Matthew A. Harris
Sports are a great thing. It teaches one teamwork from a very young age. It shows us diversity within a community. It teaches us how to cope with losing and winning, and helps us mature.
When we think of sports, when we close our eyes and picture a certain sport being played, the things we see are usually the stadium, the fans, the hats/helmets the logos on the uniforms and our favorite player on the field.
People however, may not think of the type of shoe the athlete wears and why they wear it.
Major sport associations like basketball and football are predominantly a Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour driven league due to shoe deals and the high profile athletes who represent the brand.
Other sports like volleyball, wrestling, and field hockey may not have the same view on these major shoe companies when it comes to their respective sports.
We dig in deeper to look at shoe brands among athletes in their respective sport here at Springfield College.
“I wear Nike shoes, they’re my favorite brand,” said sophomore wrestler Patrick Ferzoco “I like the way they make the design of the shoe and I like how the shoes are comfortable. [They] make me feel more confident when I wrestle.”
“I use Bryne woman’s cleat” said sophomore field hockey player Amanda Nusbaum. “I use women’s lacrosse cleats which you can use in field hockey, which has the longer cleat, it digs in the turf more so you fall less and you can cut harder and there is a less of a chance of getting injured.”
“This year we wear Mazuno, last year we used Nike,” said sophomore volleyball player Jennifer Donnelly. “Mazuno is a staple in volleyball.”
Everything from how the shoe looks, to how it fits, to the price of the shoe, are all things to consider when purchasing the most important piece of apparel one needs to play their sport at the highest and most efficient level, while still maintaining comfortability.
“Wrestling shoes have more grip on the bottom of it,” said Ferzoco. “It lets you stop quick when you need to and be explosive. The shoes are made specially for the mats.”
“I like [Bryne women’s cleats] better because the shoe itself isn’t as wide, it’s made of a good material so it doesn’t seem cheap, the bottom of the cleats are comfy,” said Nusbaum. “We play on fieldturf so you can wear turf shoes. The cleat part itself isn’t as long as typical cleats like soccer cleats.”
“[Volleyball shoes] have really good support [for] the front toe especially, [because] we drag our feet from serving. [Mazuno’s] have a special rubber front so they don’t wear down as much, [and] we can use them for the whole season without them ripping,” said Donnelly. “Nike doesn’t have the rubber front and it was more of a basketball style. some girl got nerve damage in her toe from using [them last year].”
Comfort should be the number one reason to buy a shoe for sports not the brand name, sometimes the best products are the ones that are most overlooked.
Shoes are a culture within itself. Shoes make the consumer feel like they have a part of the athlete with them or that they can resemble their game and show respect to their idols.
Whatever sport you play or whatever brand you may use as long as it makes you feel good when you step on the field that’s all that should matter.
Matthew can be reached on Twitter at @M_A_Harris35