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What Are Good Cross Country Shoes

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Running Jackets & Trousers


Judging by recent weather, a wind/rain running jacket is pretty much essential for anyone doing sports outside! Even if the weather is going to be dry, a windproof jacket like the Ronhill Everyday jackets are great to keep you warm whilst waiting for your race, plus it will fold up nice and small in your kit bag. There are also more expensive fully waterproof options like the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Jackets, or the best value waterproof in the Mizuno 20K jacket. If you do a lot of nighttime running and would like drivers to see you out on the road then check out Ronhills new Afterlight jacket. It’s got a super reflective print and also comes in a non bright fluoro colour so you can wear it a lot easier in the day time! To keep the wind and rain off your legs when youre not racing theres the fully waterproof options from Salomon and Montane. For price the Ronhill Everyday Training pant is a great wind pant! It wont keep you dry in a downpour but as a layer over your tights it works well and also has leg zips to make it easier to get on and off in shoes/spikes.

Do I Need Mountain Bike Shoes

The simple truth is that for casual riding with flat pedals, you dont necessarily need to purchase biking-specific shoes. Many people start out with a pair of cross trainers, skate shoes, or running footwear, and those will do the trick for a while. But as you progress, the benefits of one of the options above become clear. Mountain bike shoes offer far better power transfer, foot protection , andmost importantly for flat pedal usegrip. And if youll be jumping on a bike with clipless pedals, then youll need a compatible shoe right off the bat.

How To Pick The Best Cross

When it comes down to it, there is no universal style. This makes a lot of sense considering everyone is different in terms of foot shape and footfall whilst running, etc.

People are always worried about whether to go light or how much of a spike depth they should choose for their shoes, so below is some advice on how to choose the best fit for you!

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Benefits Of Cross Country Shoes

  • Youll run faster. Unlike track spikes, cross country spikes offer support for the heel. They also enhance running speed ability through technology that allows for breathability and comfort.
  • Theyre lightweight. When youre in the middle of the race, the last thing you want is for your shoes to slow you down. On average, cross country spikes weigh less than 5 oz each.
  • You wont be afraid of slipping. With three-eighth inch spikes, your cross country shoes will give you enough traction to have a stable footing on any course. Without cross country spikes, you will have nothing to dig into the ground.
  • Pro tip: if you have wet spikes, dont throw them into the washer. Instead, crumple up old newspapers and stuff them inside your shoes. Leave it overnight to soak up the water.
  • They last for several seasons. With proper care, cross country shoes can last for multiple seasons. After every race, its important to make sure to clean your spikes. Its also important to not tighten your spikes too tightly.
  • They are versatile. If you do use them on the track, you need to make sure youre using the right spikes. Using the wrong spike length on the track is cause for disqualification and not effective on courses. However, if youre looking for advice on finding the right track spikes for your other events, check out our blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Track Spikes for Every Single Event.
  • Replacement Spikes & Spanner

    Best Cross Country Shoes Reviewed &  Compared in 2018

    If you are not sure how muddy the course is going to be or if you are using your spikes for track training in the week you will need a spare set of loose spikes and a spanner to effect a quick change. Spikes and a spanner are always provided with the shoes, but the spikes may not be long enough for all race conditions. Generally you’ll want 9mm for firm/dry ground, 12mm for your average British weather conditions, and 15mm for mud-bath conditions. After a muddy race, do try and get the worst of the mud off your spikes as soon as you can, they will last longer that way. Giving the spikes a little loosen with a turn or two of your spike wrench will also help prevent mud drying in the spike threads, rusting, and making it harder to change the spikes. Always pay attention when screwing in the spikes cross thread them and they’re ruined!

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    Best Cross Country Shoes Overall

    The Corescore is a score from 0-100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. Below shows the distribution of scores for all track & field shoes.

    This shoe has a 5% penalty on its user ratings because it has fewer than 50 ratings. It also has a 5% penalty on its expert reviews because it has fewer than 5 reviews. This is to avoid that shoes with few ratings unjustly receives high scores.

    Minimalist Barefoot And Zero

    In the last ten years, runners have increasingly embraced the idea of minimal or barefoot running shoes, lightweight shoes that offer a very small level of arch and heel support. Stripping away support theoretically facilitates the natural stride of the foot. Touted as a natural and healthy way to run, the category has taken off and now most major brands offer at least one barefoot/minimal model. We have a full article about these types of shoes, with our favorite picks, if this is something youre interested in.

    Minimalist Running Shoes

    Minimalist running shoes interfere minimally with the running stride and typically offer lightweight construction, but some still include a small level of arch or heel support. Most cross country runners will prefer something with a little more support, although an ultra-lightweight cross country spike like the Asics Mens Hyper XC could be considered a minimalist shoe.

