When you think of sneakers digging into the dirt of a baseball diamond, you’re probably not picturing crosstrainers. For most on-field play, cleats are necessary due to the playing surface and rigors of the game. However, many athletes have made such a name for themselves in the sport that they were sponsored by brands to endorse training sneakers. For players, the benefits of having a non-cleated pair of footwear are numerous: athletes can practice, recover, train, and travel in crosstrainer variations. Since the ’90s, a number of stars have been connected to signature models. Although the trend has cooled off, and today’s players tend to opt for strictly cleats, the crosstrainer still holds a special place within baseball footwear.
Riley Jones is a journalism student from Charlottesville, VA. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things pop culture, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.
NOTE: This article was originally published March 28, 2013, with updates.