Similar to many other sports played on grass or turf, lacrosse requires cleats in order to play. Cleats are a staple in the game of lacrosse and can greatly improve a player's performance. They are highly customizable and there is a lot to learn about the many different variations.
What are cleats used for?
Lacrosse cleats are very similar to cleats in other sports such as baseball, football, and soccer. They are shoes that have plastic or metal spikes on the outside of the sole for traction purposes. Lacrosse cleats help players from slipping and potentially getting injured when making sharp cuts or while running. They are also usually made out of firm materials in order to offer support for the foot and ankles.
Cleats are a piece of equipment that every lacrosse player uses when playing on a turf or grass field. Many cleats will be specifically designed for turf or grass. Turf shoes are usually somewhat lighter, more flexible and have less exaggerated spikes. While grass cleats can certainly be worn on turf, many players will prefer to have two different pairs of cleats for the different surfaces.
Things To Consider
When looking for lacrosse cleats, you'll want to consider the following:
- What size lacrosse cleat do you need?
- What position do you play?
- Are you playing indoors or outdoors?
- How much do you want to spend on lacrosse cleats?
- What type of lacrosse cleat are you looking for?
The three different types of lacrosse cleats are low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut.
Low-cut lacrosse cleats are a type of cleats that offer support below the ankle. This style of cleats offers very little ankle support. They are also usually the lightest and most flexible cleats, making them a good choice for players who simply want the best performance.
Mid-cut cleats are the middle ground between high-cut and low-cut cleats. They offer more ankle support than low-cut cleats while allowing for better mobility than high-cut models. This option is best for players that want a hybrid cleat and do not necessarily prefer either support or flexibility.
High-cut cleats offer ankle support well above the ankle. These offer the most ankle support out of any style of cleats. They are usually preferred by players that need extra ankle support or by those that like keeping their ankles tight when moving around.
The most common materials found in lacrosse cleats are carbon fiber, leather, and polyurethane.
- Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber is a material commonly used in the plate inserts between the sole and spikes. This material is lightweight and supportive but can also be very expensive.
- Leather: Leather or synthetic leather is a material commonly used for lacrosse cleat uppers. While synthetic leather is more common now, both materials provide a comfortable fit while also providing support to the ankles.
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane is another material most commonly found in the support plate in lacrosse cleats. This material is hardened into a plastic material that offers support under the player's foot.
The most popular brands that make lacrosse cleats are New Balance, Nike, and Under Armour.
- New Balance: New Balance makes shoes and apparel for many different sports. They make mostly low-cut and mid-cut lacrosse cleats, and use a variety of different upper materials.
- Nike: Nike is one of the largest sports apparel and equipment manufacturers in the world. Known for their high quality products, they make all types of lacrosse cleats and mainly use polyurethane in their soles.
- Under Armour: Under armour is another major sports equipment and apparel manufacturer. They mainly make cleats that can function for both football and lacrosse.
When deciding which lacrosse cleats to buy, always consider the durability, cost, and sizes.
Lacrosse cleats should be able to last at least a few seasons. As long as your foot size remains the same and the shoes are taken care of properly, one pair of cleats should last a while. If the spikes begin to dull, break, or if the shoe begins to tear, it is recommended to buy a new pair.
Lacrosse cleats will usually range from $60 to around $120. Youth cleats or cleats that have lower quality materials and technology may sometimes be even cheaper. Most types of lacrosse cleats will cost relatively the same. Customizing designs on lacrosse cleats will likely make them much more expensive.
Lacrosse cleats will usually come in a wide variety of sizes. They usually come in men's, women's and youth sizes and have a similar range of sizes as regular shoes. Most people tend to size down a half or full size when buying cleats to get a snug fit. Most companies will have a sizing chart online that will correspond to your exact measurements.
How do you break in lacrosse cleats?
Breaking in lacrosse cleats is important in preventing discomfort and potential injuries. There are a few different methods to break them in. One method is to bring new and old cleats to practice and rotate between the two. You can also wear the cleats while walking around. You can even put your cleats on and soak them in a warm water bath to loosen the materials.
How much do lacrosse cleats cost?
Lacrosse cleats have a wide range of prices. Some can be found for as low as $40 while some can cost upwards of $120. Certain cleats may be targeted at certain skill levels, which may influence the price.
Do you need different cleats for playing lacrosse indoors?
In indoor lacrosse, most players wear different types of cleats. Indoor lacrosse shoes will likely have similar uppers to outdoor lacrosse shoes but with different soles. Instead of hard plastic spikes, indoor shoes will have textured rubber soles similar to basketball shoes or indoor soccer shoes.