New Under Armour Cleat Designed for Sneaker Comfort
Sure, the new Under Armour Yard baseball cleat has spikes, but the design team doesn’t want you to think of it that way.
“We built it from the ground up to be extremely comfortable,” says Gabriel To’oto’o, Under Armour designer. “We built it not like a cleat, but more like a running shoe.”
While the new cleat released for retail on Oct. 2, Dee Gordon of the Seattle Mariners, Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs and Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox had all already started wearing the Yard during this season.
“When I put it on, it was extremely comfortable,” Benintendi says. “It felt like a tennis shoe and that is something you want to wear as a player.”
To create the comfort, To’oto’o says the rear quarter is all about having a tactile sensation with no irritation from seams. Instead, he says “soft pillows wrap your ankle and at the same time lock you in. It is zoned to break with the foot, allowing your foot to move and breathe.”
With a mesh section on the forefoot, laser-perforated suede on the midfoot panel and cushion around the heel, To’oto’o says he mimicked how a running shoe is zoned in order to bring a comfort sneaker fit and feel to cleats.
“I tried,” he says, “to bring some performance running philosophy and built it into the Yard.”
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Using Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning system, a ventilated tongue, a sock liner designed to mold to each foot, a molded heel, stretch collar and signature textile materials, Under Armour expects comfort to last over the course of a long season.
Each cleat features nine metal spikes designed for speed and grip in dirt.
The Under Armour Yard cleat retails for $90, while a trainer version of the Yard retails for $80.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.