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Amanda DiSilvestro
VIP CONTRIBUTOR

Kevin King

  • 15 min read

Best Softball Cleats for This Upcoming Season

The Best Softball Cleats

 

Make the transition from regular sneakers to softball cleats and you will find this specialized footwear makes a world of a difference in your quality of play on the diamond. Your softball cleats really do have the potential to make the difference between stealing a base and being thrown out, fielding a grounder up the middle and missing it by a hair or tracking down flyballs in the outfield rather than having them fall just short of your glove. However, there are plenty of softball cleats on the market to choose from. Let’s take a look at the best of the best that will ultimately improve your performance on the softball diamond, ensuring all of your hard work at practice finally pays off.

Top 10 Buying Guide

1. Mizuno Women's 9 Spike Swift 4 W

 

Mizuno Women's 9 Spike Metal Cleat Shoes in Blue

 

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Mizuno is one of the top names in the softball and baseball industries. It was not long ago when Mizuno primarily made gloves for softball and baseball. Today’, Mizuno makes a wide variety of products used on the diamond including cleats for softball and baseball players. The company’s 9 Spike Swift 4 W softball cleats are made of mesh and synthetic leather materials. 

Features include:

  • Mizuno’s unique 9-spike tech that enhances lateral stability along with boosting traction
  • Proflex build for enhanced flexibility along the forefoot
  • VS-1 foam cushions from the heel to the toe, absorbing shocks when running, fielding, pitching and hitting
  • Mizuno Wave that enhances cushioning and stability 
  • 10 oz. weight makes it easy to hit top speed without delay
  • PVC-free

Give these cleats a try and you will agree they enhance your speed on the diamond all the more. These are lightweight mesh cleats with an upper section consisting of synthetic leather. Whether you are batting, running or throwing, you will find the cleats’ Proflex proprietary flex makes it that much easier to control your movements. There is even a DryLite liner that moves sweat vapor away from your foot, ensuring it remains as dry and cool as comfortable. If you have sensitive heels, you will love these cleats as they have VS-1 style foam cushioning that absorbs impact at the heel. 

Those on the prowl for cleats that spread out the force of impact across the entire width and length of the midsole will love these cleats as they have a Mizuno Wave for extra cushioning. In fact, the midsole on these cleats prevents overpronation, minimizing the stress on the knees and the ankles.  The icing on the cake is the fact that three more cleats are added to the forefoot to improve traction and lateral stability all the more.

2. Nike Women’s Hyperdiamond 3 Varsity Softball Cleat

 

Nike Women’s Hyperdiamond 3 Molded Cleat Shoes

 

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These softball cleats are built to ensure you hit your top speed on the diamond in as little time as possible. Strap on these kicks, run down the first base line and you will agree they are quite light in weight. The molded details enhance both support and durability even in extra inning games that go deep into the night under the diamond lights. These TPU cleats have superior traction that ensures you can give your all on the diamond without worry of injury, tripping or getting your spikes stuck in the dirt or grass.

Features include:

  • Lunarlon foam cushioning that is full-length
  • Impact absorption technology
  • Minimal cleat pressure
  • Flexible TPU plate has 11 cleats for enhanced stability and traction

Check out these cleats’ synthetic leather and molded details for yourself and you will find they are well-built yet light in weight. The rubber screen print along the lateral side makes it that much easier to prevent abrasion. An added bonus is the mesh tongue that allows air to pass through so your feet stay cool during those softball games in the dog days of summer.

3. Mizuno Women’s 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 3 Softball Shoe

 

Mizuno Women’s 9-Spike cleat shoes in black

 

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You need a lightweight yet tough pair of softball cleats. Mizuno’s Women’s 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 3 is exactly that. This new addition from Mizuno is garnering rave reviews from players, coaches, cleat fanatics and others. In fact, Mizuno claims this is the lightest softball cleat the company has ever made.

Features include:

  • Midsole is full length from the toe to the heel for enhanced comfort
  • Toe protection minimizes weight while bolstering durability
  • The parallel outsole wave boosts stability and cushioning
  • 100% synthetic

In particular, players heap on the praise for these kicks’ toe guard. This innovative protector really does prevent toe bruising, fractures and breaks. The uber-light 9-spike outsole is also widely lauded. Whether you are an infielder, outfielder or pitcher, you will love these cleats.

