Right Cleats Teamed with Right Orthotics Can Up Your Game, Keep You in it Longer

May 10, 2018

There are a multitude of sports that require special footwear in order to play.  Football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and even cycling have a need for cleated soles.  There are different varieties within those sports for indoor, turf, outdoor and varying field (mud or hard ground) conditions.  Choosing the proper shoe can be the difference between excellent performance and a bad day, if not a foot crippling and sports career ending injury.

For the sake of example, we are going to talk about rugby.  There are 15 different positions on the field for one team. Each position has its own role, and different cleats are desirable for different positions.  Most of the time, soccer cleats are acceptable.

They have low profile studs that are good for running, cutting, and turning in low grass and dry conditions.  This makes them particularly useful for the “backs” positions that are responsible for more the of lightning-quick breakaways and fluid passing that moves the ball quickly up more open field.

There are also rugby-specific cleats that are high tops or have longer studs for digging into the ground for power and stability for the “forwards,” who slow-push or ram the ball down field as a pack.

This style of cleat is superior in longer grass or wet and muddy conditions.  These are a little heavier and more cumbersome than soccer cleats. Sometimes the cleats are made of metal, sometimes they are made of molded plastic, sometimes they are made of hard rubber.

Here is the thing about cleats:  All of your weight, instead of being supported by your soles, which is natural, is instead balanced on 6-10 nubs of plastic, rubber, or metal.  This creates pressure points where they don’t normally exist.

Depending on the condition and shape of your foot, this may cause over-pronation, either inward or outward, excess weight on your toes, or excess weight on your heels.  This affects the way your entire body feels and moves. Your athletic performance is dependent on the proper fit and comfort level within those shoes. It takes time and patience in order to break in the shoe and get your body adjusted to the altered conditions.

As an athlete previously on teams in both the USA Rugby Super League and Major League Rugby (MLR), I have worn many different types of cleats in different styles and configurations.  Correct fit is the first and foremost priority in choosing cleats. However, I have discovered through trial and error that the best way to maximize athletic performance in cleats is to have orthotic inserts that place the foot in an ideal position. This improves comfort (delaying fatigue) and enhances leverage/responsiveness.

Custom orthotics add superior cushion between your feet and those nubs, as well as proper foot positioning.  Stability is also increased. When you don’t have to worry about your feet hurting, or your body being in a weird position, you can focus on your game.  When you are able to focus on the game, you are able to increase performance.

For both the cleats and the orthotics, it is best to seek professional quality.  If it is your first time buying cleats, you may go through several pairs before you find ones that work.  This is not at all unusual.

To maximize performance no matter the type of cleat, try orthotics. To minimize pain, and help ensure proper body positioning, getting them customized to your foot is the best option.  

There is no option in custom orthotics that compares to FootDoctors orthotics. Through us, you can get professional athlete-grade orthotics without leaving your home!

FootDoctors Orthotics was founded by Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen . . . Dr. O., who’s been involved in sports medicine, biomechanics and designing orthotics for over 25 years! When you order through us, you get the same medical-grade custom orthotics with which Dr. O fits her clinical patients.

With a 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee and 2-year Plastic Breakage Warranty, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to experience the impacts of FootDoctors Orthotics: improved responsiveness of your cleats, comfort to stay in the game longer, and most importantly -  your healthier feet over the years.

Be sure to get the right type of cleats for your sport, position and field condition, and with any sport consider adding custom orthotics to your game plan. It will all be worth it in the end when your game improves and your feet stay healthy!