The Best Cleats for Catchers in 2020

A good pair of quality cleats are the staple of any catchers’ uniform. Not only do they enhance performance, but they also provide traction, and help to avoid injury by supporting the ankle. Having the right pair of cleats enables a catcher to perform with confidence, so it’s important to find the balance between protective and comfortable.

Let’s stay comfortable and have a successful 2020 season!

best cleats for catchers

Summary: Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Catcher’s Cleats

Mizuno Men's Heist IQ Baseball Shoe

  • Three-layer no-sew upper

  • Mid-sole made with U4ic technology

  • Design minimizes power loss

Adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Mens Baseball Cleat

  • Abrasion-resistant

  • Ortholite(™) sock liner combats feet odor

  • Lightweight support

Under Armour Men's Harper 4 Low St Baseball Shoe

  • Snug and supportive fit

  • Hybrid soleplate for acceleration and traction

  • Lightweight and durable

Mizuno (MIZD9 Men's 9-Spike Advanced Franchise 9 Molded Baseball Cleat-Low Shoe

  • Rubber molded outsole

  • Synthetic leather upper

  • Works with a variety of field types

Adidas Performance Men's Adizero Afterburner 3 Baseball Shoe

  • Seamless toecap for protection

  • Ortholite sock liner

  • SPRINTFRAME construction

Mizuno Men's 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low Baseball Cleat

  • Moisture absorbing technology

  • 9-spike outsole

  • Designed for all positions

New Balance Men's PM3000v3 Molded Baseball Shoe

  •  Provides maximum comfort and breathability

  • Integrated toe box for protection

  • Built on a baseball proven sole

Under Armour Men's Yard Low St Baseball Shoe

  • Feel like a sneaker

  • Super-ventilated tongue construction

  • Budget friendly

Nike Men's Air Huarache Pro Low Baseball Metal Cleats

  • Durable

  • Affordable

  • Phylon midsole

Under Armour Men's Ignite Low St Baseball Shoe

  • EVA sock liner

  • Lightweight

  • ArmourBound cushioning

10 of The Best Cleats for Baseball and Softball Catchers in 2020

Baseball and softball catchers have a tough job. A lot of responsibility rides with them, so it’s only fair that they are equipped for the job, and that’s why having a good pair of cleats can make all the difference to a catcher’s performance. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 cleats, chosen for their quality and individual features to help make it easier to choose the best baseball cleats for catchers.

Mizuno Men’s Heist IQ Baseball Shoe

Mizuno Men's Heist IQ Low Baseball Cleats
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Mizuno Men’s Heist IQ baseball shoes are an excellent choice for the speedy athlete. For those that want good traction and a boost to their fast game right from the first step, the metal spikes in these shoes are a great pick.

The synthetic inner and outer sole provides maximum flexibility and durability to keep you running faster and longer than your competition. With the unprecedented support provided by the lightweight and well-cushioned U4ic midsole, you can enjoy the ultimate torsion control while you are running bases or catching balls in the outfield. While the three-layer, no-sew upper toe box ensures you will have complete breathability even during the hottest games.

Pros

Three-layer no-sew upper
Mid-sole made with U4ic technology
Design minimizes power loss while maximizing explosiveness

Cons

Users report the sizes are small and narrow. A solution is to order half a size larger than needed

Adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Mens Baseball Cleat

adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Mens Baseball Cleat 13 Black/Tech Grey Met/White
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The Adidas Adizero Afterburner 2.0 Metal Cleats are designed to give you super speed in super-light shoes, making them one of the best baseball cleats around. The abrasion-resistant, no-sew toe cap and outsoles feature sprint frame plates made from a lightweight BZM7 material.

In addition, these catchers cleats feature metallic diamond mesh which anchors a durable, yet breathable, heel to the tongue. A common problem that any athlete faces is the odor associated with heavy sweat and activity. With the Ortholite(™) sock liner, the odor is no longer a problem.

Pros

Abrasion-resistant, no-sew toe cap
Ortholite(™) sock liner combats feet odor
Lightweight support

Cons

These shoes need time to break-in for maximum comfort

Under Armour Men’s Harper 4 Low St Baseball Shoe

Under Armour Men's Harper 4 Low ST Baseball Shoe, White (100)/White
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This metal baseball cleat features a sock-like construction and dynamic lacing system that provides a snug, supportive fit, and security. A Charged Cushioning® midsole promises to enhance power and speed while the 3-3-4 Hybrid soleplate provides acceleration and traction on the field.

