Besides being one of the most popular games in the world, baseball is a high intensity sport that is best defined as a game of small margins. A simple inch off the plate can have a significant bearing on the outcome of a game.
This is why baseball players and their coaches, too, are always critical of their various gears from bats, all the way to gloves and most importantly, cleats. It is often easy to underestimate the importance of proper baseball cleats; after all, people tend to focus more on the bats and gloves.
But, ask any pro-base baller, and he will tell you just how important cleats are to winning or losing a game of baseball. The right pair of cleats can improve your movements and acceleration drastically and give you that much-required advantage over your opponents.
Looking to get yourself the best cleats for baseball? Worry not, you couldn’t be in a better place. In this review, we will analyze ten of the best cleats in the market, shedding light on some of the advantages as well as demerits that come with each product. And we don’t stop there, we take it a notch further by providing you with tips on how to select the best cleats and how to break in your baseball cleat.
Read on for an in-depth analysis on everything related to baseball cleats. But first, here`s a review of ten of the best baseball cleats in the market.
Best Infield Baseball Cleats
New Balance Men`s L3000v3 Metal Baseball Shoe
The New Balance Men`s L3000v3 is among the most popular cleats in the market. It boasts of a superior design and comes in several colors to suit your preferences. New Balance ensured that this cleat has a comfort collar to increase its usability and comfort when making sprints. In addition to the comfort collar, this cleat has REVlite cushioning that gives you superior protection through the game`s extra innings.
- This superior cleat is 100% textile and synthetic, making it ideal for playing on those sunny afternoons. You also get to benefit from a dual-density midsole that, combined with its well-polished plate, gives you superior sprints.
- The L3000v3 comes with a unique collar design that provides extra comfort and support when standing still or sprinting. Another comfort -enhancing feature is its high-density midsole that gives your heels that extra cushioning. This superior cleat also comes packed with toe protect enhancements.
- Synthetic upper mesh helps improve ventilation thus reducing sweat-related slipperiness.
- Comes with 8 metal spikes that make the cleat ideal for pitchers. The spikes are convenient for use on soft ground as well as natural turf and provide increased traction and support to players. Impressively, the spikes have a light design that doesn’t compromise on your comfort when out on the pitch.
- Comes with a comfort collar
- Boasts of a superior debris-free construction
- Toe protect
- Revlite midsole to compelent the synthetic sole
- Mesh upper for improved ventilation
- Offers great stability
- Sightly expensive compared to other cleats
Nike Jordan XII Retro
Inspired by Nike`s popular Air Jordan, the Nike Jordan XII is among the best cleats in the market when it comes to traction and speed. This bad boy boasts of a superior nine-cleat Pebax plate that gives you the ability to accelerate and come to a halt in real time during play. You also get superior feet protection as the Nike Jordan XII Retro comes with unique air sole heel unit that provides extra cushioning during impacts.
- The Nike Jordan XII Retro is made from both synthetic and leather material. The upper is made of synthetic leather that increases the durability of this cleat.
- Comes with a phylon midsole that makes the cleat extra comfortable when pitching
- The air-sole unit in the heel provides proper cushioning thus absorbing pressure that would otherwise lead to injury.
- The Nike Jordan XII Retro comes with a 9-cleat superior configuration to deliver maximum traction and speed throughout the game.
- Comes with a high top for increased ankle support; thus making these cleats ideal for stability rather than speed.
- Provides unmatchable traction
- Heel air-sole makes the Nike Jordan XII Retro extra comfortable
- Aesthetically appealing design
- Durable as the upper is made of synthetic leather material
- Provides adequate Ankle protection due to its high top design
- Comes in white, metallic silver or black colors
- 9-cleat configuration on its Pebax spike plate delivers superior traction throughout the game.
- Not ideal for speedy runs
New Balance Men`s L4040V3 Cleat
The New Balance Men`s L4040V3 is designed to fit snuggly and give players freedom to move around the pitch. It features a padded collar as well as a protective toe overlay. This lace up cleat is among the most popular for base ballers looking for lightweight shoes that fit perfectly. The New Balance Men`s L4040V3 comes with a light 8-spike plate branded with the New Balance logo. With this cleat on your feet, you can manage fast enough speeds to beat your opponents by that elusive inch.
