Best Baseball Cleats
Cleats are extensions on the shoe’s sole that mainly provide more traction on soft or slippery surfaces. They may be of metal, plastic or rubber material and either has a conical shape or a blade-like shape. Metal cleats are, however, illegal for safety reasons. The kind of cleat you choose will depend on the game environment. Cleats were first used in the 1960s in the United States of America when spikes of metal were first attached to baseball shoes.
Every sport has shoes that are unique to it and required of every player of the sport. Baseball is no exception. Baseball is a game that involves a lot of running. As a matter of fact, running is the most important part of a baseball game. Running in this game requires that your feet are comfortable enough to run at a very high speed and also stop when you have to. To be able to have effectively maximized speed and stop, you will need high-class cleats.
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Best Rated Baseball Cleats Reviewed
Baseball is a competitive sport with high stakes. One extra inch could make you a baseball legend in no time, hence the need for buying the best baseball cleats. We put an end to your search by reviewing some of the very best of the best for you to make an informed decision.
Key Considerations when Choosing the Best Baseball Cleats
The right baseball cleats offer you a lot of benefits. Using the right cleats when playing baseball can take your game to the next level. They provide traction, cushion, flexibility and support with just a few added inches to your baseball shoes.
- Construction: Cleats are generally from synthetic leather or genuine leather materials.
- Synthetic leather cleats: These leather cleats are quite affordable and of good quality. They provide additional ankle and mid-foot support.
- Genuine leather cleats: These leather cleats have better quality than the synthetic leather cleats. They are more expensive, flexible, sturdy and breathable than their synthetic counterparts.
- Ankle Support: The support by baseball cleats come in three categories – low tops, mid tops, and high tops;
- Low tops: Low tops are for players who value speed more than they value stability. These cleats allow the player to move very fast and laterally, thereby making sprinting easier.
- Mid tops: Mid tops are great for players in need of ease while moving on the field, as well as good enforcement of the ankle.
- High tops: High tops are great at providing injured ankles with additional support by reducing your movements and keeping your ankle firmly in place.
- Proper Cleat Size: Before buying your chosen baseball cleat, make sure it is the perfect size for you. The heel should have a snug fit while the toe area should not be too far from the end of the cleats. You should choose tight cleats over loose ones as they will give you ample support and good cushioning for your type of foot. However, they should not cause you pain or discomfort and the studs should not have pressure points. Besides they will eventually get more comfortable as they break-in, especially if they are of stretchable genuine leather.
- Type of Cleat: There are different types of cleats. Your choice should put into consideration that field type you will be playing on and the weather conditions. Studs usually go with cleats to provide additional traction and support. You can use shorter studs when the field surface is hard, while longer studs will be more suitable in fields because they provide better traction there. However, you could get cleats with removable studs so that you can easily swap between the long and short studs depending on the most suitable one at the time of play.
- Know the Anatomy: Another important thing to take into consideration is your cleat’s anatomy. Know that every part of your cleat is very important and plays a vital role in your performance.
- Cut length: The cut length could be low-cut if you are in need of freedom of movement, or mid-cut if you need additional protection and support.
- Lacing and eyelets: Although some mid-tops use ankle straps, most use laces. These laces should be universal so that you can adjust to your best fit. It is important to have eyelets for your laces so that they stay in place.
- Upper and toe cap: The upper part and toe cap, usually of high-quality leather, should be sturdy and tough. This helps to offer your foot and toes the desired protection while running or turning on the field.
- Tongue and collar: The tongue should be thin, breathable, and slightly padded to increase your comfort, while the collar should increase your comfort and keep your foot securely in place.
- Holes for ventilation: The cleats should have some holes in them to allow for breathability especially in hot weather conditions. It is important to keep your feet and dry during the game so that they do not get sweaty and sticky, hence the need for proper ventilation.
- Heel counter: This tough insert is often at the back of the heel to add support to the heel cup and keep it locked in.
- Heel cushioning: The cushioning of your heel is important because it helps absorb shock. The heel should be well cushioned to also avoid injury resulting from shock and impact.
- Insole: Your foot rests on the insole and this should be very comfortable and removable so that you can add or reduce it till you get one that is most comfortable for you.
- Midsole: There should be some cushioning at the midsole, especially in the heel area for additional comfort and support while running.
- The Plate: This plays the major role of keeping the studs in place. It is often made of sturdy TPU plastic and can withstand running on different surfaces, including dirt.
- Studs: Studs help to provide a firm grip on all surfaces by digging into the ground. Because of the safety risks with metal studs, people usually use these adult leagues, while youth leagues only permit studs from molded plastic.
- Know the Game Surface: There are different surfaces on which people play baseball. It is important to know the kind of cleats to use on each surface in order to improve your performance.
- Firm Ground Cleats: These are cleats specially made to be used on natural surfaces like grass and dirt, and often have a rectangular shape. They are usually not detachable and may be made of rubber, plastic or even metal.
- Artificial Ground Cleats: These cleats are usually for use on man-made surfaces like artificial turf. Shoes specifically for turfs (also called Turfs) are usually manufactured having many rubber studs around the soles and are usually detachable.
- Know your Position on the Field: In baseball, every player has a position he is assigned to on the field. Certain cleats have qualities that are more suitable for certain positions. To improve your performance, it is important to know what cleat is best for the position you will play in. You may play as an infielder, outfielder or a pitcher.
- Infielders: For infielders, your cleats should be of either metal or plastic depending on the surface. You should use metal cleats for solid and compacted surfaces, while plastic should be used for surfaces that are softer and loose to prevent the build-up of sand and mud.
- Outfielders: For outfielders, metal cleats should be used for better traction in the soft grass.
- Pitchers: For pitchers, they will need studs that stick better into the ground. Metal studs do this very well and should be used to provide both superior traction and needed stability.
Types of Cleats
Due to the fact that there are few shoes with customizable cleats, most baseball players have to buy cleats that will give them the perfect feel and fit. There are different types of cleats for different types of surfaces and fits. Some of these cleat types are below.
- Metal Cleats: These cleats, with their very firm grips, give more traction than any other type because they can dig into the firm or hard surfaces. They give good grip when you are running or standing. Batters enjoy the firmness of these cleats for their toehold because it prevents them from slipping when they are hitting the ball. However, metal cleats are not very flexible so sudden direction change by the players may cause injury. They wear out fast when worn on dirt or grass. People use these cleats in higher levels of baseball. However, they do not permit these in younger leagues due to the risk of injuries.
- Molded Plastic Cleats: These cleats, made of plastic or rubber, are extensions or grooves that are not detachable. They are more affordable and durable than metal cleats but lack the metal cleats’ grip level. They easily bounce off and offer generous flexibility, hence they are suitable for muddy or soft surfaces.
- The Turf/Trainer Shoes: Turfs are footwear people use for training on mostly man-made surfaces like artificial turfs. They cause minimal damage to the training field but are not for major games. They are flexible, comfortable and offer excellent traction. Moreover, the shoes protect your feet from injury by keeping them close to the ground. The only time your turf may cause you injury is when you use it on plastic spikes as this will prevent the studs from having any grip on the ground or giving your feet any amount of traction.
Baseball is one of the most demanding sports and requires that as a player. Apart from your clothing, helmet, and gloves, your cleats have to be sturdy since you will be doing a lot of running. In fact, your success as a baseball player lies in your sole.
From smashing a home run to stealing a base and throwing a great pitch, you need to be very careful when you are choosing the best baseball cleats. We have put together some very important information on baseball cleats and also reviewed some of the very best baseball cleats to make your search easier. We are quite sure what you need to up your game lies in this review.