Cleats started off in the most royal of places - the King’s feet. King Henry the VIII’s had his made for the game of soccer. While it was a simple enough construction with leather and studs, it paved the way for the more modern creations that we have today. Through the years, cleats have had several transformations, while branching out to different sports, including baseball.
The very first official baseball cleats that were marketed as such were sold by Waldo Claflin. The shoes he sold were created out of leather with steel plates built into the pair. Players then adapted these for major league baseball. Since then, development after development followed suit. Several brands also came up with their own set of collections containing numerous technologies geared toward a better experience on the diamond.
Adidas, Nike, New Balance, these are just some of the brands that have created top-notch metal baseball cleats which have been used by professional baseballers. Each brand has its own set of shoe technologies to up that diamond game. Boost, Bounce, Zoom technology are just a few of the tech innovations infused into baseball shoes.
Player collaborations are also a common sight in baseball as it allows the brand first-hand feedback for wearers. This, in turn, creates cleats tailor-fitted for baseballers by experts, so to speak. Here are some of the notable baseball brands in the market today:
Branching out into baseball cleat creation must have been a seamless process for the German-brand, considering their football roots. Having the same foundation as soccer cleats, it does not surprise that baseball shoes are somewhat similar to soccer shoes.
Adidas metal baseball cleat technologies
Over the years, Adidas has been able to innovate in terms of baseball shoe construction. Here are some of the innovations found in Adidas metal baseball cleats:
- Bounce. Bounce technology has been described as similar to Boost. It is designed to provide cushioning while delivering responsiveness. In comparison to Boost, this material is said to be a tad firmer. The metal baseball cleat model with this technology include the Adidas Icon V Bounce, the Adidas Icon V Bounce Mid, as well as the Adidas Icon V models.
- Litestrike EVA. While it is designed to be extremely light, Litestrike does not compromise cushioning. The material creates a balance of lightweight cushioning and responsiveness. The models that bear this innovation include the Adidas Afterburner 6 and the Adizero Afterburner V.
- Ironskin toe cap. The Three Stripes has come up with a feature that increases durability - especially for the toe area. Metal cleats with Ironskin includes the Adidas Afterburner V baseball cleats.
- Sprintframe plate. Lightweight and supportive, Sprintframe acts as midfoot chassis. The fluid design of bridges inspires this innovation. The Adidas metal baseball cleat models with this technology include Adizero Afterburner V.
Athletes and Adidas metal baseball cleats
Here are some of the baseball stars found sporting a pair of Adidas metal baseball cleats:
- Aaron Judge - Adidas Icon Bounce V
- Alex Bregman - Adidas Adizero Afterburner 5, Adidas Adizero Afterburner 6
- Kris Bryant - Adidas Icon
- JD Martinez - Adidas Icon Bounce V
- Josh Harrison - Adidas Afterburner 6
- Marcus Stroman - Adidas Icon Bounce 4
The American brand is not one to be left out in shoe innovation. This is true enough when Nike branched out into baseball cleat construction. Integrating some of the shoe technologies that the brand has created throughout the years, theirs is a collection of baseball shoes that help up the ante when it comes to performance. Here are some of the technologies found in Nike metal baseball cleats:
Nike metal baseball cleat technologies
Here some of the shoe innovations incorporated into Nike metal baseball cleats:
- Nike Zoom technology. This technology ensures a decent distribution of impact across the heel and forefoot areas. Additionally, with each step taken, the material snaps back immediately, creating a responsive experience for the wearer. The Nike metal baseball cleats with this technology include the Nike Force Zoom Trout 6, the Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Low, and the Nike Force Zoom Trout 5 baseball shoe models.
- Lunarlon foam. Inspired by astronauts walking on the moon, Lunarlon promises just the same experience when walking on the moon. This foam-based cushioning system delivers a lightweight feel while maximizing responsiveness. The Nike metal baseball shoe model with this technology includes the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout model.
Athletes and Nike metal baseball cleats
Here are some of the professional baseball players who have sported Nike metal baseball cleats in the diamond:
- Mike Trout - Nike Zoom Trout 4, Nike Force Zoom Trout 5, Nike Force Zoom Trout 6,
- Gary Sanchez - Nike Alpha Huarache Elite Low, Nike Zoom Trout 4, Nike Huarache 2K
- George Springer - Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2, Nike Air Huarache Low, Nike Air Huarache 2K Filth
- Didi Gregorius - Nike Alpha Huarache Elite, Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Mid, Nike Huarache 2KFilth
- Nolan Arenado - Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2, Nike Alpha Huarache Elite Mid, Nike Vapor Ultrafly
- Jose Ramirez - Nike Vapor Ultrafly Elite 2
- Nelson Cruz - Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Mid
- Pete Alonso - Nike Force Elite, Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2
- Cody Bellinger - Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2
The attention and innovation skills of the then- 24-year-old Kevin Plank literally paid off as the Under Armour brand reached new heights as it entered the global market. Considering the door-to-door start of the young entrepreneur, the brand has achieved enormous growth. UA has not stayed in just sportswear either as it has also branched out into footwear construction. This includes the development of baseball cleats.
