Baseball Stirrups, also known as stirrup socks or just stirrups, are part of the traditional baseball uniform. They are not a necessary element of the uniform but starting in the 1900s today, they have become a classical part that gives the baseball players a unique, distinctive look.
Looking back into the history of baseball, we find that before stirrups became a style statement in the mid-1900s. Players needed them because of two main reasons:
- The players used to wear knickers. The stirrups ensured the protection of their legs against rugged playgrounds.
- Another reason they felt a need for stirrups was because people believed colored socks cause blood poisoning and other health complications. But they used the socks to differentiate among different team members.
This is where the stirrups came in. With a white sock underneath, the colored stirrups are worn on the top, creating a member representation for all the different teams.
The Traditional Baseball Stirrups
These stirrup socks are worn over long white regular socks, which are specifically known as sanitary socks. Baseball Stirrups are not like ordinary socks. Typically, they have hollow spaces at the toe and heel sections.
With time, the style changed, and the hollow area of the stirrups at toes and heels tend to get longer, exposing more of the underneath regular white sock. Just like ordinary socks, the stirrups have a front and a back too. The difference here is for an ordinary sock; we determine the front or back with the help of its heel or its toe area. But for stirrups, there is no heel or toe area.
The way to determine its front or backside is that the front cutout (hole) at the heel areas from where the white sock is exposed is a little lower than the back cutout. There is not much of a difference. But by an inch or two, the back cutout is higher. You can easily figure this out when the stirrup sock is in your hand.
These baseball stirrups are not only a style statement for the baseball players, but they also contribute to an added layer of protection between the player’s skin and the rough land of the baseball field. And today still not necessary, but they are regarded as the traditionally important part of the baseball uniform.
When you enter into a team or enter as a newbie in baseball, you do not always get the chance to have guidance under a coach or instructor. In such a situation, the starting task, i.e., wearing the uniform, can become cumbersome.
If it was some other game, this might not have been such a task. But with baseball, there are some things a newbie should know before attempting to wear the uniform along with the baseball stirrups.
If you are one of those newbies or an established player who still struggles to wear the stirrup socks like a pro, you do not have to worry anymore. This article is the detailed guide you have been looking for, from wearing the stirrup socks to taking care of them so they last long. Every single thing is covered in this article.
How to Wear Baseball Stirrups
If somebody is new to the term, how to wear baseball stirrups, they might think, How is that even a question? Until they find out about the nitty-gritty details included in the process of wearing baseball stirrups and look flawless while playing the game. Read below to learn a detailed step-by-step process about how to wear your baseball stirrups effortlessly.
Choice of Pants
For an athletic look in the game of baseball, you have got two options. Either you can go in with knickers or with baseball pants.
Two things determine how you wear your baseball stirrups.
- The length of your pants/knickers
- Your personal preference about the whole look
We will tell you how to work with both things.
Step No. 01
If you wear baseball pants, start the process by folding your pants up to your knees.
There is a possibility that your pants might be longer, causing difficulty in folding up properly. To cope with this, feel free to bring your pants up to your waist and then start with folding them just above your knees.
This technique will give you a neat athletic look and keep the pants from bunching too much.
If you are going with knickers which is a knee-length pant you can conveniently skip the first step.
Step No. 02
Then get your hands on the white knee-high athletic socks. Try to use a new pair. Old ones tend to have lost their elasticity and give a loosened effect while you play. Make sure to pull the white socks over the hem of your pants.
Step No. 03
Now is the time to wear those athletic baseball stirrups. Keep in mind the front and back of the stirrups. The side with a lower-level hole comes at the front, and the one with the higher hole goes to the back. This point is essential to keep in check. Otherwise, you might not be able to achieve that classical baseball player looks that you imagine in your mind.
Now put your toe through the smaller hole, bringing the stirrup under the arch of your foot. Then put your heel and your ankle through the larger hole to the back of the stirrup.
When your foot is all set in the stirrup sock, start adjusting the stirrup length on your leg. It should look lean and neat without any bumps coming from the layering of fabrics (the sanitary sock and the stirrup sock).
Bring the end of the stirrup just below your knee. It should never come up to the knee, or else this will drastically hinder your knee movement while you play. You can decide how high you want your stirrup to be, as long as it stays on your calves.
The stirrup socks should be a proper fit. It should not look saggy. If you feel that the stirrup sock is slipping, then go for a new pair. The non-elastic socks can flap around your ankles while you run. And you do not want to trip or fall while playing. Right? A nice and tight look and feel are what you need to kill the traditional baseball player look.
Baseball Stirrups for Team Players
While playing in a team, you have to keep a check on what your coach directs you. It is upon the players’ personal preference for how they want to dress their stirrups for most teams. But at times, coaches do direct the team members to wear their stirrup socks in a particular way. The style and design indicate the members of one team.
The coach can direct about the pant styles, the option between pants and knickers, the visual length of the stirrups, the color of the stirrups socks, etc. If you have a coach who prefers a united team look, then go with how other team members wear the stirrups.
A Guide for Different Athletic Looks
If this is the first time you have tried on stirrup socks, and they have turned out perfectly, this does not end your style or struggle to make them look even better. As we say, there is always room for improvement. You can try on different ways and methods to style your baseball stirrups in different ways.
