Owning a great pair of cricket shoes is an absolute must when you’re at the training nets playing or preparing for your next match. Cricket shoes provide you with the much-needed support your feet need, and can indirectly help you perform better on the pitch. A quality pair of shoes for cricket will also protect you from injuries. If you’re a bowler, the right pair can help you land perfectly and stabilise your hand during overarm deliveries. If you’re a batsmen, the ideal pair of shoes will help you with your posture and stance to face the ball, and if you’re a fielder, the ideal cricket shoes will provide balance and propel you to run faster.
That being said, if you’re shopping for your first pair of shoes for cricket, you need to determine your role in the field. For instance, batsmen need shoes with metal or rubber spikes for extra grip, so that they can run faster on the pitch. Bowlers need shoes with studs, as they provide extra support when landing. It’s very important to get your shoe size right, as a poorly-fitted shoe can negatively impact your performance. Larger shoes will prevent you from forming a definite stride, whereas tighter shoes will restrict movement and hurt your heels and toes. Leaving some breathing room for your toes and on the sides (if you have wider feet) is important in cricket.
Next, you have to consider the material of the shoe. Cricket shoes are generally made from artificial leather known as polyurethane or PU. This material is very flexible and soft, ensuring freedom of movement of your feet. The material also provides breathability, comfort and enough legroom. The cushioning of the midsole is also essential, as it will protect your toes and feet from potential injuries. Furthermore, you need to evaluate your skill. Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate or professional player will play a key role in making your decision.
If you’re a professional who has to go through exhausting and long practice sessions, you’ll want a highly durable shoe. You’ll want to pay attention to the outsole of the shoes, as cricket shoes need to be designed for use in extreme weather conditions. Next, a full spike shoe sole will usually come with metal spikes that are removable. Fielders and bowlers should look for this type of shoes as they’ll need to run on grassy fields. Stud shoe soles feature rubber studs, as they’re durable and soft in nature.
Another important factor to consider when buying cricket shoes is the type of surface you’ll be playing on. Is it on a synthetic pitch or the turf? For turf cricket, you’ll need spiked shoes, whereas rubber cricket shoes are preferred for synthetic pitches. Moreover, the weight of the shoe is something to consider, as cricket is a physically-intensive sport, and you’ll need to constantly run while fielding and bowling or when scoring runs. A lightweight shoe will allow you to move easier across the field.
And lastly, you have to consider your budget. If you’re a beginner, you don’t really need to invest in expensive boots. If you’re an intermediate player, however, you can invest in a better-quality pair. This is due to the fact that you’re yet to develop the techniques of the game, so you won’t need the features that come with high-end models. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should compromise of comfort and fit, as that will impair your performance and you risk injury.
If you’re a professional, then you can look at the more expensive shoes from brands like Adidas, Nike or Puma, as they feature innovative technologies that may help you perform. For instance, the Nike Dynamic fit technology consists of soft a soft material that wraps the midfoot and arch from beneath the foot, allowing you to get a comfortable feel for a long period of time. The Hyperfuse technology, on the other hand, completely eliminates the stitching in the upper sole, allowing for a clean upper and class finish. It was said that if you want more cushioning that you’ll have to compromise on energy return. Conversely, if you want more energy return, you’ll need to compromise on cushioning. Well, the Adidas Boost is a new innovation that gives you the best of both worlds.
That being said, cricket shoes have experienced a large surge in development over the last several years in order to maximise performance, comfort and safety. Paying attention to the aforementioned factors and getting the right fit for your feet, the position you play and the surface you play on will be the determining factors in getting the most suitable cricket shoes. Of course, your budget will also play a role, but you should never compromise on quality, durability and performance. As is with most things, you get what you pay for.