General Cleated Fitting Guide
First and foremost, cleats should fit comfortably enough to allow your foot to flex and make swift movements. Cleats that are too tight will be uncomfortable and cleats that are too loose will pose an injury risk to your foot. Shorter studs are ideal for dry surfaces and field turf because the shorter length allows balanced traction on firmer surfaces. Longer studs are more ideal for grass fields and loose surfaces as the enhanced length will allow better traction. Depending on the sport you play, you should consult league to rules to make sure that a particular style of cleat is allowed. Players should also determine what surface they will most often find themselves playing on before purchasing their cleats. Many sports require cleats of some variety to play. This guide, however, will cover the three most popular sports that require cleats: soccer, football, and baseball.
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Molded cleats are the most commonly used cleats in soccer. This style of cleat is most often preferred due to its versatility on different fields along with its footing and stability. When fitting a molded cleat, it is important to ensure that the tip of your foot fits as close to the front of the shoe as possible without touching it. Molded cleats are made for quick cuts and control, which is optimized when your foot is fitted into the shoe as firmly as possible.
Replaceable cleats are made for wet and muddy surfaces that are loose. The removable studs are often longer than most soccer cleats to allow traction on loose surfaces. Replaceable cleats are more versatile because different styles of studs can be utilized by the player on a variety of different surfaces. When fitting replaceable cleats, be sure to fit your foot in a position that comfortably aligns it with the cleats. Failure to do so may result in foot pain and blisters.
Hard Ground Cleats
Sometimes known as “multi-ground” cleats, this style allows the player to move adequately on harder surfaces. Unlike most other soccer cleats, this style has thick, round studs on the bottom that are evenly dispersed. This allows for better traction on hard surfaces, such as artificial turf, where they are commonly used.
Turf cleats are often regarded as the most versatile type of soccer shoe, due to its ability to be used on almost any variety of surface. Such cleats are most often used on grass and artificial turf, but can also be used on hard surfaces as well, leaving the decision up to the personal preference of the player. Due to the versatility of this type of cleat, it is important for players to fit different types of turf cleats in order to see which one best fits their style of play.
Kangaroo leather is lightweight and stretches to mold the shoe to the foot. This provides players with better comfort and maneuverability. That quality, however, is often associated with a higher price tag as shoes made with this upper material are often the most expensive. Kangaroo, though showing many performance advantages, lacks the durability that other materials possess.
Calfskin is as not as light or smooth as Kangaroo leather, but as compensation, it offers much longer durability. The upper is very tough but does not stretch to fit like kangaroo leather. Calfskin typically falls in a price range that is more affordable. Combined with its durability, calfskin soccer shoes are often a smart buy for those with budget concerns.
Synthetic leather uppers go through a patented process that gives them great water-resistant qualities. Usually made from tougher materials, synthetic leather uppers provide great durability and offer water resistance that will help keep your feet more comfortable during a rainy game day. Many different brand names commonly use synthetic leather in their soccer shoes, making them moderately priced.
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Low Cut Cleats
Low cut cleats are lightweight styled shoes made for athletes who play a skill position. These cleats allow for maximum maneuverability due to the low cut top. They are also lighter and allow skill position players to maximize their speed and agility. When fitting a low cut cleated shoe, it is important to assure that the upper fits as firm as possible around the foot while still allowing enough room to be comfortable. This ensures better control over the player’s movement and reduces the risk of injury.
Mid Cut Cleats
Coming in a variety of different heights, mid cut cleated shoes provide increased support to the ankle with little restriction on movement. These style of cleats are made for players who desire to exert their performance with speed and agility, but still have enhanced ankle support. Fitting a mid cut cleat involves finding the comfortable balance between the height of the shoe and the degree of firmness needed to support the ankle. Doing so will provide the athlete with the desired degree of unrestricted movement and ankle protection.
High Top Cleats
High top cleats extend all the way up the ankle to provide optimal support. These durable cleats are made primarily for lineman and other power positions that put immense pressure on the ankle and require lateral movements.
These cleats are permanently attached to the shoe and are not removable. Typically made of plastic or molded rubber, they offer great traction and versatility on a variety of surfaces, such as grass or turf. Molded cleats typically are made for improving acceleration and quick cuts. Therefore, it is important to ensure that molded cleats fit firmly and are comfortable to wear while running.
Detachable cleated shoes offer studs that can be removed and switched with different varieties. This allows players the ability to replaced damaged or worn studs while also having the option to switch studs in case there is a change of field conditions. When fitting detachable cleats, make sure that the player’s foot is comfortably aligned with the studs underneath. When using studs on the field, shorter studs are generally better for firmer surfaces, such as turf, while longer studs allow more traction on wet and loose surfaces, such as muddy grass.
Leather material is often very durable and provides comfortable fitting because it is more flexible and breathable than other materials. Many shoes that use mostly leather in their construction are typically more expensive.
Synthetic material is similar to leather but is usually regarded as less durable. Synthetic, however, does provide some of the benefits of leather, such as breathability and smoothness, but will typically not last as long.
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The bottoms of these cleats are molded to form permanent plastic or rubber studs. Molded cleats are typically stable and strong, and can be worn on and off the field with little problem. They are also popular with younger players for base and field running.
Plastic Turf Cleats
Similar to molded cleats, turf cleats contain raised patterns on the bottom of your shoes. These patterns are however shorter in length than the studs one would find in molded cleats. They are useful for hard outdoor surfaces and field turf.
These style of cleats have permanent metal spikes on the bottom of the shoe. Typically metal cleats are used in more competitive leagues, such as at the college and pro levels, and are banned in youth and amateur leagues. Metal spikes provide excellent endurance and traction on the field. Being on the lighter side, metal cleats are often preferred by competitive players looking for an edge in speed and quickness.
Interchangeable cleats feature removable studs to provide great versatility and “peace of mind” on the field. Studs that can be made of metal, plastic or rubber can be easily screwed off and replaced with a different style. This allows the athlete to simply replace worn studs instead of having to buy new shoes.
Leather baseball cleats tend to breath better than other materials which allows for more comfort. Though more expensive, leather materials are more flexible and durable, which makes leather a good investment for competitive or lifelong players.
Synthetic materials doesn’t provide the breathability or flexibility of rubber, however, the firm design of synthetics enhance the protection of your feet.
If you have any questions about cleated footwear please feel free to call our customer service team at our toll free number. 1-800-976-4267.