Do Cleats Improve Your Performance?

by  |  Protalus • 

Posted In: 

Athletic shoes with spikes sticking out from the sole are known as cleats. They are often seen on soccer and football players but are common in several other sports as well. The point of the spiked shoes is to provide traction on the field, which can become slippery after a rain or just be generally unpredictable as a surface since most fields have natural grass. Grass fields can be uneven in places as dirt can shift and the length of the grass can change from game to game. Cleats stick into the ground just enough to stop the athlete from slipping, but not enough to keep them from moving, or, at least, that’s the idea. Sometimes cleats can cause issues, but more about that later.

cleats

So do they improve performance? 

A 2017 study that looked at the difference between soccer and football cleats showed no significant performance difference between the two shoe designs. The American Journal of Sports Medicine was quick to recognize that the question should involve not just the shoes but the surfaces they interact with. It is the combination of the two (cleats on artificial turf or cleats on grass) that will determine things that impact performance such as level of shock absorption and step impact. But studies show that finding that right combination of cleat and surface can improve your performance by up to 20%.

What is performance?

There are many different measures for performance. The first that comes to mind might be speed but in many sports, the thing that makes all the difference is agility. How quickly can you react to what’s happening around you? How fast can you change direction without losing momentum? Of course, the factors that are prioritized for performance will change based on the player's position and their role on the field. Therefore, there may be more than one type of shoe on the field to meet the needs of the players who have different goals.

cleats

Can cleats cause injuries?

Certainly when thinking about wearing spikes on your shoes, there is a lot of room for error, especially when your feet leave the ground such as when sliding in baseball. Although there is anecdotal evidence of cleats getting stuck and causing knee injuries, studies show that other factors such as the type of turf, the warm-up routine of the player, and previous injuries are far more likely to contribute to an injury than wearing a spiked shoe. When used properly, cleats should prevent sliding and allow the athlete to have more control over their movements. So if you plan to play a sport that requires cleats, make sure you read up on what type of turf you’ll be playing on and read the manufacturer’s specifications about the best surfaces for that particular shoe.

3 Best Moderate Hikes in the US

3 Best Moderate Hikes in the US

by Anna Heston • July 15, 2021

Summer is still going strong, and what better way to enjoy the sun than with a hike? The United States is filled with endless beautiful hikes that are well traveled, but I'm sure you would rather go on a hike with less people. Here are some low-key, moderately rated hikes that you might not have heard of that can be enjoyed year round.

Athlete's Foot Treatment

Athlete's Foot Treatment

by Anna Heston • July 15, 2021

If you’re an active person who spends a lot of time on your feet and inside of your shoes you may have had the experience of dealing with athlete’s foot. What most people refer to as athlete's foot is actually a fungal infection known as tinea pedis

Hiking In The Heat

Hiking In The Heat

by Anna Heston • July 15, 2021

With temperatures across the country teasing record highs this summer, now is a great time to review some tips for hiking in the heat. From dehydration to heat cramps, a lot can go wrong when you don’t plan ahead but with a little forethought, there is no reason to be stuck inside on hot days.