Best Gaming Laptop Under $600

LOOKING FOR THE BEST GAMING LAPTOP UNDER $600?

Laptops have advanced rapidly in the past few years! They are no longer just scaled-down, portable machines that are only good for running Microsoft Office; many are fully-fledged gaming machines with high-end graphics cards, fast CPUs, and lots of RAM. These specific devices can handle downloading and running games with fewer struggles compared to regular laptops.

Gaming laptops are typically thicker and heavier than standard laptops because they contain more powerful hardware. But despite this additional weight, they are still relatively light and easy to transport.

This article will look at the best gaming laptops under $600 to help you choose a fantastic gaming machine with all the features you need to have fun while gaming.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GAMING LAPTOP

There are certain features that gaming laptops must contain to run modern games well. Here’s a breakdown of each feature and the elements to look for to suit your preferences and budget.

A POWERFUL CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT (CPU)

The CPU is the component of the computer that performs calculations and controls input/output operations.  Modern computer games typically require a fast and responsive CPU that can perform calculations for the game.

If you play online multiplayer games, a fast CPU is particularly important because it is used to accurately track the locations of dozens of players and process data packets from remote servers.  For a budget of $600, Core i5 is a great option for gamers, and you’ll find that this can handle intensive tasks such as gaming and playing multimedia simultaneously. If you choose a lower-specification CPU, this will reduce the game’s speed. If your CPU is not fast enough to process the incoming data correctly, you may begin to lag.

AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL GRAPHICS PROCESSING UNIT (GPU)

For modern games, the graphics card is usually the most important component of a gaming laptop.  It is the device that processes the game’s graphics to make them look more stunning.  The GPU handles most of those high-fidelity textures, particle effects, animations, and physics effects. Essentially, the more powerful your GPU is, the better the game will look!

If you are playing older or less graphically intensive games, a GPU is less important.  However, if you are playing a graphically intensive game like a first-person shooter (Battlefield, Far Cry, Titanfall), having a high-end GPU is essential.

The amount of VRAM on the graphics card is also important in a gaming laptop and an extension of GPU.  The VRAM provides temporary storage space for the graphics card works, such as frames, textures, and other graphics data.  If there is insufficient VRAM on the graphics card, it will have to wait for space to store files, which causes the game to stutter.  You should look for a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM, considering the budget we’re looking at. However, you’ll need at least 1080P resolution on your gaming laptop for this to maintain the different frames for your monitor.

HIGH-RESOLUTION SCREEN

There is no point in having a high-end graphics card that delivers beautiful graphics if the screen cannot render them well!  Ideally, a gaming laptop should have a screen of 1920 x 1080). This data allows you to view fine details on the screen without any blurriness, making it perfect for gaming.  If possible, get one with an in-plane switching (IPS) LED screen with a fast refresh rate.  An LED screen also improves the screen’s vibrancy no matter what angle you view your laptop screen. This technology also improves the color quality of your images.

However, a higher-resolution screen doesn’t come without its disadvantages. As the images and videos are sharper and clearer, this uses more of your laptop’s battery life which can be an inconvenience.

A GOOD AMOUNT OF MEMORY (RAM)

RAM works similarly to VRAM: it is a temporary location for the computer to store information.  However, instead of being used by the GPU, the computer’s RAM is used by the CPU.

RAM is one of the most important factors when purchasing a laptop. This is a computer memory system that temporarily saves your laptop’s information, but it’s not to be confused with a hard drive, which stores information for long periods. Without sufficient RAM, your device will run much slower and could even make gaming almost impossible. However, just having RAM isn’t enough, as you need to have a sufficient amount for your games to download efficiently and not lag.

If you do not have enough RAM, your laptop cannot quickly store the information it uses when making calculations.  When this happens, the CPU resorts to storing data on the hard drive, leading to in-game lag and a less responsive computer.

In recent years, the price of RAM has dramatically dropped, so you can now easily obtain 4 or 8 GB of RAM for your laptop.  This is the minimum amount of RAM you should have in your laptop for gaming so your games load quickly and the information is saved promptly. However, all games come in different sizes and require a different RAM size, so check the manufacturer guide on your chosen game for the minimum requirement. You might find that you can also watch YouTube videos or video call your friends while playing games. Consider if you ordinarily multitask while playing games. Otherwise, a large size isn’t essential for you.

A FAST AND SPACIOUS HARD DRIVE

Your hard drive is a permanent storage location for your computer’s data and game files.  Games can be quite large and require as much as 50 or 60 GB of storage space.  If you intend to play a variety of different games, a large hard drive will be required.

The two most common types of hard drives found in gaming laptops are Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD).   HDDs use rapidly rotating metal discs coated with a magnetic material to store data. The platters have to spin while you are storing or accessing data constantly.  SSD uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory. They have no spinning parts, and they don’t have to scan a spinning disk to find data so that they can retrieve and store data very quickly.

Typically, for the same amount of money, the HDD will have more storage space, while the SSD will be much faster.  A 1TB HDD (1000GB) costs about the same as a 256GB SSD. However, the SSD will increase substantially faster which means the computer boots up faster, games will open faster, and games can write data to the drive faster. On average, an SSD takes 10 to 13 seconds to load a laptop, while a HDD takes 30 to 40 seconds. An SSD also runs a lot quieter and smoother with no audible clicks, spinning, or vibrating parts that could distract you from gaming.

BATTERY

The laptop’s battery is also important if you are gaming while traveling or somewhere without access to power. Gaming laptops use larger amounts of power than regular laptops to improve the graphics and create high-definition results. As a result, your device can quickly run out of battery even after very little use. This might not be an issue if you intend to play games with the charger plugged in, but if you wish to travel and play, you need to consider what power source will be available.

It’s a fact that the best gaming laptops only last a couple of hours without needing to be charged since they have to generate such high-quality images and refresh constantly. Although you’ll likely want a good battery life, consider that this will mean reducing the picture quality, so ask yourself if this is really essential to your gaming.

Are Cooling Pads for Gaming Laptops Worth It?

Gaming laptops are designed to deliver high-performance computing, often pushing the hardware’s limits to provide immersive gaming experiences. However, this intensive usage can increase heat generation, potentially affecting performance and longevity.

Cooling pads for gaming laptops have emerged as accessories to address this issue. While their effectiveness can vary depending on the laptop’s design and the specific cooling pad’s quality, they generally offer a few key advantages. Cooling pads provide additional airflow beneath the laptop, helping to dissipate heat more efficiently and preventing components from overheating during extended gaming sessions. This can lead to improved thermal management, which can enhance overall performance by preventing thermal throttling—a situation where the laptop reduces performance to manage heat.

Additionally, a cooling pad can extend the lifespan of internal components by maintaining more consistent temperatures and reducing wear and tear caused by excessive heat. While cooling pads might not transform a mid-range laptop into a high-end gaming rig, they can contribute positively to a laptop’s thermal management strategy. It’s important to choose a cooling pad designed for your laptop’s size, ensure proper positioning for optimal airflow, and consider factors like noise level and build quality. In the end, if you’re a serious gamer or regularly engage in resource-intensive tasks, a well-chosen cooling pad could be a valuable investment to enhance performance and safeguard your gaming laptop’s longevity.

