How to Properly Put on Baseball Stirrups
As the nights get longer and the air gets colder, you can brighten up with dreams of baseball in the spring. Putting your socks on is a no-brainer, right? Not so fast—with baseball-style socks, you might be surprised that some players, especially in youth leagues, need to be taught how to properly put on baseball stirrups.
When stirrup socks started
Stirrup socks have been a style statement in baseball almost since the game began. Teams began rolling their pants up to resemble cricket uniforms in the mid-1800s. Stirrup socks were added a few decades later. Now, you can find stirrup socks for a wide range of sports. In baseball, players have the option to wear their pants long, hiding their socks altogether, or create a classic look with stirrups. Recreational teams can create their own custom stirrup socks for a unique look on the diamond. There’s a proper way to put stirrups on, so they’ll provide coverage but won’t inhibit movement.
How to put on stirrups
If you’re not going full-on retro with knicker (knee-length) pants, start by rolling your long pants up to your knee. Then, put on your regular white athletic socks. The stirrups go on over them. Easy, right? But there’s more to it than you think: most stirrup socks have different sized holes, a larger one and a smaller one (a “high” side and a “low” side). The smaller, or “low side,” goes in front. Put your toes through the smaller hole, the strap or “stirrup” under the arch of your foot, and put your heel and ankle through the larger hole at the back of the stirrup.
Pull the stirrup up to just under your knee—you don’t want it to hinder movement by constricting your knee. The stirrups should fit snugly, so they won’t fall down; it’s hard to run with socks flapping around your ankles! The stirrups shouldn’t sag either, which makes them look slovenly. A nice, tight look is what you’re going for—If the stirrups slip or bag, their elastic is failing and it’s time to get a new pair.
A few extra tips
To show off your stirrups, wear your pants rolled up. For added security, some players tape the stirrups in place. Others are so meticulous about their stirrup look that they actually put their pants on inside out. How? With the stirrups in place atop the white athletic sock, turn the pants inside out and upside down. Fold the cuffs back as much as you’d need to roll them once the pants are on. Step in and pull the legs up to the knee, then pull the waist up, turning the pants right-side-in as they roll up the thigh to your waist. This creates a great look, while securing the socks under the cuffed-up pants. Adjust the roll of the pants at the knee, and you’re stylin’ it old school!
There are differing opinions about how high the cut-outs should be worn. Some players like to show a lot of white sock, while others display just a peek of the ankle. Unless the team requires a standard look, it’s up to each player to choose how high to wear the cut of the stirrup. Variations aside, it’s important to teach new players how to properly put on baseball stirrups, so they stay up and represent the team well.