Different baseball players have different preferences. You have the choice to decide what you like for yourself the most. You can develop your style or take inspiration from your ideal baseball player. Some players tape their stirrups for added security and grip. You can see if this is something that you think would help you give an even better game.
One set of players prefers to show a narrow part of the loop between their shoes and cuffs, and the other players want their full sleeves to be visible. You know your style. Go for what suits you better. But in both cases, you should pull the stirrups socks under the pants for the perfect defined look.
There is no one particular style or way that works for all. The instruction in the above guide is more like one fit for all. But to determine the specific way in which the uniform looks best on you, you have to keep trying out different ways and methods to style it. After three to four tries, you would be able to find your best style.
Old School vs. Modern Fashion Statement
Whether you want to follow the old-school look or you like to go with trends, both of them give absolutely eye-catching athletic vibes. With just a small adjustment of the baseball stirrups, you can go from an old school to an up-to-date fashion ninja.
Wear your baseball stirrups high if you are looking for the traditional, old-school baseball player look. By high, we mean to keep them right below your knees but higher enough to create the style.
And if you want a modern look, then keep your stirrups low. This trick adds a style statement to your attire, giving you a modern athletic look.
The Throwback Look
The throwback look is indeed one of the most vintage, and iconic baseball legacy looks. Gaining popularity in the 1900s, the players in the 1980s mostly wore it. You can easily create the legendary throwback look with your stirrups.
Baseball stirrups are not the most worn item in MLB today, but a shift in trend is occurring with the will of young athletics. They are bringing the throwback look back in fashion, and it is getting popular at a great pace.
The Early Baseball Uniform
Baseball stirrups worn with short knickers is the oldest baseball uniform. One reason the stirrups were made was that they could save the player’s legs from getting harmed during the game, as the knickers used to be short.
If you are into an old-school style statement, you should try the stirrup socks with knickers instead of baseball pants. But make sure to wear knee-high white socks underneath the stirrups for added protection in the game.
The High-Cut Look With Tight Pants
Back in the 1970s, the trend was a little different. The most hit way to wear the baseball pants was the ones that were a real tight fit for the leg and hit around the mid-calf. With these pants, the stirrups are pulled as high as possible to give a sheen look.
You should try this style if you want to hit the style from the 1970s. For the added drama to your look, you can also put small cuts in the holes of your baseball stirrup socks. This trick will give a highly stretched look ensuing the maximum visibility of the white sock underneath.
High Stirrups Under Long Pants
This one is the most subtle, most decent, yet traditional look if you are unsure how stirrups would look on you. Get a pair of stirrups that have fairly larger ankle holes. Wear those over your white socks and pull them up as much as possible. You should try to show the maximum of the white sock underneath.
Now to complete the look, wear long pants over the stirrups—no folding of pants, no tugging with this method. Just wear long pants and adjust them in a way that the minimum of your stirrup and the white sock underneath is showing.
This minimum visibility of stirrup will ensure the traditional baseball uniform look while keeping you in your comfort zone. With this look, you will be rolling into the 1980’s classical baseball player attire.
The stirrups indicate teams as well. They differentiate members with their colors unique to each team. It does not only include one color. There is added fun with different eye-catching patterns, strips, and team logos printed or embroidered on these stirrups.
When you shop for stirrup socks for yourself, you do not necessarily have to stick to one color. You have the freedom to choose between different patterns, colors, styles, and designs. See what suits your personality the best and spend your money on that product.
Being a part of the team, you might have to follow some color codes or definite patterns, but that cannot stop you from buying what expresses you. You can flaunt in your specific baseball stirrups whenever playing out of the team or with friends.
Printed Stirrups Socks
There might be a time when you want to create the classical baseball player look but without any effort of wearing the stirrups socks. No worries! There is a solution to this issue as well. Go shopping for socks. In the market or different online sports shops, you will find plenty of options.
You have to look for long socks with stirrup prints on them. Wearing those socks is easy because they are just like your regular ones, with a print on them. They take much less time to wear, and you will not have to adjust them even once during the game. This way, you can achieve the classical baseball player look without having to do any extra struggle.
How to Make Your Stirrup Pair Last for Longer
If you have a new pair of baseball stirrups, you need to be proactive in taking care of the pair so that they do not sag anytime soon. In case you have had them for a while, you would know how unpleasant they look and how uncomfortable they feel.
- The best tip to keep your stirrup socks good as new for quite a while is good laundry techniques. There is no harm in washing your stirrups in the machine but make sure not to add any sort of bleach into the machine.
- Another proven technique is to turn them inside out before you add them to the machine. This tip works best for both sanitary and stirrup socks. It helps prevent fuzz and piling.
- For drying the pair, it is best suggested to let them air dry while put on a flat surface. If you are in a hurry, you can machine dry the socks on low heat settings and keep them inside out.
These small tips are tested and proven and can help you increase the durability of the stirrups with maintained elasticity.
If you are someone new to baseball and its traditions, you might initially find it a little hard. But we all agree; no pain, no gain. As far as this game and dress code is concerned, it just needs a little effort and consistency from your side.
You have to keep trying unless you can find one style that suits you while you play. You can try and choose a style from any decade after the 1960s or develop a style of your own. Just keep in mind, it should be easy to carry and should not hinder your performance.