Baseball cleats have been a tool baseball players have used for decades. Most players wouldn’t even consider playing baseball without cleats now, and for good reason. They offer a variety of benefits from potentially fewer injuries, to increased overall performance for the player using them.
However, it can be a hard and confusing road to find the right cleat for you as there are a variety of options on the market that all offer different features that could potentially help increase your performance. But how does one even begin to choose? Whether you’re lost in the options available on the market, or you’d like to know what kind of cleats are available, this guide has you covered from start to finish.
Too Lazy To Read The Article? Here is Our Top Choice
|Mizuno Men's 9 Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK Baseball Cleat Review|
|Lowest Price||$$Amazon See it|
|Model||9 SPIKE ADV FRANCHISE 8 BK-WH-M|
|Product Dimensions||12 x 5 x 9 inches|
|Read Full Review|
Benefits of Buying Baseball Cleats
The benefits of buying baseball cleats are pretty well-known, but there are a few on this list that you may not be aware of if you’re new to the world of baseball cleats.
No slipping: baseball cleats are designed to give the user better traction on a variety of turf-types. The lack of slipping allows the player to run more confidently and potentially faster with the added traction. The addition of supplemental traction control offers allows the player to perform better than they would would the additional traction. The additional traction also proves to be helpful for non-running baseball players (such as pitchers) as cleats offer additional power for pushing-off as well as stability.
Efficiency: one additional benefit that could potentially be added into the “no slipping” category is the efficiency cleats give users. Wearers slip less, have better traction, potentially run faster, and all of those things could add up to energy efficiency. The less energy you have to use, the better you’re going to be able to perform for longer.
Control: better control over where your feet are being placed and the direction that you’re moving in offers the user better control over their movements as well as their overall performance.
Potentially fewer injuries: The aforementioned factors could potentially lead to fewer playing-related injuries. Many injuries that players receive while playing baseball include loss of traction and/or trying to regain balance afterward. These injuries can include twisted ankles, ACL, and knee-related injuries. This, of course, only applies if you buy the correct shoes. If you purchase the wrong cleats the opposite could actually occur.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Baseball Cleats
While all cleats have different features and are designed with a specific user in mind, here are some things you should look for in every pair of cleats, regardless of your needs and circumstances:
- Comfort: while comfort is probably an obvious one, it’s not one to be overlooked. Nothing else the cleat offers will matter if the cleats are not comfortable ones. They can be the most durable cleats in the world that also come equipped with self-heating technology (although I don’t think that’s a thing) but none of it will mean anything if you can’t perform your best in them because they’re uncomfortable!
- Lightweight: ultimately your cleats should be lightweight, regardless of what they’re made out of. The lighter the cleat the better you will be able to perform in it without the added resistance of a bulky shoe. However, they should not be so lightweight that they are flimsy (more on that below.)
- Durability: durability is another highly important factor. You should look for a combination of lightweight and durability in order to ensure they will be able to withstand heavy use and last a decent amount of time. But, following with the above, they shouldn’t be so durable that they have no flex to them at all or they’re incredibly heavy.
How to Choose the Best Baseball Cleats for Your Needs
Now that we’ve covered the basic things every pair of baseball cleats should have, we can move on to how to find the best baseball cleats for your specific needs.
Ankle support: ankle support is an important consideration when buying cleats and the level of support usually falls into one of three categories; low-, mid-, and high-top. High-tops are best for players who have more lateral movements as they support the ankle best. If speed is more important to you than stability, low-tops would be a better bet. The last type is mid-top and they offer both moderate stability and moderate speed.
Cleat spike length: the length of the cleat spike is also important. It’s advised that beginners find shorter cleats, which tend to be more forgiving to move in and involve less tripping if the cleat is placed in the wrong spot and needs to be repositioned. More advanced users who are more familiar with using cleats can usually opt for a longer cleat-length which allows for better traction, better control, as well as increased push-off speed.
Properly size your cleats: sizing cleats can be tricky, they’re not like regular shoes where you can grab a size that looks close and go with it. Ideally, they should be as snug as possible without scrunching your toes or digging into your feet. Getting the wrong size cleats can be a serious injury hazard, asking a professional at a local sports store to help size your feet is highly advisable.
The type of cleat: there are several types of cleats that are designed for different uses, here are the most common ones:
- Molded: molded cleats can be made of a variety of materials depending on the manufacturer. Usually, they offer differing cleat sizes- the higher ones offer more traction but are less forgiving, where the shorter ones offer less traction-advantages, but are incredibly forgiving for newer users. They tend to be the second best for traction. They also tend to be the most comfortable.
- Metal: metal is usually not allowed due to the possibility of injuring someone other than yourself. They offer the most traction of all the cleat materials, and work great on dirt and grass. Metal cleats are not advised for turf.
- Interchangeable: interchangeable cleats can have either metal or molded cleats that can be changed out with the use of a tool. These cleats are best for someone who plays in a variety of locations and only want one pair of cleats instead of two. One downside is the fact that, due to the extra hardware, interchangeable cleats tend to be heavier.
