Cricket shoes are among the most important pieces of equipment in your kit bag but, for fast bowlers, it’s essential to find the right pair.
5 Best Cricket Shoes for Fast Bowlers
1. Adidas Adipower Vector 20 – Cricket Shoes Designed for Fast Bowlers
It’s interesting to note the manufacturer’s specifications for this product because they underline just how unique a shoe must be for fast bowlers. There are extra spikes (10) on the outsole and these are designed to propel you forwards at greater speeds.
Meanwhile, there is a bevelled heel and this adds comfort and protection while landing.
Now, I can’t bowl very fast but I can run at a fair speed so this was a good test. I found the Adidas Adipower Vector 20 to be extremely lightweight and I barely noticed the impact on the turf.
The cushioning was exceptional and, while I don’t know if they made me run faster, they have quickly become my first choice shoe. There was good protection for the ankle as well with the raised sides.
They are not the cheapest but I would say that the comfort levels mean that you could use them for batting as well. Therefore, you would only need one pair for all your cricket needs but remember that their primary purpose is for fast bowling.
2. Payntr Bodyline 225 Bowling Cricket Shoes
The word ‘bodyline’ is synonymous with fast bowling so this Payntr product had to be worth checking out. These shoes really stood out to me because they have a classic design – white with a black trim and red branding. I don’t like wearing bright colours on the field and that’s a plus for me personally.
On a more general note, all players should benefit from the high sides that protect the ankle. These are known as top collars and this was a striking part of the design.
They are very lightweight and breathable and the EVA midsole is intended to mould around your feet. So, if you have flat feet or wide feet that aren’t conventionally shaped then these could be the shoes for you.
These could also be used for batting but, if you are an all-rounder who takes all aspects of their game seriously, I would suggest using these for bowling only.
3. New Balance CK4040 L4 2021 Fast Bowling Cricket Shoes
These shoes also have a high top collar and there are 11 studs here for better grip, stability and traction. What I noticed about the New Balance CK4040 L4 is that they are very light – much lighter than the other products that I’d tried up to this point.
Comfort comes naturally with lightweight shoes but you do feel supported when you’re bowling with this product. A lot is spoken about the mid-foot strap that offers extra support and I did feel that it helped give me greater confidence as I ran in..
They are designed specifically for the kind of high impact work that a fast bowler goes through and reviews suggest that they are extremely durable.
They also come at a more economical price than other shoes on this list so this is definitely a product to consider very seriously. Because of that lower price, you may be in a better position to buy a separate batting shoe.
4. Asics Gel Speed Menace Cricket Shoes
The design of the Asics Gel Speed Menace is a bit brighter, with the gold trim, but don’t let that put you off. Of all the shoes that I tried on, these seemed to be the most secure with comprehensive lace up strapping.
To balance that out, the ankle protection isn’t quite as high. There is also a rounded toe which may not suit everyone.
The key to that type of design really lies in the name: These are called ‘speed menace’ so I would say that they are largely intended for those who are looking to bowl out and out pace in very short spells.
If you fit that demographic, I would say that these are perfect shoes. You could also easily use these for fielding and for batting so that helps to add some good all-round value to the package.
In short, these are for the speedster rather than the seamer who likes to bowl all day.
5. Puma 19.1 Bowling Cricket Shoes with Spikes
In contrast to the previous set of shoes, I would say that this product is the best all rounder. The Puma 19.1 range has that high ankle top for protection in that area, while there is that centre strap support too.
It has a flat heel and the traction on this pair was especially good. What that flat design tends to do is to put more force into the bottom of the shoe which means that the spikes tend to ‘dig in’ to the pitch a little more as you are running in. What should subsequently happen is that you will feel far more confident in your run up – you will forget about the shoes and just concentrate on your action.
I would also say that this provides the best value for money if you are looking for a shoe as a bowler only. If you want a pair that suits batting, take the Pumas but you may have to look for a second pair to put in your bag.
Our Testing Criteria for Fast Bowling Shoes
1. Stability and Spikes
You’ll need to feel in control when you’re stepping out onto the grass. Spikes offer the grip into the surface and you should feel stable and unlikely to slip, even if there is heavy moisture in that grass.
Traction refers to the grip on the surface and the friction that follows as your feet move around the pitch. We need that grip but we also have to move quickly to run, bowl or chase the ball so there is a delicate balance.
3. Toe Space and Arch Support
If the toes are too close to the front of the shoe, they will rub during the game. This will be extremely uncomfortable and it could also lead to injury so we need some space and also a solid support for the arch.
This is all about comfort and the ability for your cricket shoes to absorb impact. There should be soft but hard wearing cushioning under and around the feet to aid that comfort while providing protection.
5. Value for Money
This should be a prerequisite for any online purchase. We want the best cricket shoe to fit our individual budget so naturally we want to find some value for money.
I’ve tried on a lot of different shoes here and there were a number that I rejected. At the end of the process, I came out with this top five and those picks are all made using the five different criteria that I mentioned.
Remember that you have to play your own part in looking after the shoe. All of these products are meant to be durable but only if you follow the recommended cleaning and maintenance guidelines.