Acer Aspire E 15 ASUS F556UA-AS54 Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6 Touchscreen Pro Laptop Lenovo G70 Premium High Performance 17.3-inch HD+ Laptop
Rating: 4.8/5 Rating: 4.3/5 Rating: 3.5/5 Rating: 5/5
CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U Processor CPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz Processor CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U processor
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM GPU: Integrated Intel HD 520 GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
Display: 15.6-inch HD 1920*1080 pixels Display: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixels Display: 15.6-inch High resolution LED backlight, HD touchscreen Display: 17.3-inch HD 1600×900 display
RAM: 8GB RAM: 8GB RAM: 8GB RAM: 8GB
Hard Drive: 256GB Hard Drive 256GB Hard Drive: 1TB SATA hard drive Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive
Price: $$$ Price: $$$ Price: $$$ Price: $$
  •  

  • Acer Aspire E 15
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U Processor
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD 1920*1080 pixels
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 256GB
  • Price: $$$
  •  

  • ASUS F556UA-AS54
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • CPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD 520
  • Display: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixels
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive 256GB
  • Price: $$$
  •  

  • Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6 Touchscreen Pro Laptop
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Display: 15.6-inch High resolution LED backlight, HD touchscreen
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Price: $$$
  •  

  • Lenovo G70 Premium High Performance 17.3-inch HD+ Laptop
  • Rating: 5/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U processor
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Display: 17.3-inch HD 1600×900 display
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive
  • Price: $$

Acer Aspire E15

Acer-Aspire-E15Price: $549

CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (Up to 2.8GHz)

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM

Display: 15.6-inch Full HD Display 1920*1080 pixels

RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory

Hard Drive: 256GB SSD

Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion (2800 mAh) Battery with up to 12-hours Battery Life

The Acer E15 is the best of the laptops reviewed, with a super-fast Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1080p display, and a 256GB SSD.  It boots up quickly, is responsive, and a real pleasure to use. It has a large 6-cell Li-ion battery that is capable of an astonishing 12 hours of battery life — more than the other laptops reviewed.

This is the only laptop reviewed here that has a dedicated graphics card, the GeForce 940MX — making it ideal for games with more advanced graphics.  Of the laptops reviewed, this is the one most likely to run a game like Battlefield or Titanfall at high frames per second (fps). With an average of loading 30 fps, this Acer laptop might struggle loading games such as Black Ops 4, but it’ll present graphics in high definition.

With many gaming laptops, cooling can be a huge issue, but we’re pleased that this Acer laptop doesn’t overheat meaning you can comfortably sit it on your legs while continuing play. This is all down to the CPU and GPU to keep the laptop running efficiently while downloading graphics.

The graphics card, SSD drive, and outstanding display are the major selling points of this laptop.  It is a substantial offering from Acer and incredible value for money.

ASUS F556

ASUS-F556Price: $529

CPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz Processor (Turbo to 2.8 GHz)

GPU: Integrated Intel HD 520

Display: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixels

RAM: 8GB DDR3

Hard Drive: 256GB SSD

Battery: 38 Watt/hr Li-polymer battery (2.5 times the lifespan of standard Li-ion)

This ASUS shares some similar specifications to the Acer Aspire E15, with the same Intel i5-6200U process and an incredibly fast 256GB SSD.  It has a stunning 1080p screen that renders games beautifully.

The long-lasting Li-Polymer battery can provide more than 700 charge cycles, which is more than 2.5 times what a standard Li-ion provides.  It is also highly efficient at retaining its charge capacity, keeping up to 80% of the full charge of a new battery.

It is a very attractive laptop that is only 1 inch high.  If you are frequently traveling, you can fit it into your rucksack or bag very easily as it only weighs 2.3kg!  The high-quality battery means you will get plenty of gaming from the laptop before you need to recharge.

The only downside to having such a low-profile laptop is that it doesn’t have enough room for a stand-alone graphics card. It uses an integrated Intel HD 520.  This card may be fine for older games and less graphically intensive games. So you could run Starcraft, League of Legends, or CS: GO well, but it might struggle with the latest Battlefield or Titanfall game.

Dell Inspiron 7000

Dell-Inspiron-7000Price: $587

CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500

Display: 15.6″ High Resolution LED Backlight, HD (1366 x 768) Truelife Touchscreen Display

RAM: 8GB DDR3L SDRAM

Hard Drive: 1TB SATA hard drive

Battery: 3-cell battery with up to 8 hours of battery life

Dell offers an excellent range of value-for-money laptops that often come with innovative features.  This Dell Inspiron is no exception, coming with a 15.6″ touchscreen display. It has a beautiful display to use, and Windows 10 Home comes with excellent touch screen support. This easy-to-use touchscreen makes gaming more accessible to everyone, and you can quickly navigate through levels without having to click the mouse.

While games look fantastic on this display, it does not run on 1920×1080, instead only reaching 1366×768.  This only becomes an issue if you intend to play games with advanced graphics (Battlefield and Titanfall).  If you are playing something like The Sims, CS: GO Scarcraft, the game renders beautifully.

It comes with a huge 1TB SATA HDD, which is large enough to store hundreds of movies or thousands of videos.  It has plenty of RAM, and the Intel Core i5 is a solid processor. The battery life is great also, coming in at 8 hours, which makes it one of the best gaming laptops on the market right now.  This laptop is a great choice if you want one with a touchscreen and sufficient RAM.

Jumper 14″ Laptop

Price: $550

CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i5

GPU: Intel UHD Graphics

Display: Full HD IPS display. The Full HD resolution typically refers to 1920×1080 pixels.

RAM: 24GB of LPDDR4X RAM

Hard Drive: 1024GB NVMe SSD (Solid State Drive)

Battery: 51.3WH battery

Introducing the “Jumper 14” Laptop, a powerful computing solution designed to elevate your digital experience. Boasting impressive specifications, this laptop is equipped with 24GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a capacious 1024GB NVMe SSD, ensuring swift multitasking and ample storage for your files and applications.

The heart of this machine is a robust 3.6GHz Intel Core i5 CPU that promises seamless performance across various tasks. The Full HD IPS display brings your visuals to life with vibrant colors and sharp details. Running on Windows 11, the laptop offers an intuitive and modern interface.

What sets the “Jumper 14” apart is its exceptional audio quality delivered by the four stereo speakers, engulfing you in immersive sound. Connectivity is a breeze with USB 3.0 ports, Type-C compatibility, and the convenience of three USB ports. The laptop’s thoughtful design extends to its cooling fan, maintaining optimal performance during intensive tasks. With a durable metal construction and a 51.3WH battery, the “Jumper 14” combines power and portability for a well-rounded computing experience.

HAVE ANY OF THESE LAPTOPS CAUGHT YOUR EYE?

Choosing a gaming laptop isn’t easy when there are so many factors to consider and an array of products, but the above selections show a variety of resolutions, battery life, storage, and more. Also, refer back to the amount of RAM and storage space you need to play your favorite games, or you risk choosing a laptop that isn’t suitable for your specific needs.

If we had to recommend only one gaming laptop, it would be the Dell Inspiron 7000 model since it offers a sleek and streamlined design. The device is comfortable and ergonomically designed for hours of use, thanks to the keyboard’s shallow feel. The buttons are soft, and the touchpad is responsive, so you can enjoy playing games. But from the remaining gaming laptops, have any caught your eye? Share your thoughts or further recommendations in the comments.

How to Get Gum off Shoes for Footwear That Never Fails

Stepping in a sticky, dirty piece of chewing gum is no fun. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to get gum off shoes in most cases.

What’s more, it only requires some common household items or things you can buy almost anywhere. And it won’t take long before your shoes are gum-free again.

So, if you’ve been freaking out about how to get gum off shoes, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t worry. It’ll be gone soon.

How to Get Gum off Shoes

There are many takes on how to get gum off shoes, but they’re not all interchangeable. Some are universal, but others only work for certain types of shoes or certain parts of the shoe.

If you get gum on a pair of trusty tennis shoes, almost anything will work. But it can be a trickier situation if you’re wearing finer shoes when you step in the sticky mess.

Materials like suede and nubuck are famously sensitive, so you may need to use a specialized cleaner. Saddle soap is also ideal for leather and similar materials, which may need a touch-up after the gum removal. You’ll also need a good brush, which is helpful for all types of shoes.

Now, that’s not the only solution. Let’s begin with something simple and universal for virtually all shoes.

Stick It in the Freezer

Like most other things, gum hardens if it gets cold. Therefore, using a freezer is a simple solution to get gum off shoes.

First, you should stick the shoe in a plastic bag. Surely, you don’t want to get dirt from your shoes in your freezer. Also, this method is far more effective if the gum has something to stick to.

So, use a plastic bag and press it against the gum until it sticks. Now it’s ready for the freezer.