- Turf: turf cleats are best used for someone who is practicing often or prefers more comfort to performance. They’re designed to not ruin the turf at facilities and often perform better than regular sneakers or basketball shoes.
Check the regulations: check the regulations for your specific league, school, or state to find what is and what isn’t allowed in your area. This should, realistically, give you a better idea of what kind of cleat would be best for you and your situation and hopefully narrow down the options for you.
Materials: the materials your baseball cleats are made out of is also an important factor to consider. It may be just as important as the material the cleats themselves are made out of. Typically baseball cleats are made out of one of two materials, leather or synthetic leather. Leather is often the cheaper option when it comes to purchasing cleats, but the material often wears faster than anticipated. Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is often more expensive and they can withstand more wear and tear. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each material does come with its own set of special care and cleaning requirements as well that you should consider in addition to performance and durability.
Wet and dry traction: wet and dry traction is an important consideration if you intend to play or train outside. If the cleat’s traction is best on dry dirt, grass, or turf you may run into an issue if you decide to practice or have to play in other conditions that aren’t quite as optimal. The whole purpose of cleats is to give you better traction, so if you lose that traction after it’s rained heavily they won’t be of much use to you.
What position you plan on playing: what you plan on playing is just as important as where you plan on playing (which I covered more in-depth above under “type of cleat”.) While not all possible positions can be listed here, the three most common are below:
- Infielders: metal cleats are a better option for infielders because the offer traction across a variety of mediums (such as dirt, grass, and gravel.) When metal isn’t an option due to regulation issues, molded cleats are your second best.
- Outfielders: if you tend to play on well-maintained fields, metal cleats are advised as they won’t pick up large patches of the field as you try to run. However, if the fields are poorly maintained, dry, or metal cleats aren’t an option, molded cleats are the second-best option for you.
- Pitchers: again, metal cleats are the best option for pitchers as they offer better power and support when you need to push-off. Low-tops are also a good option for pitchers, regardless of what the cleats are made out of as the offer improved speed in your movement.
Your budget: your budget should be a big consideration when it comes to buying cleats. You should get the best pair of cleats that you can realistically afford, but if you can’t get the most expensive cleats you can find that’s okay too. Don’t think that a cheaper pair of cleats automatically makes it a terrible pair of cleats. On a similar note, a cheap pair of cleats that aren’t comfortable isn’t a good deal either.
Baseball Cleats Reviews
Under Armour Men’s UA Harper One RM Baseball Cleats
Under Armour is best known for their high-performance sports gear- regardless of the sport. Their cleats are no different in this situation. Some of the features their UA Harper One boasts include the following:
- Synthetic material
- Ankle strap for additional support
- Mesh tongue for breathability
Breakdown of the features
Under Armour’s mid-top baseball cleat offers a combination of performance, comfort, and stability for the user. It’s mesh-tongue keeps air flowing in and out of the cleat to keep your feet cool and sweat-free as long as you’re in them. Having a mesh thongue for breathability will also allow maximum flexibility for the upper part of your foot. Being lightweight, you can ensure that your game isn’t compromised due to a heavy shoe. Lastly, the materials this shoe is composed of will allow you to place your foot in heaven.
In addition to what’s included above, their lightweight and durable design allows the player to move freely in the cleats without any flimsy material that will eventually break down after a few uses. The general construction of these cleats also offers the user as much stability as possible without sacrificing the performance of the shoe. It’s also available in several colors!
One disadvantage is that this shoe isn’t offered with metal or turf cleats, which can pose an issue if you had your heart set on them. However, as I’ve said, most metal cleats in baseball are not allowed. It’s also worth mentioning that these cleats can also be used on turf, dirt, and grass equally effectively so it shouldn’t be an issue.
Mizuno Men’s 9 Spike ADV FRHSE 8 Mid Baseball Cleat
Mizuno’s cleats offer the user all-day game-play comfort with their lightweight and durable cleats. Some additional features of Mizuno’s FRSHE cleats are:
- Synthetic material
- Rubber cleats
- Spikes are evenly-place for comfort
Breakdown of the Features
The synthetic material means that they’re more durable than leather cleats, and their rubber cleats are appropriate for most surfaces and conditions for the average user. The spikes are evenly placed to prevent uneven pressure on your foot, allowing you to wear them comfortably all day without an issue.
Advantages of the Product
The mid-top cleats, as we discussed above, combine the best from both worlds and allows for additional ankle stability without sacrificing performance. Their lightweight design allows the user additional traction and control over their performance as well. In addition, the synthetic material is far more durable than that of genuine leather, which means they’ll last you longer as well.
Disadvantages of the Product
One disadvantage, similar to Under Amour’s cleats, is the fact that metal cleats are not an option. However, for the most part, metal cleats are against regulation in most areas- so that’s probably a good thing. The performance isn’t affected whatsoever, and you can use this free of worry.
Mizuno men’s 9 Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK Baseball Cleat
Mizuno’s ADV cleats are similar to their FRSHE cleats in a lot of way, but one major difference is the low-top design of the ADV cleats. An overview of their features:
- Synthetic material
- Rubber cleats
- Spikes are evenly-place for comfort
Breakdown of the Features
The synthetic material means that these cleats more durable than leather cleats, and their rubber cleats-spikes are appropriate for most surfaces and conditions. The spikes are evenly placed to prevent uneven (and uncomfortable) pressure on your foot, allowing you to wear them comfortably all day without an issue.