    Barefoot Running Shoes

    Barefoot running shoes are only meant to protect the foot from road debris and other road hazards, and are therefore designed to interfere minimally with the natural running gait. For those with a neutral gait, they can be quite effective, but for those that need support, they can cause undue injury.

    Zero-Drop Running Shoes

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    Best Cross Country Shoe For Beginners

    You would be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Nike Zoom Rival XC. With a protective midsole, structured upper, and grippy traction, this spike helps runners transition into their first pair of racing shoes, and gives them the confidence needed when toeing the line for the first time.

    The Rival XC also comes in the Rival Waffle, a spikeless option for those athletes who race on asphalt or cannot use spikes on certain courses. Ultimately, between its great price and trustworthy fit, the Nike Rival XC and Nike Rival Waffle are fantastic, versatile options for runners of any level.

    Perfect Ride: Super Snappy And Stable

    Top 5 Best Cross Country Shoes Review in 2022

    Nike Zoom Victory XC 5 offers a really snappy, stable and responsive ride. Heres why:

    • a full-length Cushlon foam in the midsole,
    • just the right amount of foam to protect the legs and provide comfort
    • a horseshoe-shaped carbon fiber plate in the foam of the forefoot.

    How does this midsole feel during the race?

    • it provides extra responsiveness and snappiness in the toe-off,
    • it provides stability and support on uneven surfaces
    • a carbon plate helps with extra snappiness in the last sprint of the race and with extra stability, especially on tougher courses where there are rough patches of holes, loose ground, wet ground, uneven ground, etc.

    Overall I was super pleased with the midsole.

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    How To Choose Cross Country Spikes

    Some athletes run 800m races in long-distance spikes, and some run 5k in middle-distance spikes. The key is to choose what works for you and what you feel most comfortable with. It is recommended not to run a long-distance race in sprint spikes.

    Types of Track Spikes

    Different track spikes are built for various running distances. There are different types of track spikes made for jumping and throwing events.

    Sprinting Spikes: This type of spike has a stiff spike sheet that runs from toes where it is the stiffest to heel. They are designed for 100 and 200 meters as 400 meters. Sprinting spike keeps runners on their toes and offers the maximum amount of traction down the track.

    Mid Distance Spike: This mid-distance spike is the most versatile of all the types of track spikes. They have stiff and aggressive spike plates and offer good flexibility to run both long and short distances. These spikes have 6-8 spike holes and provide enough stiffness to keep you on your toes. The mid-distance spike has a soft upper that keeps the foot in place. Apart from this, these spikes are suitable for 800, 1500, 1600, and mile distances.

    Long Distance Spikes: The long-distance spike has more cushioning on the heel, and the shoes sole is flexible. It allows the foot to move in a natural way. These spikes offer good support to prevent injury when racing. Further, provide comfort so that the runner can run up 25 laps without any feet related distractions.


    Pin Placement

    Pin Length

    How To Make Cross Country Shoes Last Longer

    There are lot of things you can do to make shoes last longer, and thats something you should be looking to do with your pair of cross country shoes, too. Heres a look at some tips and tricks to help you get the most life out of those shoes that you possibly can.

  • Never wear your shoes for other activities or leisure. The temptation is going to be there, and you may feel its easier to just wear your shoes to school and then to practice, but you really shouldnt. Every step you take, whether its running or walking, is putting additional mileage on the shoes. That means the support wanes gradually and that the traction is going to lessen. Thats just the way it is, so take care of them and use them sparingly.
  • Have a pair for races and a pair for practices. We know that budgets are not never-ending, but this is a good idea if you want both pairs to last as long as they can. What many people end up doing is using their new ones as their practice ones the next season. This way, you get full use out of them.
  • Take your shoes on and off properly after each use. This means you should tie them and then put them on or untie them and take them off. This will save the support over time and can really add up in some extra action for those shoes.
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    Faqs For Cross Country Skis

    Q: Whats the difference between shorter and longer skis?

    A: For beginners short cross country skis can be a bit easier to manage. Even short skis in this category are quite long though, dont be fooled. Theyre nothing like other types of skis you might be used to like alpine.

    Long skis are a little more efficient at speed and can help you keep up the momentum once you get going. However, if you fall or get yourself all tangled up youll be working extra hard to manage those long skis as a beginner.

    Mostly ski length will be determined by your height and weight. The taller and heavier you are, the longer ski youll need. Once you determine this baseline number you can adjust longer if you want.

    I dont recommend going shorter than the manufacturers guidelines though as it can negatively impact performance.

