Toe Guards: Yes or No?

Toe Guards: Yes or No?

Toe guards. You either love them, or hate them. Some players prefer the natural look and feel of a cricket bat. Others prefer the protection a toe guard adds to the investment that is their beloved bat. It’s purely a personal preference, but we’re going to weigh in with our batmaker’s head on about the topic.

Spoiler alert: we advise you always fit a toe guard. Either when you order your new M&H or you’re having your favourite blade refurbished (Bat repair and refurbishment – Millichamp and Hall), There’s a number of reasons we advise this.

Bats break. Period. Often in the toe. The toe of a cricket bat is usually one of the thinnest parts of the bat, and particularly vulnerable to damage, especially when facing a hard, new ball. A toe guard serves as a protective layer for the bat, shielding it from potential harm. Whilst we offer a warranty with your M&H bat purchase, damage from yorkers is unlikely to be covered. Whilst it might not look very ‘pro’, international sponsored players don’t have to buy bats like you do, and get their bats repaired for free, or replaced. For free. It might sound counter-intuitive coming from a batmaker, but we want your M&H to last, and advise you do everything you can to preserve the lifespan of your M&H bat.

Another audience we advise fitting a toe guard is for you bat-tappers out there. Who knows why or where it started, but excessive bat-tapping while you wait for the bowler to run in does no favours for the toe of a bat. Bat tapping will accelerate the deterioration of your bat, making it more susceptible to toe creasing and splitting. Either don’t tap, or fit a toe guard.

One of the worst things you can do to a cricket bat is to get it wet. Especially in the toe. If the toe of a bat gets wet, the wood will swell, decompressing the fibres of the wood, compromising playing performance and durability of your bat. It rains (in the UK, a LOT) everywhere in the world, and cricket is played on grass wickets, which are actively watered when there is not enough rain. Fitting a toe guard will create a moisture barrier, reducing water absorption into the toe. Please be aware that water damage will always invalidate your M&H warranty.

So. Fit a toe guard. Please. Ours, or someone else’s. Whichever toe guard you choose to use, please make sure it is fitted by a professional. We think ours are pretty neat, and work best with our bats. They are designed to last for several seasons and look as pro as possible as toe guards can. Our toes guards are made from durable, waterproof rubber, and we apply them with water resistant adhesive to minimise the risk of water ingress. You can get slip on and slip off toe guards, which sound great, but we have not seen them work well.

If in doubt, ask us when making your bat purchase, consult with experts or your local cricket store to make an informed decision!