Their low-top design offers the user additional performance without the restriction of a higher-topped shoe. Their design is also lightweight and durable, allowing the user to wear them to every practice, meet, and game without the need to fear wear and tear. They’re also suitable to be used on most types of fields you will encounter (gravel, turf, dirt, and grass, as well as combination fields.)
One disadvantage is that these are low-tops, however, low-tops are great for certain positions, such as pitchers and runners where power and speed are required to perform. Another potential disadvantage is that this cleat is not available in metal. Metal cleats, again, are often against regulation, so this may not actually be an issue for most players.
New Balance Men’s 3000v3 Baseball TPU Cleat
New Balance is a well-known shoe company who often offers high-performance sports and running shoes. This particular cleat offers features like;
- Textile and synthetic blend
- Toe protection
- Molded cleat
Breakdown of the Features
The low-top construction allows for additional performance flexibility, while the lightweight construction offer additional control. The textile and synthetic blend offer a hybrid of durability and breathability for the user. This cleat is a molded cleat, so its best used on dirt and/or grass. The low-top adds certain players of various positions to navigate around in their position comfortably and with ease. Having toe protection adds a bit more comfort and lessens the worry on your shoulders about hurting various parts of your feet – including the often forgotten toes!
One big advantage of New Balance’s cleat is the additional performance it allows for, with it’s low-top design and its combination of breathable and durable materials it offers superior comfort, performance, and control. It also offers a toe protector which helps prevent toe injuries while playing or practicing.
One disadvantage of this particular cleat is that it’s only available in two color combinations. But really, they’re just ascetic-features and have absolutely nothing to do with performance of the shoe, or your performance for that matter.
Nike Air Huarache 2K filth Elite Mid Mens Baseball Shoes
Nike is another well-known sports performance shoe company. Because of the overall design and support it can give you while performing it’s intended purpose, you may not even have to finish reading this before impulse buying. If you wish to learn more, check out the following features:
- Strategically-placed cleats
- Metal cleats
Breakdown of the Features
The synthetic material, combined with a breathable top, offers a combination of durability and breathability. The lightweight design offers additional control and performance and the mid-top height of the shoe offers a combination of stability and speed as well. Having the aforementioned allows you to perform at your best in a comfortable fashion, without compromising any aspect of the game.
Nike designed this shoe with performance in mind, from the lightweight and breathable materials, to the metal cleats, this shoe offers optimal performance for the user while still offering a comfortable performance shoe. Because of the breathability and lightweight aspect, you don’t have to worry about your feet not performing in optimal conditions. You also don’t have to worry about the cleat being too heavy and harming your playstyle.
Metal cleats are the best cleats when it comes to performance, but many have regulations against metal cleats. However, if your league, location, and/or team offers you the ability to use metal cleats this shouldn’t be an issue. Those who do perform in the perfect location will find that the performance isn’t affected whatsoever by the aforementioned disadvantage.
The Final Verdict
Although the five cleats on here were, in my opinion, the best cleats available on the market, only one can come out the winner. Before I reveal the winner I would like to recap what makes a great cleat in the first place: comfort, lightweight design, performance-enhancing qualities (like ankle support and cleat material), versatility, and price-point. The one cleat that met all of these qualities better than any other on this list was the Mizuno Men’s 9 Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK Baseball Cleat.
Out of the aforementioned choices, we believe that the Mizuno Men’s 9 Spike ADV is the best on this list for the following reasons:
- Synthetic material: the synthetic material allows you to use the cleats as much and as often as you need to without fear of them falling apart of needing difficult and time-consuming maintenance like leather cleats need.
- Low-top design: the low-top design is a real performance booster as it doesn’t restrict or slow down your movements like other cleat heights. It’s an incredibly versatile-styled cleat that can be used well in any position, but it’s the overall best style for pitchers as it provides extra strength for pushing-off.
- Lightweight: the lightweight design isn’t cumbersome to the wearer like many heavier or bulkier shoes are. Regardless of which position you intend on playing, lightweight shoes are best as they won’t restrict your movement or slow you down.
- Rubber cleats: rubber cleats are in regulation everywhere as they won’t harm other players or create an unfair advantage like metal cleats do. So you can purchase these cleats fully knowing that you can use them regardless of where you’d like to play. They’re also incredibly versatile and can used on a variety of mediums in various conditions.
- Spikes are evenly-place for comfort: remember how comfort was the biggest factor in finding a quality cleat? Spikes that are clustered closely together often prove to be incredibly uncomfortable as they put unnecessary strain and pressure on your feet. With evenly placed spikes there’s no need to worry about this issue.
- Price: compared to all of the other cleats on this list (and most cleats, actually) this one is priced very attractively and would be easily obtainable for any player, no matter how serious they are about playing.
Regardless if you’re just thinking about playing baseball, or if you’re a baseball fanatic, the Mizuno Men’s 9 Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK Baseball Cleat is a well-rounded cleat that everyone can perform well in.