The Best Baseball Cleats

Under Armour Men's UA Deception DiamondTips Baseball Cleats

Our Top Pick for 2016: Under Armour Men’s UA Deception DiamondTips Baseball Cleats
Read our full review.

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The variations of rounders and cricket that would eventually transform into what we know as modern baseball today were being conceived as early as the American Revolution, and the history of baseball cleats goes as far back as the mid-19th century. Since the very first official game in the year 1846, cleats have been an inseparable element of major league and minor league baseball. The following baseball cleats have been rated as some most the most reliable, durable, supportive, and overall valuable choices for both serious and recreational baseball players alike to choose from.

Table of contents

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Synthetic
Synthetic
Low-cut
8-spike
Rubber Sole
Synthetic Leather Upper
Revlite Outsole Plate
Better Natural Stability & Comfort
Toe Box Perforations
Lightweight
3D Molded Tongue
Excellent Breathability
Mesh
Ultra-responsive
Mesh Collar And Tongue

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Under Armour Men’s UA Deception DiamondTips Baseball Cleats

Under Armour Men's UA Deception DiamondTips Baseball Cleats Gold Pick

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2016-gold-winnerUnder Armour Men’s UA Deception DiamondTips baseball cleats are a synthetic imported model made with UA ClutchFitTM technology. UA ClutchFitTM technology is designed to wrap around the ankle, providing the user with an extremely lightweight sensation described as a “second skin”; this gives the wearer a very strong base of support while also providing a highly ergonomic feel.

To increase the ergonomic quality of the cleats even further, the shoes are made with an integrated 3-D molded tongue. The integrated 3-D molded tongue holds the foot with extra security, giving the player the highest quality of snug-fitting yet comfortable-contoured cleat interior.

Micro G® cushioning is designed to be highly responsive, light, and low-to-the-ground for an overall more natural feeling of stability during all crucial movements made during the game. Cleats that aren’t able to properly adjust to the wearer’s unique pattern of movement and foot size over the course of many games are not very well-suited to players who are serious about maintaining high-quality performance; these cleats are made to completely remove these concerns, while performing beyond customers’ expectations.

The Foot-Forming 4D Foam® inside of the insole is designed to gradually mold to the contour of the player’s foot, giving the player a more comfortable, customized, and locked-in fit in the long term.

These cleats are also made with rotational traction technology. The rotational traction technology is made to optimize the overall rotational capability for the player, which will allow them to have more explosive acceleration in power over the course of the game. These cleats are the world’s very first combination of both metal and molded design models.

The hybrid design gives the player a much more ergonomic and lightweight fit, without sacrificing any of the traction that players have come to expect from high quality metal cleats.

Customers have testified that the strong yet lightweight design of the shoes makes them highly capable of being relied upon as a means of sufficient support and swift maneuverability on the field.

One customer testified that they ordered the shoes for their 13-year-old son. Their son was very pleased with the comfortable feel of the shoes over the course of his games. Another customer testified that they had just started off a brand-new season of the game with the cleats, and that they found the cleats to be a highly comfortable and reliable fit even when they were straight out of the box.

As these cleats are made with metal spikes, customers should be advised that there should be a level of caution exercised in order to ensure that there aren’t any injuries caused by digging into dry terrain too abruptly. While metal cleats do provide a high amount of traction, the traction can be potentially dangerous to players who aren’t wary about the possibility that they could roll their ankle from improperly calculated movements.

The cleats can be purchased in a size range between 8 D(M) US and 16 D(M) US. The cleats can be purchased in the following color variations: red/white, black/white, Team Royal/white, white/black, black/metallic gold, and white/black.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): New Balance MB3000 Cleated Baseball Shoe

New Balance MB3000 Cleated Baseball Shoe

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2016-silver-winnerNew Balance MB3000 Cleated baseball shoes are made with synthetic and mesh material. The sole of the cleats is synthetic as well. There are eight Revlite spikes on the advanced outsole plate.

Customers have testified that the cleats are lightweight and breathable, and many professional players have chosen these cleats to be their particular brand of choice.
One customer testified that their 13-year-old son is particularly fond of the aesthetics and the feeling of wearing the cleats.

The customer’s son is a catcher, and so the size and comfort of his cleats are particularly important. The customer testified that the cleats were completely worth the extra money. The customer testified that their son has never been more ready for an upcoming baseball season.

Another customer testified that the fit of the cleats was highly satisfying. Like the first reviewer, this customer testified that their son had been wearing the cleats and constantly praised them for their comfort. The customer was particularly pleased with the New Balance brand for being one of the only sporting goods brands that offers metal cleats in a wider width than what is typically available.

And another testimony a customer reported that they were initially a little bit leery of their quality before wearing them, but after they got a chance to break them in, they were very pleased to find that the cleats fit absolutely perfectly. The customer testified, much like other positive reviewers, that the cleats were surprisingly light in weight and offered them a free and swift range of motion.

