Baseball Shoes

Written by Jeremy Horelick
Bookmark and Share

There are some companies that market their sneakers as baseball shoes. The models in question may boast a celebrity endorsement or a fashionable color scheme, even a printed autograph across the tongue or side of the shoe. The baseball shoes worn by big-leaguers, however, rarely if ever resemble these. Rather, most pros opt for cleats, no matter what the conditions come game time.

One reason for this is the rise of Astroturf. Before domed stadiums were common, baseball games were almost always played on natural grass, which is friendlier not only to batted balls, but ankles and knees as well. Astroturf can be notoriously unforgiving; it's really nothing more than a thin layer of padding atop a concrete surface--not exactly ideal grounds for sprinting, diving, and tumbling.

Astroturf and the Need for Good Baseball Shoes

As all the major sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA) have expanded their number of franchises, more and more stadiums have popped up in tough climates such as Phoenix, Jacksonville, and Atlanta. This has prompted the construction of more domed stadiums, which is great for fans and players looking to stay cool or remain dry. The flip side, of course, is that natural grass cannot grow under a roof, which has necessitated more Astroturf than most athletes would prefer. Hence, the greater need for good cleats.

The proper baseball shoes are imperative not only on Astroturf, mind you, but on wet grass, overly dry fields where planting and turning are difficult, and base paths. It may seem like a trivial advantage, but try explaining that to a player heading home for a play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Any extra traction or acceleration is a huge plus, not only for players rounding the bases, but for defensive players gunning for liners and fly balls as well.


Bookmark and Share