Youth baseball players need a pair of cleats that provide the traction, stability, and comfort needed to handle the explosive movements and quick turns that are so common in the game.
Unfortunately, not all cleats are created equal, and picking out a pair of cleats for your young star can often turn into a stressful ordeal.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of youth cleats, the list we’ve compiled below will help you easily make your decision. Our picks below feature cleats that offer the comfort, durability, and traction needed, without breaking the bank.
Picking out the best youth baseball cleats is far from straightforward. It can get quite complicated as it’s dependent on many factors. On our list are baseball cleats of the biggest brands in sports – Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Mizuno, New Balance, and more.
What to Consider When Choosing The Best Youth Baseball Cleats
The cleats you buy for your child go a long way towards improving their performance on the pitch. Cheap, poor quality cleats may cause discomfort or injury, and may not even last the season.
While making a choice may be difficult, our buying guide will provide vital information to help you narrow down the options.
The material used on your cleats determines how much they cost, and how durable they are. Baseball cleats are primarily made out of genuine or synthetic leather.
Genuine leather cleats last longer than synthetic leather cleats and are a lot more breathable and durable. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a price. Leather cleats are the more expensive option.
Synthetic leather cleats, on the other hand, are cheaper than metal cleats but are less durable.
Ultimately, comfort should always be at the back of your mind when making a choice. Try out both materials to get a feel for each one.
Types of Cleats
Next up is the type of cleat. There are 4 types of baseball/softball cleats, namely:
- Metal cleats
- Molded cleats
- Turf cleats
- Interchangeable cleats.
Metal cleats provide the best traction and make it easy to make explosive movements. They are lightweight and dig into dirt easily.
They also take some getting used to – a sudden change in direction while wearing metal cleats can cause a turned ankle.
Do not wear the cleats while walking on cement as they wear down quickly – Metal cleats are ideal for use in grass or dirt surfaces.
Molded Cleats / Plastic Cleats
Molded cleats are incredibly versatile, designed for safety and, for this reason, they make up a significant portion of all the cleats bought today.
They are widely used in youth leagues and the preferred option for players below 13 years of age due owing to the inherent safety issues brought by using metal cleats while sliding and running bases.
They are cheaper than metal cleats and can be used on many different surfaces. However, they don’t grip as well as metal cleats in compact and dense grounds.
Turf cleats are ideally worn during training sessions because they won’t ruin the training facility as metal cleats would.
They don’t provide as much traction as molded or metal cleats.
Are quite versatile because the cleats are attached to the shoe via a screw, giving players the option to use either metal cleats or molded cleats. Players can swap cleats as they see fit – Depending on field conditions or the league rules.
Ankle Support: Low-cut vs. High-cut Cleats
Different cleats have different designs – High-cut & low-cut designs. The option you choose is mostly down to preference & position.
Are the ideal cleat for a faster, agile player. Low cut cleats are lighter and provide for a greater range of motion as they don’t restrict the ankles as much as high-cut cleats.
Unfortunately, because they don’t offer a lot of ankle support, players are more likely to roll their ankles.
Take the necessary precautions by buying only the best youth baseball cleats as they are sturdier and well built. Also, have your child tape up their ankles to lower the risk of injury.
These are heavier than low-cut cleats and offer the best ankle support by limiting the range of motion so that players roll an ankle.
They are heavier than low-cut cleats owing to the additional material used but are mostly used by linemen, who need a strong and sturdy shoe. They do not travel far on during plays so the additional weight shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The cleats you choose should be comfortable for obvious reasons. Shoes that feel uncomfortable may cause discomfort, pain or even injury.
Firstly ensure you get the right fit. Measure your child’s foot when they are standing upright, bearing all their weight on the feet. Make sure you measure both feet because they sometimes tend to vary slightly in size and pick the baseball cleats that fit the larger foot.
While you may be tempted (as we all are) to buy your child larger cleats that they grow into, don’t.
Cleats shouldn’t be more than half a size larger (just enough room for a finger to fit in the heel of the shoe). This ensures that the cleats aren’t so big that they affect your child’s ability to run or play.
For the best fit, have your child try on their new cleats around midday or the end of the day when their feet are at their biggest.
Additionally let them try on their new cleats with sports socks on, to get a real feel of how the cleat would fit during a game.
Kids are always growing. The cleats you buy are unlikely to last for more than 1 season. As a result, parents are wary of spending too much money on a new pair of baseball cleats.
If your budget is tight, buy cleats that are slightly larger (never be more than half a size larger – enough to fit only a finger at the heel of the cleat).
This way your child will grow into the cleats with time, and they will last slightly longer.
Metal cleats are prohibited in most youth baseball leagues. Metal cleats, on the other hand, are permitted in high school and collegiate baseball & softball leagues.
Be sure to check with your child’s league equipment requirements to find out which cleats are permitted.
Finding the best youth baseball cleat for your young one can be a cinch if you know precisely what you’re looking for.
Additionally, read about the different brands and compare product reviews from other customers online to find out how they feel for other players.
We hope that our reviews & buyer’s guide provides the information you need to shop hassle-free.