Choosing Turf Cricket Shoes for 2015/16
The smell of freshly cut grass. The familiar sound of hayfever sufferers sneezing somewhere distant. The mouth-watering aromas of neighborhood barbeques wafting across your deck.
Summer is coming!! With summer comes cricket, arguably Australia's most loved sport.
The Revive Podiatry team recently dropped into Greg Chappell Cricket Centre and passed our eye over the great range of cricket shoes they have in store. Yes, we also spent a little (or a lot) of our time passing our eye over the bat range as well.
With all shoes we must respect the category of COMFORT. If the shoe fits you properly; is comfortable; and suited to your skill set, then it’s most likely the right shoe for you.
To make things easier, we’ve broken the range down skill-sets and suggested which shoe would be best for each specific skill set.
We looked at ASICS - who always put up good shoes and this season was no different and although Stuart Broad ripped the ashes away from us wearing Adidas we haven’t held Adidas responsible and we’ve included some of their best offerings. We’ve also mixed it up with some great shoes from New Balance, plus a couple that are worth a look from Gray-Nicholls and Kookaburra.
will generally be looking for a shoes that is a bit lighter and more nimble, but often offer less shock absorbing properties than bowling shoes. These impressed and are well worth your consideration.
ASICS GEL ODI - Batsman
Lightweight and flexible shoe for a light, agile batsman and/or spin bowler. With lightweight shoes comes less shock absorption and if worn by a heavier person the shoe will wear out quickly. If you’re a light, agile fielder/ batsman this could be the shoe for you. Foot problems? Maybe look elsewhere.
NEW BALANCE 10V2 Minimus - Batting Allrounder.
A bit of a left field shoe here. 4mm heel drop means you’re lower to the ground at the heels. This can load up your achilles so not great if you’ve had previous Achilles/calf problems. Well cushioned and comfort level is high. If you’re used to a low heel drop (you play footy in nikes/ adidas or run in lightweight runners) this cricket shoe might be for you. Avoid if you’re always pulling calves or hamstring muscles.
ASICS Gel Strike Rate-Batsman/Keeper
A solid stable shoe aimed at keeper/batsmen. The Strike-rate is the more solid brother to the Gully and gives us more material and more width. The spike configuration doesn't’ suit bowlers so if you’re serious about bowling, avoid! The other thing we loved about this shoe is the heel area which is very soft and supple but also strong. So if you’ve got a lumpy red heel area this shoe would suit you! Think bigger bodied keeper/ batsman
ADIDAS SL22- Batsman
Lightweight shoe aimed at the lightweight batsman. Interestingly has a flare at heel to increase contact through front foot shots. May help with transition of foot. This shoe won’t last long if you’re bowling in it and would avoid if bowling off the long run!
particularly pace bowlers, are hard on shoes and some need more support and cushioning to protect toes, joints and shins.
ADIDAS Adipower- Vector- Pace bowling
Adidas are doing something different here. The outside heel spike is gone and the heel is beveled to unload the shins and front of knee. Like all other bowling shoes it is very stiff. This one differs with a soft toe area. If you wear the toe heavily you may ruin this shoe quick smart. On the other hand (or foot) if you get bruised toe nails or have issues with your toe smashing into the end then this soft end may make a difference. Black big toes? – blame your shoe! Shin splints? – blame your shoe!
ASICS Gel Speed Menace Lo & Hi- Pace Bowler
Like a straight whiskey. It's stiff! Very rigid forefoot with forefoot plate designed to splint the forefoot and reduce stress. If you’ve used this shoe before and it's working I’d stick with it. If you’ve got a history of foot problems & you’re a pace bowler this may be up your alley. Compare to New Balance 4050 as to which you prefer. Comes in 4E fitting and can be bought as a Low cut pair and it also comes in High cut option for further ankle support.
NEW BALANCE 4050- Pace Bowler
Much like the Asics bowling shoe, this one has a lot of material but slightly more bend! Full plantar fill of the shoe and added spike in middle of forefoot will increase pressure dispersion. In comparison to the Gel Menace, the 4050 has more forefoot flex which may result in a more comfortable ride. This increased flex may be negative if you’ve previously had problems with stress related foot injuries. ‘Horses for Courses’ springs to mind.
Need a bit of everything naturally. These are a great cross section of those that will serve those of us that can do it all.
SICS Gel Gully 5- Batsman/Keeper- Spinner All Rounder
Similar to GEL ODI but a little more stability and durability. Suited to Batsman/ keeper who is still after a sleek shoe. Wouldn’t be coming off the long run in these but maybe if you’re a spinner you’ll find them worthwhile. Low to the ground to give you that ground feel when batting.
ASICS Gel 100 Not Out- All-rounder
A great budget shoe that is a jack of all trades master of none. If you do a bit of everything and don’t want to break the budget then this is your shoe. Good width for a wider foot and quite comfortable at a decent price point. ComeAs in kids sizing, so a great option for kids! Compare to Gray Nicolls Stigma.
ASICS Gel 220- Bowling All-rounder
Strong reliable shoe that doesn’t skimp on cushioning and support. A favourite of the wide foot brigade as its available in 4E fitting. A great all round shoe that won’t deteriorate due to strength and stability. Suited to big batsmen, bowling all rounders or someone who wants a no fuss reliable shoe suited to all cricket activities.
NEW BALANCE 4030- Bowling All-rounder
A bit too flexible for the riggers of bowling and a long day in the field. Stiff at the forefoot which goes against what we’re really after in shoes. 12mm heel drop is good for people with achilles issues.
ADIDAS Howzat- All-rounder
Solid option for price point. Quite wide through the midfoot region and quite a stable shoe that would be adequate for batting or bowling. Material is nice and firm and would be suited to bigger bodies. The 3rd grade 40 something larger than life figure would be well suited wearing these for his quick 36 ( 9 boundaries) and all day duties at 1st slip. We all know someone like this!
GRAY NICHOLS Stigma Spike- All-rounder
Very impressive shoe - then we saw the price and we were even more impressed. Right up there with the other budget options for stability and quality of material. Also comes in the junior sizing along with Asics 100no. Very happily see my kids in this shoe or the Asics 100no. Both very good value for money.
KOOKABURRA Pro Players
Very light and very flexible. If you don’t have any foot and ankle problems and want a budget shoe then you can consider this. I’d compare to Gel 100no and Gray Nichols before buying the pro players though.
It’s worth remembering that cricket shoes need to be matched to your body and your skill set. Drop into Greg Chappell or Revive and discuss which one is right for you.