Top 10 Best Baseball Cleats of 2021 - A Buyer's Guide
In today’s game, a great cleat can help you play to the best of your ability. As you run the bases, field a ball, or dive into home plate, a good, comfortable grip can be the difference between peak performance and losing a ball game.
In sports, footwear is often the most essential gear you can buy, so you want to make sure you have the best cleats for your game. In this rundown, we’ll list off the best cleats on the market and the features that make them such high quality.
Top 10 Best Youth Baseball Cleats for This Upcoming Season
The selling point of these Mizuno cleats is their durability, they’ll withstand multiple long seasons. They have rubber studs giving them increased longevity while not sacrificing traction.
Mizuno 9-Spike Franchise Series Cleat features:
- Comfortable molded rubber studs
- Mid-top design
- Baseball-specific cleat pattern
- Material: Synthetic
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
These classic Mizuno cleats are a great buy if you are looking for a cleat that will last you years while still providing a high-quality grip and fir.
New Balance’s metal cleats are top of the line, and if traction is your number one priority these are the cleats for you. The rubber outer sole also ensures they can stand wear-and-tear and the elements.
New Balance 4040 v5 Metal features:
- 8 flexible and supportive spikes
- Rubber sole designed to withstand daily use
- ABZORB midsole uses cushioning and compression resistance to give you a comfortable feel
- Available in 15 colors
- Materials: Synthetic
- Weight: 14 ounces
If you want to buy a shoe that will complement your blistering speed and agile play, then these metal-spiked New Balance cleats will do a great service. The comfortability and durability are also huge bonuses.
Another New Balance cleat with metal spikes, but this design has a distinctly different style from the 4040 cleats. It has many of the same features as the above shoe, but it comes in a more understated design that could match better with your team’s colors.
New Balance 3000 v4 features:
- Metal spikes
- Rubber sole and 100% synthetic
- Extra heel comfort
- Lace Cage to keep your laces tucked in
- Comes in 12 colors
- Weight: 14 ounces
A great lightweight, low-top cleat from New Balance that may include small feature and design changes that make them a better choice than the 4040 for you.
Another low cut cleat this time with rubber studs from Under Armour. In comparison with previous cleats, this one scores high points for affordability while still having key features for a baseball player.
Under Armour Leadoff Low RM features:
- Rubber sole and molded cleats give you great traction on the field
- Lightweight and durable
- Toe box has perforations for breathability
- Padded collar and heel offer comfort when putting on your cleat
- Full-length midsole to evenly distribute pressure on your foot
- 4 available colors
- Materials: synthetic
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
This cleat is the ultimate inexpensive option for those looking for a good quality cleat with rubber studs. The added comfortability will help you play at the top of your game.
As you can tell, we are big fans of New Balance’s line of cleats, and for good reason. The v4’s are stylish metal spike cleats, and they are also one ounce lighter than the previous iteration of this design.
New Balance 4040 v4 features
- TPU mesh increases durability and breathability
- Lace cage to tuck in your laces
- Baseball-specific design throughout
- Comes in four colors
- Materials: synthetic
- Weight: 1.95 pounds
These cleats provide a great fit and are lightweight considering the durable metal spikes. The simple yet stylish design also makes for an easy clean, increasing this cleat’s longevity and durability.
A change of pace with a turf cleat that is great not only on turf but also at the batting cage or playing indoor baseball. While you might think you can get away with playing on turf in a regular tennis shoe, these turf shoes will change your mind. The rubber nodes on the bottom are excellently designed and provide amazing grip on any surface a ballplayer might find themselves on.
Nike Alpha Huarache Turf features:
- Rubber nodes on the sole offer great traction and grip
- Lunarlon midsole that relieves pressure from studs
- Added outsole support for lateral movement
- Flexible and comfortable
- Weight: 1.94 pounds
For those who need a baseball workout or practice shoe to give your cleats a rest, this product from Nike is the best out there. The nodes on the sole will keep you in game-like shape.
This turf shoe is designed for baseball but with a lifestyle feel allowing you to wear it outside baseball as well. Keeping with the style and comfort theme of these shoes, they come in a range of colors and have features that make them a great fit for baseball and day-to-day activities.
New Balance 4040 v5 Turf features:
- Rubber nodes on the sole for increased grip
- Ultra Heel design that gives the back of the foot a snug and secure fit
- Stylish designs and colors that kids will love
- Breathable mesh
- Comes in 15 colors
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
This New Balance turf shoe is perfect for those looking for a versatile workout shoe that can also double as an everyday. Its high quality as a turf shoe combined with its versatility land it on this list.
This New Balance cleat is the first with plastic cleats that provide a sturdy lightweight alternative to other options on this list. All-around solid shoes with a simple design that make sure you get quality and bang for your buck.
New Balance Fresh Foam 3000 v4 features:
- Breathable mesh
- Lightweight plastic studs
- Mid-top design
- Fresh Foam cushioning for extra support and comfort
- Fit orthopedic inserts
- Four colors available
- Weight: 11.2 ounces
A premier, flashy cleat and the best baseball shoe Adidas has to offer. It is a low-cut metal cleat that is one of the lightest metal cleats on the market. Great traction and breathability make it a top-of-the-line choice that will go down great for those willing to spend on a top-quality design.
