The game of baseball is a game of inches. One inch off the plate could be the difference between a strike and a ball.
One inch over the fence could be the difference between a home run and a double. One second could mean the difference between safe or out.
Knowing that every second matters, wouldn’t you want to purchase the best baseball cleats to give your performance the greatest boost possible?
Whether it is for yourself, your son, daughter, father or whoever, choosing the correct brand of baseball cleats can have a large impact on your performance as an athlete and a ballplayer.
Here Are Some Amazing Options You Should Consider Buying
|Nike Huarache 2K Filth Mid Men’s Cleats
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|New Balance L4040V3 Men’s Baseball Cleats
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|Adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Cleats
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There are a lot of different brands out there and choosing the right one is important. A lot of different factors go into selecting the right brand for you.
Thus, we will go over some of the largest factors that affect the quality and performance of cleats, before going more in-depth with each brand and what you can expect from their products.
Material: The material used to make each cleat is unique to each manufacturer. This plays a large role in consumer preference.
Material used can often determine the weight and flexibility of the cleat, as well as durability. Some brands hold up better than others, and that is important to know before purchasing.
Position: The position that your ballplayer is playing can also play a role. For instance, middle infielders may prefer lower, lighter cleats, while pitchers may like a ¾ cleat for more ankle support when driving off the rubber. Personal style also comes into play here.
Level of play: Level of play can dictate what type of cleat is selected as well. At some of the lower levels, they may not allow metal cleats, preferring a molded stud which is safer for younger players.
Some brands only manufacture metal cleats, while others cater to all consumers and levels of play. If you have a young player, be sure to check their league’s rules to see which type of cleat is allowed.
Now that you know what to look for when choosing the best baseball cleats, here is a list of the major brands, the pros and cons, and recommendations when purchasing.
- New Balance
- Under Armour
- Best Youth Baseball Cleats
- Lightest Baseball Cleats
- Best Molded Baseball Cleats
- Cleat of Choice
In all things footwear, Nike has seemingly been at the forefront since the beginning of time. Their brand awareness in the industry is unrivaled, as is their reliability and style.
While being one of the more expensive options, you “get what you pay for” with Nike.
Nike’s brand has many advantages alone, but the shoes that they produce are second to none. It seems like they are always at the front of every big trend or fad.
Because of this, the style of the Nike brand is really what you are getting. The sleekness of every shoe makes it desirable to athletes.
Their materials are extremely durable, and they offer tons of different models of cleats for every ballplayer.
The only real downside for Nike is the price. At times their cleats get a little high in the price category, but in most cases, the price is worth the product.
Because they have such a large market share, most of your cleats will also be worn by other players, so if you are looking to be more individual, this may not be the brand for you.
MLB Players Sporting Nike:
- Albert Pujols
- Andrew McCutchen
- Josh Donaldson
- Matt Harvey
- Mike Trout
- Paul Goldschmidt
Best Nike Baseball Cleats
New Balance has recently gotten into the baseball cleat space, but their product is actually surprisingly durable.
The new style mixed with the sleekness of their shoe has allowed them to get some new spunk behind the idea of their brand in the sport.
New Balance provides its customers with a great selection for different positions. Between their low top option and their 3/4 style, there is something for every player.
One of the more comfortable shoes on the market, New Balance lives off of providing a quality product at a lower price.
While not being one of the most well-known brands in the baseball industry, they have gained trust from their customers with durability and performance.
New Balance has a more standard cleat. If you are looking for all the flair of Nike, you are simply not going to get it here. That can be an issue for some of the more flashy athletes.
MLB Players Sporting New Balance:
- David Ortiz
- Dustin Pedroia
- Evan Longoria
- Jose Bautista
- Miguel Cabrera
Best New Balance Baseball Cleats
Under Armour first broke into athletic footwear with a line of football cleats, but since that time, they have expanded to baseball, basketball, and casual wear.
Through trial and error, their footwear has improved greatly, with some of their baseball equipment modeling after the football styles previously marketed.
Under Armour shoes are extremely flexible and provide the athlete with great breathability. Because they are also new to the market, most of the cleats they have available are not exorbitant in price.
Because Under Armour is just starting out in this market, there is some trial and error involved. Their material is not the greatest and their cleats in general are not as durable.
They offer different styles, but there is nothing to decipher which may be the best for each individual position.
MLB Players Sporting Under Armour:
- Bryce Harper
- Buster Posey
- Clayton Kershaw
- Eric Hosmer
- Mookie Betts
Best Under Armour Baseball Cleats
Mizuno may be the only brand on this list whose products are almost entirely made for the baseball/softball athlete. They have been producing in this space for a very long time.
Their products are straightforward, stylish, and dependable. Mizuno is made typically for the more advanced athlete.
Mizuno is the pro of the pros. Their cleats have great support, are wonderful for positions, and are extremely durable. There is not much that can be said negatively about Mizuno.
Mizuno is not a well-known brand. That is the one knock I have with their products. They do not have that name that most young ballplayers are looking for.
When they are younger and they think of playing in the big leagues, no one says “I can’t wait to strap on my white Mizunos every game in front of 50,000 people.”
