Last Updated on
Sometimes one of the most underrated pieces of equipment in baseball is the cleats. Proper baseball cleats allow players to move around the field efficiently, safely and provide the comfort needed to play with confidence. Just like a good glove, cleats offer the firm grip needed for your feet to perform at your best. Today’s blog is going to focus on the essential components necessary to choose the right cleats as well as recommend the best baseball cleats for 2020.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
There are several factors that every baseball player should consider when selecting a pair of cleats to wear for the upcoming baseball season. Factors such as material, support, heel, use, and fit should all be taken into consideration before making a purchase. All five of these factors can make a huge difference in how comfortable you feel when taking the field.
The best baseball players in the world will take full advantage of any little edge they can get to succeed. A baseball cleat that can give you that little extra something can’t be ignored. And, a good pair of baseball cleats can also reduce the risk of serious injury.
Almost all baseball cleats are made from synthetic or genuine leather. With advancements in shoe technology, synthetic leather cleats have become more popular these days. Synthetic leather offers extra feet support, especially around the ankle. They are more affordable than genuine leather, but cheaper cleats are cheaper for a reason.
Genuine leather has withstood the test of time because of how durable and breathable they have been. Leather is superior in quality compared to synthetic leather, which is why they cost a lot more. Many baseball cleats are not made with genuine leather anymore because of the high price tag that accompanies it.
Ankle support is critical when playing baseball. One wrong turn can result in a season-ending injury. When selecting a cleat, three types of supports are offered. The kind that you decide on will be based on the comfort level of the player wearing them. The three types of support to choose from are high tops, mid-tops, and low tops.
High tops extend up to the ankle and provide the most additional support of the three types of cleats. This is particularly important when moving laterally. The problematic part about high tops is that they can sometimes restrict the movement of a player, but if you are concerned about ankle injuries, this is the cleat for you.
A mid-top cleat is probably the most common of the three. Many players like this type of cleat because it provides a little bit of the support of a high top while offering the flexibility that comes from a low top cleat. Players who enjoy smooth movements while still having some ankle reinforcement would enjoy a mid-top cleat.
The low top cleats offer the ability to move around with the most speed but are less stable than the other two. Baseball players who like to steal bases will enjoy this type of cleat. It allows players to make fast lateral movements without a lot of ankle restriction.
Pitchers should consider cleats that have a toe area that is reinforced. Since a pitcher will continuously be pushing off of the rubber, cleats can get worn down a lot quicker. Reinforced toe parts offer the support a pitcher needs as well as provide necessary cleat durability.
Three types of cleats are made to offer an array of support for the player’s heel. Players will have the choice between metal, plastic, or turf cleats. Be sure to check with the league’s rules on cleats as some may not allow metal in their league.
Metal cleats offer the highest level of traction. Because of their metal structure, they can dig deep into the dirt with their firm grips. Hitters, in particular, enjoy metal cleats because it allows them to dig into the batter’s box with a firm toehold. The downside of metal cleats is that they don’t allow for a sudden change of direction because they are not flexible. They will also wear down quickly if not used on dirt or grass.
Plastic cleats can be made of rubber or plastic. These types of cleats are potent, stable, and can be worn on any surface without the fear of wearing down. Plastic cleats are cheaper than metal but are more durable. The downside for some is that they don’t offer the same type of grip that metal cleats provide. But, in harsh weather conditions, plastic cleats are much easier to maneuver around the field.
Lastly, turf shoes are common choices for baseball players who will spend most of their time on a turf field. Turf shoes are more comfortable and will not damage the turf field. This will allow the player to obtain maximum traction by keeping the player’s feet close to the ground with minimal injury impact.
Just like when selecting a baseball glove, many players will choose their cleats based on the position they play. Infielders who play on a compact field will want to avoid cleats with plastic studs. The soles will collect gravel, sand, and excess dirt. Many infielders will prefer to wear metal cleats as they are easier to maneuver around dirt.
Outfielders that play on a firm and lush field will also prefer to wear metal cleats. Metal cleats will not get into the situation of picking up patches of grass when chasing down a fly ball. Metal cleats allow outfielders to firmly plant their feet into the ground when preparing to catch a fly ball.
