There are many pieces of equipment or gear that you need to have in order to play baseball safely and conveniently. One of the pieces of baseball gear that are considered very important is the pair of baseball cleats, which are the appropriate shoes worn by baseball players while playing. Baseball cleats are not like most of the shoes worn for basketball and other sports, as the cleats have spikes that will help the player’s feet have better traction on the soil found on baseball fields.
Baseball cleats come in various types and cuts, and these variations are determined by the materials used on them, as well as how high or low they cover your feet. To know more, here are details about the types of cleats for baseball and how many of them you should have.
The type of cleats that you often see professional baseball players wear is the metal cleats, which have an outsole and spikes made of strong and durable metal. Metal cleats offer the best traction out of all types of cleats for baseball, as the spikes wouldn’t move while it is stuck on the soil. In addition, despite being made of metal, this type of baseball cleat is actually quite light, and some models of metal cleats are even lighter compared to other types of cleats available today.
However, metal cleats are illegal to wear for softball leagues and amateur leagues because of how frequently they can cause injuries to other players. Some of the players that can get injured from metal cleats on the baseball field are the fielders, and they get injured not because they are wearing the cleats but because they are hit by the cleats of a player that slides to a base. So, in order to avoid serious injuries, metal cleats are banned in most leagues.
The safer type of baseball cleats to wear for amateur leagues and recreation baseball is the rubber cleats, also known as molded cleats. As its name suggests, the rubber cleats have an outsole and spikes that are made from rubber, which is much more flexible than metal but is still quite durable. However, the drawback to rubber cleats is that they can usually be heavy, so movement may be restricted for some players that rely on speed for their playstyle.
Rubber cleats are very popular in amateur and youth leagues, although their popularity is brought by the fact that this type of baseball cleats is typically the only one that is legal for those leagues. However, there are many players that enjoy playing in rubber cleats instead of metal cleats, and it is most likely due to these cleats being more flexible. In addition, rubber cleats are also safer than metal ones since the rubber spikes rarely cause injuries to other players.
If you can’t decide whether you want rubber cleats or metal cleats, then you should get the interchangeable cleats, which is a type of baseball cleats that have an interchangeable outsole. So, if metal cleats are banned in the league you are playing in, you can just pop out the outsole or spikes from your interchangeable cleats and swap it with a rubber outsole.
These interchangeable cleats could sometimes even have a set of outsoles that have different patterns and placement of spikes that would suit various playstyles and player preferences. So, if you want the ultimate versatility for your footwear, you should definitely check out a pair of interchangeable cleats. However, keep in mind that interchangeable cleats are not as durable as rubber cleats and metals as the connection between the midsole and the outsole can get damaged and may wear out after months of use. But, if you are a player that changes cleats frequently, the durability issues of interchangeable soles wouldn’t be a problem for you.
If you are training various baseball skills on turf grass or even on a regular baseball field, we recommend that you wear turf cleats. The turf cleats are the type of baseball cleats that are specifically used for turf grass, which have shorter leaves and are a little bit firmer compared to grass that amateur baseball fields have.
Turf cleats are known to have shorter rubber spikes that are very soft and flexible. Because of how flexible turf cleats are, they are much more comfortable to wear compared to rubber and metal cleats, which is why they are perfect for training baseball skills for hours. Besides baseball, turf cleats are also worn for softball, and many players often prefer turf cleats compared to other types of cleats because of their comfort and flexibility.
If you want to try playing softball, you would need a new bat that is specifically used for the said sport. Read our Guide to Selecting a Fastpitch Softball for more info on what softball bat to get for practice or games.
Low-Cut and High-Cut Cleats
Now that we have talked about the four main types of baseball cleats, let us discuss whether you should get low-cut cleats or high-cut cleats. Many professional baseball players prefer low-cut cleats, which are cleats that don’t go above the ankles. Because it doesn’t restrict the ankles from moving, low-cut cleats are perfect for players that are shifty or agile on the baseball field. Many of the fastest baseball players in the world prefer low-cut cleats because it gives them the flexibility to move however and wherever they want.
On the other hand, high-cut cleats go above the ankles, thus covering them with leather or synthetic materials. High-cut cleats are effective for protecting ankles from moving too much. A lot of baseball players suffer from ankle injuries, so wearing high-cut cleats can reduce the chances that players can hurt their ankles. However, high-cut cleats tend to be heavy, which is why there are many players that don’t want to wear them. But, if a player is injury-prone, he or she would have to wear high-cut cleats for ankle support.
We hope that this very simple guide has helped you in choosing which types of baseball cleats you should have. If you play in different amateur baseball leagues, it would always be best to have one pair of metal cleats and one pair of rubber cleats so that you can pick which one is more suitable for the field’s grass or for the rules of the league. Also, you should have a pair of turf cleats for training.