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Turf Shoes 101: “Fielding” Your Big Questions

Turf Shoes 101: “Fielding” Your Big Questions

Playing your favorite sport requires you to have the best and most applicable equipment, regardless of whether you are playing indoors or outdoors. This is especially the case for baseball and softball players.

As a baseball or softball player, you know full well that your playing doesn’t always end when it gets colder outside. You continue to hone your skills in warm gymnasiums and other indoor facilities.

However, your outdoor gear doesn’t always transfer efficiently (or even safely!) to these indoor environments.

One prime example of this is wearing cleats on artificial turf instead of turf shoes. The latter type of shoe confounds players of various sports. They’re unsure of the answers to questions like when and when not to wear them, their unique qualities, why even wear them, and much more.

So here we are, “fielding” any and all questions you have about shoes specifically made for the turf. Let’s dive right in.

What Are Turf Shoes?
Turf shoes are a type of athletic shoe that have either tread or close-knit rubber nubs on their bottoms instead of the typical longer and spaced-out cleat spikes. They are worn to vastly improve a player’s level of grip on turf, which is a type of manufactured grass specifically designed for sports use.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that turf and artificial grass are technically different. Turf blades are significantly shorter in length than those found in usual artificial grass. Artificial grass is what you’d find in landscape, therefore meaning that these two types of man-made grass have different purposes, feels, and looks.

In summation, these shoes are types of shoes that you should be wearing on only indoor turf instead of your usual outdoor cleats. You can see a more detailed comparison between cleats and shoes for turf on our blog!

Why Can’t I Wear Regular Cleats on Turf?
We’d be remiss to not answer this question, as many players don’t quite understand why they can’t wear their beloved cleats on turf. It’s just fake grass, so you still need your spiked cleats for optimal grip like you would real grass, right?

Wrong. This is because cleats are designed to penetrate the ground deeply and you simply don’t need that level of traction for turf. You could actually end up hurting yourself from wearing the wrong footwear!

Not only that but many sports centers that have turf will not allow players to wear outdoor cleats because they can also wear down the turf much faster and can cause damage to it. While real grass that’s been ripped and torn up from cleats can grow back, turf simply cannot.

Can I Wear Shoes Made for Turf in a Gym?
Maybe you aren’t spending the indoor season in a turfed sports complex, but rather in a hardwood-floored gym. In that case, simply do not wear cleats because of the aforementioned negative effects (slipping, injuring yourself, improper grip, etc.).

As for cleats made for turf, a similar principle applies. Because they have spikes albeit small, you can still risk slipping and hurting yourself. This is because you will have very limited contact with the ground, which can lead to instability and potential injury.

Simply put, don’t wear your shoes made for turf in a gym, especially if they have small spikes. You could get hurt and can even cause damage to the hardwood flooring. Better safe than sorry!

When conducting drills or playing softball or baseball in a gymnasium, simply opt for gym shoes instead. They are made with your comfort and health in mind while also taking good care of the floor.

Can I Wear Shoes for Turf Outside?
On the other end of the spectrum, what about outdoors? If you are simply running around and playing only on grass, then it is actually perfectly fine for you to wear shoes for turf. However, if you are running on harder surfaces at all, such as concrete, then it’s best to swap them for other more applicable shoes.

This is because the harder surfaces can wear down and even break off the sensitive rubber spikes on turf shoes. Plus, you won’t be provided proper foot support.

Another great reason to not wear them outdoors is simply for aesthetics. These shoes are primarily worn inside and, when worn outside, they’re likely to accumulate a lot of mud, dirt, and other grubby materials on them. This can cause a deterioration on their exterior and simply make them look unappealing!

What Are the Best Turf Shoes?

When you are looking for the best shoes for turf available, there is one brand that you will notice pop up again and again: New Balance.

Regardless of whether you play softball or baseball, you can trust our selection of New Balance softball and baseball turf shoes to supply you with what you need. New Balance shoes for turf are extremely popular due to their look, durability, grip, comfort, and lightweight features. Be sure to browse all of our many options to find the right pair for you and your needs!

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