4. Nike Girl’s Hyperdiamond Keystone GS Softball Cleat

 

Nike Girl’s Hyperdiamond Cleat Shoes in black

 

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These softball cleats are made of synthetic leather along with TPU mesh in the upper section. There is a conventional lace-up style closure to ensure the fit is tight. The back of the cleats features a pull-on style tab to make it that much easier to move your feet in and out before and after games. There is even a textile lining within the sneakers to boot.

Additional features include:

  • Lightweight at a mere six ounces
  • Phylon midsole is full-length
  • 12 cleat spikes

These cleats also feature a solid rubberized outsole that is clearly built to stand the test of time. Give your all on the diamond as you dive for line drives, slide to steal bases and pivot to turn double plays and you will find your Nike Hyperdiamond Keystone GS softball cleats are up to the task and hold strong as the seasons progress. It must be noted these cleats have a distinct neon orange hue so softball players looking for that extra bit of style will adore these kicks all the more.  Those who prefer a less visually “loud” design should opt for cleats with more of a toned down aesthetic.

5. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Velo V2 Turf Softball Shoe

 

New Balance Velo V2 Turf Shoes in black

 

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These fully synthetic softball cleats have a well-constructed rubber sole. The midsole has fresh foam style cushioning made to absorb impact and minimize overall weight.

Features include:

  • Rubber turf outsole boosts maneuverability and traction on the diamond dirt and grass
  • Perforated upper section made of synthetic material 
  • Reaction-diffusion design created with the use of data from actual softball games

Ideal for fast-pitch softball, these cleats from New Balance really do provide unrivaled support. You can strap on these cleats in full confidence knowing they will support your feet regardless of how hard you push off the base, dirt or grass. The midsole has additional arch support and cushioning to ensure you perform your best throughout the entirety of your softball games.

6. Adidas Performance Women's PowerAlley 2 W Softball Cleat

 

Adidas Poweralley 2 with metal cleats for softball

 

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Adidas is revered far and wide for its high-quality soccer cleats. However, the company also makes some softball cleats worthy of high praise. The company’s Performance Women’s PowerAlley 2 W Softball Cleats are made of 100% synthetic leather. Even the sole is synthetic. 

Features include:

  • Ortholite sock lining enhances cushioning while preventing odor
  • Ethylene vinyl acetate style midsole is full length and provides much-appreciated lightweight cushioning
  • The metal outsole is lightweight and features traxion studs to improve your traction and performance on the diamond all the more
  • Adituff provides protection against toe dragging

Lace up these bad boys and you will agree they take your softball game to the next level. Whether you want to be a terror on the basepaths, cover more terrain in the outfield or snag those infield grounders in the gaps, you will find the Adidas Performance Women’s PowerAlley 2 W Softball Cleats make it all the easier to do so. These kicks really are the perfect blend of comfort, style, light weight and grip.

7. Under Armour Women's Glyde RM Softball Shoe

 

Under Armour Glyde shoes with cleats

 

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Under Armour started out as a maker of undergarments worn while working out and playing sports. Today, the company makes a little bit of everything that is sports-related. Under Armour’s Women’s Glyde RM Softball Shoes are particularly popular.

Features include:

  • Rubber molded cleats enhance traction on the grass and dirt
  • Light in weight, ensuring a comfy feel
  • Full length EVA style midsole with superior shock absorption, cushioning and spike dispersion
  • 100% synthetic including a synthetic sole
  • Well-constructed overlay on the cap of the toe for optimal protection
  • Shaft measures mid-top
  • Padded tongue and ankle collar enhances comfort all the more

Try on these cleats for yourself and you will agree they feel just like regular sneakers. These cleats have a comfortable feel, are light in weight and create superior traction on the basepaths as well as the outfield grass.

8. Nike Women’s Lunar Hyperdiamond 2 Pro Fastpitch Softball Cleats

 

Nike Lunar Hyperdiamond 2 shoes with metal cleats

 

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Take one look at these softball cleats and you will be in love. These are highly unique cleats in terms of aesthetics as they feature a color gradient that shifts from white to gray and black across the length of the sneaker. Strap on these cleats and you will have everyone’s attention as you steal bases, field softballs and swing the lumber.