After an hour or two, it should be sufficiently frozen. Now, the only thing left is to take it out and pull the gum off the shoe.

If it didn’t work, you probably took it out too soon. Putting it back in and waiting longer should do the trick. You can also try scraping off the frozen gum with a butter knife or a similar tool.

Another Job for WD-40


WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS, 14.4 OZ…

  • Drives out moisture and quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits
  • Acts as a corrosion inhibitor to shield against moisture and other corrosive elements to prevent rust
  • Frees sticky mechanisms, loosens rust-to-metal bonds, and helps release stuck, frozen, or rusted metal parts

If you know some mechanics or people who are really into cars and machinery, you’ve probably seen or heard about the power of WD-40. It’s a mix of lubricants and solvents with countless uses in getting stuck things to move.

Gum’s no exception to this effect. If you spray some WD-40 onto the gum and around it and then leave it for a couple of minutes, it should come right off.

To remove the gum, you’ll want to use a rag or paper towel. If there’s still some gum residue on the shoe, a second spray should take care of that.

Regarding how to get gum off shoes, a few solutions are simple and effective. However, it’s not suitable for suede and other porous, absorbent materials. The oil will stain fabrics, so be careful.

Also, make sure to rinse and wipe off your shoes after removing gum with WD-40. The active ingredients may react with rubber and plastic materials if left on.

Solving the Problem with Solvents

WD-40 is only one example of a common product that can dissolve the gum. If you don’t have it, you may have other household products that can do the job.

Please note the importance of carefully choosing a solvent for the job. Impurities can stain or damage your shoes. Also, you need to ensure the product won’t dissolve the shoe materials.

Acetone

Acetone is the active ingredient in most nail polish removers and has many other common uses. Some come in handy when figuring out how to remove gum from shoes.

You have a great gum remover if you moisten a rag or paper towel with the liquid. Simply rubbing it against the gum repeatedly should do the trick.

However, acetone is highly flammable and produces harmful vapors. So, you should do this outside or in a well-ventilated spot away from electronics and heat sources.

Also, acetone may dissolve the finish on suede and patent shoes. It’s fine for the soles on most shoes, and it’s fine to use on cheaper or sturdier materials as long as there’s no soluble finish.

Naphtha or lighter fluid

Naphta is a petroleum-based solvent that works well for removing paint and lacquer. It’s also very flammable, so it’s a popular lighter fluid. More importantly, it can dissolve chewing gum.

So, how to get gum off your shoes with it? Well, you’ll want to drip some onto a rag or paper towel and then rub the gum until it’s gone. Piece of cake!

However, it has most of the same downsides as acetone. It may dissolve more than you wish for, so you shouldn’t use it on lacquered shoes. As the name implies, it’s also very flammable, so be careful.

Certain other lighter fluids may also do the trick. However, they turn into gas very quickly. This makes them both inefficient and hazardous.

Apply Ice

Freezing and dissolving the gum are the best approaches to how to get gum off shoes. But what if you don’t have a suitable freezer and your shoe can’t handle solvents?

If you can get some ice, it’ll make a fine substitute for a freezer.

First, you’ll want to put the ice in a plastic bag to keep your shoe dry. Then, your shoe with the gummed side up and set the ice bag on top of the gum. Next, seal the shoe and ice bag inside another plastic bag to keep the cold inside.

Now, you’ll have to press the ice down for a while. You must freeze the gum solid before it comes off, so give it several minutes.

Next, you can scrape it off. It’s best to use something thin enough to get under the gum but dull enough not to harm your shoe. For example, a butter knife is perfect.

Try Melting It

If you can harden something with cold, you can dissolve it with heat. So, let’s reverse our thoughts on how to get gum off shoes and melt it.

No, we do not suggest you roast your shoes in the oven. What we do suggest is that you use a hairdryer. A heat gun can be more effective, but you must be careful not to melt or scorch the shoe.

Grab a spoon or butter knife, then start heating the gum. Check the gum’s consistency frequently with the tool, and start scraping it off when it’s soft and less sticky. You can finish it off with a paper towel to remove any residue.

hairdryer-hair-dryer-device-budget

image by pixabay

The Peanut Butter Trick

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone gets gum in their hair? Peanut butter, right?

Well, its helpful properties also apply to how to get gum off shoes. You see, the oil in peanut butter can dissolve the sticky compounds. Also, the little particles have an abrasive effect that helps you break the rubbery bonds and scrub everything off.

It’s best to use creamy peanut butter because it’s more effective. You’ll want to apply a thick layer of the buttery goodness on and around the gum for the best effect. Around two tablespoons should be enough.

Now, you need to give it at least 10 minutes to work its magic. Then, you can scrub it off. A hard-bristle brush or some steel wool is ideal. Also, you should scrub with the grooves rather than against them. This reduces the risk of damaging your shoe.

Please note that peanut butter will stain suede, nubuck, and fabrics. So, it’s only suitable for non-absorbent surfaces.

peanut-butter-breakfast-food-dinner

image by pixabay

Time to Oil Up?

oil-cooking-oil-kitchen-cook-eat

image by pixabay

What do peanut butter and WD-40 have in common? The answer is oil. How does this relate to how to remove gum from shoes?

Well, chewing gum gets its chewiness from rubbery or plastic compounds, which consist of oils. Therefore, many oils can mix with these compounds and ruin the stickiness.

So, regular cooking oil can help you get gum off your shoes. You can rub it onto the gum with a cotton ball or rag, and then leave it for a few minutes. Then, you can simply scrub it off.

Again, the oil will stain suede, fabrics, and leather. So, don’t use it on shoes made with those materials. It’s fine if you only use it on the sole, but you must be careful not to let it spill onto sensitive materials.

Outside? Try Sand

 

If you stepped on a pretty fresh piece of gum and noticed it right away, it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can use dry sand and dust from the ground to remove the gum.

First, remove your shoe and set it with the gum facing up. Then, sprinkle some sand onto the gum. Next, grab a stick or other object to scrape it off.

Keep scraping and pouring sand and mixing it into the gum. This will both dry it out and help you scrape it off.

You may not always be able to get everything off with this method. However, it’ll make things much easier when you get home, and can use other methods.

How to remove gum from shoes quickly:

Method: Using Rubbing Alcohol

Materials Needed:

  • Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Cloth or paper towel

Steps:

  1. Apply Rubbing Alcohol: Moisten a cotton ball or cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. Make sure not to oversaturate it, as you don’t want excess liquid on your shoes.
  2. Dab the Gum: Gently dab the gum with the moistened cotton ball or swab. You don’t need to rub vigorously; just apply the rubbing alcohol to the gum.
  3. Wait a Moment: Let the rubbing alcohol sit on the gum for about 20-30 seconds. This will help break down the gum’s stickiness.
  4. Remove the Gum: Use a cloth or paper towel to gently wipe away the gum. It should come off quite easily now that the rubbing alcohol has loosened its grip.
  5. Clean the Area: After removing the gum, clean the affected area with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the rubbing alcohol.
  6. Dry the Shoes: Finally, let the shoe air dry.

This method should help you quickly remove gum from your shoes. Just make sure to test the rubbing alcohol on a small, hidden area of the shoe first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Good as New!

classic-close-up-fashion

Image by pexels

Wasn’t that easy? With your new arsenal of ways to get gum-off shoes, you’ll always be able to enjoy gum-free shoes.

Do you want to stay updated on outdoor games, sports, and general fun? Check out our game list and subscribe to our newsletter to get frequent inspiration for fun things to do.

Featured image by Pixabay

 

Keep Leaves and Debris out with the Top 7 Best Pool Covers

Now that summer’s over, it’s time to start thinking about closing down your pool for the winter. There are a few tasks that you must perform to make sure that your pool remains healthy even during the off-season. You should clean the pool water and add winter chemicals. But you have to cover your pool too. So, let’s look at some of the best pool covers you can get this year.

Types of Pool Covers

While you’re searching for the best pool covers, there are a few types that you should know about.

