Why Do Kickers Wear Two Different Shoes?
In the world of American football, kickers are often seen wearing two different shoes during games. While this may seem peculiar to some, there are legitimate reasons behind this seemingly odd practice. In this article, we will explore why kickers wear two different shoes and provide insights into various scenarios where this would be a concern.
One of the main reasons kickers wear two different shoes is to optimize their performance on the field. Different types of shoes provide different benefits, and by wearing two different ones, kickers can take advantage of the specific advantages each shoe offers. For instance, a kicker might wear a soccer cleat on their kicking foot to get better traction on the ball, while wearing a flat-soled shoe on their plant foot for improved stability during the kicking motion.
Let’s delve into some scenarios where kickers wearing two different shoes becomes crucial:
1. Wet or muddy field conditions: In wet or muddy conditions, a kicker might opt for a shoe with longer cleats on their plant foot to prevent slipping, while wearing a shoe with shorter cleats on their kicking foot to maintain better control over the ball.
2. Indoor games: In indoor stadiums where the playing surface is typically artificial turf, kickers may choose to wear a shoe with a flat sole on their plant foot to maximize stability during the kicking motion, while wearing a shoe with turf-specific cleats on their kicking foot for better traction.
3. Snowy or icy fields: In wintry conditions, kickers might need to wear a shoe with longer cleats on their plant foot to ensure stability, while wearing a shoe with shorter cleats or even a regular sneaker on their kicking foot to have a better feel for the ball on slippery surfaces.
4. Kicking off a tee: When kicking off a tee, kickers may prefer to wear a shoe with a flat sole on their plant foot to provide a solid base, while wearing a shoe with specialized kicking cleats on their kicking foot for optimal ball control.
5. Kicking long field goals: For long field goal attempts, kickers may wear a shoe with a harder toe on their kicking foot to generate more power and distance, while opting for a shoe with better cushioning on their plant foot to absorb the impact of the kick.
Now, let’s address some common questions related to kickers wearing two different shoes:
1. Does wearing two different shoes affect a kicker’s performance?
Wearing two different shoes can actually enhance a kicker’s performance by allowing them to take advantage of the specific benefits each shoe offers.
2. Are kickers required to wear two different shoes?
No, kickers are not required to wear two different shoes. It is a personal preference based on individual playing styles and field conditions.
3. Can kickers switch their shoes during a game?
Yes, kickers can switch their shoes during a game if needed. However, they usually make their shoe selection before the game and stick with it throughout.
4. Are kickers the only players who wear two different shoes?
While kickers are the most common players to wear two different shoes, some other positions, such as punters and holders, may also choose to do so.
5. How do kickers decide which shoe to wear on which foot?
Kickers usually experiment during practice sessions to find the shoe combination that feels most comfortable and provides the desired benefits.
6. Can wearing two different shoes cause injuries?
As long as the shoes fit properly and provide adequate support, wearing two different shoes should not cause any injuries.
7. Do kickers wear specific brands of shoes for each foot?
Some kickers may have brand preferences for each foot, while others prioritize the benefits provided by the shoe rather than the brand.
8. Do kickers wear specially customized shoes?
Some kickers may have customized shoes tailored to their specific preferences and kicking style, but it is not a requirement.
9. Are kickers allowed to wear shoes of different colors?
Yes, kickers can wear shoes of different colors if they choose to do so. It is a way to express their personal style on the field.
10. Do kickers wear the same shoe combination for every game?
Kickers may stick with the same shoe combination for consistency, but they can change it based on field conditions or personal preference.
11. Can kickers wear two different shoes in college or high school football?
The rules regarding footwear in college and high school football may vary, but many kickers at these levels also wear two different shoes.
12. How do kickers maintain their shoes in good condition?
Kickers often clean their shoes after each game and replace them regularly to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
13. Do kickers wear two different shoes during training sessions?
Some kickers may choose to wear two different shoes during training sessions, while others may use the same shoe combination as in games.
In conclusion, kickers wear two different shoes to optimize their performance based on various field conditions and playing scenarios. This practice allows them to take advantage of the specific benefits each shoe offers, resulting in improved stability, traction, and control. While it may seem unconventional, wearing two different shoes is a well-established tradition among kickers in football.