- The New Balance Men`s L4040V3 comes with a comfortable synthetic sole that is complemented by a REVlite lightweight, full-length mid sole.
- The upper is designed to provide lightweight fit and support as it boasts of a fantomFit, no-sew design.
- Lace up design that features adequate New Balance details
- Padded collar and Toe overlay to provide enhanced protection
- Comes with a debris-free tongue that provide maximum protection from soil particles
- Has eight metal spikes to offer increase traction during play
- The New Balance Men`s L4040V3 has a lightweight design that allows users to generate faster speeds.
- The 8-spike plate comes with sturdy spikes that provide greater traction and grip thus improving your overall speed.
- The upper is made from TPU mesh that is highly durable
- TPU mesh enhances ventilation, thus improving comfort during hot weather conditions
- The lace cage is highly convenient, thus giving these cleats a compact, streamlined look.
- Aesthetically appealing
- A little stiff before breaking in.
Mizuno Mens` 9-Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK Baseball Cleat
The Mizuno Mens` 9-Spike needs no introduction when it comes to world-class cleats. These cleats combine stability, comfort and traction in one design. For enhanced comfort, these baseball shoes come with a padded tongue as well as a parallel outsole for extra protection. The upper cover is made from premium suede, making the Mizuno 9-Spike durable.
Mizuno products, as expected, are made from high-quality material, which explains why the brand is among the most popular in the sporting gear industry.
- Comes with rubber studs that provide extra comfort and durability regardless of the field of play
- Has a full-length midsole that boosts comfort during play and protects your feet from impact
- The suede upper side makes the cleats durable and convenient for cold weather, keeping your feet protected from the cold or rain.
- The Mizuno Mens` 9-Spike has a mid-top ankle design, which allows you to manipulate the ankle when making sprints.
- The Proflex feature increases the forefoot`s flexibility, thus giving you that extra push when speeding up.
- Comfortable and ideal for running
- Durable due to the suede upper top
- Convenient for extreme weather
- Full-length midsole protects you from impact while increasing your comfort
- Lack of mesh can lead to sweating during extremely hot weather
Under Armor Men`s Harper 2 RM Baseball Shoe
Under Armor is well known to produce top-shelve cleats that are both durable and effective on the pitch. The Under Armor Men`s Harper 2 RM is appropriate for base ballers in need of additional ankle protection. These baseball shoes are among the best when it comes to stability, however, they are not ideal for making runs across the pitch. The full-length, highly compact midsole performs the role of pressure absorption and distribution, which helps prevent cumulative fatigue that can lead to injury.
- Boasts of a fully-adjustable ankle strap that locks your feet in for support and increased stability. This helps improve your overall body movements, allowing you to make great pitches.
- Comes with a synthetic upper that is molded to ensure it fits perfectly and provides the much-required support during play
- The synthetic sole as well as the EVA midsole play a vital role in dispersing pressure emanating from cleats
- Comes with rubber molted cleats that are durable in different types of fields
- Comes in different colors to suit your preferences
- Provides dependable ankle support that protects you from sustaining ankle injuries
- The adjustable ankle straps give you the much desired flexibility during play
- The EVA midsole is convenient in absorbing and distributing cleat pressure
- Durable rubber molded cleats
- Light weight design that improves your reflexes
- Comes with a synthetic sole that is durable
Mizuno Men`s Dominant IC Baseball Shoe
The Mizuno Men`s Dominant IC cleats are designed to provide baseball players with uncompromised comfort. These top-shelve baseball shoes boast of an anatomical shape that ensures the shoe fits perfectly. The anatomical shape also provides strong acceleration while minimizing power loss during runs. Mizuno were serious when designing the Mizuno Men`s Dominant IC as it has a 3-layered upper that enhances the shoe`s ability to fit different leg sizes.
- Comes with an IC outsole that increases both traction and flexibility
- The spike configuration and flex groves help boost overall acceleration to give you that edge when making runs.