Solar pool covers

Solar pool covers, also known as solar blankets or pool blankets, are ingenious and eco-friendly solutions that harness the power of the sun to enhance the swimming pool experience. These covers are designed with specially formulated materials that efficiently absorb and retain solar heat, transferring it to the pool water below. By acting as a barrier between the pool surface and the surrounding air, solar pool covers reduce heat loss through evaporation, keeping the water temperature comfortably warm and extending the swimming season. Beyond their temperature-regulating benefits, these covers also serve as a protective shield, preventing debris and leaves from entering the pool and reducing the need for excessive maintenance. With their dual-purpose functionality and energy-efficient design, solar pool covers offer pool owners a cost-effective and environmentally conscious way to enjoy a consistently inviting pool while minimizing heat and water loss.

Automatic pool covers

Automatic pool covers epitomize modern convenience and safety, revolutionizing the way pool owners manage their aquatic oasis. These cutting-edge covers are ingeniously designed to effortlessly glide across the pool’s surface, providing an instant shield against debris, leaves, and evaporation with a simple button push. Beyond their convenience, automatic pool covers act as robust safety barriers, effectively preventing unauthorized access and ensuring a secure environment when the pool is not in use. Crafted with durable materials and equipped with advanced motorized mechanisms, these covers contribute to energy efficiency by minimizing heat loss and reducing the need for constant temperature regulation. Ideal for all seasons, automatic pool covers offer an elegant combination of functionality, safety, and ease, transforming any pool into a pristine haven ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice.

Thermal pool covers

Thermal pool covers, a testament to innovation in pool management, offer a highly effective solution to conserve energy and maintain optimal water temperatures. These covers are intelligently designed with insulating materials that form a barrier between the pool’s surface and the surrounding air, minimizing heat loss through evaporation. By preventing heat from escaping, thermal pool covers significantly reduce energy consumption and heating costs, making them an eco-friendly choice for pool owners. Beyond their energy-saving capabilities, these covers also play a pivotal role in extending the swimming season by keeping the water comfortably warm. Whether for residential or commercial pools, thermal covers provide a sustainable way to ensure that the pool remains inviting and energy-efficient year-round while contributing to a more responsible and enjoyable pool ownership experience.

Winter pool covers

Winter pool covers are indispensable safeguards that shield pools from the harsh elements, ensuring their longevity and facilitating a smooth reopening when warmer days return. Constructed from durable materials, these covers form a protective shield that effectively prevents debris, leaves, and snow from accumulating in the pool, reducing the risk of damage and simplifying post-winter clean-up efforts. The snug fit of winter pool covers also inhibits algae growth by blocking sunlight maintaining water quality during the off-season. With their robust design and secure fastening mechanisms, winter pool covers provide peace of mind for pool owners, preserving the pool’s aesthetics and structural integrity throughout the colder months. Embracing the reliability of winter pool covers means embracing an essential step in responsible pool maintenance, ensuring that the pool remains well-preserved and ready for a refreshing return come spring.

Hidden swimming pool covers

A hidden swimming pool cover, a marvel of modern engineering and design, seamlessly combines functionality and aesthetics to create a captivating pool environment. Ingeniously integrated into the pool’s architecture, this cover remains discreetly concealed when not in use, providing an unobstructed view of the water. With a swift and effortless activation, the hidden cover gracefully glides across the surface, offering protection from debris, heat retention, and enhanced safety. The harmonious blend of technology and aesthetics makes the hidden swimming pool cover a focal point of innovation, allowing pool owners to enjoy a pristine pool while maintaining the elegance of their outdoor space. Whether it’s a tranquil oasis or a vibrant entertainment hub, a hidden pool cover adds a touch of sophistication, transforming the pool area into a stunning focal point that embodies both practicality and style.

How We Review

Our goal is to help you find the best pool covers to meet your needs. In our review process, we took a look at top-selling covers. We then narrowed down our list by researching professional and consumer reviews. We also compared the features and price of each cover. All of the covers on our list meet our standards for top-quality products.

The Top 3 Best Pool Covers for Above-Ground Pools

Here are our top three picks for the best pool covers for above-ground pools this year.

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1. Pool Mate 351632RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover


Pool Mate 351632RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover for In-Ground…

  • Heavy-duty, polyethylene
  • Stops algae growth
  • 5-Foot overlap for easy installation

Our first contender for the best pool covers for above-ground pools comes from Pool Mate. This cover will protect your pool during harsh winter conditions.

One of the things that we love about this cover is that its heavy-duty polyethylene material stops algae growth. It does this by preventing UV rays from entering the pool.

This is a solid pool cover, so it will block out dirt and debris.

If you use this cover and close your pool with proper winterizing chemicals, you will have an easy time opening a clean pool in the spring. We recommend opening your pool by mid-May to prevent algae growth.

This cover is available in many different sizes. And it features a 5-foot overlap. It should float comfortably on the water.

 

The Pool Mate cover comes with water tube loops. You should use the loops with water tubes, which you can purchase separately.

 

We also love the lightweight material that is more durable than other covers because all of the seams are heat-sealed for optimal performance.

This cover also comes with a 10-year warranty.

PROS

  • Comes with a long warranty

  • Great entry-level cover

  • Easy to install and remove

  • Easy to store

CONS

  • The cover can leak.

  • Not as durable as some of the others

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2. Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket


Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools,…

  • RETAINS HEAT – Insulating thermal cells trap heat and retain warmth on cool, cloudy days, allowing you to swim in warmer…
  • LONG-LASTING – Created with UV-protected polymer, our solar blankets are resistant to the deterioration caused by…
  • EXTENDS THE SEASON – This high-quality 8-mil solar blanket uses passive heating to raise your swimming pool’s…

The next spot on our list of the best pool covers goes to Blue Wave. The first thing that we love about this one is that it retains heat. This cover features insulating thermal cells that trap heat and retain warmth even on cool, cloudy days.

This solar blanket uses a UV-protected polymer, which means that the cover is resistant to deterioration caused by pool chemicals and UV radiation.

This cover’s innovative technology can raise the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

And the thermal bubbles will retain the warmth even after the sun goes down. That means that you can swim comfortably, even at night or on cloudy days.

 

The Blue Wave cover optimizes heat retention thanks to the opaque blue color, which allows the most sunlight to reach your pool.

 

It also reduces evaporation. This cover will prevent up to 95 percent of chemical and pool water evaporation. This means that it’s not only environmentally friendly, but it will also save you time and money.

 

This cover is available in many different sizes, and it comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty.

PROS

  • Circle shape

  • Warms the water and keeps the pool warm

  • Very durable

  • Lightweight

CONS

  • The bubbles can burst over time.

  • The cover may be too thin for some people.

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3. Intex Solar Cover for Easy Set and Frame Pools


Intex Solar Cover for 16ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools

  • Pool cover helps keep pool water warmer
  • Helps protect the pool from debris
  • Designed with central drainage holes to prevent rainwater from pooling on the cover

No conversation about the best pool covers would be complete without mentioning Intex. This solar pool cover will help to keep your pool water warmer.

The Intex cover is solid and will protect your pool from dirt, leaves, and debris.

One unique thing about this cover is that it is designed with central drainage holes. This is especially nice because it keeps rainwater from pooling on the cover.

 

Another thing that we love about the Intex solar cover is that it is lightweight and super easy to use. You just place the cover inside the walls of your pool and let it float to the surface.

 

When it comes to sizing, this one comes in many different options, but they are all circular and meant to fit Easy Set and framed pools.

This cover will also reduce evaporation by up to 95 percent.

 

We also love that this cover comes with a convenient carrying bag, which makes storing and transporting a breeze. You should always make sure that you dry the cover before putting it in the carrying bag.

PROS

  • Circle shape

  • Solar blanket

  • Comes with a carrying bag

  • Lightweight and easy to install

CONS

  • Not as high of quality as some of the others

  • Not as durable as some of the others

  • The holes in the cover can let some debris in

The Top 4 Best Pool Covers for In-Ground Pools

Here are our top four picks for the best pool covers for in-ground pools this year.

