A Brief Guide to Turf Shoes
When you think of athletic shoes, there are probably a few words that come to mind. Unlike indoor shoes, sports that require you to play on an outdoor field of some kind generally require cleats. If you’re just going out for a jog, then you probably want running shoes. But, what exactly are turf shoes? What are they designed for and how are they different from other athletic or indoor sport shoes?
Turf Shoe Basics:
Turf shoes are essentially cleats that have been designed for artificial turf or hard surfaces. Regular cleats (especially metal cleats) are designed to provide traction to the wearer on most surfaces. Metal cleats are especially important for situations where the grass and dirt are wet. The cleats (with small spikes on the bottom of the shoe) will latch on to ensure that you don’t fall over. Soccer players would use metal cleats on a rainy day when the pitch was loose.
But, turf shoes aren’t designed for rainy days. Where you might find strategically-placed, sharp metal spikes on standard cleats, you would find lots of short, rubber studs on turf shoes. These rubber studs are meant to give you traction on surfaces that are hard. If you’re on a surface that is hard and dry, then turf shoes may actually give you better traction than cleats. This is ideal for dry fields, icy pitches, and, of course, artificial turf. Turf shoes also ensure that you won’t rip up artificial turf fields with cleats.
Differences between Sports:
Although turf shoes all have the basic goal of providing traction on hard surfaces, there are some key differences between turf shoes that are designed for specific sports. Of course, there are key differences between cleats that are made for different sports, and most of those apply to turf shoes as well. For instance, soccer turf shoes often have a thicker leather coating around the toe than turf shoes for, say, baseball or American football. Because soccer players use their feet to kick a ball, they obviously need some reinforcement at the tip of the boot. But, baseball players don’t require that kind of sturdiness.
Another difference between soccer and baseball is when the turf shoes are used. Many soccer players carry around a pair of cleats and a pair of turf shoes. This allows them to make a decision about their footwear depending on the conditions of the pitch. Obviously, a hard or artificial pitch may require turf shoes, but a natural, moist pitch would require cleats.
Baseball turf shoes, on the other hand, are generally worn during practice sessions. They don’t generally make it onto the field with the players, because turf shoes aren’t necessary in most situations. Baseball cleats are typically used during an actual game. Baseball turf shoes are used for batting practice or in other practice facilities that use artificial turf. Of course, not everyone is a professional baseball player who needs a pair of turf shoes and pair of cleats. In fact, if you play recreational baseball and the fields you use aren’t soggy, then you can certainly get away with wearing turf shoes. Turf shoes give you the added benefit of comfort—something that cleats can’t give you.
Other sports that use turf shoes frequently include lacrosse and field hockey. Most of the fields that these athletes play on do not require the use of cleats. The ground is often hard enough to make turf shoes the right option. Of course, these shoes are generally designed with comfort and functionality in mind. They’re generally lightweight and provide plenty of traction on hard field hockey and lacrosse surfaces.
At their most basic, turf shoes are used for athletes playing on hard outdoor surfaces. Still, it’s important to make sure that you get turf shoes for the right sport. It’s also important to ensure that actually need turf shoes.
Posted By: Mike Smith On: 15-04-2014 At: 07:24