Adidas Adizero Afterburner V Cleat features:
- Signature Springstuds give you great traction
- Ironskin toe cap to prevent injuries
- Great support
- Metal cleats
- Double thickness for better comfort and reduced cleat pressure
- Available in 18 colors
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
The Adidas Afterburner is one the lightest cleats you can find and with great design choices, it’s durable and will protect you against injury. The only reason they’re not higher on our list is they come in at a higher price point, but you should be able to get multiple seasons out of them.
This Nike comes in a simple and sleek black design, and it is an incredibly functional baseball cleat. While it’s not flashy it’s got everything you need if you’re looking for a solid metal cleat.
Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2 features:
- 6 metal studs and 2 TPU (plastic) studs for better traction
- Asymmetrical tongue for improved lateral support
- All-black color design
Our final entry is a unique one as it has a combination of stud types with six metal and two plastic studs. This makes it a unique cleat and perhaps the shoe you’re after if you’re torn between metal and plastic studs for your next purchase.
What to Consider When Purchasing Baseball Cleats
Baseball Cleat Style & Ankle Support
Perhaps the two most important factors when you decide what cleat you are going to purchase are ankle support and stud type (metal versus molded synthetic).
For ankle support, the options can be classified into two either low-top or mid/high-tops.
Low Top Baseball Cleats
Low-tops are the go-to if you prioritize speed and agility while you’re on the diamond as they are more lightweight and allow for more mobility. But what you get in speed, you sacrifice in ankle support.
So, if you have had problems with your ankles in the past, a low-top cleat is not recommended. Try the New Balance 3000 v4, as those are some of our favorite low-top cleats that prioritize speed and agility in the design.
Mid and High Top Baseball Cleats
Mid or high-top cleats are the best option if you want a cleat with the best ankle support. While they are heavier due to the extra material, you can feel more secure in your cleat. Our top recommendation, the Mizuno 9-Spike Franchise Series Cleat, is one of the best mid-top cleats out there.
The next factor to look at is what spike you want; the two most common types are molded rubber studs or metal cleats.
Molded Rubber Studs vs Metal Cleats
Molded rubber studs are the most versatile option, and at lower levels, they are the most widely accepted as metal spikes are sometimes not allowed. The studs are almost always non-removable and durable, and there are numerous studs to spread out the pressure, giving you a more comfortable fit.
Try out the Mizuno 9-Spike Franchise Series Cleat or the Under Armour Leadoff Low RM, as both are both great examples of cleats with molded studs that offer great comfort and versatility.
If you watch the MLB, you’ll see players wearing metal cleats as they offer the most traction and speed on their playing fields. Every league has different rules on whether metal spikes are allowed. If your league permits them, the New Balance 4040 v5 Metal cleats are our favorite metal cleats.
For practices and workouts, you might also go for a turf cleat. Instead of studs or spikes, these shoes have numerous rubber nodes that give traction and increased comfort. If you’re happy with your game cleats, but you want to give your feet a break, then a turf shoe will do you well. On our list, we have the Nike Alpha Huarache Turf and the New Balance 4040 v5 Turf shoes that we personally love.
Best Materials for Baseball Cleats
Almost all cleats are made with synthetic materials to give them a lightweight, durable design. These materials often will maximize breathability or make them easier to clean.
Some small material features can make a big difference depending on what you need in a cleat. For example, the New Balance Fresh Foam 3000 v4 is designed with foam soles to increase support and comfort, and they can fit orthopedic inserts. So, if you’ve had troubles with comfort in your cleats then these are added material features you should be looking out for.
Cleaning Your Baseball Cleats
Every ballplayer has played in rough weather, and your cleats will inevitably get dirty. So, it’s important to clean your cleats and keep them dry to add to their longevity.
Letting your cleats dry is an important first step, and you can remove a lot of mud and dirt before you head home. When transporting them, it’s best to keep them in a plastic bag or better yet a dedicated shoe compartment in your baseball bag. After giving them a good clean, you should let them dry at room temperature.
Some cleats have design features that make them easier to clean. The New Balance 4040 v4 is one of the easiest to clean thanks to material choices by New Balance and their simple style.
Breaking in your new cleats
If you don’t properly break in your cleats before hitting the field for a game or practice, you could develop soreness or blisters.
If the classic “walk with them around the house” fails to do the trick, one of the best and safest ways to break your new cleats in is to simply stretch them out by hand. If you regularly get blisters in certain spots, it’s also advised to cover these up with a bandage before wearing new cleats.
Your cleats are the most important gear purchase you will make ahead of your next baseball season, so it’s important to put the time in and make sure you get the right fit for you.
If you’ve had a good experience with a particular brand, you might want to stick with them. And, your preferences on ankle support and stud type will help you narrow down the potential candidates for your next purchase.
Let us know what you think of this article in the comment section below and let us know if we missed anything!