Best Baseball Cleats

The game of baseball requires both amateur and professional players to wear “cleats” , a type of shoe with rectangular-shaped spikes that provide better grip when running on grass or dirt surfaces. Also known as “spikes,” cleats can be made of rubber, plastic, or metal; however, metal cleats are typically prohibited.

What is the Purpose of Baseball Cleats?

Baseball cleats are part of the regulation uniform for all professional and most amateur baseball associations. The spiked underside of the cleats helps to maintain traction on grass and dirt surfaces. They are particularly important for base runners as they ensure maximum stability while they steal, slide, and dash between bases.

1. Blue Jays at Orioles 1

Blue Jays at Orioles by
Keith Allison / Manny Machado Cleats / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Benefits of Baseball Cleats

Wearing the right footwear can make or break your game and as a baseball player, you will reap the benefits of wearing a good pair of cleats. So, what are the benefits of baseball cleats?

1. Offers Excellent Traction and Improves Speed

Baseball requires a lot of movement and running from outrunning fly balls, stealing bases, and planting your feet for the throw and all moves all require good footwork. If you want to enjoy your game and be great at it, you can’t afford to be slipping or tripping at any point of the game.

Baseball cleats are perfectly designed to prevent this from happening. There are various brands of cleats on the market, each of which has a different grip and is designed for specific positions in the field. You need to find the right pair that will suit your needs.

2. Comfort and Manoeuvrability

Baseball cleats are designed for the utmost comfort and maneuverability. The soles of cleats feature extra cushioning to prevent the player from feeling pressure every time they land on their feet. This extra cushioning is a much-needed addition for saving knees and other joints.

3. Prevents Injuries

Baseball cleats have a lot of flexibility to prevent injuries.

2. Nike Cleats 1
The soles of a pair of Nike baseball cleats by
Tdorante10 / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pair of Baseball Cleats

There are several important factors to think about before buying a new pair of cleats. Here are a few to consider before giving the green light.

1. Style

Baseball cleats fall into three main categories: molded (plastic) cleats, metal cleats, and turfs.

Molded (Plastic) Cleats

Molded cleats have rubber or plastic tips and can be used on most surfaces. They don’t grip the ground as well as metal cleats but are especially good in muddy conditions. Molded cleats are budget-friendly and less expensive than metal cleats.

Metal Cleats

Metal cleats offer the best traction and are the most popular type of cleat with older players. These types of cleats are suitable for both dirt and grass surfaces, but they aren’t great on artificial turf.


Turfs are used for practicing on artificial surfaces or indoor training facilities. They are generally more comfortable than the other types of cleats and do not tear up surfaces like metal cleats tend to do.

2. Ankle Support

Baseball cleats are available in various styles such as low-top, mid-top, and high-top, however, high-tops are the best type for ankle support. High-tops may be slightly heavier than low-tops, which are better for base runners as they are lighter. Pitchers generally prefer a low-top shoe as they provide better flexibility on the mound and prevent chaffing after a few innings of pitching.

3. Materials

Most baseball cleats are made from two types of materials: leather and synthetics. Genuine leather is slightly heavier and lasts longer than synthetic materials but is costly. Some of the more advanced synthetics are lighter and offer superior flexibility and comfort and are more affordable than leather cleats.

4. Regulations

Some baseball leagues prohibit the use of metal cleats forcing players to wear molded cleats. High school, college, and pro baseball leagues allow metal cleats, however, most youth leagues prohibit the use of metal cleats due to safety reasons.

Best Baseball Cleats

Best Overall: New Balance Men’s 4040 V5 Metal Baseball Shoe

The New Balance 4040v5 cleats are currently the most popular cleats on the market. Available in a range of colors, the New Balance 4040v5 are super comfortable and durable and you can choose between low-top and mid-top, as well as metal and rubber cleats. These features allow you to completely customize your cleats into unique shoes.

100% Synthetic, these cleats have a rubber sole and synthetic uppers with TPU-coated yarns. They have a full-length REVlite midsole and low-profile design. A traditional lacing system and a soft foam package around the ankle and the heel promise a secure and very comfortable fit.


  •         Rubber or metals cleat options
  •         Available in low-top or mid-top
  •         Super comfortable
  •         Very durable


  •         Sizes run small

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Best Rubber Cleat: Under Armour Harper 2 RM

The Under Armour Harper 2 RM cleats have excellent ankle support and are very popular for their comfort. Boasting a cool Vegas skyline design and bright colors, the cleats are 100% synthetic with a synthetic sole and molded synthetic upper that provides good support and a comfortable fit.

The cleats have adjustable ankle straps for support and a full-length EVA midsole that disperses pressure for added comfort and cushioning. These cleats provide durability and optimal traction on all field types.


  •         Good ankle support with adjustable ankle straps
  •         Full-length EVA midsole disperses pressure
  •         Funky Vegas skyline design
  •         Provides optimal traction on all field types


  •         Limited design options
  •         Narrow design
  •         The velcro strap is a bit short

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Best Lightweight Cleat: Under Armour Leadoff RM

The Under Armor Leadoff RM cleats are made of high-quality leather and are super lightweight, weighing only 13 ounces. Although they are so lightweight, they are highly durable and feature a mesh tongue and EVA midsole that make them very comfortable.

The cleats have a rubber sole and synthetic uppers with perforations in the toe box for added breathability. A durable overlay on the toe cap adds protection and padded collar and heel construction provide super comfort. A full-length EVA midsole adds cushioning that evenly distributes cleat pressure underfoot, and rubber molded cleats provide optimal traction and durability on all types of field surfaces.


