Any pair of cross country spikes is likely to take a hammering over the coming months as they are trawled through mud, water and snow. Follow our guide to caring for them and they might last longer:
Always carry some different length spikes with you in case the course conditions are different to those expected. An average track spike is 5-6mm in length but that won’t see you far on the country. Opt for 9mm spikes on a dry, parkland course, 12mm when conditions are wet and slippery and 15mm in muddier races
It’s tempting to screw in spikes as tightly as they will go – don’t bother as they can be difficult to get out once muddy. Aim for a slight turn after they feel tight.
After a muddy race, remove the grass and debris from the bottom of your spikes as soon as you can. Don’t leave them damp and muddy in your bag as you are asking for rusty shoes.
When you get home, rinse your spikes in water and scrub with some gentle detergent. Stuff with newspaper and leave to dry naturally rather than on the radiator or in the airing cupboard which can cause the upper to perish more quickly and distort the shape of the shoe. Ditto the tumble drier.
Remove the spikes after each race if you can as it lessens the chance of spikes getting rusted into the shoe.
As the season goes on, pop some Vaseline on the spike threads to prevent them becoming too stiff and rusty to screw in.