- The Mizuno Men`s Dominant IC has a bootie construction inside the cleat that ensures the shoe fits perfectly.
- Utilizes Mizuno`s U4icX technology that provides additional cushioning
- Boasts of a new innovative comfort-enhancing platform for superior stability and cushioning
- Designed for comfort as it boasts of several comfort-enhancing features
- The IC outsole improves overall flexibility, thus improving your game as well
- Comes packed with new Mizuno technologies like the U4icX, bootie construction and 3-layered upper design
- Made from durable synthetic material thus saving you money in the long run
- Used by several Major League stars, making it an ideal cleat for professional play
- Increased traction due to the impressive spike configuration and strategic placement of the flex groves
- Comes in different colors to suit your preferences
- High priced, meaning you might have to wait for offers and discounts
Nike Lunar Trout 2 Men Baseball Cleats
The Nike Lunar Trout 2 is a well- respected ankle cleat whose mesh design makes it convenient for all weather use. This unique cleats capitalize on Nike`s dynamic Flywire technology that helps increase players` strength and stability. Nike is a world-renown sport attire manufacturer, and it didn’t disappoint with this release. The Nike Lunar Trout 2 boasts of nine-well positioned cleats that provide extra traction during play, and they are durable, too.
- The Nike Lunar Trout 2 comes with a mesh upper that allows for a lightweight and conveniently breathable feel. This allows you to play without having to worry about slippery feet due to sweat.
- The cleat comes packed with Nike`s Dynamic Flywire technology that helps provide additional support and strength.
- Nike Lunar Trout 2 boasts of a lunarlon foam midsole that is soft enough to cushion your feet by absorbing impact pressure.
- The pebax speed plate allows for ultra-responsiveness and enhanced stability.
- Features nine well fitted metal cleats that increase traction and durability of the baseball shoe.
- Durable as it is made from high-quality fabric and synthetic material
- Lightweight due to the mesh upper
- The mesh material allows for increased ventilation thus allowing your feet to breathe properly during play
- The pebax speed plate makes the shoe ultra-responsive, thus improving your reflexes
- Comes packed with nine metallic cleats that provide traction during play allowing you to make tidy runs
- Not ideal for fast-paced running
Adidas Men`s Freak X Carbon Mid Baseball Shoe
Adidas always seem to be ahead of the competition when it comes to designing dependable, high-quality cleats. Having been in the sporting industry for quite a while, Adidas has established itself as one of the leading companies in sport attire and kits.
The Adidas Men`s Freak X Carbon do not disappoint. These cleats are superb when it comes to comfort, breathability and convenience. The upper side is air mesh-constructed, and here`s the best part, the mesh is double-overlays reinforced. This ensures that your feet breathe well throughout the game, reducing the chances of slippery feet due to sweat.
- The Adidas Men`s Freak X Carbon is made from breathable synthetic fiber, meaning you can wear the shoes for long without having to remove them.
- The cleat comes with rubber spikes that can be used on any field. The spikes are ideal when playing on concrete or grass, making them highly versatile.
- The Litestrike Eva midsole provides extra comfort at no added weight
- Has a heel clip and a molded heel that provide support during use
- Adidas Men`s Freak X Carbon comes with a toe cap for additional protection
- Highly comfortable due to the material used and extra padding
- The breathable synthetic fiber allows for proper ventilation during play
- The molded heel and heel clip protect your feet from impact
- Rubber spikes increase the usability and versatility of the cleat
- Takes fairly long to break in
Nike Men`s Vapor Ultrafly Pro MCS Baseball Cleat
Nike never jokes when it comes to manufacturing quality sporting attire or equipment. As a global brand, Nike is always dedicated to creating trends and inventing new technologies to see off competition. The Nike Men`s Vapor Ultrafly Pro MCS is an example of Nike`s commitment to producing high quality cleats.
The Nike Men`s Vapor Ultrafly Pro MCS boasts of a highly breathable upper that allows for proper ventilation while its low-cut design not only makes the cleat light weight but also ideal to make speedy runs. The cleat is made from synthetic leather and the upper is made of durable TPU mesh. This high-quality cleat comes with a lunarloan foam in the sole, which gives it a comfortable feel, making it ideal for long term usage.
