What is the Difference Between Football and Baseball Cleats?

By Alexis
Last Updated on

A misconception that many people have is that football and baseball cleats are the same. That could not be farther from the truth. While the primary purpose of these sports cleats is to provide traction on the field, they have different features and serve distinct functions to their wearer.

Can I Wear Football Cleats for Baseball?

Football cleats are known for being on the heavier side. They are designed to help athletes withstand repeated physical contact as well as make cuts and turns easier. Since playing baseball relies more on forwarding motion and quick acceleration, football cleats are not ideal for the sport.

difference in football cleats

Baseball players can still wear football or soccer cleats. Experts recommend, though, that those playing in the infield should wear baseball cleats. The main difference between baseball and soccer cleats is that the former has cleat patterns that facilitate a more accurate grip.

Can I Wear Baseball Cleats for Football?

Football players need to wear shoes that are appropriate for their size, weight, and even position. Otherwise, it would be harder for them to endure the physical toll of banging bodies and feet on the field. So, can you wear baseball cleats for football? Simply put, you should not.

If you do not have football cleats, the next best thing to wear is soccer cleats versus baseball cleats. According to a podiatrist, this type is the most versatile cleat for kids and can be used for different kinds of sports, including football, baseball, and lacrosse.

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What are Baseball Cleats Made Out of?

The body of baseball cleats is usually created with mesh, genuine or synthetic leather materials. This allows the footwear to have more breathability and durability, helping the user perform better while playing. Synthetic or leather cleats also have improved water resistance, which is especially useful if it is rainy.

The studs at the bottom of baseball cleats can be made of different materials, including plastic, rubber, or metal. Although metal cleats are usually prohibited in youth baseball because having such material on a kids’ baseball cleat might cause unnecessary injuries.

What are Football Cleats Made Out of?

Traditionally, football shoes were made of leather. But as time went by, other materials and technology, such as synthetic fiber, have been developed to optimize the performance of football players.

The studs at the bottom of football cleats can come in a variety of sizes. They can also be made of plastic or rubber. Football metal cleats have been disallowed in most leagues as it can increase the risk of injury among players.

A difference between football and baseball cleats when it comes to studs is that football spikes can be detachable. Replaceable studs present versatility, particularly in uncertain weather conditions. If the field is dry, shorter studs can be used. But on wet surfaces, longer ones can be installed.

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Baseball vs. Football Cleats (The Differences)

In this part, we delve deeper into what is the difference between baseball and football cleats and understand why the two sports footwear should not be deemed interchangeable.

Weight of Cleats

Football cleats tend to be on the tougher and heavier side and are more supportive because of the physicality of the game. Cleats for this sport also require a much thicker material than those used in baseball to protect the feet of the players. This causes the additional weight to the cleats.

On the other hand, baseball cleats do not require too much weight to allow the players to run fast during the game. Pitchers wear shoes that are more supportive. Similar to the cheer shoes cheerleaders wear in the sense of being supportive.

Midsole of Football vs Baseball Cleats

When looking for athletic shoes, it is important to check the midsole. Its function is to provide support, cushion, and shock absorption whenever there is the movement of the feet and body.

The difference between football and baseball cleats is that the latter has more midsole support. A football cleat is then less comfortable to wear than a baseball cleat.

Cleats Patterns

When it comes to patterns, there is a major difference between football cleats vs. baseball cleats.

Football shoes have larger and more rounded studs that allow a player to gain more traction and stability when running on the turf. Baseball cleats, meanwhile, are designed with razor-like studs that can dig deep into the dirt or grass and provide the player a quick first step if he needs to sprint or jump.

Front Area of the Cleats

In this area, there is not much difference between football and baseball cleats. Both sports shoes provide foot protection and have added durability thanks to a toe guard on the front area.

Ankle Support

In general, football cleats offer more ankle support than baseball cleats do.

As already mentioned, there are different types of cleats used in the sport, depending on the size and the position of the player wearing them. The variations depend on the cut of the shoes and include high-tops, mid-tops, and low-cuts.


are typically worn by defensive and offensive linemen. Those who play in these positions would need additional protection for their ankles and increased traction. Based on a study, high-top cleats are less comfortable and heavier to wear than mid-tops and low-cuts, however, they are able to “limit ankle motions associated with injury without deleteriously influencing performance.”


Offer less support and more mobility than high-tops. This is the type of football cleat that running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defensive backs prefer.


Provide the least support among these types of football cleats and are worn by those who want increased speed and mobility on offense and defense.

As for baseball players, no matter their position, they do not need increased ankle support. The difference between football and baseball cleats then is that baseball shoes usually come in mid-tops and low-cuts. It is rare to see high-tops in baseball games.

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Extra Toe Stud

A big difference between football and baseball cleats is the presence of an additional toe stud in baseball cleats. This allows the wearer to dig easily hit the ground running. Football cleats cannot have such a feature as it poses danger to the other players, especially since there plenty of tackles made in the field.

What Do Football Cleats Look Like on the Bottom?

The sole of a football shoe can contain seven to 14 number of studs. Near the toe part, there are typically five to 10 studs and are placed around the edge of the sole or form an H-shape. On the heel, there are generally two to four studs that can form a square. The midsoles do not have studs in most football shoes.

bottom of football cleats
Image Source: Boombah

What Do Baseball Cleats Look Like on the Bottom?

Because there is less physical contact and motion in the sports of baseball, baseball cleats generally require a less number of studs than their football counterparts. Another answer to what is the difference between football and baseball cleats when it comes to its sole is the distinct toe stud in the latter. However, like football cleats, baseball cleats do not have studs on the midsole.

can you wear baseball cleats for flag football

Final Thoughts

As discussed above, the differences between the two cleats are as clear as day. It is recommended then to wear the shoes appropriate for sports, especially if you are playing in a high-intensity practice or the big league.

Studies have also shown that wearing the right shoes can maximize performance and prevent injuries.

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Alexis has been playing baseball since he was around 10. He is a 2020 high school graduate that currently trying to achieve his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.