No matter whether casual or professional, few things are exciting to cricket players as buying a new pair of shoes. Making the right selection is crucial, and there’s more to it than just picking the right size. While there’s some personal preference involved in the decision-making process as far as looks go, there are a few factors that are far more important, which can help you play cricket comfortably and with confidence. And the first thing you have to think about is whether you want cricket trainers or boots, which again, will mostly depend on personal preference.
The first pair of cricket shoes I bought from an online cricket shop were in fact, high-cut bowling boots. In fact, many professional cricketers swear by high cut bowling boots. The pair I had featured a reinforced toe made of Kevlar underpants and a strap on top that had me locked like a snowboarder. They also offered outstanding ankle support, weighted slightly more but still felt extremely comfortable. If you prefer a lighter option, and you feel comfortable in standard trainers, then cricket trainers are probably the better choice for you.
Consideration #1 – Pronation
There’s nothing natural about slamming into the crease line repeatedly. The pressure applied to the planting foot throughout a cricket game can be huge and the foot’s impact absorption mechanism is going to be put to the test. This forced, repetitive pronation can be a significant contributor to a wide range of injuries, such as shin-splits, hip and lower back injuries if you don’t wear appropriate shoes. So if you’re a high-impact bowler, you’ll want to give your arch the best support possible and get a structured-bowling shoe. If you’ve had your gait checked by a specialist, they could tell you how your foot lands and which the best cricket shoes are. In fact, many specialists can tell just by looking at your footwear and seeing where it’s worn through.
Consideration #2 – Cushioning
Ideally, we would walk around barefoot all day, everywhere we go. But it’s hard to argue against the protection and cushioning that footwear offers on an everyday basis, and it’s no different when playing cricket. Making sure your foot is cocooned with a little bit of cushioning will reduce the impact you take with every step, which is important as we apply the force of many times our weight to our feet as we run. However, this doesn’t mean that you should get the pair of cricket shoes with most cushioning. While more cushioning will probably reduce the chances of injury, they won’t feel good when you’re using them.
Consideration #3 – Money
As is the case with everything else in life – you generally get what you pay for. When I was a student, I would buy cheap trainers from the local cricket shop that were comfortable but didn’t last more than a year or two. At one point, I decided to save some money and get a top-priced cricket shoe, and that was it for me. Not only were they superior in comfort, but they also lasted for so long I forgot how much time I had them for. That being said, don’t compromise on quality, and look to get a pair from a reputable brand that knows their way around cricket shoes.
Consideration #4 – Cricket Spikes
Many cricket players wear plain trainers during the summer. However, no matter how dry or wet, cricket spikes can provide extra grip and getting shoes with spikes should be a no-brainer. The choices include rubber grips, half-spikes (only at the front) and full spikes. And unless you’re playing on an artificial wicket, you should wear shoes with spikes. Moreover, always clean your spikes before you step out in the field. Maintaining the spikes is especially important in the early season, as they’re probably collect a lot of mud, and they won’t grip anymore. Additionally, check the soles every now and then and replace the spikes if you lose them. Losing a few spikes on one side of the boot can become problematic.
Consideration #5 – Toe Protection
Reinforced toes are popular features in bowling boots as they protect you when your front foot plants and shudders into the ground. If you’re a batsman, they protect you against the threat of quick toe-smashing deliveries. Some people wear a few pairs of thick cricket socks, but that’s not the best option on hell-hot days. Wearing extra socks will cushion and pad out your toes, giving them some protection.
Consideration #6 – Brand
Whatever your age and sex, we all have our own designs and brands we lean towards. Fan of Adidas or New Balance cricket shoes? Fair game. I mainly stick to Nike and Gray Nicolls, but that’s just due to personal preference. All high-end sport brands have a range of cricket shoes that are quality-made and comfortable enough to get you through a few cricket seasons.