    Q: What is skate skiing or cross country skating?

    A: Skate skiing is a totally different version of cross country skiing. Nordic skiing, as its usually called, is the classic straight track shuffle style cross country skiing youre used to.

    Skate skiing, on the other hand, is a herringbone pattern of push and glide much like skating on ice skates, alpine skis, or roller blades.

    Skate skiing is only possible on groomed runs or tracks that are packed down and made wide enough for skating. You cant really break your own trail with skate technique it just wont work.

    Q: What is a waxless ski?

    Q: What are the types of cross country ski bindings?

    A Note For Xc Runners In California

    The Best Cross Country Running Shoes

    Cross Country Waffle Racing Flats are racing shoes that do not have replaceable spikes and instead have a full rubber bottom. The California Interscholastic Federation bans the use of cross country spikes in California high school competition. If you compete in California High School cross country, only consider Cross Country Flats.

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    Winter Mountain Bike Shoes

    Feet and toes are ruthlessly exposed to the elements while riding and very liable to numb out in the colder months, but this is where a winter-specific shoe can be a big help. Look for shoes with a waterproof liner to keep your feet dry and warm , a sealed cleat bed to keep water out while splashing through puddles , and a glove-friendly or simple closure system. Five Ten’s Trailcross GTX, with a high neoprene cuff and Gore-Tex liner, does a great job of incorporating all these features into a streamlined and relatively lightweight package. While such a shoe is not recommended for year-round use, it can be a solid investment for dedicated cyclists. And take note: if your winter months are especially brutal, it can be a good idea to size up a half to full size to make room for thick socks.

    Color Style And Fashion

    Everyone wants to look cool. It makes you feel better, and honestly it does boost your confidence and can lead to better performance. Not that its going to turn you into a world champion, by any means, but it can help. No one should be stuck with something they absolutely hate. But with that said, you need to also make sure that the shoes you get are functional. It will do you no good at all to have a pair of great looking shoes that just dont hold up well, support you, or help you go faster or longer. So, dont start by looking at what looks cool. Instead, begin by looking for the features you look for in a pair of shoes. If you dont know which has them, then look through reviews and guides, such as this one, or go to a store and ask an expert. After you have nailed down specific shoes for your running pattern and ones that fit the profile youre looking for, you can then look for a color and style you like. Dont put the cart before the horse, the old saying goes!

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    Saucony Kilkenny Xc7 Spike

    Requires Breaking In

    No Wide Sizes Available

    This entry level spike is perfect for high school runners who want a good amount of cushioning combined with a durable outsole and a comfortable upper. With a price point thats budget-friendly, especially if you manage to get it on sale, and a few stylish color options that will appeal to a lot of people, this model is definitely a good choice if youre after great quality and a good fit.

    The upper of the Kilkenny XC7 is very breathable and lightweight, wrapping the foot without putting too much pressure on any part of it. The mesh allows fresh air in and moisture out, and the printed overlays eliminate bulk and weight, but still provide excellent support over the entire foot. A classic lace closure and lightly padded collar maximize the in-shoe experience.

    The midsole of the Kilkenny is the best thing about the shoe, being made with EVA foam that wraps around the arch and heel, ensuring ample cushioning. The Pebax spike plate is embedded in the midsole, making this a slightly stiffer shoe than other models by Saucony, its still a highly comfortable performer. The carbon rubber used in the outsole ensures not just sticky traction but also great durability, making this a great choice in more than one way.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Spikes For Cross Country

    Cross Country Flats For High School Runners

    Are cross country spikes the same as track spikes?

    There are several differences between cross country spikes and track spikes. However, the main difference is that XC spikes are much more lightweight and will likely come with longer spike sizes. Some long-distance track spikes, like the Matumbo 3s or the New Balance XC v5, can be used in XC races.

    Why should I get cross country spikes?

    It depends. Do you want to have a fundamental difference in your race that makes it both easier and safer to run? Do you want to improve exponentially this season? If you answered yes to both of these questions, it would be a great investment to get one.

    Where can I buy cross country shoes?

    We highly recommend purchasing from our list above. These spikes will keep you grounded and help elevate your game to a whole new level. Overall, wed recommend our first choice: the Saucony Kilkenny XC. However, if youd like to buy them locally, you can go to a local running store near you.

    How can I train better for my next cross country season?How are cross country shoes supposed to fit?6. Why should I get cross country spikes?Can I wear cross country spikes without socks?

    We would certainly recommend that you use cross country spikes with socks. Please. Your team will certainly hate you if you got sweaty feet and carry your shoes everywhere. Itll also cause blisters. So please, use socks.

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