From Major League Baseball to Little League, baseball is a favorite sport of many Americans. Regardless of age or intensity level, all baseball players need to consistently maintain a healthy body in good physical condition; it is also important to have the proper gear and equipment for safety and optimal performance.

When it comes to the legs, feet, and ankles, stretching and strengthening exercises are essential to avoid injury. Baseball requires running with quick acceleration. It also involves frequent stops and starts, as well as sliding to reach the base and even diving to make the difficult catch. The feet and ankles endure a great deal of pressure and impact due to these rapid movements, and Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, fractures, and sprains are common injuries suffered by baseball players.

Proper footwear for baseball is a cleat specifically designed for the sport. The spiked metal or knobby plastic bottom of a cleat provides traction while running on dirt and grass. Like any athletic shoe, cleats should have a roomy box toe, a snug-fitting heel, and a non-restrictive, comfortable width. Cleats should be replaced after about 75 hours of use, which many players do not adhere to. Keeping your feet protected and your feet and ankles in good condition means less injuries and more play time.

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