The New Balance brand has come a long way from its arch support roots. Known for coming up with the most brilliant ideas from the most random places, New Balance founder William Riley produced arch designs by taking inspiration from the three-pronged anatomy of a chicken’s foot. He argued that this type of design results in a more balanced sensation for the wearer. Over the years, the company had grown bigger. It was already in the business of constructing and selling takes whole footwear for different sports when it was sold off.
The company was sold to the founder’s daughter Elenor, who managed it together with her husband Paul Kidd. The duo later released their very first running shoes that feature a ripple sole; and it was called “The Trackster.” Since that release, the Boston-based firm solidified their reputation for quality footwear and has branched out to other types of footwear including high-performing baseball cleats.
In 2011, the New Balance brand was named as the official footwear provider for the Umpires of the Major League Baseball. The official umpires got outfitted with the New Balance MU450. This model carries a well-spring of innovations that include the use of full-grain leather for the upper and ABZORB technology.
The trajectory of the company is only going up from here. One can only imagine what the NB brand has in store for its patrons in the coming years.
New Balance Baseball Cleat Technologies
The New Balance brand is one of the top brands in footwear creation, and their rise to the top is no accident. Since the beginning, the Boston brand has always pushed for innovation. Their dedication led to the creation of high-performing baseball shoes that elevate the experience in the diamond. Here are some of the notable technologies from the brand:
This New Balance technology is all about lightweight functionality. This upper fuses a lightweight synthetic and a thicker layer of supportive mesh material. This no-sew construction ensures support in specific areas of the boot while maintaining a lightweight and breathable feel. The New Balance baseball cleat with this technology includes the New Balance COMPv1 baseball cleat.
The Revlite midsole technology from the brand highlights lightweight responsiveness and cushioning. This foam material provides a similar amount of responsiveness and durability of foams that are 30% heavier than it. The baseball cleat models from NB infused with this technology include the 4040v5 Hero, the New Balance 4040v5 Metal as well as the New Balance 4040v5 Pedroia TPU.
Fresh foam Midsole
The Fresh Foam technology has been a welcome addition to New Balance’s arsenal for comfort in footwear technology. The innovation is designed to minimize stud pressure while the soft foam envelops the ankle and heel areas. The New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 White Flame, as well as the New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 baseball cleats, are among the models infused with this technology.
TPU is not only found in outsoles, but the element can also be applied in the shoe’s upper. The TPU, which is used as mesh, results in a secure sensation while maintaining a decent amount of stretch. The New Balance baseball shoe models with this technology include the New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 White Flame as well as the New Balance 4040v5 Mid-Cut TPU.
Baseball Players and New Balance baseball shoes
Staying relevant to the sport is as equally important as creating high-performing baseball shoes. That’s why player collaborations are a staple in the sports industry - brands can be catapulted to the top in terms of popularity with the help of athletes. This rings true for several top baseball brands such as Nike, Adidas, and, of course, New Balance. Here are some of the athletes sponsored by the century-old brand:
The Venezuelan Major League baseballer made his debut in 2011. Given the second baseman’s six All-Star lineup inclusion and his Most Valuable Player and Hank Aaron Awards, it’s a no-brainer for the sports brand to select him. Some of the New Balance baseball cleat models sported by the athlete are the New Balance 3000v2, the New Balance 4040v5, and the New Balance 4040v4.
For a relatively recent recruit of 2018, the Venezuelan baseball outfielder found himself a sponsor for his baseball shoes quickly. Awarded as the Rookie of the year, the player has been spotted wearing several original baseball shoes from New Balance. These include the New Balance 4040v5 and the New Balance 3000v4 baseball shoes.
Another Major League baseballer who is one of New Balance’s top ambassadors is Mr. Lemahieu. The professional baseballer won several Gold Glove Awards for the years 2014, 2017, and 2018. He also was the winner of the 2016 National League batting title. After being swooped up by New Balance, he’s seen sporting NB cleats including the New Balance 4040v4 mid baseball cleats.
Dubbed as Mr. Smile, the Puerto Rican shortstop of the Cleveland Indians is one of the faces of the NB brand. Boasting a batting average of .300 in his first two MB seasons, ‘Paquito’ also earned the Gold Glove Award. Additionally, the promising athlete won his Silver Slugger Award in 2017.
Given all that, the collaboration between Mr. Lindor and the NB brand is unsurprising. The high-power New Balance baseball shoes sported by the athlete includes the New Balance La Familia Cypher 12.
