For the runner who has found his or her home in the 800m or 1500m/1600m/Mile (herein referred to as "the mile"), shoe companies have built spikes with both your leg speed and endurance in mind.
How a middle-distance spike can help you
For those running a multi-lap race and making at least two turns (yes, I'm directing this to the half-milers and milers that have a spot on the 4x400m relay) middle-distance spikes will have an appropriate blend of flexibility, torsion (ability to turn and flex), and rigidity. They will be less rigid than sprint spikes, so they should feel less stiff.
Take a look at the middle distance spike plate. Compare it to the plates you see on both sprint varieties. You may notice that the forefoot is not completely covered in plastic. You may also observe that the shoe looks a tad softer underneath the arch. Unlike sprint spikes, mid-distance performance shoes have a very thin layer of ultralight EVA foam to provide a small dose of cushioning. After all, you're spending more time running your event, so you need to be a little comfier.
Manufacturers create inlets of the EVA foam in the spike plate to allow some flexibility and torsion--a necessity for the proper toe-off in each stride. With a semi-aggressive spike plate and a razor-thin midsole, you have a perfect shoe for control in the early stages of the race as well as some pop for your finishing kick. You'll be glad you're in the proper footwear when you're driving home in the final 150 meters. Just be sure to shake your competitors' hands after you win.
Most importantly, these bad boys are light. Technology has vastly improved in the past few years, leading many to marvel at the featherweight nature of middle-distance and long-distance spikes. Some shoes are as light as three ounces; you may even forget you have them in your bag.
Ultimately, a middle-distance spike is firm enough to keep you on your toes when you need to be, but flexible enough to go the distance.
Spikes for 800m runners and milers often come with a 6-pin plate and can be worn by an athlete who dabbles in the 400m too. Less pins = lighter weight.
Wrench the spikes in firmly. The longer the distance you’re running, the greater the chance of losing a few. Don’t forget to take the time to clean the spike plate. Middle distance and long distance runners manage to accrue dirt and debris around the spikes. If not cleaned properly, it can make removing old spikes quite difficult.