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Baseball Metal Cleats - Selecting Metal Baseball Cleats.

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For athletes playing at all levels of baseball, metal cleats are the shoes of choice. They are popular for the traction they provide over wet outfields and torn up infields. Players that need to move quickly to the left or right do not need to worry about their feet slipping at the sudden movement. Metal cleats also give baseball players additional speed when taking off to steal second base.

Some players may think that one pair of baseball metal cleats is much like another. There are however several differences that could impact a player’s success on the diamond. Shoes may come in different weights or different materials, both of which can affect the comfort of the player and therefore impact the quality of play.

While all manufacturers want to consider the safety of the player, some have gone to great lengths to provide added security. In constructing their shoes they look at the impact sudden starting and stopping can have on a person’s ankles or knees. Therefore these brands include ankle support features. They can be in the form of high top cleats or ankle support straps. Either way, the leg begins to move as one piece from foot to knee and protects ankle and knee joints from injury.

Another way some brands keep players safe is by limiting the depth of the cleat teeth. Deeper teeth give more traction. They may be desirable on wet or ill-kept grass such as that found on a high school baseball diamond, but they have disadvantages. On a dry field they can dig in too deep. This can do damage to the playing field and leave divots all around. Worse, it can injure a player if their foot stays in place while the rest of their body moves. An outfielder may want to consider purchasing two pairs of metal cleats: one for a wet outfield, and another for running the bases or playing the outfield on a dry day.

Remember to look at the quality of the insole when purchasing baseball metal cleats. Wherever a cleat is attached to the sole, the foot is cushioned less and so feels more of the impact as the shoe hits the ground. Manufacturers who consider this effect add insole padding to the forefoot, the arch and the heel. Injuries like turf toe or heel spurs can linger for months. It doesn’t matter if one can run faster if it hurts to run at all.

In order to attach the metal cleats to the bottom of a shoe, the sole has to be of sturdier material than standard athletic footwear. Some shoe manufacturers have gone to great lengths to design linings that keep the foot cooler or that wick sweat away from the toes. This is more important than people realize. Sweaty feet can breed the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. This ailment causes skin to slough off and make the foot feel raw, again limiting one’s ability to run quickly or change direction smoothly.

The final element to consider when purchasing metal cleats for baseball is the outer shoe material. During the course of one game, a player may have to change direction quickly several times in quick succession. Players may collide while running bases or pursuing a fly ball. In either case, the stress put on a shoe is greater than average. The material for the outer shoe must be sturdy and lightweight. The heavier sole and metal cleat may take away any benefit gained by the additional traction unless it is counterbalanced with a lighter weight outer shoe. Leather or leather based products have the sturdiness and flexibility but may cause the foot to sweat. New research into synthetics may provide a new material that will allow maximum comfort and safety all in one shoe.

Metal cleats are still a popular and sanctioned choice for baseball players at all levels of the game. By researching product features like material and construction an athlete can have confidence their shoe will provide them with the best traction without sacrificing foot or joint comfort. While a shoe that does it all may be pricy, its durability and the peace of mind it brings are worth the cost.

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