Hailing from the Dominican Republic, the right fielder and third baseman who is a free agent has played for several teams in Major League baseball. These teams include the Baltimore Orioles, the Devil Rays of Tampa Bay, the Kansas City Royals, the New York Mets, and a few others. Some of the New Balance baseball cleat models sported by the player include the New Balance 4040v2 and the New Balance 4040v3 Turf shoe.
Other athletes that sported New Balance cleats include:
- Dustin Pedroia - New Balance 3000 Low
- Miguel Cabrera - New Balance 3000 Mid
- Yadier Molina - New Balance 3000v2; New Balance NB1 3000v3
- CJ Wilson - New Balance 3000v2
- Mike Napoli - New Balance 3000
- Evan Longoria - New Balance 880v3 Trainers
- Jean Segura - New balance NB 3000v2
- JJ Hardy
- Ryan Howard
- Matt Moore
Parts of a baseball cleat
The upper is commonly composed of breathable and soft materials that envelop the foot. Depending on the brand, the usual go to element is synthetics, leather or mesh. The New Balance, in particular, makes use of TPU mesh elements for some of their creations.
These areas are responsible for cushioning. While some companies create and make use of their own patented materials, the standard baseball cleat make use of foam-based materials for impact absorption and injury prevention. For New Balance, they are well-known for their Revlite cushioning technology.
The usual closure system for baseball cleats is the traditional lacing system. This closure not only provides stability, but also allows for fit personalization.
The toe cap is a feature that helps protect the potentially most vulnerable part of baseball shoes.
There are three different types of baseball shoes based on their cut or top. We have the low, mid, and high-top baseball cleats.
Low-top baseball shoes bring the highest amount of mobility as it frees up the ankle area. Although, the downside is that is does not bring as much support to the foot. This makes the player more prone to injury.
High-top baseball shoes are the complete opposite. They drive maximum support. This type, however, falls short when it comes to mobility because it tends to envelop the ankle area. The extended collar also adds more weight to the cleat.
The mid-top shoes’ collar extends just below the ankle area. While it brings support, it also does not constrict the player’s foot as much as high top shoes.
The outsole plate is created from a durable plastic material that can withstand wear and tear. The material that’s tried and tested for this type of abrasion is the TPU plastic.
For studs, these are metal, molded as well as turf. Professional metal baseball cleats are the top choice of athletes since they provide the most grip just before acceleration. For Junior League baseball, molded baseball cleats are preferred.
Frequently asked questions
How does the New Balance numbering system work?
While the numbering system for New Balance shoes looks arbitrary, the combination is actually composed of crucial information about the shoe’s style, gender, and type among others.
The combination often includes two letters, with a two to four-digit model number and two final digits. The first two letters stand for gender and shoe-type, followed by the model number. Moreover, the last two letters stand for the color of the shoe.
Additionally, a higher number generally means better quality, more advanced technologies, as well as a higher price.
Why is dirt important in baseball?
It’s weird, but dirt and mud are crucial to playing baseball right. The infield, for one, is a mix of well-measured sand, silt, and clay. The unique blend delivers the proper amount of bounce for the ball as well as traction for the player.
Additionally, it’s a well-known fact for professional baseballers (and fans alike) that a special type of mud should be rubbed on the ball before a game. Baseballers say that ‘the ball just doesn’t throw right’ without the ‘magic’ mud. The mud used by most professional teams is the Lena Blackburn Baseball rubbing mud. The chocolate-like substance is dug up from a well-hidden spot in the Delaware River.
Does the player position matter when selecting the type of baseball shoes?
Not as much. Generally, the best cleats to play in are metal baseball cleats as they effectively penetrate the turf, allowing the player stability before going for a sprint. These types of cleats are the cleat of choice for the athletes of Major League Baseball.
Since these cleats have a high propensity for injury, they are not allowed in Junior League baseball. For youth leagues, molded plastic cleats are the staple as they are inexpensive and more durable compared to baseball shoes with metal studs. For turf shoes, they are used for practice are selected for the comfort that they bring the wearer and not for their performance.
How did baseball cleats come into being?
The story of today’s shoes with studs or cleats go way back to the 1500s when King Henry VIII had his made from leather and studs. Since then the popularity of cleats just rose with the popularity of sports like football and baseball.
Perhaps the most prominent development for baseball cleats happened in the 1880s when the player Paul Butler sported DIY cleats. He made use of soccer studs on baseball cleats.
Fast forward to the 60s, the introduction of the artificial turf to baseball meant the reemergence of removable studs. For injury prevention and safety, the Major League Baseball Association banned the use of sharp metal cleats.
6 best New Balance baseball cleats
- New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 TPU
- New Balance 4040v4
- New Balance COMPv1
- New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4
- New Balance Fresh Foam 3000v4 Turf
- New Balance 4040v4 Turf
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