  •         Super lightweight
  •         Mesh tongue for comfort and breathability
  •         Provides excellent traction
  •         Padded collars and heels for comfort


  •         Sizes run slightly narrow

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Best for Speed: Adidas Adizero Afterburner V

If you are looking for a cleat that provides ultimate speed, the Adidas Adizero Afterburner V is your best bet. Designed for runners, this cleat is one of the lightest metal baseball cleats on the market. A sleek-looking shoe, the Adidas Adizero Afterburner V offers great performance and is available in 20 different styles.

This high-quality cleat is made from a combination of textile and synthetic with a sock-like construction that offers a snug fit and a synthetic sole. The cleat has a “sprint skin” upper that provides excellent support and an iron skin toe cap that provides superior abrasion resistance in the all-important toe-drag area.

A “sprint frame plate” with an external heel features “sprint studs” and a rotational traction zone that delivers unrivaled traction and a super lightweight lite strike EVA midsole.


  •         Lightweight
  •         Very secure, sock-like fit
  •         Super lightweight lite strike EVA midsole
  •         Available in 20 different styles
  •         Ironskin toe cap provides superior abrasion resistance


  •         Not very comfortable

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Best for Ankle Support: Under Armour Highlight Yard

The Under Armour Highlight Yard is a unique cleat with superior ankle support. These high-quality cleats offer great support without limiting motion or flexibility and they are made from lightweight and breathable material. A breathable textile ankle collar provides unrivaled stability and a snug fit, and a high rebound SuperFoam insole provides optimal shock absorption.


  •         Superior ankle support
  •         Lightweight and durable
  •         TPU welding increases durability
  •         SuperFoam insole for optimal shock absorption


  •         Expensive

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Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v5

The New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v5 are great cleats for people with wide feet as they come in wide option sizes from 5 to 17. The 3000v5 has a Fresh Foam midsole for comfort and a laser-etched plate and a toe protector to ensure durability and safety.

The 100% synthetic cleat is lightweight with midsole cushioning and has a low-cut synthetic TPU/poly combo mesh upper with a reaction-diffusion design to enhance baseball movement. An eight-spike outsole provides superior traction on the field and a lace cage on the cleat’s tongue keeps laces protected and secured during the play.


  •         Available in wide sizes
  •         Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
  •         Laser-etched toe protector
  •         Provides superior traction
  •         Durable and secure


  •         Poor ankle support

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Best for Mid-Foot Arch Support: Nike Lunar Trout 2

The Nike Lunar Trout 2 is named for the Lunarlon foam found in the sole that provides excellent cushioning for the mid-foot arch. The metal cleat offers a snug fit with a high-top that offers good ankle support.

These high-quality cleats are made from lightweight and breathable material and offer great support without limiting the flexibility of motion. A breathable textile ankle collar provides unrivaled stability.


  •         Midsole cushioning
  •         Breathable textile ankle collar for stability
  •         Excellent ankle support

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Best for Durability: Mizuno 9-Spike

The Mizuno 9-Spike is a mid-top cleat with rubber cleats or studs that is popular for its comfort and durability. The lightweight cleat uses state-of-the-art wave technology to provide excellent ankle support, breathability, flexibility, and stability.


  •         Lightweight and durable
  •         State-of-the-art wave technology


  •         Sizes run small
  •         Very basic design

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Best Overall Foot Support: Nike Alpha Huarache Varsity Keystone

The Nike Alpha Huarache Varsity Keystone offers the best overall support for the feet due to a strap that crosses the midfoot and a 3/4 heel. These are also a good choice for players that suffer from plantar fasciitis and other heel pain, and Sever’s disease.

While designed more for holding the laces in place, the midfoot strap also offers excellent support and strength. The cleat has a snug fit and is lightweight and durable.


  •         A midfoot strap provides support and strength
  •         Lightweight and durable
  •         Very comfortable


  •         Sizes run small
  •         Very basic design

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Best Appearance: Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2

The futuristic-looking Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2 is a low-top and lightweight baseball cleat designed for speed. The synthetic cleat has a sock liner that provides excellent cushioning, comfort, and breathability.

The Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2 has a fly cable that provides good support around the ankle of the player and a computer-generated stitching pattern in the midfoot and heel optimizes containment. State-of-the-art traction swirls molded into the plate and traction wings on the sides of the cleat help with pivoting movements during play. The cleats have six metal studs and two TPU studs for precise movements.


  •         Low-top and lightweight
  •         Excellent cushioning, comfort, and breathability
  •         Fly cable for ankle support
  •         State-of-the-art traction helps with pivoting movements

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between baseball cleats and football cleats?

Simply put, football cleats offer better protection from contact than baseball cleats do. Baseball cleats have a toe cleat that helps players dig their feet in while they are batting and throwing. Football cleats, on the other hand, are designed for protection, durability, and movement.

Are baseball cleats necessary?

It is very important to wear the correct shoes while playing sports. Baseball cleats provide grip and traction during batting, running, and throwing.

How are baseball cleats supposed to fit?

As with running shoes, baseball cleats should fit snugly with your toe not being more than a one-quarter inch from the end of the cleat. If you aren’t sure about sizes or are in between sizes, choose a size that is slightly tighter than one that is too loose because as you break them, the shoes will stretch and become more comfortable. Also, make sure enough is cushioning in the cleat.

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