Installing Sole Spikes

A standard 1/4 hex socket is all you need

The easiest way to install your Sole Spikes™ is with a power drill or driver and a 1/4 inch hex socket. For your convenience, a magnetized hex socket is included in every cup. Simply chose a pattern you would like to try and drive them to the point where the flange snugs up against the sole of your shoe. DO NOT OVER TURN as this will strip out your sole material making it hard for the Sole Spike™ to stay in place. We recommend, once your spike is snug, give a little extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn to allow the underside ridges to grab your sole. If you're in the field or don't have a power driver, install Sole Spikes™ by hand with the Goat Head Sole Driver or any 1/4 inch socket tool. Apply enough pressure to drive the point into shoe lug and turn until completely inserted.


Sole Spike Installation Demo from Goat Head Gear on Vimeo.

Tips to avoid fall out

Sole Spikes™ are a great traction mechanism for most outdoor situations and will wear well for a long time. From time to time, you may have one or two fall out, just like any other traction screw. Follow these tips to avoid loss:
  1. As mentioned above, do not over rotate your Sole Spike™ once snug. Over-turning will cause your sole material to be less firm around your spike and may lead to fall out.
  2. If your shoe shipped with a spike/screw preinstalled, or has a screw receptacle in the sole, DO NOT use that preexisting hole. If you like the position, simply offset your Sole Spike™ by a small distance and then install
  3. Avoid repeatedly removing and installing your Sole Spike™ into the same hole as this will cause that sole material in the hole to weaken and be less supportive. If you cannot dedicate a shoe for Sole Spikes™ you may be able to use the same hole once or twice more before it loses its strength. Simply offset your screw from the original hole by a small margin and you will have a much stronger foundation.
  4. Avoid installing Sole Spikes™ high flex areas of your sole as the material in these areas stretches and may pull away somewhat from your spike.
  5. Be aware that softer, spongier sole materials may have a harder time holding a Sole Spike as well as more dense materials. This doesn't mean you can't use Sole Spikes™, just be prepared to lose one or two. Thankfully we pack more Sole Spikes in every cup than our competitors to give you some back up in the event you may lose one. Also, we provide our Spikes at a lower cost than other specialty spikes so you don't feel gouged when you want more.

Sole Spike Placement tips

Install Sole Spikes™ into sole lugs or other high points where they will make the best contact with the ground. When possible, place on lugs or spots that are as large as the spike diameter to prevent overhang and possible tear-out. Avoid puncturing any air or gel bladders within the sole.

Running shoes

Variation in shoe construction, running styles, and preferred terrain makes optimal placement of spikes a matter of personal preference. You may want to experiment with different placement patterns to find what works best for you. Some runners may feel pressure from spikes placed directly under the ball of the foot or the big toe. If you feel pressure or discomfort from a spike, simply move it to a better spot.

Fishing waders, boots and heavy hiking shoes

The soles on these shoes are usually heavy enough to support spikes in most any location. Start with 4 spikes in the heel and 6 in the fore-foot and add more spikes if needed for additional traction.

How many spikes to use

Sole Spikes™ are packaged with enough for 15 spikes per shoe, but you may find that you don't need that many. If you've used lower profile, soft alloy studs in the past, you'll probably find that you don't need as many Sole Spikes to gain even better traction. Start with 8 to 10 spikes per shoe. If you feel you need more you can add them. Otherwise, save the extras in the event some get lost or need to be replaced.