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1. Blue Wave Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover


Blue Wave 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover – Blue

  • Select a cover based on your pool size. The actual cover measures approximately 2 ft wider and 2 ft longer.
  • It comes complete with all hardware to install on concrete decking
  • Includes: brass anchors, stainless-steel springs, buckles, installation tools, and storage bag

Regarding the best pool covers for in-ground pools, you should consider this one by Blue Wave. This cover is durable and strong enough to support your whole family. However, it’s light enough to install or remove in about five minutes.

 

Blue Wave makes this premium cover out of super-strong two-ply mesh with a break strength of more than 4,000 pounds.

 

Another thing that we love about this one is the safety features. When this cover is used, it’s held in place with brass anchors that lay flush with the pool deck when you’re not using it.

 

The drill and tamp-style brass anchoring system will permanently secure the anchors to the concrete.

 

This cover also offers great winter protection for your pool.

 

Multi-seamed stitching ensures safety and prevents wear and tear—the reinforced wear strips on the underside of the cover guard against fraying and abrasion.

The mesh on this cover will allow rainwater through, but it will stop leaves and other debris. It also makes spring clean-up a breeze because no water collects on the cover.

 

The Blue Wave cover also comes with a storage bag. And it is backed with an incredible 18-year warranty.

PROS

  • One of the most durable on the market

  • Looks great

  • It comes with a long warranty.

  • High quality

CONS

  • The mesh will allow some debris in

  • Some complained that they received missing parts.

  • Expensive

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2. Loop-Loc Safety Pool Cover


20 x 40 Rectangle Loop-Loc Safety Pool Cover

  • 20 x 40 Rectangle Loop-Loc Safety Pool Cover
  • The size listed is Pool Size – The cover will be 2′ larger
  • All hardware for cement installation included

Loop-Loc is the next contender on our list of the best pool covers this year. This cover will fit a 20-foot by 40-foot pool. The cover will be slightly larger.

 

All of the hardware required for cement installation comes with this cover.

 

One of the things that we love about this cover is that it is made of a new, thicker weave, which blocks nearly all of the sun’s rays from reaching your pool water.

 

But even as it blocks out the sun, it will still let in rainwater and snow, so you don’t have to worry about the cover breaking. You should consider this cover if you’re looking for less light and debris getting into your pool.

This cover system is strong enough to support the weight of your whole family.

The Loop-Loc cover is one of the strongest and most durable on the market this year. It’s also one of the safest.

PROS

  • It comes with all of the installation hardware.

  • Super strong mesh that blocks the sun

  • It can hold a lot of weight.

CONS

  • Only available in one size

  • You may need a pump to drain excess water.

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3. Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover


Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover

  • Heavy-duty 8 x 8 scrim
  • Solid material will not let water pass through
  • Cover should be able to float loosely on the water

The Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover is designed to provide comprehensive protection for in-ground swimming pools measuring 20 x 40 feet. Crafted specifically for the winter season, this cover offers a robust shield against debris, leaves, and other unwanted elements, effectively preserving the pool’s condition during the off-season. Its durable construction ensures longevity, and the cover’s design prevents water buildup on its surface, minimizing potential damage. While this model focuses on functionality, its straightforward installation process ensures ease of use for pool owners. The Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover offers a practical solution to maintain pool cleanliness and integrity, making it an essential addition for those seeking to safeguard their pool during colder months.

PROS

  • Durable Construction- Crafted with durable materials, providing longevity and reliability in safeguarding the pool.

  • Size Fit- Specifically designed for in-ground swimming pools measuring 20 x 40 feet, ensuring complete coverage and protection.

  • Easy Installation- A straightforward installation process ensures easy use for pool owners, making setup hassle-free.

CONS

  • Seasonal Usage- Tailored for winter protection, the cover may not be as useful during other seasons when the pool is in use.

  • Limited Compatibility- Designed specifically for in-ground pools measuring 20 x 40 feet, limiting its suitability for pools of different shapes and sizes.

  • Aesthetic Impact- The cover may alter the appearance of the pool area, which some users may find less appealing during non-use periods.

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4. Pool Safety Cover Fits Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover PP Green Mesh


Pool Safety Cover Fits Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover PP Green Mesh

  • The overall cover measures 22×4 ft to fit an 18 x 36 ft inground swimming pool; the actual cover size is 2ft larger than the ordered pool size to ensure complete coverage.
  • This Premium Pool Safety Cover is made of super-strong, heavy-duty polyethylene two-ply mesh fabric. It is high-temperature and abrasion resistance aging-resistant; all seams are heat-sealed for better performance.
  • This mesh safety cover has a break strength of over 4,500 lbs.

Last up on our list of the best pool covers this year is the Pool Safety Cover.

The “Pool Safety Cover Fits for Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover PP Green Mesh Inground Pool Covers 18x36ft” offers a comprehensive solution for maintaining pool safety and cleanliness during the winter months. Crafted from durable and resilient materials, this green mesh safety cover is tailored to fit rectangular inground pools measuring 18×36 feet. Its high-quality construction ensures protection against debris, leaves, and other unwanted elements, while its mesh design allows water to drain through, preventing water buildup. Included in the package is all the necessary hardware for easy installation, ensuring a secure fit that withstands the challenges of winter weather. With its combination of practicality, durability, and ease of use, this safety cover provides pool owners with peace of mind, knowing that their pool is well-protected and prepared for the colder seasons.

PROS

  • Precise Fit- Tailored to fit rectangular inground pools measuring 18×36 feet, ensuring complete coverage and protection.

  • Easy Installation- Includes all necessary hardware for straightforward installation, enabling users to secure the cover with minimal effort.

  • Mesh Design- Green mesh construction prevents debris accumulation and allows rainwater and snow to drain through, preventing water buildup.

CONS

  • Compatibility- Designed specifically for rectangular inground pools measuring 18×36 feet, limiting its suitability for pools of different shapes and sizes.

  • Draining Limitation- While the mesh design allows for drainage, heavy snow or prolonged rain may still lead to some water accumulation on the cover’s surface.

The Bottom Line on the Best Pool Covers

That’s not all; here are a couple of tips for those of you with above-ground pools!

 

Hopefully, we’ve helped you narrow down your search for the best pool covers today. We highly recommend all seven of the covers on our list this year. We especially love the four in-ground pool cover options.

Now we want to hear from you! In the comments section below, let us know what you think about our year’s list. Do you have any great tips for finding the best pool covers? Share those with our readers, too!

 

 

Here’s How to Play Racquetball for Beginners

 

The list of racquet sports from around the globe is much longer than you might think. But let’s be honest: Few people are sitting around itching to learn Qianball. But many more are probably wondering how to play racquetball.

Prepare for plenty of challenge and excitement for those who decide to take up this game! The sky is the limit once you learn your way around the rulebook and get the right equipment.

Racquetball is a game played indoors, usually on courts integrated into larger fitness centers or YMCA buildings. It has a simple set of requirements: Three walls, a rubber ball, and a small racquet (eye protection is also a good idea).

The modern game dates back to the mid-20th Century. But as we’ll see, learning how to play racquetball is something that you can pick up in just a few sessions.

Brief History of Racquetball

Knowing a little game history can help you learn how to play racquetball. The sport has a recent vintage to it, having been created officially in the mid-1940s or early-1950s. Yet it also connects to traditional racquet sports, such as tennis and squash.

Virtually every source credits the invention of the game to Joseph Sobek, a professional tennis and handball player from Greenwich, Connecticut.

As the story goes, Sobek and a partner wanted to create an indoor racquet sport that moved fast. He initially called it “paddle rackets,” and it included a set of rules based on squash and handball.

By 1952, Sobek founded the Paddle Rackets Association, finalizing and distributing the rules. As the saying goes, the “game was afoot.”

Players began flocking to the association to learn how to play racquetball.

The game snowballed in popularity. But it didn’t get its official name of racquetball until 1969 when the head of the U.S. Handball Association founded the International Racquetball Association.

