A lot of people think that Baseball and Softball are the same, but they are two different sports. On the one hand, both use bats, gloves, and balls every game. However, they differ from the size of balls they use, the rules they follow, and even the cleats the players wear every game.
This post will not talk about the rules of each sport, but rather the difference between baseball and softball cleats. Yes, even the cleats used in each sport may look the same at first glance but differ from each other. Here are facts you need to know about Baseball and Softball Cleats.
What is the Difference Between Softball and Baseball Cleats?
One of the most telling differences between softball and baseball cleats is their patterns. Both baseball and softball cleats have toe spikes. These are crucial for the games as the players need support while they sprint to the bases. Having said that, baseball and softball cleats are specially made to ensure better runs.
However, Baseball and Softball cleats also differ in terms of the material used, stud length, toe drag, and the type of cleats, among a few.
For starters, the toe box refers to the space allotted for your toes. Baseball cleats usually have a wider toebox than softball cleats as the former is meant to be worn by men. For better play performance, better to follow the standard: softball cleats for softball, and baseball cleats for baseball.
Metal cleats are commonly used in both baseball and softball, and should not be more than ¾ inches. However, cleats used by softball players should have rectangular spikes. On the other hand, baseball cleats can be round or any other shape.
Two different legal bodies regulate the use of cleats in various leagues. For example, only professional players are allowed to use metal cleats. There is also a rule introduced back in 2011 regarding the spikes’ measurements used by softball players. These kinds of restrictions help on improving the overall playing experience and ensure fairness in every game.
Type of Cleats
One of the most popular types of cleats used by baseball and softball players in the molded cleats. Metal and interchangeable cleats are also widely used. The use of these cleats depends on the player’s age and experience. Metal cleats are not allowed to be used by young league players and instead only used by professionals.
If the youngster does buy the metal cleats, likely, it won’t be allowed for use as per league regulations. That is why you should be aware of the league guidelines so you know the right type of cleats to buy and use. And then there are also cleats made from leather and synthetic materials. Leather is more durable, but synthetic cleats are said to perform better especially on wet grounds and other unfavorable conditions.
How High or Low
Generally, there is freedom when it comes to choosing between high or low-cut cleats in baseball and softball. However, using whether high or low cut cleats depends on the person. If the player has ankle issues, he may opt to use the high cut type and heavy kind of cleats. Then again, you need to check with the league guidelines regarding the type of cleats allowed to use and avoid mishaps later on.
Choice of Stud
When choosing the stud in playing either baseball or softball, best to consider the condition of the playing field. If the players are playing in generally unfavorable conditions, it is best to opt for cleats with longer studs. Otherwise, they can use the shorter ones if the playing conditions are good.
How to Pick Out Baseball Cleats?
Can Softball Players Wear Baseball Cleats?
The short answer is yes. Those who play softball can also wear baseball cleats. However, you should also check the required size, position, and other league rules before playing on the field using baseball cleats.
As mentioned, baseball cleats are specially made to be used by men. So if you are a female baseball player, better get one size down than your usual size. More importantly, you should consider the right cleat fit. Baseball cleats are usually wider, so if you have narrow feet, you can opt for the softball cleats instead for more comfort.
Wearing softball or baseball cleats depend on the position. Baseball pitchers have a different pattern in moving than their softball counterparts. So, make sure to choose the right cleats depending on the position you are playing.
The softball league generally allows metal cleats albeit they should be rectangular and measures not more than ¾ inches. You can also wear baseball cleats provided that you follow the specific measurements as per league regulations.
Types of Baseball Cleats
Before starting your career as a softball or baseball player, make sure to check the right shoes to use. There are also different types of baseball cleats, which are the following.
Molded cleats are generally safe to use and to play on. This footwear is great for young players as it is also durable and offers great support in every play.
This type of cleats is considered the best choice for professional baseball players. It provides a stable grip on the ground while running around the play area.
Meanwhile, interchangeable is considered the most versatile cleat choice of them all. These are often worn by young league players if they are using the molded variant. It can also be worn by professionals if they are using molded or metal cleats.
Types of Softball Cleats
Meanwhile, here are the following cleats often used in softball, or simply someone looking for cleats.
Turf cleats are top of mind if you are going to use them in softball tournaments and training. They may not provide the best grip, but these cleats are also great both for professional and youth league players as far as comfort is concerned.
Molded softball cleats are widely used in softball leagues and are known for their shape, durability, and slides.
Similarities of Baseball and Softball Cleats
Generally, they are the same thing. Baseball cleats can be worn by women provided that they choose one size lower than their usual size. On the other hand, men can wear softball cleats but would have to choose one size up their usual size and make sure that they have narrow feet. Otherwise, they have to wear baseball cleats. Both baseball and softball cleats also have the same cleat pattern.
High Baseball Cleats vs. Low Softball Cleats
On the other hand, these two also have some differences and proper use in terms of comfort and position.
In terms of comfort, low-cut cleats are more comfortable than their high-cut counterpart. It also offers ample space for flexibility and more free to move around.
Using whether high or low cleats also depends on the position you are playing. For example, high-cut cleats are an idea for players with their ankles prone to strains and injuries. For speed, players should opt for low-cut cleats.
Between the two types of cleats, the high-top cleats offer protection from ankle injuries.
Baseball Cleat Sizing for Softball Players
As already mentioned, baseball cleats are wider than softball as the former is specifically made to be used by men. That is why you would need to adjust your size if you are a female and wants to wear a baseball cleat. The same applies to men who want to wear softball cleats.
What type of cleats is best for softball?
For off-field practice, experts suggest wearing turf/training cleats as it is more comfortable to wear and move around than the usual cleat. Baseball pitchers should better wear cleats with a reinforced toe box and one with a low-top. For infielders and outfielders, it is best to wear metal cleats.
Are metal or plastic cleats better for softball?
Each cleat type has its benefits. For example, rubber cleats offer a strong and effective performance on the field. On the other hand, metal cleats offer more optimum traction than rubber cleats. In terms of price, metal cleats are more costly than rubber. So if you are a beginner at softball, you can start by using rubber cleats. Then again, you should check the league regulations first before using especially metal cleats as some leagues do not allow its use.
Softball and baseball have the same playing technique, hence the same type of cleats players use. Choosing cleats is not as complicated as you think. It all depends on the comfort level, the position you are playing, and the league regulations.