Nike Launches New Mike Trout Cleat With Nod To Classic Favorites
For almost a decade Mike Trout has worked alongside Nike designers to create a signature cleat for the All-Star major leaguer. The years of work have led to the latest iteration of his on-field performance wear with the launch of the Nike Force Zoom Trout 6.
The new cleat not only updates the smallest details from his early days working with Nike, but also pays tribute to some of Trout’s favorite footwear silhouettes as a kid, including a midfoot strap reminiscent of early Nike Baseball Huarache cleats and a toe cap borrowed from the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite.
Overall, Trout, who asked for these design changes, says he has learned a lot about working on a signature cleat since his initial meetings as a 21-year-old.
“I held in my feedback for those first meetings, but it was more because I didn’t know Nike could make the smallest changes based on what I wanted,” Trout says. "If there was some seam on the cleat I didn’t like, I could change it, or if there was a feature from a past cleat I wanted to bring in, I could do it. Looking back, I should’ve been more vocal from day one.”
Trout says he has five-fold criteria for the perfect cleat, with three of those focusing on performance: comfort, weight and durability. “A comfortable cleat needs to last,” he says. “You can’t have a cleat break down after wearing it for a week. You obviously can’t have heavy feet out there during play. Linear speed is a critical part of the game.”
The other two criteria flow around design, with the outfielder looking for an option with flair and personality. “Does it look good? I’m big on feeling confident in a certain look,” he says. “There are details on a cleat that people might not see on camera, but are incredibly personal to me, like the area code to my hometown. A big component for me is when you can present a cleat to someone and build a story around it.”
The Nike Force Zoom Trout 6 released July 5 and has Trout thinking about both the cleats he loved as a kid and inspiring the youth of today with his gear. “Obviously, you think about young kids who are going to wear this cleat and make them look good, and more importantly, make them feel good,” he says. “Nike allows me to change what I want, and in doing so, I can create a cleat that young players are hopefully excited to wear.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.