Finding the Right Cleats
Many sports require cleats for practice and competition. Athletes choose their cleats carefully to avoid foot pain or other related injuries. Shoe sizes and cleats differ between the various styles of shoes for each specific sport. For example, Soccer shoes slim down near the toes, providing a narrow fit. The style of cleat and shoe depends on the conditions of the terrain and the type of sport played. We highlight several key differences for each style of cleat.
- Restricted depending on safety hazards. We recommend verifying with the sporting association before your purchase
- Typically banned in many soccer and little league associations
- Avoid solid surfaces such as concrete
- Commonly used in soccer
- Optional for softball and baseball players
- May be worn on the field and on concrete surfaces
- Does not provide the traction of a metal cleat for tougher surfaces.
- Ability to switch cleats depending on the game conditions
- Take time to break in
- More comfortable than interchangeable
Certain sports may require more than one size of cleats depending on game conditions
Safety Concerns and Recommendations
Overuse of cleats may cause foot injuries such as sprains, blisters, heel pain, and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation located on the bottom of the foot from improper fitting and continued discomfort. Athletes avoid plantar fasciitis by wearing a quality pair of athletic shoes with proper padding and a comfortable fit. We recommend breaking in the cleats before game time. Do not wear a brand new pair of cleats for the first time during competition! Uncomfortable athletic shoes may turn into unnecessary sports related injuries. Consult with your podiatrist at Academy Foot and Ankle before wearing cleats so we may suggest the proper size and style to suite your unique characteristics.
Cashin, Karen. (2012, Aug 3). Cleats & Foot Pain. Message posted to http://www.livestrong.com/article/192414-cleats-foot-pain/
Yapp, Ginger. Metal vs. Plastic Cleats. Message posted to http://www.ehow.com/facts_6854604_metal-vs_-plastic-cleats.html