Baseball is an energy-demanding sport with a need for players to be as fit as possible in all aspects of the game, psychologically and physically. Physical fitness comes down to how well a player is training as well as the gear they wear.
For instance, you have to know how to choose baseball cleats that not only fit you the best but also those that are optimized to give a good performance. Consequently, you just do not hit the store and pick a pair of any other of the best baseball cleats.
There are several factors that you need to keep in mind. Some of the most important considerations could feature the following:
1. Material and Construction
How baseball cleats are made is an exhausting process that demands both machine and hands-on human work. This highlights the importance of taking care of your cleats and also making the right choice when buying a pair. While there could be several ways through which baseball cleats are made, there are only two materials, synthetic leather, and original leather.
· Original Leather
The original leather is extracted from animal skins such as bulls or oxen. This is arguably the most durable material, and of course, it yields more expensive cleats. However, its value is worth the expensive prices.
Comparing it to the other material, original leather is more durable and breathable. Moreover, it is more malleable and flexible than its competitor. If you want to learn how to hit a baseball harder and farther, some original leather cleats could come in handy.
· Synthetic Leather Cleats
Synthetic leather is made from different polymeric materials such as polyester, PVC, polyurethane, among others. Cleats made out of these materials are relatively cheaper than those made of the original leather. This, however, does not mean they do not offer good performance.
How well you use them will always contribute to their durability and long service life. If you are running on a short budget, these cleats will serve you just right. They are also optimized to offer the best performance on the pitch.
Comparing them to their competitors might not stand a chance, but they still can gain respect on account of good foot support. The quality of these cleats comes down to the type of synthetic material used on them and also the owner brand. Brands such as Nike and adidas are known to produce some pretty incredible synthetic leather baseball cleat options.
While your budget may pull you down to the level of synthetic cleats, it is imperative to focus on what a specific shoe is providing. If a synthetic leather pair of cleats caters to all your needs, the budget might not be a determinant. How to choose baseball cleats is more than getting the most expensive or cheapest pair on the shelf but majorly what offers the best performance.
Related: Best Bats For Youth Baseball
2. Tarsus Supporting Sole Thickness
When doing those how to hit a baseball farther workouts or even during a match, the thickness of the tarsus supporting sole is of the essence. You have to choose the right or rather the thickness you are most comfortable with. The thickness of the sole comes in the following categories low tops, mid-tops, and high tops.
· High Tops
High tops are the thickest of all the three cleats categories. They are generally heavier than the rest and higher than the rest and keep the ankles extended up. While practicing how to hit a baseball harder and farther or when making those lethal moves in the game, this is the best option.
High top’s only downside is that it poses a problem when making forward straight moves. However, they are very safe and secure the ankles accordingly.
· Mid Tops
Mid tops have a medium sole thickness and are an intermediary of the three categories. They are known to support quicker and more flawless moves; hence are highly recommended for ballplayers and pitchers.
· Low Tops
As the name suggests, low tops are the cleats with the lowest and minimum thickness tarsus sole. These are the least stable baseball cleats you can ever purchase and the fastest of the three categories. They are the ideal selection for those lateral and straight movements; you can easily and speedily cut across the pitch with them.
Size is another critical consideration of how-to choose baseball cleats affair. For the simplest reason possible, it is impossible to play with toe-biting cleats or over-sized cleats. The results will be unappealing, and an injury could also be part of it. Large-sized cleats will make it hard to handle the ball and find balance, while small ones could cause blisters and discomfiture.
The how to choose baseball cleats endeavor dictates that you choose a perfectly fitting pair with a quarter-inch spacing between your toes and the cleats’ front edge. Moreover, it is imperative to choose a pair that hugs your feet slightly tighter since they are bound to become loose after some time.
4. Types of Cleats
Cleats are categorized into types on account of the underlying part that touches the ground. The types of baseball cleats include the following: metal cleats, molded cleats, turf cleats, and interchangeable cleats.
· Metal Cleats
Metal cleats are arguably the most common type of cleats available in the market today. Most players prefer to use them but are considered more dangerous and likely to incur injuries to other players on the pitch. Consequently, most amateur and youth leagues do not allow this type of cleats.
However, they are way lighter than other types and offer the best traction on the pitch. They are more stable and are a recipe for optimized player performance.
· Molded Cleats
Molded cleats are very popular in youth and amateur leagues. These are made from plastic with added rubber studs for stability and traction. They are very durable and offer good performance in all parts of the field.
These cleats are not only safe for other players on the pitch but also offer extra protection to their wearer when running base or sliding. Molded cleats are also light in weight and very comfortable.
· Turf Cleats
During those how-to-hit a baseball farther workouts, turf cleats are your best shot. These are considered the best training baseball cleats available but can also deliver good performance during an amateur match. They are very comfortable but offer the least grip than other types, hence, cannot be used in professional matches. If you are a beginner or looking to perfect your baseball skills, a pair of turf cleats is an ideal choice.
· Interchangeable Cleats
Interchangeable cleats allow you to change your cleats as you please. If you are looking to test between molded and metal cleats to determine your best fit, interchangeable cleats come in handy. The cleats are screwed to the base so you can unscrew them and interchange them accordingly.
This type is relatively heavier than others, and while it might deliver good performance, it can be a limitation if you are looking for speed. If you intend to make those dashes and runs across the pitch, this might not be your best option.
Related: What Are Baseball Position Numbers?
How to Choose Baseball Cleats Based on Positional Plays
You can also choose cleats based on your position on the pitch. Each position comes with different roles that could be significantly influenced by the type of cleat you wear. These types of cleats come with features best suited for those specific positions. Based on your position, you can purchase the following type of baseball cleats:
As an infielder, you have to get the perfect shoes for the current pitch condition. If the pitch is wet, dense, and compact, molded cleats would be the ideal selection. However, if the ground is graveled or sandy, you should choose metal cleats. These are likely to offer better traction and stability.
As an outfielder, a lot is expected of you, and your role could be influenced by the type of cleats you choose to wear. If the ground is all graveled or freshly made, metal cleats would come in handy.
However, you should avoid these cleats if the ground is grassy and rather choose molded cleats. The ground is always the determinant of the type of cleat you wear as an outfielder.
Pitchers are the ideal demonstrators of how to hit a baseball harder and farther. They are required to throw the ball as fast and as far as possible. Their role demands maximum stability and traction as well as a heavier base.
Consequently, low-top metal cleats are the most preferable for this role. These have a heavy base and are considerably more stable than any other type of cleat.
Pitchers should also look for shoes with reinforced toes. When making those throws, they are likely to drag the toe part after pushing off the mold, causing this part to wear off. To add longevity, the best type of shoes should be reinforced.
Baseball cleats are among the most critical parts of the wear. It contributes to a player’s fitness and overall good performance on the field. If the cleats are comfortable and enhanced to perform well, the player will also perform well. They need to support speed, fit well, offer comfort as well as optimize good performance.
Featured Image: Unsplash