Over the years, is has been extremely rewarding to see the development of improved footwear for various sports, most of them dedicated to improved performance, as with the latest baseball shoes, yet with many of them increasingly designed to improve the safety and stability of each athletes’ feet, as well. From the perspective of a foot and ankle physician, this development is a welcome change for the better, placing the focus on safety as well as performance.
The best baseball shoes for your feet
The best baseball shoes will be comfortable yet supportive. They will improve performance, without causing damage to the players’ feet. They will provide a stable base from which to move, with the ability to change direction quickly and to stop on a dime. The best baseball shoes, or cleats, will not only enhance performance, but will also protect the player from injury.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best cleats for the baseball player in your family:
- Comfort should be a priority. Baseball shoes or cleats, like any other footwear, should be comfortable though well-fitted. They should not be tight, but snug, and should conform well to the arches of your feet.
- The toe box should have room to move your toes. Do not buy baseball shoes that squeeze your toes, but instead provide enough room to wiggle your toes.
- Heel fit should be snug, but not too tight. Baseball shoes that allow the heel to slip will make you base unstable, possibly leading to foot problems, as well as reduced performance on the diamond.
- Buy new cleats regularly. You should consider replacing your baseball shoes after approximately 70-75 hours of activity, or when the fit becomes uncomfortable.
- Choose the allowed style of cleats. Your baseball league will only allow certain types of cleats, or “spikes,” on your baseball shoes. Virtually all youth baseball leagues have outlawed steel spikes so you should double-check the types of baseball shoes allowed by your local league.
- Tale some time to adapt to your cleats. Baseball cleats have a fairly unique feel, if your league allows wearing cleats, take some time to adapt to the way they feel before you begin practicing and playing.
Choosing the best baseball shoes for your feet is important to help you avoid injury, and to improve your performance. Some of the most commonly experienced foot and ankle injuries among baseball players include: ankle sprains, shin splints, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and foot fractures.
It is time to get past the notion that footwear for sports must be uncomfortable. On the contrary, a well fitted pair of sports shoes, including baseball shoes, should be comfortable and supportive, enhancing the athletes’ ability to play, and enjoy playing, the sport of his or her choice.
If you need help to determine whether you have the best baseball shoes for yourself or your child, make an appointment with Dr. Huppin or Dr. Hale today at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington.
Be sure to bring your cleats to your appointment for an expert evaluation.