One customer did advise other prospective owners that the cleats may require just a little bit of breaking in before they are as ergonomic as possible, though this is to be expected with most baseball cleats that are fresh out of the box. Once they are broken in, some customers testified that the cleats are comfortable enough to feel as though they are casual sneakers, without sacrificing any of the highly important support that needs to be provided by cleats in any highly technical athletic competition.

Customers who have particularly wide feet are likely to find that the two 2E width cleats have a fit that can accommodate them relatively well. A customer who purchased the 2E width cleats reported that they were capable of playing two seasons with them and had no feelings of discomfort at all, even though they were fresh out of the box. The customer reported that these cleats are particularly well-suited for being used on a tournament weekend, and that they plan on playing at least one other season with their first pair.

The overall composition and support that these cleats have makes them particularly well-suited for those who are rougher on cleats than most. Though metal spikes do provide a higher degree of traction on the field, what’s more important is that the cleats are able to withstand all of the impact that they will be subject to over the course of a particularly intense game; that is where these cleats have been reported to excel for many of those who have left a positive testimony.

Of course, customers should be advised that the amount of time required to break the cleats in and their level of durability will be slightly contingent upon the exact level of stress that they expose the shoes to, specifically based on their particular playing style.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Nike Mens Vapor Strike 2 MCS Baseball Cleats

Nike Mens Vapor Strike 2 MCS Baseball Cleats

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2016-bronze-awardNike men’s vapor extract to MCS to baseball cleats are made with synthetic-and leather construction. The cleats are low-cut, and feature a synthetic leather upper that gives the user an optimal level of lightweight support. The lightweight support ensures that players have a full range of quick motion available at all times during the game.

The toe box of the cleats has preparations that offer and optimize level of breathability for the player during the day in order to ensure that they have the right amount of insulation to their foot. The shoes also feature a mesh collar along with a tongue ventilator that enhances the amount of cooling support that the player has.

With the use of a TPU drag, the forefoot of the shoe is given an even greater amount of durability. The combination of the lightweight design with the TPU drag provides the wearer with a shoe that has both survivability and maneuverability. In order to make the shoes slightly more ergonomic, there is a light weight sock liner in place that serves as an additional layer of cushion.

Customers should be advised that the spikes of the shoes are made of plastic, not metal. Because the spikes of the shoes are made of plastic, the shoes do not offer the same amount of extreme traction that metal spikes commonly provide players. On the other hand, the fact that these shoes are made with plastic spikes gives them a little bit more “bounce” on terrains that are slightly muddier or softer than dry dirt. Depending on the playing style, this higher amount of bouncing could be slightly more ideal for certain players.

Customers have testified that these cleats are highly reliable for their value. One customer testified that they bought these cleats due to the fact that their older cleats were just about done in. The customer was very happy with the fact that the shoes were incredibly ergonomic the moment they put them on, before even having to break them in.

The customer admitted that they are not one of the swifter players on their team, but at the same time, they were still able to feel a lot of stability when they pivoted to change their direction sharply. The customer only used the cleats two times, and though they reported that they still needed to check the resistance, they were completely enamored with what the cleats had provided them in terms of performance support.

The size range of the shoes spans from 6.5 D (M) US to 13 D (M) US. The shoes can be bought in one of three different color variations: black/white, light graphite/white, and black/University red/white.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Mizuno 9-Spike Franchise Baseball Cleat

Mizuno 9-Spike Franchise Baseball Cleat

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2016-cheap-budget-pickThe Mizuno Men’s 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low baseball cleat is a synthetic imported model that features a nine spikes on an advanced outsole, providing superior traction and comfort for the wearer. To make the shoes more comfortable, there is a padded tongue and a full length midsole.

The spikes of these particular cleats are made of rubber, and the rubber studs provide an additional level of durability and comfort on all different field types that players can expect to play on. The constitution of the shoes is expected to last for as long as the player needs them to, while providing an optimal fit and stability level.

There are three different color variations in which these cleats can be purchased: black/white, black/red, and black/royal blue. The size range that these cleats can be purchased in spans from 6.5 D(M) US to 13 D(M) US. All different size and color variations of these cleats can be purchased within the price range of $28.04 and $59.99.


Pre-purchase considerations

Proper fit

The most important aspect of choosing any cleat, for any level of play, is ensuring that the size of the cleats is a well-adapted to your particular foot size and cumulative movements that may adjust the contour of the shoe in the long term.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that your toe doesn’t have more than about a quarter inch of free space from the end of the cleat. In addition to making sure that there isn’t too much free space between your toe in the end of the cleats, you should also make sure that the seal of the cleat, while not being too tight, still fits relatively snugly.

The best-fitting cleats will become much more comfortable over the period of time that you use them over the course of different games. Choosing an improperly sized cleat will greatly harm the overall performance of any player on the field, regardless of their level of talent and effort; properly-sized cleats, on the other hand, can give even players who are still developing their talent the right amount of support to perform to their absolute best on a consistent basis.