As mentioned earlier, pitchers need support for their push-off foot. Low top cleats are suggested for pitchers so that there are no restrictions on their ankles. Pitchers also want to have cleats that can firmly stick to the ground. As a result, metal spikes are typically the best bet for pitchers to use when taking the mound.
Sizing is critical when selecting a cleat. The ideal space between the toe and the end of the cleat should not exceed ¼ inch. The cleat needs to feel snug, so if a player is torn between two sizes, they should go with the cleat that has the tightest fit. The cleats will eventually expand as players break them in, but an initial snug fit will provide the support needed to make the necessary movements around the field. It might be worth your while to ask someone for sizing help if purchasing the cleats in a store to be sure you are getting the perfect pair of cleats.
After taking all of the factors listed above into consideration, here are the top five cleats of 2020.
These New Balance cleats come with an eight spike configuration that has been proven successful in Major League baseball. This is a very clean and very lightweight shoe. The cleats come in a wide range of colors that will fit your team’s colors and show off your style on the field.
New Balance cleats use FantomFit technology to engineer a synthetic mesh upper that provides a lot of support, despite feeling lightweight. You will feel the cleats snug at your feet, but will never feel as though it is weighing you down. New Balance is known for its quality fitting cleats, and even though you may pay a little bit more than other cleats, they are well worth the price.
This synthetic leather lightweight cleat will never hold a player back from their peak performance. This is one of the highest quality of cleats on the market today. The upper part of the cleat is made of synthetic leather that will help players pop right up when sliding through a base.
It also uses FantomFit technology for ideal support as well as padding in the collar to prevent blistering from happening. The tongue in the cleat will help keep dirt and debris out of your cleat throughout the game. This is the most expensive cleat out of the five, but players will understand why when they try them on.
These metal cleats have received high praise for being one of the best sets of cleats on the market due to their fantastic traction, snug fit, and lightweight design. It features a full-length midsole of foam for a quick bounce back and shock absorption.
The metal tips provide the traction of metal but are topped with molded Pebax for extra comfort. Many players are attracted to the Under Armour cleats because of their sleek look and mid-ranged price point. Players love the shock absorption and the support provided to show off their skills.
One of the most recognizable brands in baseball, Mizuno is a metal cleat that is built for superior fit and comfort. These cleats are functional beginner cleats and ideal for catchers who spend most of their time squatting back on their heels.
The Vapor Elite comes with a nine spike design that helps all players achieve the acceleration and grip necessary for baseball players. The sole allows your forefoot to flex naturally throughout any motions. This natural flexing gives players that no strain motion to achieve success in every aspect of the game. The Mizuno Vapor Elite 7 is priced just right for any position on the field.
Without a doubt, the coolest named cleat on the list! They are made with synthetic uppers along with Nike’s Flywire fit. They are non-metal, which may sway some people away from purchasing them. But, the fact that these cleats are made with TPU mesh and synthetic leather makes it one of the most durable pair of cleats on this list.
The geometric design of these cleats helps keep dirt from sticking to the shoes. Priced in the mid-range on this list, the Nike Huarache 2KFilth is an excellent value for being so lightweight and easy to maintain. These cleats will not disappoint any player.
Baseball players are required to run a lot, move-in awkward positions, and play in all kinds of field and weather conditions. Without feeling comfortable on the field, players will not reach their peak level of success. A poorly cushioned shoe may feel good at first, but it won’t be long before you are looking for a new pair because of the pain they are causing your feet.
It is worth the time and money to invest in a good pair of cleats. Think about the position that you will be playing and what type of cleat feels right for you. Having the proper support cannot be overstated. It will naturally make you play better because you will never have to worry about your feet slowing you down.
Of the five best baseball cleats listed here, the New Balance L3000v3 Metal cleats are top of the line. The synthetic and mesh upper, along with a comfort collar, really make a player feel like their feet are being spoiled. The materials that make up the cleat as well as how well they fit on your feet is why it ranks number one on this list. It is praised consistently for its durability and quality makeup.
Wearing the right pair of baseball cleats is just as important as playing with the right glove or swinging with the perfect bat. It is a critical part of the overall baseball uniform and should never be overlooked. Just ask a player who has worn a cheap pair of cleats and see how their feet feel halfway through the season. The right baseball cleat can help elevate you to a brand new level.