Just like every other baseball gear, your cleats require utmost care and maintenance. Wearing clean cleats not only gives you confidence in the field but also protects your feet from harmful bacteria.
Baseball is a vigorous game, and like many players, your feet will sweat, making the inner part of your cleats humid. If this humidity combines with the dirt that gets into the shoes during the game, you have a perfect environment for the proliferation of germs and other bacteria.
The outer side of your cleats also requires regular cleaning. Dirt, mud, grass, and debris usually accumulate on the bottom and sides of these baseball shoes. This unwanted accumulation can easily compromise the grip of these cleats and interfere with the amount of traction that the cleats can give you.
Don’t forget that dirt and the other impurities increase the wear and tear of your cleats, thus making them last for a shorter period than they should. So, how should you clean your baseball shoes?
First, there some cleaning essentials you need always to carry in your baseball gear bag. These include:
- A putty knife or Popsicle sticks: these help you remove mud and other similar material from your shoes immediately after the game and at home during the actual cleaning process.
- Extra shoelaces: these are for replacing dirty laces in-between the game if and when the need arises.
Before You Leave the Field
Cleaning your baseball cleats should start immediately you leave the field; you don’t have to wait until you get home. After the game look for an ideal place where you can do some preliminary cleaning.
Once you locate the place, remove your cleats immediately and let them dry and get some air. This action will help avoid any moisture from building up. Such a buildup can lead to mold developing in these shoes.
Once the shoes are drier and fairly aerated, use the Popsicle stick to remove as much debris and mud from your cleats as you can. This action ensures the mud and debris do not dry and get harder to eliminate. On the same note, it minimizes the damage that these impurities can cause on your cleats.
Once done with this initial cleaning stage, put the cleats in a plastic bag or a ventilated shoe compartment in your baseball gear bag as you prepare to transport them home. Doing this helps protect your clothes, equipment, and the car from any damage that can be caused by pesticides, mud, grass, and other debris that might have attached itself to your baseball shoes.
Once at home, the actual cleaning begins.
Cleaning these shoes can get a bit messy, so it’s prudent to do it outside where you don’t interfere with the interior of your home. Remember, the most important areas to clean are the sides and bottoms of the cleats. For effective cleaning, the following simple procedure will work just fine.
Step 1: Clap the cleats together
Clap your shoes along with the bottoms facing one another to get any remaining dry mud off the boots.
Step 2: Brush off the dirt
After that, use a wire brush or firm toothbrush to scrape off excess dirt and mud from the shoes.
Step 4: Rinse with a hose
Give your shoes a quick and powerful rinse using a garden hose pipe. Don’t worry about the outer side of the cleats getting wet. After you’ve done this, use a damp rag to wipe off each shoe and its spikes keenly.
In case there’s some greasy or stubborn material on the shoes, soap can help. Use a rag with some soap to clean the cleats more thoroughly, then rinse them and clean further, if necessary.
Step 5: Dry you’re Cleats
Always let your shoes air-dry at room temperature. In case you have a dehumidifier, you can use it to dry your shoes. However, avoid drying the cleats in direct sunlight or putting them in the clothes dryer or even using a dryer or any other external source of heat.
If the interior of the cleats is wet, you can stuff the shoes with some old newspaper to help absorb excess moisture.
You can clean your cleats using a cleaning spray in case you don’t want to use water. In this case, you need to go through the first two steps in the procedure explained above then spray on the metal cleats.
These cleaning procedures will go a long way in giving your cleats that neat and tidy look as well as ensure the shoes continue giving you the traction you need in your baseball games.
Storing Your Cleats after Washing Them
How you store your cleats after washing them plays a crucial role in determining how durable and useful the shoes remain. The most important thing during storage time is to ensure that baseball cleats retain their shape and are well aerated.
It’s essential to have a shoe tree. This is a device that approximates the shape of your foot. A shoe tree is placed inside the shoe to help preserve the shoe’s shape and stop it from getting creases. This, in turn, extends the life of your baseball shoes.
The good thing about using this device is that it is reusable, unlike the wadded rags or newspapers used for this purpose. Besides, you can also use this device when transporting your cleats to and from the field. You don’t have to cram them in your bag.
- Always put your baseball shoes in the dugout and only wear them when playing. Doing this is a sure way of preventing them from coming into contact with hard and rough surfaces in the field. Also, it helps in taming unnecessary wear and tear.
- Avoid leaving your baseball shoes in the car, thus avoiding damage that can be caused by extreme temperatures in the vehicle.
- In case you use metal cleats, check each spike periodically for sturdiness and rust to prevent having a missing or broken spike.
- Try to own at least two or more pairs of baseball cleats. Doing so allows you to rotate the shoes for practice or between games. Additionally, this will give your shoes a longer lifespan.
Cleaning your baseball cleats is one of the critical routine measures that you should take to preserve your shoes and retain their grip and traction when playing. The good thing about it is that it’s simple, easy, and inexpensive to give your cleats a thorough cleaning after every game. That is what baseball pros and aspiring pros do.