What Shoes Are Good For Sprinting? Sprinting Shoes For Track

Posted by Cody Bidlow on

If you're going to be sprinting fast, you need the right shoes. In my experience as a sprinter & track coach, I have found that these shoes are good for sprinting!

What Shoes Are Good For Sprinting?

To run your fastest, you need the right shoes.

Typically, sprinters will use running shoes for their warm ups, slower running workouts, as well as in the gym or during plyometric training. Most sprinters will go through a pair of running shoes once per season.

When competing, sprinters wear sprint spikes, as these provide grip, stability, great energy return, and weigh very little. Spikes are great for sprinting performance, but you need different footwear for different types of workouts. 

Because running shoes are used in much of the sprinters training, as well as the fact that not everybody has access to synthetic tracks, it is important that you buy good shoes if you plan to sprint in them.

What Makes A Good Shoe For Sprinting?

For sprinting, you want to look for running shoes that offer a snug fit, good stability, high energy return, and that strike a balance between low weight while being durable enough to handle the rigors of sprinting. This article seeks to provide you with shoes that fit our criteria for what makes a good sprinting shoe.

A Good Fit

As with any shoe, good shoes for sprinting need to fit properly. For sprinting, we want something that hugs the feet without squeezing it too hard. If the shoes are too tight, they will put unnecessary pressure on the bones of the foot. If they’re too loose, the foot will move around excessively and lead to squishy ground contacts, premature wear on the shoes, and possibly injury.

Good Stability

Running shoes for sprinters need to offer enough stability that the athlete can be comfortable aggressively attacking the ground. Running shoes that lack support, are too tall, or that have a rounded outsole may give the sprinter a feeling of instability. If the runner fees unstable, their brain will not produce as much force compared to if the brain feels it is safe to attack the ground in each stride.

High Energy Return

Sprinters use sprint spikes in large part because they help conserve energy by allowing the foot to easily bounce off of the ground each step. This allows for speed to be maintained and for short ground contact times to occur. Running shoes with high tech foam or carbon plates can help improve energy return keep you sprinting fast.

Light Yet Durable

Lastly, running shoes for sprinting should be both durable and lightweight. Obviously you wouldn’t want to go sprinting in work boots. With running shoes, we want to find shoes that are stable and durable enough to handle the high forces of sprinting, but lightweight enough to not disrupt sprinting technique. Shoes weighing less than 12 ounces will be comfortable for most people.

Best Running Shoes For Sprinting

Brooks Levitate 5

The Brooks Levitate 5 is personally my favorite running shoe for sprinting. The neutral ride, responsive ground contacts, and stretchy upper material makes this a great shoe for sprinting.

One problem I have had with finding shoes that are good for sprinting is that many of the shoes on the market have a thick heel which disrupts my sprinting technique. With the Brooks Levitate 5, I feel like I can sprint properly, perform plyometrics, and even lift weights, all while feeling stable and planted into the ground.

The DNA Amp midsole helps return energy from the ground so you can sprint fast without leaving any speed on the table. The outer sole material provides good grip in both dry and wet conditions, and these shoes will make sprinting intervals or warming up a breeze.

Another aspect of these shoes that I appreciate is their breathable upper which stretches to fit your foot. This helps keep your feet dry, your shoes smelling fresh, and ensures that your foot will not slide around while sprinting in this shoe.

I would consider ordering a half size larger if you are in-between sizes, as some people complain the toe box is narrow and that the shoe runs slightly small.

Brooks Levitate 5 Reviews:

  • "My new favorite shoe. Fits like a glove."
  • "After trying numerous brands and styles, I found the Levitate 5 to be a very good choice. It has some cushioning which I prefer to very mushy cushioning which is now the latest fad."
  • "Very comfortable and lightweight."

Brooks Levitate 5 Product Details:

  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Carbon Plate: No
  • True To Size: Yes, slightly small for some.
  • Price: $149.95

Hoka Carbon X 3

The Hoka Carbon X 3 is well regarded by road runners and track runner's alike for its responsive, propulsive ride, breathable upper material, and its carbon fiber plate.

The Carbon X 3 is a good shoe for sprinting if you like a very supportive but responsive shoe. This running shoe has ample support and cushioning to protect your body from the impacts of sprinting, while also feeling quick off of the ground and bouncy so you can sprint your fastest.

Hoka One One is known for building some of the best running shoes on the market, and over time they have moved from focusing on trail running to offering shoes which can fit a wider range of athletic needs.

If you are looking for a good shoe for sprinting that offers maximum support while also allowing for fast speeds and good energy return, the Hoka Carbon X 3 is a good option for you.

The main problem with these shoes is that they do not have a great amount of grip, so athletes who are sprinting fast on the turns or sprinting in wet environments might need a different shoe, such as the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 which is discussed later in this post.

Hoka Carbon X 3 reviews:

  • "These are the greatest shoes I have ever wore. No exaggeration."
  • "I didn't think it would make such a change in my running and time but it made me run better and faster."
  • "True to size. Wide toe box. Super comfy sole and upper. Running in them is a smooth, comfy ride. Zero grip, though."

Hoka Carbon X 3 Details:

  • Weight: 9.1 ounces.
  • Carbon Plate: Yes
  • True To Size: Yes
  • Price: $200.00

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 is a great running shoe for sprinting with its carbon fiber plate and fantastic grip. This shoe also helps promote sustainability through the use of recycled materials in the shoe.


The Endorphin Pro 2 is lighter than most running shoes, coming in at only 8 ounces. The round toe box accommodates many different feet, and the synthetic upper provides good support and a well seated foot for fast sprinting.

Athletes who perform fast sprints on the turn or who sprint in wet conditions will appreciate the grip on these running shoes. If you prefer a stable shoe that is lightweight and grips the ground well, the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 is a good shoe for sprinting.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Reviews:

  • "This shoe is a game changer! After many years of running, this shoe has truly been a delight."
  • "These are fast and nimble. They are easy on your feet, I have never had muscle aches or lingering pain from long runs (6-10 miles)."
  • "Best running shoe I've ever worn. Light weight, breathable, great shock absorption. Amazing product."
  • "These shoes really bring it with energy return! Every step feels like you are flying forward. Shoe is extremely lightweight and comfortable."

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Product Details:

  • Weight: 8 Ounces
  • Carbon Plate: Yes
  • True To Size: Yes
  • Price: $199.95

Adidas Ultraboost DNA 

The Adidas Ultraboost DNA is a favorite of track athletes for its aesthetic style and lightweight feel. Athletes who prefer a low profile shoe with a soft feel will find that the Ultraboost DNA is a good shoe for sprinting.

The Adidas Ultraboost DNA has a primeknit upper which stretches to fit your foot, holding it snugly in place while you sprint or go for a run. The Torsion system of the middle of the shoe helps keep your foot planted within the shoe, and the molded heel ensures your Achilles tendon can operate optimally without being impeded by the build of the shoe.

This shoe is slightly heavier than the others on this list, but that extra weight can help improve stability during ground contacts and ensure the shoe is durable enough for high intensity sprinting workouts on the track.

Adidas Ultraboost DNA Reviews:

  • "Very simple and well built shoe, incredibly fast, and breath incredibly well."
  • "The top-range Adidas Ultraboost selections outclass the mid-range choices in quality, comfort, and support. They are worth the extra money."

Adidas Ultraboost DNA Product Details:

  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Carbon Plate: No
  • True To Size: Yes
  • Price: $189.95


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