How to Remove Track Spikes

Track spikes have been used for decades to make the feet of competing athletes lighter while providing adequate traction. The spikes project from the sole and grip the running surface as you run. It is important to give your shoes routine maintenance, including evaluating and replacing spikes as they wear down.

A runner is wearing track spikes. (Image: Stephen Mcsweeny/Hemera/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wipe off any dirt that has collected around the spike. You can chip it off with a fingernail or you can use a wet rag to loosen the dirt.

Step 2

Place the spike key over the top of the spike, ensuring that you secure it around the base. Hold the shoe firmly and slowly turn the key to the left to loosen and remove the spike. One you get the spike turning, it should come out easily.

Step 3

Tighten a wrench or pair of pliers around the circular base of the spike if the spike itself is too worn down to be gripped by the spike key. This can happen if your spikes are worn too long or used on cement surfaces. When this happens, the circular base where the spike is fixed on to the screw apparatus is your best option for gripping and turning the key.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag or cloth

  • Spike key

  • Pliers or wrench


If you are unable to remove the spikes on your own, take them to a running shoe specialty shop -- the experts there are familiar with spike removal problems and can help you trade out your old spikes for new ones.

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