Racing flat reccomendations?

#1
Over this past summer I got injured and have been slowly returning to running. The last couple weeks of the season I have the opportunity to race in some XC 5ks for my school and need a pair of racing shoes to run in. The thing is I'm not too keen on buying traditional spikes because they don't have much cushioning at all. Last year I wore Victory 3s for track and cross and loved them. I'm thinking about getting either the Nike LT 4 or the Steak 7, just because I'm used to racing in Nike shoes. How aggressive are these compared to the vics? I've also seen picture of the LT 4 with a spike plate on them. I do think the actual spikes would be beneficial, put I don't think it would be that hard to slap a matumbo plate on a pair of flats. Anyone got any advice?
 
#2
The nike flats you listed are probably great options for cushioned shoes, along with the Adidas Adios. These are good options for road and dirt. If you are racing true XC on grass and mud the traction will not be good. It sounds like you raced XC in track spikes last year. XC spikes are generally more cushioned, you might want to check some out.
 
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#3
If you want something basic, just buy some Saucony Kilkennys. Great shoes for the price. You could probably wear the Kilkennys for 3 seasons before that finally wear out. I once put over 1500 miles on a pair and they still ran great. The Havok XC3 is a little more aggressive.
 
#4
The LT4 is a good option for hard dirt trails and pavement. If you are dealing with grass taller than golf fairways or mud, you may want to look at some light trail shoes to get better traction. Something like the Hoka Evo Jawz or Altra Vanish XC may be worth considering.
 

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#5
I'd agree with the above, Streak will offer a little more protection and isn't nearly as aggressive as the victory. It's actually one of the most common shoes used in so cal XC because our courses aren't very technical so you don't necesarily need large lugs. If you plan on running on some courses that will require traction, a shoe like the killkenny or even a lightweight trail offering could be great to make sure you're not slipping around.

Overall, I think what ever you pick will be better than the victory 3. You will see elite athletes wear track spikes on well groomed xc courses but there are far superior options, especially for someone who's been dealing with injuries.

Connor
RW Staff
 
#6
I have seriously enjoyed the victory waffle 5. I wore that last year and I just bought another pair for this season. It’s cushion is just as much as you’d need for any grass course and still enough for some hard packed terrain. The waffle lugs are deep enough to really not need the spike version for anything other than mud, but they aren’t so aggressive that it becomes uncomfortable for hard ground. I live in Arizona, so I know all about hard ground XC courses. You’d be hard pressed to find a shoe lighter and better than the Vic Waffle 5 for all around XC running. Those streaks though come pretty close.
 
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