The right footwear can help you get the most out of your training every step of the way. Metal and molded cleats are great options for anyone looking to shine on the diamond. However, they aren’t as useful when training on artificial turf. Thankfully, you can get a leg up on practice with the right pair of baseball and softball turf cleats.
Turf cleats are baseball and softball shoes built with a rubber nub or tread pattern that looks more like a sneaker than a spike. These comfortable kicks are designed for better grip and traction on artificial turf. As a result, turf cleats are best for playing and training on this type of surface.
WHY WEAR TURF CLEATS?
Players training on artificial turf should wear turf cleats for three reasons:
- Increased traction
- Prevent field damage
- Player safety
Metal or molded cleats can be detrimental to artificial turf. Because traditional spikes work by puncturing the ground for traction, they are better suited for natural grass that can absorb impacts and recover.
Artificial turf is shallower than natural grass, meaning there is less surface to dig into with your spikes. The shorter nubs and tread pattern of turf cleats requires less depth for optimum traction, making them an ideal fit.
In addition, using turf cleats on artificial turf can help prevent the potential for injury. Improved traction can help with your ability to stop, turn and maneuver and help you be more in control of your movements.
WHAT ABOUT TURF TRAINERS?
In addition to turf cleats, players can also choose to wear turf trainers on artificial turf. These footwear options can feature a less aggressive nub or tread pattern and can be more comfortable than cleats. Turf trainers can be another great option for off-field practice and training sessions, including batting practice and other pre-game warmups. Many coaches also wear turf trainers for their comfort and performance.
HOW TO CHOOSE
When deciding which baseball and softball turf cleats or trainers to choose for training or coaching, there are a few factors to consider:
As with your normal baseball or softball cleats, the fit of your turf cleats should be snug, with a little room in the toe. Think of fitting your turf shoes as you would your favorite pair of running shoes.
Most turf cleats feature a low-top design, which can be great for players wanting more maneuverability. For athletes who desire more ankle support, some mid-top options are available.
BONUS PRO TIP: When trying on turf cleats, remember to wear your practice socks. Trying on turf cleats with the kind of socks you normally practice in can help you better determine the overall fit.
Baseball and softball turf shoes can help you keep your footing as you progress on the field. Use these Pro Tips to choose the best turf cleats for your needs.