, high arches will make for an uncomfortable fit
- Blown rubber outsoles – this is the best type of outsole for providing traction, durability, and responsiveness
When choosing track shoes without spikes, lightweight tends to be better. Part of the appeal of sprinting spikes is that they are ultra-lightweight, providing the optimal competitive advantage during races. Therefore, you ideally want your training shoes to mimic this.
The one exception may be if you prefer a more heavily cushioned shoe for training to prevent overuse injuries. In this case, a bulkier shoe like the Nike Air Zoom Winflo would be a strong choice.
Cushioning and Comfort
If you are a high-frequency runner, you will need more cushioning to absorb the shock from frequent foot strikes.
As such, long-distance runners typically prefer more cushioning, or greater “stack height.” Sprinters and short-distance runners will likely prefer a sleeker, less cushioned shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some common questions novice runners have regarding spiked or non-spiked running shoes.
Can You Run On a Track Without Spikes?
Yes, you can run on a track without spikes.
Spikes are preferred by competitive sprinters because they increase traction and maximize propulsion. However, the benefit of spikes is much more negligible when running over long distances.
Furthermore, even the most elite sprinters and competitive runners won’t use spikes during training, making shoes without spikes the most common type among all runners.
Do You Always Need to Wear Spikes When Running Competitively?
No, you do not always need spikes when running competitively.
As mentioned, the competitive benefits of spikes are not profound for the longer distance races, making shoes with more cushioning the preferred choice.
In addition, it is perfectly fine to sprint in track shoes without spikes for many competitive purposes. For example, if you are a first-time high school runner, you should not feel obligated to purchase a pair of spikes to sprint in. Your shoes without spikes will do just fine.
Are There Times When Running Without Spikes Is Better?
Yes, there are many scenarios in which running without spikes is a better option.
During times of heavy training, it is a good idea to run in shoes that have more cushioning to prevent overuse injuries.
Furthermore, spikes are usually only beneficial on asphalt or rubber tracks. They will have little utility on soft, hard, or varied cross country surfaces, making shoes without spikes the better choice.
In Summary – Best Track Shoes Without Spikes
After exhaustive research, I have found that the best overall track shoe without spikes is the Adidas Adizero XC Sprint Running Shoe. It is extremely lightweight, responsive, and designed with a comfortable Flexible Bounce midsole.
If these aren’t the most important features for you, there are some other outstanding shoes in the review above that are sure to suit your running needs.
Read the analysis, choose your ideal pair of shoes, and hit the track today. After all, every running journey starts with that first step!