I'm glad this topic came up.
The choice of foot wear comes down to the shooter's ability to move.
The very agressive start/stop shooters like cleats. But, sometimes they overshoot their marks and move a little past where the wanted to be, sorta like a stock car driver coming in for gas and tires and sliding into the pit stall ahead instead of their own. The shooter, like the driver has to back up to get the job done. In other words, they are trying to save .15 on the clock, and it cost them 3 to 4 seconds.
I wore cleats for a little over 10 years. In 2000 I shot a match in Amite, LA. I worked my way through the first course of fire very quickly on my feet. I planted, made a quick turn, my Nike Shark cleat stuck to the ground, and as I turned, I sprained the muniscus in my left knee. My leg nearly came out from under me...pain...man...it hurt like hell. I hobbled the rest of the way through the stage. I managed to complete the match, but never wore cleats again.
I began to rethink the way I moved. I decided that I needed to move more with my knees, instead impacting the ground with my legs and feet. In other words, I lowered my center of gravity, bent my knees, rolled my feet as they touched the ground and smoothed my movement out. It took some time to change, but it worked.
Now, I use a high-top Merrill light weight boot. It has enough tread to get the job done, without causing an injury. If the ground is wet, muddy, whatever...I have no problems maintaining traction. It's about grace of movement, not brute speed.
I feel like I move better at 41 than I ever did in my 20's with cleats.
Hope this helps. :thumbup: