Baseball cleats are designed to provide traction and agility. Running straight is not a problem but when it comes to running the arc bases and tapping each one as you go, you will need something that keeps you on the ground. In sports like baseball, cleats can either make or break your performance. Depending on what you are looking for, there is a wide variety available out there. However, the key is to find a pair that offers the most traction, agility, and control. So let’s discuss some of the best cleats you can choose from.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pair of Baseball Shoes
Baseball cleats are offered in three styles. Metal cleats, turf/trainer cleats, and molded cleats. According to the experts, metal cleats tend to be the best option as they offer great traction by digging into the ground. This also stands true for the compact and hard dirt of some fields.
Plastic cleats on the other hand, do not offer as much traction as metal cleats but they usually perform better in muddy/soft field conditions. In addition to that, as compared to the metal cleats, the plastic cleats do not wear easily and are used when the league prohibits the use of metal cleats.
Lastly, training cleats as the term suggests, are used for cleaning. They tend to be comfortable and do not tear up the field’s soil as do the metal cleats.
Manufacturers use two common materials to manufacture baseball cleats: leather and synthetics. Genuine and authentic leather is supposed to be better in quality, relatively heavier, and costly. On the other hand, cleats made of synthetic material are comparatively lighter and offer superior comfort and flexibility.
The professionals suggest that when it comes to buying the perfect cleats, the player should consider ankle support. There was a time when mid-top, high-top, or low-top were believed to make a difference. However, it does not. It all comes down to the preference of the player. For instance, if a player has experienced injuries in the past, they may choose a high-top shoe. Additionally, pitchers are also usually seen opting for a low-top shoe as it allows them to be flexible on the mound.
Other players find the mid or high-top restrictive and, therefore, prefer wearing a low-height cleat. If you are a base runner, a low top will be better and light in the long run, while high tops tend to be a bit heavier but do a good job in protecting the ankles.
Not all leagues allow the use of metal cleats. Some leagues only permit the use of plastic cleats. Plastic or molded cleats are mostly used in school, college, and pro baseball leagues. Metal cleats at such leagues are usually prohibited due to safety reasons as they can cause serious injuries. If you are unsure of what type of cleats to use, check with the league’s administration to choose the perfect type.
Top Benefits of Proper Baseball Cleats
Improves Speed and Excellent Traction
There is no doubt that baseball requires a lot of running and movement. Outrunning fly balls, stealing bases, and planting your feet all require a good amount of footwork. When you are playing a professional match, you cannot afford to trip or slip. To avoid such situations, baseball cleats are optimized to allow every type of movement. Different cleats offer different grip. You will have to experiment and find out the one that works for you.
Baseball matches can last for a while. The last thing you would want is to be uncomfortable wearing the cleats while playing. To counter this problem, cleat manufacturers ensure that the player feels comfortable throughout the match. Therefore, additional cushioning is done to comfort the heel.
Baseball requires ultimate flexibility. Irrespective of the position, you are going to need a shoe that offers maximum flexibility. Regular baseball cleats will not offer you the flexibility required and limit your movements. Therefore, while choosing the ideal cleats, make sure that they prevent any serious injuries by giving your feet some room to flex and breathe.
Mizuno is a popular name in the world of baseball cleats. However, these Baseball cleats offered by Mizuno are something different from its other offerings as they are made of rubber. Although the shoe tends to be air-tight, which offers little room to breathe but the durability is outclassed. They are designed to outlast any season and beyond. And even though they are made of rubber, their traction is at par with most metal cleats.
- Synthetic sole
- Rubber Studs
- Provides comfort and durability
Adidas is a well-known name in the sports industry. May it be football, baseball, or basketball shoes, Adidas has got it all. Its PowerAlley 4 cleats are designed for players and are ideal for those who wish to customize their shoe game completely. Since these cleats are available in a wide variety of colors, the players can choose any according to their preference. Furthermore, these shoes were made keeping comfort in mind. It features the ProTrax plate that relieves the stress and pressure off your feet. Plus, the stretchable sole ensures that your entire game is as comfortable as it can get.
- Leather cleats
- Litestrike EVA midsole
- Ironskin toe overlay
Mizuno is also known for making shoes exclusively for baseball and the Heist IQ is the perfect example. The “IQ” stands for Innovative Quickness, which is exactly what these cleats offer. These shoes feature an insole that is designed for running and will allow you to outplay any competitor. Since the exterior of the shoe is mostly made of mesh and synthetic material, the shoe is bound to offer excellent flexibility.