Today, an estimated 20 million people play racquetball across around 100 countries. While the U.S. Olympic Committee has recognized it, racquetball has not yet succeeded in earning a spot as an official sport at the Olympic Games.

What Do You Need to Play Raquetball?

You don’t need much to learn how to play racquetball. The first and most essential item is a regulation court. Those typically aren’t hard to find, though there was a period in the 1980s when the game’s popularity waned.

But racquetball courts are typically found in local fitness centers or health clubs, including YMCAs. The standard dimensions of an official court are 20-by-40 feet across and 20 feet high.

An important lesson to learn in understanding racquetball: Every wall surface is in play.

The second most important item is your racquet. The racquet has evolved to include the oversized face that has become very common. Current rules call for a racquet with a frame no longer than 22 inches.

The racquet must also have a wrist cord of about 18 inches long. The wrist cord is crucial for added safety.

The ball is the final piece of equipment you need to learn how to play racquetball. Racquetballs consist of hard rubber material. They measure 2.25 inches in diameter and weigh about 1.4 ounces. They also must meet a particular standard: Manufactured to bounce 68-to-72 inches from 100 inches high.

Safety remains an important consideration in learning how to play racquetball. It is a fast-moving game played in very tight quarters with aluminum rackets and hard rubber racquetballs. You also want a pair of the best racquetball shoes.

You might also want to put eye protection, such as a pair of safety goggles, on your list.

How to Play Racquetball

At this point, you’ve got a sense of the game’s history. You also understand what you need in terms of equipment to play.

What’s left to do? Only one thing, really: Learn the rules so you know how to play racquetball like a pro.

Then, you need to find an opponent (or opponents). You can play the game one-on-one or in a doubles match.

It won’t take you long to master the game. Racquetball has a relatively simple set of guidelines in terms of how to serve, how to return, and how to score a point.

Objective: Score

You can’t learn how to play racquetball unless you understand the game’s objective. It’s to win, of course, but there’s more to it than just that.

In racquetball, the idea is to score points by making it impossible for your opponent to keep the ball alive and in play.

Players score points in one of two ways. The first happens when your opponent cannot reach the ball to hit it before it bounces twice.

The second scoring action occurs when your opponent hits the ball, but it doesn’t reach the front wall before touching the floor again. (In other words, the floor is not really in play like the walls and ceiling.)

However, you can use combinations as long as the ball doesn’t go from your racquet to the floor first. That means if you’re strong enough and play the angles well, you can utilize the back or side walls to return a shot.

As long as it hits the front wall without touching the floor, the game proceeds. (Warning: If using the back wall, remember to duck your head out of the way. The ball hurts!)

Put it in play

As in tennis, the trigger to starting a racquetball rally is the serve. And, also, like tennis, you have two chances to serve the ball legally.

If playing with a friend, you can determine who serves first any way you choose. Professional racquetball matches use a coin toss.

The server must be within a narrow service zone marked by lines on the court. The service zone is 5-by-14 feet across.

Serving is very straightforward, according to USA Racquetball Events. The server drops the ball within the service zone and hits it after one bounce.

The ball must hit the front wall first. It can only hit one other wall before touching the ground again. So if your serve goes from the front wall and rebounds off the side wall to the back wall, you’ve got a problem. You’ve committed a fault and must serve again.

Other faulty serves include when the ball fails to cross back over the service box in the air.

You’re also not allowed to serve the ball into the ceiling or get too strong and serve the ball all the way to the back wall. And your serve must connect with the front wall first in all cases.

Another fault is when the ball comes back in such a way that the returning player can’t see it. Racquetball rules call this a screen serve.

Of course, proper etiquette comes into play in racquetball. If you serve when your opponent isn’t ready, it is technically a fault (though among friends, you might just call it a do-over.)

Commit two faults, and you lose your serve.

But once you complete a serve legally, it’s good news for all. Because now it’s time to rally!

Land of return

One of the tricks in learning how to play racquetball is understanding where you’re supposed to stand — particularly when returning the serve.

Returners must be positioned initially behind the receiving line, which is about 21.5 feet from the front wall. The court includes obvious markings for the receiving line.

The returning player cannot cross the receiving line with his or her racquet or body until the ball crosses the receiving line. If you’re playing by the letter of the rules, should you break the plane of the line, your opponent gets the point.

You can go past the receiving line with your body or racquet. But you must keep both on the other side of the back of the service box, known as the short line. That is unless you’re chasing a ball madly from a crazy carom off the back wall.

A permissible return involves hitting the ball either in the air or after one bounce.

The return shot must hit the front wall before reconnecting with the floor. But it can touch one or both side walls (perhaps you have a degree in geometry and can figure that one out on the fly!), or it can hit the back wall or the ceiling or any combination.

Now we’re really having some fun!

Rallies

Once the ball is served and returned, the rally begins. While almost anything goes, you do have to understand a few rally rules.

First, and perhaps most importantly, if you’re thinking of playing ambidextrously, forget it. You can only play the rally with the racquet in one hand or the other. Trying to gain an advantage by switching hands is a no-no.

You can also only hit the ball with the face of the racquet. If you end up hitting the ball with the handle or the hand, you lose the point.

Double hits are also out. You can only hit the ball once. And by hit, we mean hit. If the ball rests for just a moment too long on the racquet face, you’ve committed a carry. It will cost you a point.

Beyond that, the main rules still apply. If you let the ball bounce twice, you’ve lost the point. If you can’t get the ball back to the wall, your opponent is a point closer to victory.

Players compete for 15 points. It takes two games to win a match. If you’re tied one game apiece, then you get a tiebreaker game of 11 points.

What if?

Some crazy things can happen as you learn to play racquetball according to the official rules.

Apparently, there is something called a “crotch serve.” No, it’s not what you think.

A crotch serve occurs when a ball hits the seam between the front wall and the floor, front, and side wall, or front wall and ceiling. In those instances, the serve is out, and you either have to re-serve or have committed a double fault.

Some courts are open to an audience. But if the ball sails into the gallery, the player who hit the ball loses the point.

Even if unintentional, if you hit the ball and it strikes another player, you lose the point. If it gets sucked in your clothes, you get the same penalty.

In an instance where the ball may be acting funny because it has split open, the point gets replayed. In professional racquetball, the referee makes that determination. It’s a more relaxed situation when you play with your friends.

Finally, racquetball isn’t cutthroat. If you think you might hit your opponent with your ball or racquet, you’re allowed to look out for his or her well-being. The players replay the point.

Can Racquetball Be Played Alone?

Yes, racquetball can indeed be played alone. While it’s often enjoyed as a competitive sport between two players or in doubles teams, playing racquetball solo is a fantastic way to improve your skills, work on your technique, and get a great workout. Playing alone allows you to focus on your own movements, practice different shots, and refine your strategy without the pressure of an opponent. Additionally, many racquetball courts have walls that provide excellent opportunities for solo practice, as you can hit the ball against the wall to work on your serves, volleys, and overall control. So, whether you’re looking to enhance your game or simply enjoy a satisfying solo activity, racquetball offers a versatile and engaging experience for both group play and solitary practice.

The Best Racquetballs

Determining the best racquetballs often depends on personal preferences, playing style, and skill level. However, some racquetball brands are highly regarded for their quality and performance. Popular options include Ektelon, Penn, and ProKennex, which offer a range of racquetballs suitable for players of various skill levels. Factors such as ball durability, bounce consistency, and overall playability contribute to a racquetball’s appeal. It’s advisable to try a few different brands and models to find the ones that align with your playing preferences. Additionally, considering factors like ball speed and color can further refine your choice. Ultimately, the best racquetballs are the ones that complement your gameplay, offering a satisfying combination of control, speed, and overall enjoyment on the racquetball court.

At the Highest Level

Many who learn how to play racquetball go on to play the game at the highest level. Racquetball organizers pit the best competitors against each other in a range of professional tours for both men and women.

