Choosing the Best Baseball Cleat
Baseball or softball cleats can make a world of difference. Wearing the wrong size, or wrong type of cleats can lead to injury, while choosing the correct cleat can improve your overall performance.
Picture Ricky Henderson trying to swipe second base. The difference between being thrown out and being called safe often comes down to one step or a fraction of a second. Having trust that your cleats are going to provide the best traction and support that they possibly can is imperative. One slip or mis-step and you’ll be thrown out.
Baseball Cleat Reviews
If you’re not restricted to wearing rubber cleats, these are undoubtedly my pick for the best baseball shoes on the market. They’re light, they breathe well, they’re incredibly comfortable and they look slick.
They have the feel and look of a running shoe and they have terrific metal spikes for traction. They’re a low cut shoe and don’t provide as much support as some of the other more classic baseball cleats. New Balance has long been recognized as an outstanding shoe manufacturer, these are no different.
Overall Amazon Rating: 5/5
[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B008ENDOTY” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512Si0Eb78L._SL160_.jpg” tag=”basecoach-20″ width=”160″]If you are looking for rubber cleats at a reasonable price the Mizuno Blaze Elite are a great choice. For under $50 USD you’re going to have a tough time finding a shoe that is comparable.
They’re very durable and provide a lot of support.
Overall Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B005D70QSQ” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GN4DMpRKL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”basecoach-20″ width=”160″] Looking for a pair of high tops that can be used on multiple surfaces and over multiple sports? The Mizuno Blast 3 cleats feature aggressive studs that’ll help keep traction across different playing fields and surfaces.
Overall Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B003XPH3XQ” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W9NG46HrL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”basecoach-20″ width=”160″] If you’re looking for a women’s softball cleat with metal spikes the Swift G2’s are terrific. The spikes are well designed and provide great traction. They’re durable, comfortable and offer a ton of support.
Overall Amazon Rating 4.5/5
Softball Cleats Versus Baseball Cleats
If you browse around online you might notice some cleats are referred to baseball cleats and others are referred to softball cleats. The difference? There isn’t one – softball cleats are generally women’s cleats and baseball cleats are mens.
There are instances of softball cleats being labelled as “men’s softball cleats” and vice versa. So be on the lookout, but generally speaking baseball cleats are mens and softball cleats are women’s.
High tops, mid cuts or low cut? The type of cleat you wear largely comes down to two factors: preference and past injuries. If you’re habitually spraining your ankles, it’s an easy choice; get yourself a pair of high tops.
Many players without a history of ankle injuries will use high tops for the stability they provide. Speed guys usually avoid the high tops. They’re a little bit bulkier and can become a mental distraction on the base path.
If you’re looking for something in between opt for the mid cuts.
Types of Cleats
Aside from choosing the correct size, the most important aspect of the shoe is the cleat. There are four general types: metal cleats, interchangeable cleats, molded rubber and turf shoes.
Most players will eventually use metal cleats. They provide the best traction on a traditional field. So why do they manufacturer four different types of shoes?
First off, if you’re son or daughter is playing little league or youth softball metal cleats aren’t typically allowed. This is simply for safety, getting a boot full of metal into the shin hurts. It hurts even more if you’re eight or nine years old.
Molded rubber have rubber blocks or spikes. They’re fairly sturdy and can be used in multiple sports such as football that don’t allow metal studs. The harder the surface the better suited a rubber cleat is for that particular playing field.
Turf shoes are used on artificial turf. They use a rubber pattern on the bottom instead of a stud or spike for traction. Owning a pair of these shoes can be beneficial and not just for baseball because they work well for cross training.
Interchangeable cleats have spikes that can be removed. This allows us to quickly switch from rubber spikes to metal spikes.
Leather Versus Synthetic Cleats
Just like batting gloves, cleats can be constructed out of leather or synthetic material. Leather will generally breathe better than a shoe made from synthetic material, however it’ll also be more expensive.
Just like any shoe, getting the right sized baseball or softball cleat is very important. There is nothing worse than selecting a shoe that doesn’t fit correctly.
A lot of people shy away from purchasing shoes or cleats online. And rightfully so, not being able to try a shoe on can be difficult.
The upside to purchasing cleats online is the selection is bigger and you’re not going to beat the pricing.
The downside is obvious, how do you choose a shoe without trying it on?
The most common way around this problem is players will often have owned the same baseball shoe. The old ones are worn out and need to be replaced. You know the brand, model and size it’s fairly straight forward. Both my cleats and my baseball glove have remained constant for years.
As a rule of thumb a brand will fit the same way regardless of the model. The sizing should be almost bang on shoe to shoe. I’ve also found over the years that if once I find a brand I like I stick to it. If you owned a pair of comfortable Mizuno’s that fit well stick to Mizuno.
Okay, so there is still a little bit of guess work involved. The other suggestion is look at Amazon’s “How it fits” chart beside the product. This will tell you if customers found the cleat to fit a little small or a little larger then expected.
And the final hack? Amazon’s customer service is awesome, you’ll ALWAYS be able to return a pair of softball shoes that don’t fit.