BY IAN BURGESS
Over the past several years, there has been an emergence in MLB players who have used the Custom Cleats Inc. service to turn their favorite sneakers (mostly Nike/Jordan basketball or training shoes) into spikes to use in-game. The charge for a pair of Custom Cleats includes all shipping costs and can range from $115-$125 for the metal plate to be installed. The first MLB player to advertise for the company was Russell Martin, who abandoned his deal with Adidas to get his favorite J’s and Nikes customized into cleats. And boy, did they come out great.
The sneaker-to-cleat conversion has since rubbed off on several players around the MLB, such as Martin’s teammates Josh Donaldson and Marcus Stroman, both Nike guys, who have since had several pairs of Blue Jays inspired sneakers turned into cleats.
As amateur players, are custom cleats worth the cost? The biggest pro of getting a pair of custom cleats is right in their slogan “Bring Comfort Back to the Game.” As I’m sure a lot of you know, the first time wearing a brand new pair of baseball cleats isn’t typically the best experience, since the materials cleats are made out of are typically very stiff until worn a few times. For this reason, if your feet tend to ache a lot after practices or games, I definitely think a pair would be worth your while!
However, there is also a looming risk to Custom Cleats that needs to be considered. This being durability of the product. Although actual cleats might be uncomfortable right after purchase, the material they are made from is meant to withstand all the sliding and being stepped on that occurs in baseball, whereas sneakers are made for much less harsh environments. If you’re sliding into second to break up a double play and a shortstop cleats you and rips a hole in your new custom cleats, you’re screwed. You have to remember, not all of us have the budget for cleats the way Donaldson and Stroman do.
Personally, I wouldn’t get a pair of Custom Cleats because of the cost and the durability issue that I just mentioned, but that’s just me! Their work has had great reviews from the three Blue Jays mentioned earlier and their extreme popularity in the Big Leagues cannot be denied.
Images: @customcleats Instagram