Sports cleats are designed specifically for the demands of the sport, and it's important to wear a cleated shoe that is made for the sport you intend to play.
Types of Sports CleatsThe two basic types of sports cleats include:
- Molded Plastic Cleats
These cleats have plastic spikes or studs arranged in various patterns on the bottom of the shoe. They are versatile and can be used on different field types and in all weather conditions.
- Detachable cleats
Detachable cleats are designed with metal spikes that can be removed so you can match the right length and width of spike for the condition of both the weather and the field.
Most experts recommend that recreational players wear molded plastic cleats due to a higher risk of injury with detachable metal spikes. The metal cleats offer a superior grip and better traction, which has been linked with more ACL injuries and ankle sprains.
Leather or Synthetic Sports Cleats?Sports cleats come in both leather and synthetic materials. Leather is generally preferred because it molds to your foot, breathes well and doesn't cut or chafe. But if you play in wet weather conditions, synthetic materials may last longer and keep you drier. Newer synthetic sports cleats are more available and generally less expensive, so if you are growing or wear out cleats quickly, you may be better off with synthetic cleats.
Compare Prices on Sports CleatsSports cleats come in a variety of prices and deciding your budget is one way to narrow down your selection.
- Compare Prices: All Molded Cleats
- Compare Prices: All Detachable Cleats
- Compare Prices: Men's Soccer Cleats
- Compare Prices: Women's Soccer Cleats
- Compare Prices: Football Cleats
- Compare Prices: Baseball Cleats
- Compare Prices: Softball Cleats
Caring for Your Sports CleatsTaking care of your cleats will extend their life and comfort. Here are a few tips to remember whenever you use your cleats:
- Wear your cleats on the field only. Wearing your cleats on pavement can wear them out and reduce the traction of the spikes which can increase the risk of slips, falls and other injuries.
- After games and practice, wipe your cleats with a damp cloth.
- Clean any mud or dirt off the bottoms with a soft soapy sponge or brush.
- Allow your sports cleats to air dry out of direct sunlight.
- If you have leather cleats, follow the manufacturer's instructions, which may include using leather softeners or polish.
- Never store them at the bottom of a dirty gear bag under wet or sweaty clothes.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Soccer Injury Prevention, patient handout, July 2007. Accessed July, 2009.
American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, General Principles in Cleat Selection, http://www.aapsm.org/cleatselection.html. Accessed August, 2009.