An Open Letter to Buster Posey

Dear Mr. Posey:

Last night a friend of mine asked if I had seen the orange cleats that Bud Norris wore during his last outing. During a search for said shoes I stumbled across a pair you wore which leads to the crux of this missive. Based on my observations, I’m theorizing that your feet would benefit from roomier footwear. It appears that an area near the medial lacing of your right shoe is creased and pulling. I’m wondering if a portion of your right foot, specifically the ball of your foot and your small toes, are being denied freedom.

My hypothesis is that your instep is fairly generous, giving you what footwear people would call a high volume, or voluptuous foot. People whose feet are wide and tall frequently have difficulty finding footwear that accomodates the generosity of their feet. Without having seen either of your feet in person, or next to each other, I’m going to go out on a limb and compare your width to Justin Verlander’s whom I also believe needs more room for his toes to spread.

While your hemline curvature indicates that your footwear is not riding your heels, it remains difficult to assess whether your footwear is long enough. It may be, and kudos to you for selecting the Under Armour cleats as that logo on the vamp is deceptive. Without seeing your foot in person I’m hesitant to recommend another brand, but the analyst in me wants to hear your thoughts on the New Balance footwear that Dustin Pedroia prefers as the slope of that instep appears to be higher than the Under Armour cleats I saw, and the toe box is angled to give extra room to digits four and five.

Your feet take a lot of abuse behind the plate so a mesh upper probably wouldn’t work well there, but I believe that the shape of that shoe more closely matches the shape of your feet. Wider cleats would allow your feet to relax inside of your footwear. This translates into more comfort and speed as it is easier to run faster when your foot is allowed to fully expand in whatever direction it needs. Could experimenting with a footwear change mean that you would beat the ball to the plate during a particularly grueling future postseason game?

I’ve always had a great deal of respect for you as a player and a family man. I would love to see the Giants face the Royals for seven games. I was disappointed when Kolten Wong went yard despite having liked him as a prospect before he became part of the regular roster for the St. Louis Cardinals, but more important than a team I dislike flaunting their home grown talent is the safety of those playing what can be a very hazardous game. Catchers are unique in the way that their feet are being utilized, and the removal of one from any game is an event I can’t celebrate.

I strongly encourage you to have your feet professionally measured if you haven’t already. There is a tendency for people with wide feet to go longer with footwear to get the width they need. That can stretch the plantar fascia, forcing the feet into an antagonistic relationship with their footwear. Depending on arch length, this could increase the likelihood of an injury such as turf toe. Morton’s neuromas have long been associated with shoes that pinch the wearer’s toes, and while surgery is an option, it will not make the feet that you were born with, better. Unsightly and painful corns are another issue that can arise when pressure from footwear squeezes toes, and lack of circulation can be problematic when blood flow to compressed areas is restricted.

During a game pitches are either inside of the strike zone, or outside or it. Footwear is similar in that it fits, or it doesn’t. Just as a pitch can be wide, or high, feet can also stretch the limits of their constraints, and that never bodes well for the wearer. Your small toes help to balance and stabilize you, and it bothers me to think of yours being compromised. I know you are busy, but your health impacts your family, your fellow teammates, and your fans.

Ignorance is bliss until you start paying the price of footwear that failed to meet the demands your body is making. I’m afraid that these seemingly minor annoyances may be contributing to problems that will plague you later on in life, and hasn’t someone who works as hard as you do earned an opportunity to wear footwear that’s as comfortable as it is supportive and durable?

My very best regards,

Jessica Jensen

P.S. Go Giants!