MLB Players Sporting Mizuno:
- Corey Kluber
- Hunter Pence
- Jose Abreu
- Victor Martinez
- Yoenis Cespedes
Best Mizuno Baseball Cleats
Adidas, similar to Reebok, is one of the smaller brands in the market today. They do still produce some viable cleats however.
While they are not the best of the best in the baseball market, they do produce some low cost options that may be more suitable for younger ballplayers.
Adidas has come to the table with the self-proclaimed “lightest cleat in baseball”. That is what they pride themselves on.
Most infielders prefer this, thus you see many of their sponsored athletes speedsters.
Adidas is coming along, but just like Under Armour they do not have that level of stability yet within the market and, for some ballplayers, that can be a problem.
They make almost exclusively one type of cleat, which can be an issue if you are looking for other styles for different levels of support.
MLB Players Sporting Adidas:
- Josh Harrison
- Kris Bryant
- Lorenzo Cain
- Mike Moustakas
Best Adidas Baseball Cleats
Best Youth Baseball Cleats
Of the pairs of cleats listed above, the best for youth players would have to be the Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced series.
Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Youth Molded Cleats
First of all, it is a cost efficient piece of equipment. When it comes to buying youth gear, price is extra important because your son or daughter is going to grow out of the cleats before you know it. Spending hundreds on a top-of-the-line cleat is superfluous.
Secondly, Mizuno is a great company when it comes to producing quality, protective and functional equipment. The 9-Spike Advanced cleats are no different.
Additionally, because there are so many variations and age-ranges for the Advanced series, they can grow up with the same brand and style of cleat, without having to adapt to a new, different-feeling cleat every time they outgrow the previous pair.
Also worth an honorable mention are the Adidas Wheelhouse 3 cleats. While not included in the list, they are a simple, yet stylish cleat that is super affordable and gets the job done well.
Adidas Kid’s Wheelhouse 3 Molded Cleats
Youth players enjoy the digital camo pattern on the inside of the cleat. Their only drawback is they run a little narrow. If your child has wide feet, they may feel stiff.
Lightest Baseball Cleats
Jet planes use their afterburners to provide a sudden increase in thrust, in order to reach supersonic speeds. Thus, the Adidas Adizero AfterBurner 2.0 is hard to beat when it comes to making a lightweight cleat.
Adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Metal Baseball Cleats
It seems the Adidas engineers did everything in their power to make these cleats the lightest possible. Anywhere there was weight to be lost, without sacrificing too much protection, comfort or durability, they did it.
When it comes to those close plays at the plate, where a couple fractions of a second can make or break you, those small pushes for a lighter cleat can make all the difference between a run and an out.
Considering this, it is hard to choose a runner-up in the category of lightest baseball cleat. However, as Mike Trout makes a yearly case for being MVP, the Nike Lunar Trout 2 makes a pretty compelling case for the coveted MLC (Most Lightweight Cleat) trophy.
Nike Lunar Trout 2 Metal Baseball Cleats
When you consider that the Lunar Trout 2 was crafted to Mike Trouts specifications and then consider that Mike Trout is a known dealer in stolen bases, extra base hits and seemingly uncatchable putouts, you can make a pretty good argument that the Lunar Trout 2 is built with lightweight speed in mind.
Best Molded Baseball Cleats
Similar to the Best Lightweight Cleat award, this one is a pretty obvious choice for the best molded baseball cleats: the Under Armour Ignite.
Typically, molded cleats have less traction and grip to the dirt, which means it is harder to rotate quickly or gain footing. These are vital to many aspects of the game.
Under Armour Ignite Molded Baseball Cleats
For example, pitches use the spikes of their cleats to drive their foot and generate more velocity on their throws, batters use the cleats to step and turn their hips forward to put extra oomph behind their hits and so on.
The molded cleats of the Ignite have a Rotational Traction engineering that allows the player to move, run and drive their foot as if they were wearing metal cleats.
There isn’t much of a runner-up for the best molded cleats. The Under Armour Ignite really takes the cake. It is hard to compete with molded cleats that feel like the “real,” metal spikes.
Even beyond the spikes, the Ignite also has a great midsole, good construction and an overall great design.
Cleat of Choice
And with the cleat of choice, the winner is Nike. Nike’s excellent combination of style and durability is most likely why so many professional athletes trust them with their performance.
There are not a lot of negatives when looking at Nike’s cleats. The only negative would be the price, as seen in the rankings above.
Even though the price is a little steep, you get what you pay for. In a way, the cost is worth it for the quality.
Their large selection of different styles and supports really gives each individual athlete their choice to pick the shoe that is right for them.
There is a brand out there for everyone. Most people just don’t have the inside knowledge of the industry to make an educated decision on what brand of cleat to purchase.
The article above is just one man’s opinion, each ballplayer is encouraged to go out, try on different cleats, and see which brand and model really is the right fit for him or her. Every shoe is not right for everyone, and one size most certainly does not fit all.
Depending on your size, position, and personal preferences, you can use the above reviews to pick the brand of baseball cleat that is right for you.
There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, and there really is a large impact on performance. As stated above, the difference in cleat could make the difference between an average player and a great player or the difference between a run and an out.
Make sure you are properly informed before you make any purchasing decision for sports equipment, no matter the age and level of play.