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To successfully jump the highest jump that you can in the high jump, you need to have footwear that will allow you to control your speed and friction during your high jump approach.
In theory, it is possible to jump without spikes and to jump either barefoot or with normal running spikes. However, athletes will be able to jump higher by using a high jump shoe on their take-off foot.
There are a few important things that an athlete must consider before investing in high jump spikes.
- The shoe must be comfortable to run and jump in.
- The shoe must not affect the stride pattern of the high jumper.
- The shoe must allow the athlete to run on their toes and accelerate correctly.
- The shoe must be designed in a way that will minimise the chances of slipping on the runway.
- The shoe must be designed in a way that will allow the high jumper to easily transfer the horizontal force into a vertical force, so the athlete can jump higher.
What are the best high jump spikes for high jumpers?
Asics has been consistent with providing reliable high jump shoes over the years. The design is simple, but it does exactly what the athlete requires. No fancy designs over the shoelace that will make the shoe get loose. And it is known for providing a good level of comfort for athletes.
The undersole high jump spike design is a traditional one as well with 4 spikes in the back. This is the ideal design for minimising the high jumper’s chances of slipping.
The price for this shoe is good for beginner high jumpers as well.
Prices start from $79.
These high jump spikes have a pretty interesting design whereby the look appealing, but they have more flexibility along the bottom so it feels more like a running shoe. For high jumpers that need that extra level of comfort, this is probably the high jump shoe that they need to consider.
These high jump spikes are used by many of the world’s top high jumpers. However, the athlete should try running in them and break them in before competing.
Prices start from $83.
These are good entry-level high jump spikes for beginners. Like the Asics, they have a simplistic design apart from the cover that goes over the shoelaces. The design isn’t as rigid as some of the other high jump spikes, so it should give the athlete more comfort when running.
These shoes are likely to be the cheapest of all the high jump shoes. However, don’t expect the quality to be as high as the other high jump shoes. You will get what you pay for.
Prices start from $57
These were the high jump spikes that I personally used and had success with. Although, I originally started using the older model which had more flexibility in the mid-range. These versions are very rigid along the bottom.
The shoelace design is clever, as it goes all the way up to the ankle flexion, meaning that the high jump shoe can provide a ‘naked’ style fit.
In my opinion, the shoes force the athlete to run more upright due to the design. These shoes do require more getting used to. So you will need to train in the shoes to see how they affect your stride pattern.
These high jump shoes do have very good ankle support and they are durable. It’s likely that you will invest in a pair and you will keep them for a few years. I used my original ones for 6 years.
Prices start from $139
What are some things that should be considered when investing in high jump shoes?
The athlete will need to break-in the shoes.
High jump shoes aren’t the same as a traditional running spike. They can be more difficult to run in due to the rigid design. For example, the Nike high jump shoes with the fibreglass bottoms can be uncomfortable for athletes that have flat or medium-sized arches in their foot. This will affect the stride pattern of the athlete, which will affect the high jump run-up and the athlete’s jumping performance.
The athlete will need to practice running in the shoes until they feel comfortable in the shoes. So if they are new to using high jump spikes, it would be good for them to practice run-through accelerations and sprints in the shoes, as well as high jump run-up run-throughs with their high jump spikes.
The athlete may have to wear one shoe on their take-off foot.
The athlete will need to see what is the best combination for their high jump stride pattern. They will need to work with the high jump coach to see if their high jump stride pattern and acceleration and comfort is improved by wearing one or two high jump shoes.
In my experience, I jumped better using one high jump shoe on my take-off foot. This allowed me mentally to focus on accelerating properly and maintaining a good stride pattern, rhythm and take-off when doing the high jump.
Ideally, the athlete will be able to do this using two high jump shoes. However, it is best to get feedback from the athlete and understand the level comfort that they have with the high jump spikes, and how that impacts their overall high jump performance.
Additional resource: Can you wear 2 different shoes when doing high jump?
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