- Synthetic Sole
- IQ outsole
- Lightweight and flexible
The Nike Force Air Trout 4 is designed to offer intense speed. Nike made these cleats by collaborating with Mile Trout that allow the player to reach the ball quickly. These shoes feature a nine-cleat design that gives ideal traction. Additionally, it comes with an Air-Sole design that supports your whole foot. You can continue playing as long as you can with these cleats since they are lightweight and super-fast.
- Designed for speed
- Lightweight and super-fast
- Air-sole design
You will have multiple options for rubber molded cleats in the market but these cleats from Under Armour are something else. Simply put, they are the best in the class. These cleats are made from cowhide and leather that makes them extra durable. They also feature ArmourBound that is designed to reduce the impact of your step. Furthermore, the shoe’s design is such that it allows you to pivot and gain momentum without tripping or slipping. This is especially true when you need to swing the bat as hard as you can.
- Rubber Sole
- Made from cowhide
- Includes ArmourBound
Adidas wanted their Adizero Afterburner to be quick and it is exactly that. The entire cleat is mostly covered with mesh, which makes it super light and comfortable. Plus, the sole is made of LiteStrike EVA, which is popular and known for being the lightest midsole out there. It also features extra protection in the front to protect your toe and to prolong the shoe life. Whether you are playing professional games or simply practicing, these cleats tick all the requirements. Lastly, the wave pattern on the bottom of the cleat potion is designed to offer more traction and grip.
- Sprintframe plate
- Ironskin toe cap
- Litestike EVA sole
The New Balance 4040v3 Series is available in 12 different color patterns. Not only do they look cool but they are practical as well. These cleats are designed to keep your footwork steady and into the ground while moving side to side. Thanks to the cushioning system, your heel and toe are destined to be comfortable throughout the game.
- Toe Protect Technology
- ProBank midsole Technology
- RevLite midsole
If you are looking for a mid-cut option, then the Under Armour Men’s Harper One Baseball Cleat will be the perfect option. These cleats are named after Bryce Harper, with the intention to make them as comfortable and breathable as possible. The shoe’s entire top piece is made from durable mesh that allows your feet to breathe. Additionally, it features the SuperFoam technology that impacts your movements. Lastly, the nine-cleat design makes the grip stand out.
- Synthetic sole
- Mesh design
- SuperFoam technology
The Under Armour Leadoff RM is designed to make the player feel light and comfortable even though they are made of high-quality leather. Since they weigh around 13 ounces, these are some of the lightest cleats you can find in this category. Furthermore, the EVA midsole and mesh tongue make these cleats comparatively more comfortable than your average pair of cleats. The shoes also feature plastic cleats that mean they can be used on almost all types of surfaces. Surprisingly, they are also quite affordable, considering that Under Armour is a high-end brand.
- Flexible fabric
- Great traction
- Plastic cleats
Adidas Boost Icon 3 is that one shoe that every player should atleast consider. However, if you have any ankle issues, you might want to look for other options. The reason is that these cleats are low cut and will not offer much ankle stability. But it is not all negative.
These cleats feature a synthetic upper that keeps your feet properly snugged and won’t allow them to slip inside. Furthermore, the padding is extra comfortable and infact, makes the cleats one of the most comfortable options in the market. The shoes also come with 8 different spikes to ensure optimum traction and immense speed. Lastly, the extreme durability and reinforcements in the right spots make it one of the most reliable options.
- 8 different spikes
- Synthetic upper
- EVA midsole
Purchasing the ideal baseball cleats comes down to your preference. You have to consider not only your experience and skill level but any ankle or foot issues as well. For instance, if you are looking for something light, your favorite high-end cleat might not be a perfect choice.
Our suggestion would be the Mizuno Molded Baseball Cleat if you are a beginner. It is designed to offer great traction and protection while ensuring that your foot game is stable throughout the game.
However, if you are a professional, we will recommend the Adidas Men’s Adizero Afterburner that offers extra protection and extreme speed. Plus, may it be a practice session or a professional event, your feet are not going to feel any pressure at all while making extremely agile and flexible movements.