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History of baseball cleats
The recorded history of cleats goes as far back to the reign of King Henry VIII. Created out of leather and metal studs, the King’s cleats were made for soccer. Decades of experimentation led to more innovative creations, elevating the experience and performance on the field.
Among such innovations are the development of new shoe materials. In the case of baseball shoes, the use of plastics or rubber became the new trend. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance are just some of the most influential producers of notable baseball shoes.
What are molded baseball cleats?
Made of rubber or plastic, molded baseball cleats feature studs that are embedded in the soleplate. This type of spike delivers stability and can be used on most surfaces without wearing down.
Molded baseball cleats are less expensive than those baseball shoes with metal studs. These cleats are also ideal for soft and/ muddy surfaces. Some of the most notable molded cleats are the Adidas PowerAlley 4, the New Balance 2000 MCS, the Under Armour Yard Mid, as well as the Nike Force Trout 5 Pro MCS.
Which is better: Molded baseball cleats vs Metal baseball cleats?
Each type of cleat has its own set of pros and cons. Molded baseball cleats are generally less expensive and more versatile in terms of what surface you can use them on. They are also ideal for soft or muddy grounds as they do not pick as much dirt. In terms of durability, molded spikes also tend to last several seasons. The grip provided by this cleat type, however, is not as strong as that by metal ones.
As for metal cleats, they are more expensive than the standard molded baseball shoes. They are also the cleat of choice for professional baseballers as they provide optimal traction and grip in the infield. The thin metal studs can dig into the dirt, which provides the necessary grip for sprinting or slowing down. Although, the grip’s strength could be a downside at times as it can also be a cause for injury, especially during a sudden change of direction.
Technologies found in molded baseball cleats
It’s necessary for brands in a competitive market to keep the innovation engines churning. Throughout the years, top baseball shoe companies did just that. Here are some of the technologies found in molded baseball cleats:
Ironskin toe. As the toe is a high-abrasion area for baseball, Adidas came up with Ironskin toe technology. This overlay increases the durability of each pair. The molded baseball cleat models with this technology include the Adidas PowerAlley 4 and the Adidas Icon Bounce TPU.
Litesrike EVA. Created EVA, this technology is a common feature among cleats. This element delivers cushioning while creating rebound for the wearer. This technology is Adidas PowerAlley 4 is one of the Swoosh models carrying this technology.
Bounce. Comparable to Boost technology, Bounce has been developed by the Swoosh to provide responsive cushioning to their cleats. This technology provides stability for one’s strides and heel strikes. Other shoe types, including trainers, makes use of this innovation. The Adidas molded baseball cleat model with this technology includes the Adidas Icon V Bounce TPU.
Synthetic. Synthetic uppers are a common sight among baseball cleats. The material provides the wearer support in the forefoot, mid and ankle areas. They are also generally less expensive than their genuine leather counterparts. The Nike Force Trout 6 Pro MCS molded baseball cleat has this upper.
TPU plate. There’s a good reason why TPU is a common feature among cleats. The element has durability and makes for a lightweight soleplate. The model with this type of plate includes the Nike Force Trout 5 Pro molded baseball cleat.
Fresh Foam. Taking notes from the 3D printing process, Fresh Foam technology dissects the standard midsole into three separate materials. The resulting product is a foam that delivers a stable and neutral ride for its wearers. This material can also be applied in running shoes. The New Balance molded baseball cleat model with this innovation includes the New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4.
Revlite midsole. Revlite technology has been designed by New Balance to be 30% lighter than the standard foam. It is also designed to bring optimal responsiveness while aiding performance. The New Balance model with this midsole is the NB 4040v5 Mid-cut TPU molded baseball cleat.
12 best molded plastic baseball cleats
- Nike Vapor Ultrafly 2 Keystone
- Adidas Icon Bounce TPU
- Under Armour Leadoff Low RM
- New Balance COMPv1
- New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4
- Nike Force Zoom Trout 5 Pro
- Nike Alpha Huarache Varsity Low MCS
- New Balance 4040V5 Tpu
- Nike Hyperdiamond 2 Pro MCS
- Nike Force Trout 5 Pro MCS
- Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Franchise 9 Mid Molded
- Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Low MCS
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