Cricket is the most popular game these days. As cricket is so popular so do the cricketers, being famous is a big responsibility towards fan. Cricket players have to take care of everything they have to maintain their reputation by playing good. For a good game a player needs the best equipment’s as bat, ball, helmet, gloves or their shoes. Shoes play an important role in the game for the player. The player has to select the Best Cricket shoes according to his need.
The player has to remember few tips while selecting the shoes. As the order of the batsman and bowler is different so is the need of their shoes. Batting, bowling and fielding are the three trait of the game. For each trait we need special kind of shoes. All three traits need the shoes with the best grip to the ground and for that we suggest the spike soles. The manufacturers give emphasis on the toe protection which makes these shoes for all rounder.
The Upper: The upper is the part of the shoe which covered the foot. The upper part is in the close contact to the foot so it should be flexible and comfortable. Most of the shoes upper offer the ventilation in the field. Most of the shoes are designed in the low-cut style. In this style the shoe finishes below the ankle offers flexibility. Bowler’s shoes are designed in mid or high cut style. This style offer great support to the ankle during the delivery and follow through stage and try to prevent injury.
The Sockliner: Sockliners are also known as footbeds. It makes the direct contact with the foot. Shockliner should have extra cushioning to provide good comfort, control, support, shape, moisture or smell of the shoe. Some shoes have removable and replaceable shockliner to keep their shoes fresh.
The Midsole: The midsole is the layer between the outsole and insole. A midsole is designed for shock absorption. Bowlers need good cushioning as they have to run hard to bowl. Batsman needs cushioning so that their long innings can be comfortable.
The Heel: the heel keeps foot safe and secure. It needs to fasten the back of the foot and heel should be comfortable. Bowlers need a secure heel so that when they step down it should be on its place. Batsman needs a comfortable heel so they don’t feel irritated while running between the creases.
The Outsole: The outsole is the part of the shoe which is always in contact with the ground. The outsole is made of very durable material such as polyurethane. Most of the cricket shoes have spikes on the sole so that it can make a good grip with the ground. Some of the shoes have dimple or cleat feature for indoor or synthetic surface. Bowler’s shoes should have flat outsole for a great impact on the surface and give more support to the foot.
The Spikes: Spikes on the shoes helps to provide a grip on the ground. It offers an immense grip to wet or greasy field.
Trusstic System/ Torsion Bar: Some brands include a characteristic to increase strength and stability even as minimizing torsion of the mid and outsole and help to reduce injuries. Shoes are made of firm and flexible material to support the arches of the foot.
Lasting: There are three ways to attach upper of the shoe to the midsole called slip lasting, board lasting and partial or combination lasting. In slip lasting the upper of the shoe is pulled over the last and glued or stitched to the midsole. In the midsole the upper part is attached to the bottom of a flexible board atop the midsole. Partial or combination lasting has the board technique in the heel and slip technique in the fore foot.
Material used for shoes:
Leather: Previously leather was in high demand but now a day’s synthetic material has taken its place. The reduction of leather is due to its cost, it is quite high in case and synthetic material are quite cheaper in comparison.
PU/TPU: Polyurethane or Thermoplastic Polyurethane is highly used in different ways in the shoes. They are found in different varieties. If PU is combined with cloth then it form breathable synthetic leather and if combined with some PVC based synthetic leather is the material that forms the most of the cricket shoes upper. PU based material also provide extra support in the shoes.
Polyester/ Nylon Mesh: Polyester or nylon mesh materials provide shoes with the feature of light weight and breathable material. By using this material player can get lighter shoes, good ventilation, great protection and comfort.
Eva/ Phylon: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is expanded rubber or foam rubber and is used for shock absorption in the midsole. Eva has a number of qualities as shock absorption, light weight, odorless, glossy finish, water proof, and UV resistance and cheap in cost. Generally EVA is molded by an injection molding technique, but can also be molded by high temperature compression molding which creates a different material with almost the same characteristics but with high density. This material is known as Phylon.
SpEVA: SpEVA is a midsole material developed from EVA by Asics. It has bounce back feature and decreases the midsole breakdown while running. It has several other features as high durability and shock absorption. You can also include in the shoe as an extra layer called as lasting. SpEVA comes in three different levels of densities 45, 55 and 65 degree. These three levels provide different cushioning and stiffness.
Zoom Air: Zoom Air is Nike’s unique air shock absorption technique, in which a group of thread, plastic and pressurized gas in the shoe’s midsole. Zoom Air is different with other Nike’s based technology, it offers the player’s feet to be close to the ground for excellent feel and response.
Cricket shoes are available in the international sizes in the market. One has to identify his shoe size by international sizing only. Some players wear two pair of socks or a thick pair of socks while playing as it provides them more comfort in the game. In some cases player need a half size bigger shoe for this. Adidas shoes are somewhat thinner and up to half a size smaller than standard size. Nike is often wider and up to half a size larger than standard sizes. Here is the size chart available in terms of international standard.
There are many cricket shoes available in the market. In our daily life when one has to select the shoes it comes down to budget. You should focus on few points while purchasing the shoes as fitting, comfort and the budget of the shoes.
- If you are a bowler you should perform high impact action. The shoes should offer good support and shock absorption that will secure you.
- For a batsman you should take care of support and weight. You need the shoes with spike sole.
- One should have a look at the size of the shoe according to the international size chart.
- Before purchasing the shoes for you, you should review all the above points and then choose the shoes accordingly.
For the performance and durability of the shoes you have to take good care of them.
- Before removing your shoes, untie and lose your shoe laces. If you will not do so it can reduce the longevity of the heel
- After the game you should remove the dirt and grass from the soles of the shoes
- If the shoes have been used in the wet conditions do not leave them in the bag. Place them in air to keep them dry.
- Wash your shoes regularly with luke warm water not hot.