Baseball and softball players at all levels need to make sure they have the right equipment to enjoy the game and avoid injury. The rapid stops and starts, running, and sliding associated with sports like baseball and softball put extreme pressure on the feet and ankles. Improper shoes worn during training can lead to tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and a host of other debilitating foot conditions.
As with any other athletic shoe, comfort is the top priority when it comes to choosing the right baseball or softball shoe. Try to find shoes with a snug heel, roomy toe box, and plenty of ankle support.
What to look for in baseball shoes
For little leaguers, sneakers are usually suitable for playing baseball or softball. When children start league play, cleats are recommended to provide the traction needed for running the bases.
When trying on cleats, make sure feet are measured properly and wear thick game socks. The widest part of the foot should fit comfortably in cleats. There should be plenty of room in the toe box and flexibility in the sole. Find cleats that breathe; fungus thrive in moist, dark environments like athletic shoes.
Cleats can expose ankles to twists and turns when running the bases, sliding, and fielding balls. Look for athletic cleats that cover and support the ankle. Make sure to break in cleats before wearing them during a game. Most importantly, check cleats periodically for signs of wear.
Issues created by improper fit
Baseball and softball players are vulnerable to a variety of foot and ankle injuries from the movements involved in the game. Improper shoe wear only increases the danger of foot injuries. Poorly fitted cleats can lead to:
Watch out for irritation, blisters, and redness when wearing cleats for the first time. Any pain while wearing cleats is a clear indicator of a problem. If cleats are causing serious discomfort, have a podiatrist evaluate the fit of the shoes.