The track shoes are designed keeping a specific purpose in mind. Every track or field has its own set of conditions that require shoes accordingly. So, you need to realize that there is no universal shoe that can cater to all fields. Generalized shoes can work at amateur level where the skill and body requirements are not that high. However, as you transcend to the professional level, it is important that you get the right gear. Proper footwear can have a great say in how you perform.
The athletes have a huge number of shoes at their disposal with specific shoes for specific tracks. Every distinct activity such pole vaulting, mid-distance, hurdling, sprint, javelin and long jump etc. require specialized spikes. So, every tack shoe is designed with a specific mind set. Some have spikes while others do not have spikes. For those of you who don't know what the spikes are, they are small pointed metal points that are attached to the bottom of the shoes for traction and grip.
Shoes for short distance with and without hurdles:
Sprint shoes are designed so that they can give maximum performances over short distances like 100 - 400 m. These shoes are quite lightweight and have spikes on the frontal half of the shoe which provides the necessary traction and grip.Hurdle spikes on the other hand have to keep the jumps in regard as well. These shoes are more flexible and shock absorbent and cushion the feet from high levels of stress when the shoes come in contact with the firm ground after jumps.
Shoes for mid distance and long distance:
Mid-distance shoes are more long distance oriented. They will serve you well over long distances such as 800 m - 1 km. They have cushions and padding to keep the feet comfortable and have a quite different build than the shoes made for longer distances.When the distance becomes greater like 3,000 m - 10,000 m it is important to go for distance spikes. The designers keep the fatigue in mind and hence compromise spikes for more comfort which keeps the feet functioning throughout the course of the exercise.
Shoes for Pole vault, long jump and triple jump:
Pole vault/long jump/triple jump require that the participant be light on his or her feet while being swift. These two parameters must be considered if the above mentioned activities are your domain.The shoes made for high jumps have very striking features. They have spikes at the heel and toe regions which can only be observed in shoes used for javelin throwing.