- The Nike Men`s Vapor Ultrafly Pro MCS boasts of an impressive 9-cleat rubber configuration that improve the cleat`s versatility and overall traction. You can play on any surface with these cleats.
- Lightweight synthetic material makes the cleat light enough for fast-paced runs
- The low cut design increases flexibility and boosts your stability when running
- Perforations on the toe box to boost breathability during play
- Comes with a sock-liner that helps cushion and position the foot for maximum comfort
- TPU cleat technology ensures the cleats are durable enough to provide long term service
- Durable due to the use of high-quality material in production
- Comfortable as it comes with a sock liner and extra pads
- TPU mesh upper is durable
- The cleat configuration is compact and sturdy thus allowing for increased traction
- Isn`t ideal for players with wide feet
Adidas Kid`s Freak X Carbon Mid Baseball Shoe
The Adidas Kid`s Freak X Carbon is designed for little base ballers looking to hone their baseball skills further. Although children cleats are more often similar to adult cleats, they need to have extra protection from toe to extra padding to prevent the little athletes from sustaining injuries.
The Adidas Kid`s Freak X Carbon comes in different colors to keep your little athlete excited about heading out to the field. On top of that, these little-boy cleats boast of a rubber sole that helps absorb in-field pressure.
With a low-top arch, your child`s ankle is always well protected, while the overall design allows for a perfect fit to allow your child to focus on the game.
- Comes with a rubber sole for better pressure distribution
- 7 strategically positioned cleats for better grip and traction
- Made of synthetic material with a breathable upper for better ventilation
- Raised shaft for better protection
- Slim design to ensure the cleat fits snugly
- Slim design for a snug fit
- Different color options to motivate children to play
- Comes in a variety of sizes for toddlers and little kids
- Might be uncomfortable at first
Factors to Consider when Buying a Baseball Cleat
After reviewing some of the leading cleats in baseball, it is now time to shift our focus to some of the main factors that you should consider before settling for a particular baseball shoe. Since baseball is a game of fine margins, finding the perfect cleat to suit your position or role during the game is crucial to your overall performance. This explains why cleats vary depending on roles during a baseball game.
In this section, we will highlight some of the main factors that you should consider before settling for a particular cleat.
You have to be extra careful when selecting the material of your baseball cleat. Some are made of synthetic leather or textile while others are made of genuine leather. While cleats made from genuine leather tend to last long, they are also heavy, which can play a role in reducing your overall speed during play.
Synthetic leather and fibers tend to provide more balance due to their lightweight characteristics. These cleats are also more affordable compared to cleats made from genuine leather. If you are willing to spend more when purchasing a baseball cleat, then we recommend settling for cleats made from genuine leather, which can last long enough to serve you for years.
Genuine leather cleats, however, are not appropriate for young base ballers whose shoe sizes tend to change rapidly.
Type of Spikes
The type of spike plays a massive role in determining your overall performance during a baseball game. Baseball spikes come in various categories such as plastic cleats, metal cleats or rubber cleats.
Let`s take a quick look at some of the main types of cleats.
Metal Cleats for Baseball
If you want the highest level of traction, then it is advisable to settle for metal cleats. This baseball cleats can dig in the grass and on the dirt on baseball fields to increase grip and traction that is much-needed when accelerating or taking off. These cleats also play a pivotal role in helping you come to a halt.
Metal spikes help reduce the chances of slipping when hitting the ball. These cleats have intense grip to an extent that they are not recommended for beginners who do not understand the basics of changing directions when playing the game. Point to note though, metal spikes tend to wear out at a faster rate when used on surfaces that are not dirt or grass.
It is crucial to inquire whether your league accepts these cleats as they are not universally accepted across all tourneys.
Molded Plastic Cleats for Baseball
Plastic and rubber cleats fall in this category. They are usually fixed on the cleat`s outer sole and tend to be stable and very study. These cleats are appropriate for playing on several surfaces including asphalt salts and concrete without wearing out. Molded cleats tend to be cheaper compared to metal cleats, however, they do not have the same grip and traction that metal cleats come with.
