If you can name a more delightful experience than watching a child’s face as he or she confidently rounds bases after scoring a hit, you need to spend more time at youth baseball games! This all-American sport got a big boost when Paul Butler came up with the brilliant idea of fastening soccer-style cleats to the soles of baseball shoes in 1862, a clever addition that parents, players, and coaches appreciate because kids tend to feel more confident at bat knowing that the cleats will help ground their feet when they fly with abandon over bases.
🠲 They’ve Been Around Forever
Leather shoes with spikes were worn by ancient Greek and Roman warriors and in 1526 England, King Henry VIII found time to order studded football boots from artisans in-between his many marriages. Traditional steel cleats have been around for hundreds of years without modification until Major League Baseball outlawed metal golf-style spikes in 1976 to protect sprinters from sliding into players. Plastic cleats were born.
🠲 Do Cleats Keep Players Safer?
This essential gear reduces half a million serious baseball injuries annually, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (https://phoenixbats.com/blog/the-baseball-shoe-how-the-invention-of-cleats-changed-the-game/), but your interest is likely to be the confidence your child feels knowing that those studs help anchor feet to turf so artfully, little ones feel fearless enough to fly down baselines.
Can one pair of cleats be all things to all people? According to several thousand parents, the answer is yes if that shoe happens to be this Under Armour junior baseball shoe. It’s affordable, designed to be worn by boys or girls and you can count on comfort, too.
Stylish, lightweight, and durable, the toe box is engineered with perforations, so kiddo’s feet stay cool even in the hottest temperatures. Since this product is 100% synthetic, you get plenty of bang for your buck, too.
Equally affordable, this shoe gives kids several color choices, comes in a variety of size choices and the mid-height feature adds ankle protection when kids fly around bases. The sole is rubber, and 100% synthetic construction means your child could outgrow this pair of shoes before they fall apart.
Constructed with Under Armour’s signature durable cap overlay to safeguard toes, the full length EVA midsole is designed for even distribution of cleat pressure. The padded heel and collar get rave reviews for maximum comfort and you can buy them for either your son or daughter since these equal opportunity shoes perform on all surfaces.
Parents favorably impressed by the New Balance brand won’t mind spending just a few dollars more on these Under Armour kicks, especially if their baseball dynamo is a girl. These cleats aren’t just great unisex products but they appear on multiple best seller lists when reviewers compare girl’s baseball and softball footwear, too.
Shoppers choose between little kid and big kid sizing and for fashionistas, a choice of 5 color combinations is a big draw. Fabricated of 50% synthetic and 50% mesh, the 3000 V5 is available in extended width sizes and the mid-cut silhouette boosts foot support. The durable rubber-molded outsole with cleats offers exceptional traction and enhanced durability.
If 5 color choices don’t do it for your mini slugger, this molded baseball shoe with thick synthetic cleats offers 6 options. Choose from Big Kid and Little Kid sizing and expect the usual New Balance attention to detail at around the same price as the 3000 V5.
Prized for unisex styling and synthetic upper construction for comfort and durability, this shoe’s cleated rubber outsole is an exceptional pick for kids running on conventional turf. How does it differ from competitor cleats?
The lace closure enhances a secure fit and the proprietary REVlite midsole reduces cleat weight so kids who refuse to wear baseball shoes that are too heavy will find this product to be comfy in all the right places.
Stop reading now if your child has already outgrown sizes that are in the “Little Kid” category, because this particular cleat is designed exclusively for the littlest kids on the block. Within this category, you’ll have 13 sizes from which to choose if you decide that the Fx4070 is your best bet.
Four color options, unisex styling and a comparable price tag make this adidas footwear an excellent pick. The rubber “no frills” sole with chunky cleats is clean, substantive and bears the adidas brand name, criteria some shoppers find compelling since scientific testing backs every pair.
Kids with wide feet won’t feel cramped in these roomy shoes and it’s hard to find complaints about sizing issues so if you order on line, you may wish to give these shoes a try.
Choosing cleats for your youngsters requires you to make decisions if a specific cleat hasn’t been specified by a coach, team sponsor or venue. Your job is select a material, height and shoe type that provides stability and security with each footfall and the wearer should experience a snug fit with a bit of toe room once you make three decisions about the cleats you are considering: Material, cleat type and cleat height.
Choose mesh or synthetic leather if durability and breathability are priorities. If the cleats you are considering also offer some degree of water resistance, that’s a bonus, especially if your intrepid batter intends to play on rainy or muddy game days.
There are 4 basic spike types on today’s market, and each offers unique benefits as well as downsides.
When you shop, you’ll encounter two options: low- and mid/high-tops. Low tops are lighter, shorter and tend to enhance speed and agility, but they don’t offer as much ankle support as do the other two. Mid/high tops excel at stability, security, and ankle support but in return, these cleats tend to weigh more.
Benefits of Each Cleat Type
Insights on Cleat Numbers
Three researchers decided to undertake a scholarly study to determine whether the number of cleats on soles impact traction and performance and their conclusions may be of interest to you. Volunteers wore three different baseball cleats sporting 3, 5, or 6 spikes and ran several field drills on dirt and grass that emulated the pace of base runners. Results were conclusive: the number of cleats didn’t impact performance in any way, so for parents who are tempted to use cleat numbers as buying criteria, experts suggest worrying more about fit and features rather than this design element.
Just for Parents of Mini-sluggers
It takes time for kids to gain confidence when they are first introduced to cleats, so they should be gradually introduced, say experts at the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (http://www.aapsm.org/baseball.html). Here are more tips from resources that include the AAPSM.