Only a couple of months of conditioning time left available before you take the field to resume America’s favorite pastime. No matter what your level of play, you need to be considering your footwear. Following are a few things to keep in mind before making this very important purchase. Arm yourself with information before you head off to the store.
- League requirements – The league or organization that you play in may establish requirements of regulations concerning your cleats. Since metal cleats are prohibited in Little League and in most Softball leagues, knowing this will help in the decision making process.
- Playing surface
- Level of game
Just like in all sports, you have options available, but the most important consideration when purchasing shoes, should be comfort. Shoe designs vary and are available in:
- High top – above the ankle support to help protect ankle if you have had a sprain or break
- Mid top – mid ankle, offers a slight weight advantage over high tops
- And low top – does not provide mid ankle support, but has advantages as far as the weight of shoes.
Leather shoes offer some advantages over synthetics, but tend to be more expensive. They are stronger and allow the foot to breathe. Synthetic shoes may be a better choice for youth. They are easier to care for and cost a bit less.
There are typically two types of cleats, plastic (includes molded rubber) or metal. In many instances, metal cleats are prohibited for safety reasons. Baseball shoes can have molded cleats (most popular). They are non-removable, strong and approved for play by most organizations. Some shoes have interchangeable cleats, allowing you to replace worn out cleats or the versatility of changing from plastic to metal, depending on regulations.
The shoe should fit your foot comfortably, snug, but not tight. There should be some room for movement of the toes, and a little room for forward movement of the foot, without the toes striking the end of the shoe.
Keep these practical suggestions in mind, as you shop, as it will make your decision easier. But remember, your shoes will not prevent all injuries. If you sustain an ankle or foot injury on the playing field, call Dr. Vargas at (281) 313-0090 in Sugarland, or (281) 342-8700 in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. He wants you in the lineup.