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How to Choose Baseball or Softball Cleats

Choosing Baseball or Softball Cleats:

Being around a baseball field all day almost every day allows me to hear questions from many different people.  A lot of these questions come from parents.  An often-asked question revolves around cleats.  Below is the question.  My recommendations are by no means the rule – just a recommendation.

 Baseball cleats – at what age should my child wear them?  What are the difference between baseball cleats and ones for other sports?  What kinds are legal?  Can my kid wear the cleats I bought for football?  Why can’t he wear regular sneakers?  What are the dangers of wearing cleats? 

When your child is starting baseball practice and playing games, then they should have baseball cleats.  At a young age – rubber spike cleats only! Usually, when kids get to about 13 is when leagues start to allow metal cleats, but each league is different.  The differences between football cleats, soccer cleats and baseball cleats come down to where the manufacturer places the cleats on the bottom.  The placement of the spike tends to change depending on the sport.  At a really young age, I don’t believe it really matters.  When I was five or six, I was running around a baseball field with soccer cleats on most of the time. But as your child gets older, I would recommend buying different cleats for the different sports.

When dealing with cleats and their prices, it becomes a tricky situation.  More expensive cleats are going to last longer because they are usually better made.  But a parent has to choose between an expensive cleat that their child might grow out of in one season.  Have your son or daughter try on the shoe and see what feels good on their feet.  Every manufacturer, whether it is Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, all make their shoes differently when it comes to width and comfort level.  Please allow your son or daughter to try on the shoes and make a decision based on comfort.

Once a cleat is bought and your son or daughter has worn the shoe for a while, you might recognize the area of the ball of the big toe start to rip on one of the cleats.  Don’t fret – this is usually their drag foot and if they are a pitcher then it will happen sooner.  Every sporting goods store has a form of shoe goo that can be applied to the cleat to prolong the life of the cleat.  A couple of dollars will allow your son or daughter to finish the season without having to buy new cleats.

Lastly, please buy cleats for your son or daughter.  As parents, we have to do everything we can to allow our kids to succeed.  Playing baseball in the dirt and grass with regular sneakers will greatly diminish your kid’s ability to succeed.  They will be slip sliding all around and improvement will take longer.

Hope this information helps,

Until Next Time,



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