Additional features include:

  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Traction grips the ground below to perfection
  • Short break-in period of merely a game or two

Above all, softball players love these cleats because they make it that much easier to dig down into the dirt to steal bases, stretch out singles into doubles and field softballs. These are low cut cleats that are slightly below the ankle so those looking for ample ankle support will find the Nike Women’s Lunar Hyperdiamond to be a disappointment. However, if ankle support is not high on your list of priorities, you will be more than satisfied with these elite softball cleats.

Correct Fitting

If your softball cleats do not fit properly, you will not be able to play your best on the diamond. It’s not enough to try on a pair of softball cleats while remaining seated. Stand up, walk around and take a light jog around the sneaker section of the store. If the cleats are not perfectly comfortable, opt for a different pair. Ideally, you will be wearing the same socks and stirrups you wear on the diamond when you try on your cleats. This way, you can get a sense of whether they are the right fit when you are on the field of play. 

The cleats should fit nice and snug. If you have to choose between cleats that are a bit tight and a pair that are slightly loose, opt for the tighter pair as you do not want your feet to move when you traverse the basepaths, field softballs, etc. Keep in mind, stiff and tight-fitting cleats will gradually break in over time, loosening a bit for enhanced comfort. Do not buy any more than half a size larger than your current feet size, even if you are still growing. In general, there should be enough extra room to accommodate one finger positioned vertically behind your ankle.

Comfort

If you are not perfectly comfortable in your cleats, your quality of play on the diamond will suffer. Keep in mind, softball games have the potential to last several hours so it is imperative your cleats are as comfortable as possible. The fit of the cleat should be snug while permitting extra room in the area of the toe. If you are looking for additional cushioning and shock absorption, opt for a pair with lightweight padding along the midsole section of the cleats.

If the tongue is thick, do not rule out the cleats right away. A comparably thick tongue is helpful in preventing dirt from the diamond from moving down into the sneaker. A large tongue also helps stop the laces from getting in the way or becoming untied. However, if the tongue is excessively large, it might prove uncomfortable. 

Metal or Molded Cleats

Metal cleats have spikes made of metal along the sneakers’ outsoles. Cleats made of metal improve traction on the field of play all the more. Furthermore, metal cleats have thin spikes compared to those used on other cleats so they move down into the dirt and grass with comparable ease. However, some softball leagues bar the use of metal cleats so be sure to check the rules before buying cleats.

Molded cleats are made with comparably short and non-removable studs made of hard plastic or rubber. The hard plastic studs are that much lighter than those of the metal or rubber type. Choose molded cleats and you will find they have additional studs on the outsole, creating a cleat that proves that much more comfy. It must be noted beginning softball players typically gravitate toward molded cleats as they are easy to maintain, lighter and arguably more comfortable.

Length of Cleats

The length of your cleats has an impact on your quality of play on the softball diamond. You can change the length of the studs with certain cleats. This is favorable as certain cleat lengths perform that much better when the field is dry, wet, has long grass, has short grass or other unique qualities. In general, hard fields set the stage for short studs to help players reach their potential. Comparably soft fields are easier to run across at a high speed while wearing long studs. Long studs also help you maintain optimal body control while running as they make it that much easier to dig down into the surface of the ground below.

Ankle Support

Cleats of the low top variety provide minimal ankle support yet are the lightest so they will help you run fast when attempting to steal bases and field softballs. Mid top cleats provide that much more ankle support and stability. High top cleats provide the most ankle support. Softball pitchers commonly favor low top style cleats to ensure ankle movement is fully maximized to generate maximum leverage when pushing off the mound. Though high top cleats are ideal for ankle support, it must be noted they are comparably heavy and tall, meaning they will reduce your speed on the diamond.

Conclusion

The softball cleats you choose should feel comfortable, look stylish and help you elevate your game to the next level. Ideally, you will be able to try on several pairs at a local store before making a commitment. Keep in mind, you can always try on the softball cleats you have in mind at a local sneaker or sporting goods store and buy the ones you like the most on the web. Choose wisely and you will find your softball cleats help you steal bases, play the field, get a better push off the mound and make it that much easier to fulfill your true potential on the diamond.

Amanda DiSilvestro
VIP CONTRIBUTOR

Kevin King

Kevin King is the founder of Anytime Baseball a Dodger fan and a lover of all things baseball.


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