Baseball Cleats Buying Guide
If you play on turf or plan on practising there, you'll need to buy a good pair of baseball cleats to keep you from wiping out--and the same goes for muddy grass or wet concrete. Baseball cleats, which have a bunch of studs on the bottom of the sole, will help you better grip any surface. Often made of treated, extra-flexible leather, these athletic shoes are also great for running around the bases with ease. But with so many different styles and stud choices out there--metal, plastic and rubber to name a few--it can be tricky buying a pair that's best for you. Your choice should hinge upon what type of surface you'll most often be playing on, along with your skill level. Many children's leagues, for example, require rubber or plastic cleats to help avoid injury, while the college leagues and pros are all about the hard-hitting metal . So to get you started on your search, we've put together a guide with some simple suggestions that will have you sliding into home in no time.
Types of Cleats
Before you purchase any baseball cleat, make sure you know your league's requirements. Also inquire about the surfaces you'll be playing on, whether it be turf, field or otherwise. After you've pegged down the essentials, you can then start thinking about some other critical characteristics of the perfect shoe for you.
- Fit: You want to ensure that your baseball cleats are comfortable above all else. Your feet should rest firmly on the soles so that you are able to feel the ground and control your speed as you move and turn. To avoid getting a pair that is too loose or too snug look for shoes that have buckle or Velcro straps. These won't loosen like ordinary shoelaces might, and they can easily re-adjusted for your comfort level each day that may vary with temperature, injury, etc.
- Stud length: You need to determine which length studs will work the best for you--varying lengths offer varying levels of stability. Short studs work well on harder surfaces like super-packed grass or artificial turf, while long studs work best on soft soil since they allow you to sink into the ground for extra grip.