The Spartiates fought on foot, taking the role of heavy infantry - the hoplites. As far as arms and tactics were concerned they didn't differ much from their neighbors. The difference was in the selection of the warriors.
The creation of a Spartan hoplite began at selection at birth. The infants, who had defects in their physical development, were thrown off a cliff. A Spartiate had to be physically perfect.
From the age of seven the hoplites to be were raised away from their families in squads where stamina, cunningness, cruelty and the ability to endure pain were considered the main virtues of a boy.
The result of such a life and education was the famous Spartan Phalanx, unwavering in the face of any enemy, wall like in its unity and fearsome in attack. The Spartan Hoplites were the object of envy and awe for the enemies and neighbors. Their way of life was considered a model to follow.