If at any time you feel as though you have to choose between a cleat that is either a little bit on the roomier side or a little bit on the tighter side, make sure that you go with the cleat that is a little bit more snug than otherwise.

Ergonomics

Naturally, you’re going to want to make sure that the cleats that you choose are going to be able to support your full range of motion for the entire duration of the game. Because every crucial pivot during the game is going to contribute to your overall level of performance, you cannot spend too much time considering the different ergonomic value of every different pair of cleats that you consider to purchase.

One of the most critical aspects of the ergonomics offered by any cleat that you consider is going to be the level of ankle support that it provides you with. In general, your baseball cleats can be broken down into three distinct categories: low tops, mid tops, and high tops.

The high tops will typically go up to the ankle, and this will provide you with a little bit more additional support during lateral movements. On the other hand, high tops might slightly restrict the movement that you’re able to make freely, but at the same time, they keep your ankles relatively protected.

If what you prioritize is speed, and not necessarily remaining stable, then low tops may be more in your lane. Low tops allow you to make much more quick lateral movements than the high tops, and the style of low tops helps you to make quicker sprints across the field or towards your next base.

Construction

Generally speaking, the cleats that you will be choosing between will either be made of a synthetic leather or a genuine leather construction. Many people believe that genuine leather is typically a little bit more flexible, tough, and slightly more breathable than the synthetic leather variations.

Because your feet can get very hot during a long game of baseball, naturally, you’re going to want to ensure that you have the right amount of ventilation. Ventilation prevents your performance from being hampered during the game at a critical moment. However, you should be aware of the fact that genuine leather is likely to have a slightly higher price due to the more thorough manufacturing process required to create leather cleats of a genuinely high-end quality.

While genuine leather might be slightly more breathable and durable, synthetic leather is often times argued to provide just a little bit more support then genuine leather might typically offer. Synthetic leather is considered to be slightly more affordable as well. When it comes to choosing the best type of construction for your cleats, you’re going to have to engage in a little bit of a balancing act between the constitution of the cleats and your own budget.

Spike Traction

Different kinds of cleats will be broken into the different types of material that compose the spikes of the cleats. The spikes of the cleats will determine which category that the cleats will fall into: plastic/rubber cleats or metal cleats. Each of the categories provides its own unique advantages and drawbacks, and the value of the advantages or drawbacks will depend mostly on your intended playing style. Metal cleats provide the most traction out of all of the different categories, and you can drive into the dirt infield and any other surface without much difficulty.

Metal cleats grip the ground very effectively, but this also comes with a potential disadvantage: the potential for ankle injury. If you charge to boldly in metal cleats, then you might find that the great traction of metal cleat actually leads to you being more susceptible to a sudden rolled ankle. Unlike metal cleats, rubber cleats are permanently fixed to the soul of the shoe. Rubber cleats are very stable and very powerful, though at the same time, they do not offer the same degree of traction as the metal cleats.

Even though they do not have the same degree of traction as metal cleats, rubber cleats are typically the more preferred cleat when it comes to playing games on slightly muddier terrain. Rubber cleats will bounce off of the ground much easier than metal cleats can, which makes it much easier to avoid getting a rolled ankle from gripping the ground tightly. You’ll have to decide whether increased traction or slightly better mobility in a softer, muddier terrain will be a greater priority for you as a player.

League Regulations

Depending on the category of cleat that you choose, the league regulations in regard to these cleats may vary accordingly. Metal cleats are typically allowed in high school baseball and college softball games. If you reside in the states of Maryland, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, then metal cleats for softball are still prohibited. The ASA has not permitted metal cleats either. Just about every different youth baseball league has banned the use of metal cleats as well. Before investing in any type of baseball cleats, it is imperative to make sure that you consult with the relevant officials in your particular league to understand exactly what footwear is and isn’t permitted.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

When it comes down to a contest between players who are more or less equal in their skill level, the players who will come out on top will generally be those who have taken the time to micromanage every crucial aspect of their game equipment; cleat quality will be one of the most vital determining factors of all. The importance of being highly critical about the types of baseball cleats that you buy can be just as important as the strategy that you employ in the heat of an actual game. A well-played a game of baseball begins before you actually step on the field; this applies to both your training habits and the quality of footwear that you choose to play the game in. Be sure to spend as much time as you can to determine the ideal ergonomics, composition, spike material, and all other minor but critical factors of the cleats that you choose.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. eHow contributors, The history of baseball cleats, eHow.com
  2. Baseball Cleats Buying Guide, BaseballSavings.com, June 11, 2015
  3. History.com staff, Who invented baseball?, History.com, March 27, 2013
  4. Baseball in America: History and Fun Facts, IdealPhysicalTherapy.com, April 1, 2014
  5. Jeremy Hoefs, Metal Versus Rubber Baseball Cleats, LiveStrong.com, August 7, 2015

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