Can I Use Baseball Cleats on the Soccer Field and Vice Versa?
Baseball and soccer are both sports that require players to wear cleats, so it makes sense to think that the shoes can be interchanged or worn for both sports. People who have more than one child playing sports might even be tempted to have the kids share shoes or hand down a pair that no longer fits. After all, is there really a difference? While this can save money, it might also lead to injuries.
So, the answer is YES! The main difference between the two is the pattern of the spikes, or studs, on the cleats. Each style was designed specifically for the sport that it’s intended for, making it questionable to switch them up or use the same pair for both baseball and soccer.
Want to learn more? Let’s explore the “cleat truths” when it comes to soccer versus baseball.
Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Baseball?
While technically you could use soccer cleats for baseball in a pinch, it isn’t recommended. But it’s important to know that you certainly shouldn’t switch things around and use baseball cleats for soccer, since most referees won’t allow players on the soccer field if they are wearing the wrong cleats.
Each type of clear is designed with a specific sport in mind, and switching them up can lead to injuries, as well as performance issues on the field. Both sports are played very differently, which is why the cleats are designed with different weights, spike patterns, and foot and ankle supports. Simply put (as you may have guessed), it’s best to use soccer clear when playing soccer and baseball cleats when playing baseball.
Difference Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats
The most obvious difference between soccer and baseball cleats is the cleat patterns themselves. Soccer requires a lot more continuous movement, while baseball is a more “stop and start” game. Therefore, soccer cleats are designed to assist players who are out on a soccer field, kicking the ball back and forth and constantly moving. Baseball cleats, on the other hand, have a heavier weight to them and provide support for players who are stopping and starting while on the field. Both sports are very different, so it makes sense that their cleats are different as well.
Difference in Ankle Support
Soccer is a game that’s played by athletes who run for most of each period. Since they’re constantly moving, they need to have their ankles free to switch their gaits, move quickly in a zigzag motion to avoid opposing players, and more. As a result, soccer cleats are designed to leave the ankles open and unsupported, allowing their movements to stay free and adjustable as the game goes on.
Baseball is quite different. Players need ankle support in order to prevent sprains and strains while on the field. After all, they steal bases, often leading with their feet, and the included ankle support on their cleats prevents injuries. In addition, the general motions made by baseball players, taking off running to first base or sprinting after a fly ball, can put a lot of pressure on their ankles. Baseball cleats are designed with additional ankle supports for this reason.
Difference in Cleat Patterns and Studs
Not only are the physical shoes different on top, from the sole upwards, but soccer cleats and baseball cleats are designed to have very different stud patterns as well. The main difference is the toe stud. Baseball cleats have one, while soccer cleats do not. Since baseball players need to stop and start their motions throughout the game, the toe stud gives them support when they take off running.
Generally, baseball cleats have three studs towards the heel area of the shoe, and a toe stud at the front that’s surrounded by four additional studs: two on the left side and two on the right. Soccer cleats lack a toe stud, and have three studs on each side in the front surrounding a central, middle stud. At the back of the sole, there are four studs. These different patterns allow the players to move as needed throughout the games.
On top of the cleat patterns, the physical studs on the shoes are quite different. Most soccer studs are made of plastic, which is lighter in weight. Plus, while the studs are sharp enough to keep the players anchored, when necessary, the plastic is a little less sharp than metal, preventing injuries when players collide mid-play.
Baseball cleats, while also available with plastic studs for young kids who are just learning the game, tend to be made of metal for the most part. These sharp, metal spikes provide additional traction on the field, and allow players to quickly start and stop their motion, which is typical in baseball.
Difference in Terms of Functionality
Both baseball and soccer are played very differently. Baseball players spend a lot of their time stopping and starting. They’ll run the bases, chase after a fly ball, and take off at a moment’s notice. In between these spurts of running, pitching, and catching, the players stand still. As a result, their shoes have better supports and are heavier, providing the players with a lower center of gravity.
Soccer, on the other hand, requires continuous running. Once players get on the field, they rarely stop moving. In addition, they need to be able to move quickly from side to side when dribbling the ball with their feet, so their cleats need to be light enough to allow them to lift their legs when kicking the ball or stopping it with a knee in midair. Most soccer cleats don’t have a midsole, which makes the shoes lighter. The last thing anyone wants is to have heavy shoes weighing them down when running constantly throughout a 90-minute game.
Now You Know
While baseball and soccer cleats may have a few similarities at a quick glance, for the most part, they are quite difference. Everything from the stud patterns and materials to the weights of the shoes vary. Additionally, baseball cleats have ankle supports, while soccer cleats do not. This makes sense because both games require different motions. Due to the differences between the shoes, it’s clear that you can’t use baseball cleats to play soccer or soccer cleats to play baseball. But the good news is that now you know!