Under Armour metal baseball cleat technologies
Here is a notable Under Armour technology found in most of their metal baseball cleats:
- Charged Cushioning. As with the name, this technology both targets comfortable cushioning while doubling down on responsiveness. As more energy is given for every step, more energy is returned. The metal baseball cleats from Under Armour with this technology include the Under Armour Yard Low ST and the Under Armour Icon Yard Low ST.
Athletes and Under Armour metal baseball cleats
Here are some of the Major League baseballers sporting metal baseball cleats from Under Armour:
- Bryce Harper - Under Armour Harper 2, Under Armour Harper 3 Low, Under Armour Harper 4
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - Under Armour Yard
- Dee Gordon - Under Armour Yard
- Matt Olson - Under Armour Yard
- Christian Yelich - Under Armour Yard
- Juan Soto - Under Armour Yard
With the unlikeliest of inspirations (chicken’s feet), the New Balance brand has gotten something right. The three-pronged anatomy of the brand’s muse has proven to be a brilliant idea as wearers everywhere continue to buy this American company’s products. As this over a century-old company has its roots buried deep within the footwear industry, the brand also branched out into other forms of footwear aside from its running shoe roots. This includes branching out into the creation of baseball cleats.
New Balance metal baseball cleat technologies
Here are some of the notable technologies from the New Balance brand:
- Fresh Foam. This foam-based midsole system is designed to bring a smooth ride for its wearers. The New Balance cleats with metal studs that hold this technology include the New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 and the New Balance Fresh Foam Mid-Cut 3000v4 shoes.
- Fuelcell. Fuelcell technology is a lightweight cushioning system that creates a lightweight sensation for the wearer while allowing better propulsion.
Athletes and New Balance metal baseball cleats
- Alex Bregman - New Balance 4040v4
- Yoenis Cespedes - New Balance 3000v3
- Evan Longoria - New Balance 3000
- Brock Holt - New Balance 4040v2
- Jose Bautista - New Balance 4040v2
- DJ LeMahieu - New Balance 4040v4 Mid
- Xander Bogaerts - New Balance 4040v2
- Nick Swisher - New Balance 4040v2
- Ronald Acuna - New Balance 3000v4, New Balance 4040v5 Mid, New Balance 4040v5
- Jose Altuve - New Balance 4040v4, New Balance 4040v5, New Balance 3000v2,
- Francisco Lindor - New Balance 4040v3, New Balance 3000v3, New Balance COMPv1
Metal baseball cleats vs. Molded baseball cleats vs. Turf Trainers
Each type has its own set of benefits as well as downsides. While none is superior to the other, ultimately, the bottom line depends on which works the best given the circumstance.
With metal baseball cleats, they are the cleat of choice for professionals as the thin metal spikes effectively penetrate the ground, creating traction and stability. They provide maximum grip as the wearer sprints as well as when he slows down. Although notably, this cleat type is more expensive than the molded ones.
For molded baseball cleats, they can be worn on most surfaces, including concrete without much abrasion. The outsole for these cleats is commonly created from highly durable materials. TPU is a common element used for molded cleats. They are also less expensive than metal cleats and are ideal for soft or muddy ground.
Lastly, turf trainers are worn because of their comfort. Commonly used for training or practices, they allow the foot to be close to the ground while keeping the possibility of injuries to a minimum. They are best worn on artificial turf as they provide enough grip and traction.
Frequently asked questions
Why do professional baseballers prefer metal cleats?
Metal cleats have long been a favorite by professional baseball players, and for a good reason. Due to the thin design of metal spikes, it can penetrate the ground, creating a more stable feel. It is important to note, however, that metal cleats are slightly more expensive than molded cleats.
Can one wear metal baseball cleats on concrete surfaces?
It is not advisable to use your metal cleats on concrete surfaces as it can wear out the material. This makes it less effective for the cleat to grip the dirt in the infield.
What is the difference between metal baseball cleats and soccer soft ground cleats?
While both sports make use of metal studs in their setup, there’s a distinct difference in their design. Soccer, for one, makes use of removable conical studs. This allows the players to change their studs and avoid gathering mud/ dirt in the outsole. The ones used for baseball, on the other hand, use studs that are long and thin, which can easily penetrate the infield. It also affords the player a more stable feel.
What is the best way to take care of one’s baseball cleats?
After every game, it is best to remove your cleats on the dugout and avoid using the pair on concrete surfaces. It is also best to get rid of excess dirt that stuck into the outsole by knocking the cleats together. When cleaning, scrub the pair with an old toothbrush. To get rid of any residual dirt, clean the area with some detergent and water. To rinse, use an old washcloth dipped in warm water. Allow the pair to dry at room temperature. Additionally, it is best not to store them wet to avoid odors.
13 best metal baseball cleats
- Under Armour Yard Low ST
- Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Low
- New Balance 4040v4
- Adidas Icon Bounce
- Adidas Boost Icon 4
- Adizero Afterburner V
- Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Mid
- Under Armour Harper 3 Low ST LE
- Adidas Adizero Afterburner 5
- Adidas Afterburner 6
- Adidas Poweralley 4
- Adizero Afterburner 6
- Nike Force Zoom Trout 5
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