Baseball Stirrups Making a Major Comeback in 2017 January 24 2017
Players may come and go, but there’s this one thing that remains constant — the uniform. It not only has an influence on the comfort and performance of a player, but it’s also drives attention and loyalty from sports fans. This is the reason behind the major stir that George Ellard caused when he decided to sock it to the fins with kinckerbocker-style pants that stopped just below the knee and were combined with a high, red sock. This is how baseball stirrups were born.
The Birth of Baseball Stirrups
Contrary to popular assumption, baseball stirrups are not just a fashion accessory. Instead, they were introduced in 1860’s to prevent the exposure of wounds to toxic dyes leached from stockings. So, someone had this unique idea to wear a white undersock, protected by a stirrup on the top.
The trend of wearing this distinctive baseball accessory was picked by all minor and amateur leagues, and soon, stirrups became an integral part of the traditional baseball uniform. However, stirrups began to decline in 1990s when George Hendrick and Barry Bonds, key players of St. Louis Cardinals and the Pirates, started wearing their pants down to his shoe tips, negating the need for stirrups. But like all fashion trends fade away to return later, the return to more visible socks and stirrups is imminent. In fact, it’s almost happening!
Baseball Stirrups — The Great Fashion Debate of 2017
The comeback of baseball stirrups is one of the most pressing fashion debates of 2017 among baseball fans who are particularly judgmental about how a player should look on the field. There are fans who believe that long pants are disgraceful to the rich hosiery heritage of baseball and make players look like they are wearing pajamas. Therefore, these must be replaced by stirrups that are an integral component of the classic baseball uniform.
Here are a few reasons more and more baseball players have started boasting the old-school, high-socks look on the field.
- Comfort and Support — When you’re a professional baseball player, you must take good care of your feet in order to give your best on the pitch. So, whether you’re hitting the gym or tearing around the bases, a pair of good-quality baseball stirrups will keep your feet protected and comfortable, allowing you to focus on the game.
- Practical Value — Stirrups today offer greater functionality to players than ever before. Advanced features like breathable mesh vents, moisture-wicking fibers, odor-control technology, and antimicrobial protection not only keep the feet dry and cool, but also fight foot fatigue and soreness.
- Visual Appeal — Apart from the practical value associated with baseball stirrups, there’s an allure to stirrup socks that draws style-conscious baseball observers to the players who show off the classic solid-color stirrups on the field.
- Unique Look — In addition to drawing the eyes of baseball fans, stirrups also fulfill the players’ desire of individuality. Since baseball uniforms are subject to a variety of regulations that require players to wear uniforms of a certain color, trim, and style, baseball stirrups offer them the room to customize their look and put their own stamp on the game.
- Team Solidarity — Baseball stirrups signify solidarity. The sight of nine baseball players wearing solid-color stirrups with unique pattern and a team logo looks magnificent and promotes unity and harmony among the team members.
High Socks vs. No Visible Socks — Our Take on the Matter
The old-school, classic look that famous baseball players like Brad Miller and Chris Archer have boasted proudly on the field for years now is likely to become one of the hottest sports fashion trend in 2017. With more customization options available today, baseball stirrups can be personalized in unique colors, patterns, and team logos, to fulfill the players’ need for exclusivity, as well as to showcase a unique team identity.
Here’s how Joe Zee, a fashion stylist, journalist, and the creative director of Elle puts it: “Seeing the hemlines grow longer and looser over the years, I am left scratching my head. I can see that loose, dropped-waist look working in the rap community, but chasing cool on the baseball field? Not so much. They should be chasing the ball.”
So, if you’re a professional baseball player, you want to give up long pants and join players like Brad Miller Bryce Harper in the glory of a striped or solid-color baseball stirrup sock!