The International Racquetball Tour, or IRT, consists of 300 players and an estimated 70 tournaments across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Pro and amateur tournaments are even more popular, drawing as many as 700 players at the professional, collegiate, and amateur ranks.

The IRT traces its origins to the earliest days of the sport. But it has picked up in popularity more recently, starting in the late 1980s.

Female players compete in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour, with similar geography. The LPRT has players in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

Kill Shot

Racquetball is a sport requiring excellent hand-eye coordination, quick feet, and nerves of steel. The game is played in a relatively confined indoor court with a rubber ball that bounces and collides, redirecting off of walls when you least expect it.

Players and the ball move quickly. Game conditions change rapidly. You need to keep your head up and know where you are at all times.

In the end, learning how to play racquetball leads to fun and fitness. So, why not give it a try?

Have you ever played racquetball? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Best Looking Soccer Cleats

 

Having a high-quality pair of soccer cleats can completely transform your game!  The right pair of shoes will make you faster and more agile on the pitch.  You will be able to shoot more accurately and have much greater ball control.

Buying a pair of cleats that look great can improve your game even more!  You will be stepping onto the pitch in style, which will help to build your confidence.  You will also feel like an elite player if you have great-looking cleats and your stylish shoes may even distract your opponents.

This buyer’s guide will take a look at the importance of choosing a great pair of cleats, then highlight 5 of the best-looking soccer cleats available!

The anatomy of a pair of soccer cleats

Before we jump in and talk about choosing the best pair of soccer cleats, let’s go over the components of a soccer shoe.  They include:

  • The upper is the top part of the shoe (everything above the insole or midsole).  Traditionally, a soccer shoe upper would be natural leather.  Nowadays, there are many more material choices, including various synthetic leathers and microfibers.

  • The outsole This is the bottom of the shoe (everything below the insole or midsole).  In the case of soccer cleats, this is where the studs are placed.

  • The insole This is the cushioning that is inside the shoe.  Most soccer cleats have replaceable insoles.

  • The midsole This is cushioning that is built into the middle of the shoe.  The midsole might extend all the way along the shoe or only across part of the shoe.  Midsoles are often made from flexible plastics like Phylon and EVA.  Some soccer cleats don’t have a midsole at all.

  • Heel counter The heel counter is a small plastic insert that sits on the rear portion of the shoe, behind your heel.  It helps to reinforce the shoe and protect your heel.

  • Vamp This is a part of the upper that is towards the front of the shoe — where you normally kick the ball.  Many vamp designs have additional stitching or a special material to improve the player’s control over the ball.

  • Studs/Cleats Soccer shoes have studs on the bottom of the shoe for additional traction.  There are three types available — rounded studs, bladed studs, and hard-ground studs.  Some shoes have detachable studs, which come in handy if you play on different types of surfaces.  Conical studs can release from the ground faster and have excellent stability, while bladed/hard ground studs offer more traction and speed.

Soccer Cleats Sale

Soccer cleats often go on sale during specific periods that coincide with seasonal changes, sporting events, and retail promotions. One of the prime times for soccer cleat sales is typical during the transition between soccer seasons when retailers seek to clear inventory of previous models to make way for new releases. Another opportune moment is around major soccer tournaments or events, such as the FIFA World Cup or continental championships, when the enthusiasm for the sport is at its peak. Holiday sales, back-to-school promotions, and annual clearance events can also provide chances to snag soccer cleats at discounted prices. While the timing may vary based on location and retailers, keeping an eye out for these key periods can be rewarding for soccer enthusiasts looking to score a deal on high-quality cleats.

Tips for choosing the right soccer cleats

 

Here are a few simple tips to help you choose the perfect pair of soccer cleats!

Choose the right soccer cleats for your play style. Every player has a unique playing style.  You might be the kind of player who relies on sudden bursts of speed, or you are a precision passer who likes a lot of stability.  The position you play can also determine which kind of soccer cleats are more effective.  In general terms:

  • Forwards and wingers do best with very lightweight cleats that allow them to change direction quickly and accelerate rapidly.  They require cleats with a clean strike zone that helps them drive a lot of power into the ball.

  • Midfielders usually perform a lot of passing during a game and require a soccer cleat that can delivery accuracy.  They also usually opt for lightweight cleats that provide a lot of stability.

  • Defenders tend to go for cleats that protect their feet and give them enough control over the ball to pass cleanly.

  • Goalkeepers usually go for high-stability cleats with a lot of power — allowing them to clear the goal easily.

Think about the weight of the cleat

The weight of soccer cleats has declined in recent years thanks to a new wave of high-tech synthetic materials and advanced construction techniques.  The average lightweight football cleat weighs around 8 ounces, but you can also buy super lightweight cleats that weigh as little as 5 ounces.

A light cleat will give you more speed off the mark and make maneuvering easier.  They are the perfect choice for wingers and forwards.  A heavier cleat can give you more powerful kicks, stability, and protection for your feet.  Heavier cleats are often used by defenders and goal keepers.

Consider the fields that you regularly play on

Soccer can be played on a wide variety of surfaces, including artificial grass, hard compacted dirt, grass, and mud.  You can loosely categorize surface types in the following ways:

Firm ground

This category refers to fields that are dry and very hard.  They are usually soccer fields that don’t receive much water and have heavily compacted ground.  There won’t be much grass on these types of fields.  To obtain excellent traction on a hard surface like this, you will require soccer cleats with many conical studs.  Some firm ground cleats use a combination of conical and bladed studs.

Artificial turf

Soccer is increasingly being played on artificial turf.  If you are playing on artificial turf or another indoor court, use cleats with many small conical studs.

Soft ground

Soft ground can be used to describe your average grass field.  It is well covered in grass and is well watered or receives rain regularly.  It feels slightly spongy under your feet, and your studs will penetrate the surface.   Use cleats with longer studs for soft ground.

How much money do you have to spend?

Soccer cleats can get seriously expensive!  If you don’t set a budget before you start shopping for soccer cleats, it is easy to spend far too much.  If you are new to soccer, think about spending around the $40 to $80 mark.  At this price point, you will get a great pair of cleats that will last a few seasons.

If you have been playing soccer regularly for a few years, it is worth spending a bit more.  You will get a pair of very durable soccer cleats that have better performance in the $80 to $150 range.  They will be lighter, more comfortable, and more responsive.

If you are a soccer fanatic and want a pair of cleats that have the latest technologies, you will probably need to spend over $150.

Get cleats that match your foot shape

Every soccer cleat has a unique “fit” to it.  Some are quite narrow, while others have more room for players with a wider forefoot.  Certain brands are known for being narrow, wide, or for having a specific feel.

The best way to determine which brand and model is suited to your foot is to:

  • Determine the characteristics of your foot.  Is it wide or narrow?  Do you have high arches on your feet?

  • Talk to the other players on your team with similar foot dimensions.

  • Talk to your coach

  • Ask people online for ideas on the best cleat for your foot type

Get a pair of cleats that look fantastic! Many people get caught up in the specifications of the cleat they are looking at.  They sometimes purchase an ugly-looking cleat just because it has a fancy Vamp or space-age synthetic upper.  They then realize they feel like a fool wearing cleats so ugly it looks like a dog vomited on them!

Always think about the appearance of the cleats.  If you get cleats that you love the look of:

  • You will always be keen to put them on and get on the field.

  • You will feel more confident.

  • You will hang onto your great-looking cleats for much longer.

  • Your competitors will be blown away by your sense of style.

5 Of The Best-Looking Soccer Cleats

Here are 5 of the best-looking soccer cleats on the market!

MFSH Unisex Soccer Cleats


MFSH Unisex Soccer Cleats

  • The high-quality leather upper for the football shoes is light and durable. The upper has a textured design, which makes it easy to control the movement of the ball.
  • The soccer sneakers with high-top design provide sufficient support for the ankle and help protect the ankle from injuries during exercise.
  • The soft matte PU leather upper of the soccer cleat provides comfort and durability. It has great abrasion resistance and offers perfect stability even on firm natural ground.