The lightweight upper of the baseball cleats made with TPU material provides zonal abrasion and structure. If ankle support is something you need, this shoe has you covered. With Harper exclusive prints, a full-length bootie construction providing a snug, sock-like feel, and the dynamic lacing system with thick laces for security, this shoe will keep you comfortable while sporting a modern look.

Pros

Snug and supportive fit with an ankle sock
Hybrid soleplate for acceleration and traction
Lightweight and durable material for zonal abrasion and structure

Cons

Some users report the shoe runs large
The front rubber box wears fast

Mizuno (MIZD9 Men’s 9-Spike Advanced Franchise 9 Molded Baseball Cleat-Low Shoe

Mizuno Men's 9-Spike Advanced Franchise 9 Molded Baseball Cleat-Low Shoe, Black/White
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The Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Franchise IX shoe is the perfect choice for those athletes who want to move quickly and be secure. A synthetic leather upper provides an enhanced fit for better comfort, while the full-length midsole offers maximum padding and reduced cleat pressure.

These baseball cleats feature a 9-spike rubber molded outsole and stud layout delivers incredible traction, speed, and support on almost any field.

Pros

Rubber molded outsole and innovative stud layout 
Synthetic leather upper
Works with a variety of field types

Cons

The size can run small

Adidas Performance Men’s Adizero Afterburner 3 Baseball Shoe

adidas Men's Adizero Afterburner 3 Baseball Shoe, Black/Silver Metallic/Silver Metallic
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The Anodized Sprintskin synthetic leather construction, Lifestrike EVA rubber midsole, and ultralight upper of these Adidas baseball cleats offer ease and comfort while boosting your running speed. The Ironskin toecap provides the durability you want in a high-activity shoe.

If the odor is your concern, look no further than the ortholite sock liner on these shoes that provides ultimate comfort and odor-fighting technology. The Sprintframe outsole plate with Protax cleat configuration ensures incredible traction and performance to keep you one step ahead of your competition.

Pros

Seamless toecap for protection
Ortholite sock liner
SPRINTFRAME construction with speed faceting and a new stud configuration

Cons

The size can run narrow

Mizuno Men’s 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low Baseball Cleat

Mizuno Men's 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low-M, Black/White
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The Mizuno Men’s 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low Baseball Cleat is the perfect tool to help any athlete boost their speed and agility. With their lightweight synthetic leather construction and padded tongue, these baseball cleats are made for comfort and durability.

In addition, the Breath Thermo material used in these shoes generates heat by absorbing moisture, keeping the player warm even during the coldest games. The 9-spike outsole provides ample traction and comfort and allows for ease of movement.

Pros

Moisture absorbing technology to keep the player warm
9-spike outsole
Designed for all positions

Cons

The sole is quite thin

New Balance Men’s PM3000v3 Molded Baseball Shoe

New Balance Men's 3000 V3 TPU Molded Mid Cut Baseball Shoe, Grey/White
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The New Balance Men’s PM3000v3 Molded Baseball Shoe is built on a baseball-proven sole: the 3000v3 mid-cut TPU. These baseball cleats feature a good quality sole which brings comfort and support, The synthetic mesh featured in these New Balance cleats, and leather upper construction, provides incredible breathability and durability to keep you playing longer and moving faster.

The comfort collar of these New Balance cleats provides a snug and supportive fit while the integrated toe protection keeps you from getting injured during fast-paced play. 

Pros

The leather and mesh upper provides maximum comfort and breathability
Integrated toe box for protection
Built on a baseball proven sole

Cons

Some users report incorrect sizing

Under Armour Men’s Yard Low St Baseball Shoe

Under Armour Men's Yard Low ST Baseball Shoe, Black (001)/White
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The Under Armour Yard Low ST baseball cleat is a lightweight, comfortable shoe that will keep you fast on your feet and feeling great. The molded heel, stretch collar, and textile forefoot make this shoe feel just like a sneaker. In addition, these baseball cleats feature soft-suede panels, aimed at increasing stability and a snug fit.

These Under Armour cleats also feature a plush sock liner, which molds to the shape of the foot for additional comfort.

Pros

Molded heel, stretch collar & textile forefoot make it fit & feel like a sneaker
Super-ventilated tongue construction
Durable, lightweight and budget-friendly

Cons

Slightly pricier than other brands and models

Nike Men’s Air Huarache Pro Low Baseball Metal Cleats

Men's Nike Air Huarache Pro Baseball Cleat nk599233 001 (Black / White)
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The Nike Men’s Air Huarache Pro Low Baseball Metal Cleats feature a mesh and synthetic upper that provides optimal structure and breathability. A full-length, encapsulated show makes for lightweight cushioning and impact protection.

