For the casual runner, speed is not a prime concern. When a runner becomes serious about the sport, it becomes a serious matter. A number of different factors affect a runner's speed, the main one is the choice in footwear. A serious runner, especially one who is serious about track and field events, usually chooses to wear spikes in order to obtain an optimum speed.
Running spikes, placed near the toe of the shoe, help the runner to increase and maintain speed throughout the course of a run. Many runners consider them necessary for competition and other activities, but as with other athletic equipment, they can be expensive. Finding ways to save money is something that interests just about everyone, and buying high quality previously owned athletic spikes is a great way to do that. In fact, buying used can allow the consumer the ability to buy better quality products than they can afford if only buying new.
What are Athletics Spikes?
Technically, a spike is a pointed protrusion that attaches to the sole of the front part of a running shoe. Over the years, however, the shoes that feature these have come to be known as simply spikes. The spikes themselves are replaceable and screw into sockets strategically placed on the sole of the shoe. While some are more comfortable than others, comfort is not the main priority. These shoes are usually lightweight and designed for speed.
Why Buy Used?
All high-quality athletic shoes, including spikes, are known for being expensive. Everyone is in the market for a bargain, but many people feel a bit uncertain about buying used shoes. They are concerned that the shoes may not be in good shape, or that they may be broken in to fit the original owner's feet and that this can cause difficulties for the new owner. If they are well worn, these may be legitimate concerns. Thankfully, many of the good quality used spikes that people offer for sale have very little actual wear time on them.
Let us face it, if the shoe fits, wear it, but if it does not, no one wears it very long. When it comes to running shoes, many people are very particular about the way their shoes fit. While comfort is not a main priority when it comes to selecting a pair of light running shoes, it is important that they are as comfortable as possible. When they are not, the wearer often quickly switches them out for something more appropriate.
This means that the shoes that many people offer for sale as used have only been worn once or twice; maybe three times, but not much more. In many ways, these used shoes represent brand new shoes as the original owner hardly had time to put any real wear on the shoe. Just because the shoe was not right for one person does not mean it is not the perfect fit for someone else, which is why there are so many different ones on the market.
Used shoes can sell for a small fraction of the cost of new shoes, so by buying used, it is possible to try out different brands and styles. These are often very upscale high price shoes such as Adidas, Nike, or Asics. Buying used gives the novice runner the chance to start out the running career in top brand shoes at budget prices. It also allows a runner the opportunity to own more than one pair; one for every different jogging condition.
The Right Athletic Spikes for the Occasion
Two main types of spikes are available; the short-distance spike, specifically designed for many track sprints and short-distance tournaments, and the long-distance spike, likewise designed for longer track competition and cross-country wear. While both types have spikes on the soles of the front of the shoes, other design details set them apart from one another.
The short-distance spike is built for bursts of speed. Materials used in construction are extremely lightweight. In fact, keeping the weight of the shoe to a minimum is of high importance as this helps the runner to complete the race quickly. The uppers of this type of spike are thin-walled and often mesh. The spike length is also slightly shorter.
The features of a short distance spike have little to do with comfort because they are only worn for such a short while. Long-distance spikes, on the other hand, must keep the runner's feet comfortable for a much greater amount of time, thus the design features focus much more on comfort. While these are still very lightweight compared to other running shoes, much more attention is given to adding cushioning that helps protect the foot from blistering and injury. That includes thicker upper material as well as thicker soles. The spikes are also usually longer than those on a short-distance spike. These features help the runner to obtain and keep a steady pace during a long-distance run.
What to Look for When Buying Used Athletic Spikes
When buying any used shoe, it is important to pay close attention to the sole of the shoe, all three sections of it. A shoe's sole is comprised of the part that rides against the foot, called the insole, the part that comes in contact with the ground, the outer sole, and the midsole, the material that comprises the section between the other two. Insoles can be replaced, so they are often not as important as the other two parts, although, the condition of the insole at the time of purchase can offer some indication of the amount of use already on the shoe. If it is worn, with the lettering of the company's logo illegible, or if it is discoloured, the shoe is more than "lightly used". It has obviously received a fair amount of track time already.
As for the outer sole of the shoe, obviously, as with the inner sole, it should be clean and in good condition with no actual damage to it. The spikes may look brand new or very worn. This is not really an indicator of the overall condition of the shoe because the spikes are usually replaceable, so the shoes may very well be new, regardless of the amount of time the shoe has been worn. The surface conditions where the shoe was previously worn can have a large effect on how worn the spikes are, so even if they appear to be rather well worn, it may not be a good indicator of how much life is left in the shoe. The tread on the outer sole should be in good shape, and the less worn it appears to be, the more "lightly used" the shoes likely are.
The midsole of the shoe absorbs a large amount of the impact of the foot hitting the ground when running, and therefore receives a substantial amount of wear. This wear can cause the midsole to compress over time, especially in the heel area. This is hard to recognise when viewing the shoe, but it shows as a reduction in the thickness of the sole. If such wear is present, it could be an indication that the shoe is past its prime.
The shoe's uppers are often in fine condition if they have been well taken care of. There may be any number of small flaws, which should not affect the shoes use or appearance. Avoid shoes with holes in the material or leather that is overly scuffed.
As far as the fact that the shoes have already been on someone else's sweaty feet, a good quality disinfectant spray usually kills many of the concerns most people have in this regard. If this does not seem to be enough, manufacturers sell a number of products that kill germs and odours.
Buying Used Athletic Spikes on eBay
While there are other creative ways to locate good quality used athletic spikes, the two main ways are either hunting through secondhand stores for them, or turning to auction sites on the internet, such as eBay. As previously mentioned, runners often become dissatisfied with the spikes that they purchase, and would like to sell them quickly. eBay is a great place to do this, and sellers regularly list a number of high quality, lightly used spikes that are in excellent condition, with plenty of life left in them.
You can quickly locate the exact pair you are looking for on eBay by entering keywords into the search field on eBay's main page. For instance, if you are interested in the listings for Nike spikes, then enter "Nike spikes" into the search box. This should return a large number of listings to look through, sometimes too many. You can then narrow the search by selecting available options, such as condition, size, or colour.
Always be sure to check out the listing thoroughly before bidding. Consider the condition of the shoes very carefully. Note the amount of wear that the seller claims they have on them. Examine available pictures and ask for more information if necessary.
For the serious runner, spikes offer a clear advantage. They grip the surface and allow the runner to easily keep pace with the rest of the competition. All athletic shoes represent an expensive investment, but a wise consumer can save a substantial amount of money by choosing to buy used spikes. These generally have very little wear on them, and many are available at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
It is important to know what to expect before searching for a pair a used spikes and to carefully consider the condition of the shoes, their style, and size before purchasing. When buying used spikes, be sure to carefully consider the events the shoe is intended to be worn for, and make sure that the spikes are appropriate for that event. Then, look at the used spikes that are available for sale and carefully examine their condition when choosing from among them. Doing so ensures that the consumer finds the right shoe to fit their foot and their budget.