The MFSH Unisex Cleats Soccer Shoes for Big Boy Fg/ag are high-top spikes football shoes designed for youth professional training, suitable for both turf and indoor play. These athletic sneakers offer ankle support and are available in a unisex design.

The shoes are specifically designed for soccer and feature spikes on the outsole, which provide excellent traction on both natural grass (FG) and artificial turf (AG). This versatile design allows young players to perform effectively on different playing surfaces.

The MFSH Unisex Cleats Soccer Shoes are constructed with durability and comfort in mind. The upper material is sturdy, ensuring longevity even with regular use. The high-top design offers additional ankle support, helping to prevent injuries during intense movements on the field.

The MFSH Unisex Cleats Soccer Shoes for Big Boy Fg/ag High-top Spikes Football Shoes are an ideal choice for youth players engaged in professional training. Their durable construction, versatile design for different playing surfaces, and ankle support make them a reliable option for aspiring soccer athletes.

adidas Unisex Adult Copa Sense .3 Firm Ground Soccer Cleats


adidas Unisex-Adult Copa Sense .3 Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

  • Firm-ground soccer cleats with an anatomical fit, made in part with recycled content.
  • FIRM GROUND OUTSOLE: TPU outsole and stud configuration optimized for firm ground play
  • The unisex product is men’s sizing. Women should size down 1 to 1.5 sizes.

The Adidas Unisex-Adult Copa Sense.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe is a high-performance footwear option designed for soccer players. These shoes offer a combination of comfort, control, and traction on firm ground surfaces.

The Copa Sense.3 features a synthetic upper that provides a soft and comfortable feel while maintaining durability. The upper is designed to mold to the shape of the foot, delivering a personalized fit and enhanced ball control. This helps players maintain a natural touch and precision during their game.

The shoe incorporates Adidas’s innovative technology called “Sensepods.” These are strategically placed foam pods located on the upper of the shoe. The Sensepods work in harmony with the foot, improving cushioning and touch and creating a responsive and supportive fit.

For added stability, the Copa Sense.3 includes a mid-cut collar that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction and high-speed movements. The collar also enhances the overall fit and lockdown of the shoe, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring a secure feel.

The firm ground outsole of the Copa Sense.3 is engineered to deliver optimal traction on natural grass surfaces. The stud configuration provides reliable grip and agility, allowing players to accelerate, decelerate, and change directions with confidence.

The Adidas Unisex-Adult Copa Sense.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe combines comfort, control, and traction, making it a suitable choice for both male and female soccer players. Its personalized fit, innovative Sensepods technology, and firm ground outsole contribute to enhanced performance on the field.

Adidas Soccer Cleats

Adidas soccer cleats represent a pinnacle of innovation and performance, seamlessly merging cutting-edge technology with the rich heritage of the sport. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, Adidas soccer cleats embody a perfect balance of comfort, agility, and traction, providing players with a competitive edge on the field. With a diverse range of models tailored to different playing styles and field conditions, Adidas offers soccer enthusiasts an opportunity to select cleats that suit their individual preferences. The brand’s commitment to excellence is evident in features like responsive cushioning, lightweight materials, and intricate stud patterns that enhance grip and maneuverability. Whether worn by aspiring athletes or world-class professionals, Adidas soccer cleats stand as a testament to the brand’s unwavering dedication to elevating the beautiful game through exceptional footwear craftsmanship.

New Balance Men’s Furon V7 Destroy FG Soccer Cleats


New Balance Men’s Furon V7 Destroy FG Soccer Cleats

  • Firm ground cleats for use on firm ground surfaces
  • Using our latest algorithmic advancements in data-to-design, our high-resolution Fit Weave is smarter, delivering durability and stretch in the same material exactly where you need it
  • Lightweight synthetic construction

 

The New Balance Men’s Furon V7 Destroy FG Soccer Shoe is a high-quality footwear option designed for soccer players seeking speed, agility, and performance on firm ground surfaces.

The Furon V7 Destroy FG features a lightweight and breathable synthetic upper that provides a comfortable fit and excellent ball touch. The upper is designed to enhance control and accuracy, allowing players to manipulate the ball with precision during gameplay.

The shoe incorporates New Balance’s FantomFit technology, which combines thin, welded materials with a supportive skeletal frame. This construction offers a secure and glove-like fit, reducing unnecessary movement within the shoe and allowing for optimal energy transfer during quick movements on the field.

The outsole of the Furon V7 Destroy FG is designed specifically for firm ground surfaces. It features a configuration of strategically placed studs that provide excellent traction and stability. This stud pattern ensures reliable grip and allows players to make explosive movements with confidence.

The shoe also incorporates New Balance’s data-driven REVlite foam midsole, which offers responsive cushioning and lightweight support. This helps to reduce fatigue and enhance comfort during long matches or intense training sessions.

The New Balance Men’s Furon V7 Destroy FG Soccer Shoe is an excellent choice for soccer players who value speed and agility. Its lightweight design, FantomFit technology, and responsive midsole contribute to enhanced performance on firm ground surfaces. Whether for matches or training, this shoe is designed to help players reach their full potential on the field.

Men’s Soccer Cleats Shoes Youth Breathable Athletics


Men’s Soccer Cleats Shoes Youth Breathable Athletics

  • Slip Resistance】: The sole has the functions of stability, flexibility, strong grip, cushioning, and shock absorption, which is convenient for moving and traction on the court.
  • Comfort】: Ergonomically designed to always provide excellent in-shoe comfort and fit.

The Men’s Soccer Cleats Shoes Youth Breathable Athletics Football Boots are designed for outdoor play on firm ground and turf surfaces. These soccer cleats prioritize breathability, athletic performance, and training functionality.

The shoes feature a breathable upper material that allows airflow, keeping the feet cool and comfortable during intense gameplay or training sessions. The breathable construction helps to prevent excessive sweating and discomfort, enabling players to focus on their performance.

With an emphasis on athletic performance, these soccer cleats are designed to enhance agility, speed, and stability on the field. The outsole is specifically engineered for firm ground and turf surfaces, providing reliable traction and grip. This allows players to make quick cuts, changes in direction, and accelerations with confidence.

The cleats offer a supportive fit, with features such as lace-up closures that allow for customizable tightness and secure lockdown. This ensures stability and reduces the risk of foot slippage within the shoe, enabling players to maintain optimal control and performance.

The Men’s Soccer Cleats Shoes Youth also serve as training sneakers, making them suitable for practice sessions. Their durable construction ensures they can withstand regular use and rough conditions, providing long-lasting performance.

Overall, these soccer cleats are designed to meet the needs of both youth and adult players. They offer breathability, athletic functionality, and reliable traction on firm ground and turf surfaces. Whether for matches or training, these cleats are a reliable choice for soccer enthusiasts.

Soccer Boots Shoes For Big Boy


Soccer Boots Shoes For Big Boy

  • Professional working team with good finishing technology of production procedure to guarantee high quality and containing good performance moving for indoor AG/TF turf ground.
  • Standard Europe Size Shape makes the feet comfortable, and the Soft fabric Lining is breathable.
  • Rubber molded cleats with rotational traction configuration can effectively relieve pressure on the forefoot, while a pressure-dividing liner embedded at the back then evenly distributes cleat pressure as you exercise.

The Soccer Boots Shoes for Big Boy are designed to provide comfort, style, and performance for youth players in indoor and turf soccer settings. These high-top ankle boots feature a colorful ribbon design and are suitable for outdoor training on both TF (Turf) and AG (Artificial Grass) surfaces.

The shoes are specifically designed for turf and indoor play, providing excellent traction and grip on these surfaces. Whether playing on artificial turf or indoor courts, these boots ensure players can make quick movements, changes in direction and maintain stability.

The Soccer Boots Shoes for Big Boy are suitable for male players, particularly youth players. Their versatile design allows for both outdoor training and indoor play, making them a practical choice for various soccer environments. With their combination of style and functionality, these boots are sure to appeal to young soccer enthusiasts.

 

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