In addition, these Nike baseball cleats feature 6 full-length cleats and 3 short cleats configuration provide maximum traction, durability, and hotspot reduction, while the phylon midsole gives the wearer excellent responsiveness and cooling. 

Pros

Nine-cleat configuration for great traction and durability
Affordable
Phylon midsole

Cons

Sizing can run small

Under Armour Men’s Ignite Low St Baseball Shoe

Under Armour Men's Ignite Low ST Baseball Shoe, Black/White
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The Under Armour® Ignite baseball cleat features an EVA sock liner and midsole that provides added cushioning and comfort, while a low profile metal 9-spike outsole delivers speed, power, and traction. The structured synthetic upper affords excellent durability, comfort, and breathability. The added cushioning around the heel and tongue provide great step-in comfort.

With the shock-absorbing AmourBound cushioning and footbed that molds to the shape of your feet, these baseball cleats will give you a quick boost in your speed.

Pros

EVA sock liner
Lightweight and low-profile outsole features 9 metal cleats for optimal speed and power
ArmourBound cushioning and Rotation Traction

Cons

Some users report low durability

How to Buy the Right Baseball Catcher’s Cleats

When searching for the best baseball cleats for catchers, there are some features worth keeping in mind, such as the material used, the type of cleats, and the ankle support, and the same applies when searching for the best softball cleats for catchers. Each brand offers its own unique features, so it’s important to know what to look for when searching for any type of equipment, from the best baseball scorebook to the best pitching machine.

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Types of Cleats

There are a number of different styles to consider when purchasing good quality cleats. It’s important to consider shoes that are suitable for your playing surfaces, such as indoor practice or the use of turf, as you need to ensure you have sufficient traction in order to play at your best ability.

Metal

Metal cleats are a good choice if you are an advanced athlete as these cleats will typically provide better traction, especially on softer fields. However, most little leagues have prohibited metal cleats, so it is important to check your league rules before you buy shoes.

Molded

Molded cleats are a good choice for athletes at any level and provide ample traction for any situation. Molded cleats are the perfect middle ground option, and are great for baseball and softball catchers who want the option to play on multiple surfaces.

Turf

If you are playing on artificial turf, then turf shoes are what you want. This will keep the damage to the turf to a minimum and keep you safe by giving you the traction you need, metal and molded cleats are not safe for turf fields as they will lose traction.

Ankle Support

The amount of ankle support you need depends directly on the type of cleat you are wearing and the position you are playing. Mid-top cleats provide some ankle support and are slightly heavier in weight and build. If maximum ankle support is what you’re after, then high top cleats are the best option.

Reinforced Toe

A reinforced toe is important for catchers who do a lot of squatting, this position puts a lot of pressure on the toe so it is important that this area is supported by the shoes. Aside from catchers, toe reinforcement helps the cleats last longer and offers protection in those high-activity areas.

Material

Cleats made of genuine leather are typically more expensive than their synthetic leather counterparts, however, genuine leather cleats are also more durable. It is important to think about this when buying cleats. It may be worth the extra cost if you want a shoe that will last for multiple seasons.

Due to the cost, synthetic cleats are typically the more common choice for little league and high school players. These shoes typically also offer extra support at the front and middle of the foot and ankle. 

Low Tops

Low top cleats do not provide ankle support, they are lightweight shoes that are built for speed. If you are looking for catchers cleats, you typically want very mobile ankles for that low-squatting catching position, so a low top or mid-top baseball or softball cleat is a good choice.

Things to Know About Baseball Cleats

Can you wear baseball cleats on turf?

Typically, baseball players wear turf shoes during practice or training. Turf shoes are more comfortable, more durable, and won’t tear up any turf- especially artificial turf. Artificial turf is especially susceptible to damage from molded or metal cleats. As are you if you wear them, you can gain no traction on artificial turf which can lead to likely injury.

Should catchers wear metal cleats?

Catchers typically demand more from their cleats than other players because of their squatted playing positions. High-quality metal cleats typically offer the best traction for those bursts of speed when catchers need it most. 

What kind of cleats should a catcher wear?

Generally speaking, if you are a young ballplayer, you wear molded cleats, while those playing at more competitive levels would wear metal spikes. Keep in mind that this is not a hard and fast rule, as even some MLB players wear molded cleats

Conclusion

When searching around for the best baseball cleats for catchers, there are clearly plenty of options. To find the right pair for you will come down to the type of surface you play on, budget, and personal preference. The key point to take away from this article is that cleats for baseball and softball catchers don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but however much you do invest in them, they will certainly give you a great return on the field.