Molded rubber or plastic, unlike metal cleats, do not get stuck on mad during bad weather conditions. This makes them appealing when playing during rainy seasons or muddy conditions.
Turf shoes, commonly known as trainers, are normally worn when training or practicing baseball routines. These bad boys are usually more comfortable when compared to cleats and have softer plates that do not tear the training facilities.
Turf shoes are only appropriate for artificial surfaces as they are designed to provide additional grip on turfs. They keep your feet close to the ground during training and help you avoid injuries. Plastic or rubber spikes are not appropriate for artificial turfs as they can lead to excessive slips, which can lead to injury.
Interchangeable cleats give players the freedom to switch between the different types of cleat materials. That is, you can easily switch from metal to mold cleats. This gives you enhanced versatility and also saves you money as you won`t have to buy several cleats to meet your in field requirements. Interchangeable cleats are usually attached with screws and are easily removable. These cleats come with one caveat, though; they tend to be heavier due to the cleat changing hardware and screws.
The Role or Position of the Player
Baseball is all about strategy. Your role in a game of baseball will determine the appropriate cleats that you should use. Defensive players need cleats that will allow for flexible movements. Base stealers, on the other hand, need lightweight cleats that allow for ease of movement from one base to another. Below are some of the cleats you should consider depending on the baseball positions.
Infielders should always consider the type of field before settling for a particular cleat. Metal cleats are appropriate for dense or compact grounds. Such cleats tend to provide more comfort on gravel as compared to their plastic counterparts.
Metal cleats are ideal for outfielders as they don’t allow you to gather up patches of grass as molded cleats do. As an outfielder you will plant your toes deep into turfs when attempting to chase balls. Molded cleats will not be as convenient as metal clips in digging into the ground to allow for greater dives or jumps.
Low top cleats are appropriate for pitchers as they provide both support and power. A metal cleat is ideal for pitchers when playing on a dense ground as they help increase overall stability. Metal cleats help you to gain traction when generating power to make strong pitches.
Baseball cleats come in three main categories high top, mid and low baseball cleats. High top cleats are appropriate for lateral movements and provide additional support to the ankles. High top cleats are not appropriate for making speedy runs but come in handy when players don’t have to make much movement.
Low tops help boost speed unlike their high top counterparts that increase overall stability. With a low top cleat, you can make quick sprints and beat opponents due to pace. Mid baseball cleats, however, are more focused on comfort and are ideal for base ballers who require moderate to minimum ankle movement during play.
Tips to break in Cleats
Breaking in your baseball cleats is important to avoid hurting your feet and sustaining avoidable injury. Playing with new cleats without breaking them in first will lead to pain during play. Here are quick tips to breaking in your cleats in good time before using them during a game.
First, put on two thick pairs of socks that can fit snuggly on your cleat. These socks help provide extra cushion when wearing the cleats. They also help stretch the leather.
Afterwards, bend your baseball shoes bottom down as this will help them a bit more flexible. Follow this step by applying the leather protector to keep your cleats in good shape.
The third step is wearing your cleats and soaking them in lukewarm water. Lukewarm water helps to enhance the cleat-breaking process. After a short while, remove the cleats and allow them to dry in the sun naturally. Avoid subjecting the cleats to additional heat to dry them as this might lead to the loss of shape.
Observing these tips will help you to break your baseball cleats and have them ready for use during your game. Remember, wearing cleats without breaking them in is not advisable.
Having discussed the top ten baseball cleats in the market, you should be well placed to select the best cleat that helps you execute your role on the pitch perfectly. As discussed in the buyer`s guide section, cleats come in different styles depending on your position. You should also consider the type of pitch you are playing on before choosing your preferred cleats.
Infielders, outfielders and pitchers require different types of cleats, meaning you should consider such factors before settling for a particular type. Another consideration that you should keep in mind is the material used in the cleats. We recommend selecting cleats made from breathable material.
If you are buying cleats for your young athlete, then it is advisable to select shoes that aren’t too expensive as your child is likely to outgrow them as he advances in his baseball career. But for adults, we recommend selecting durable cleats that can serve you season after season.