The nostalgia connected with spending your youth on a baseball diamond is one of those cliches that’s hard to escape, but for good reason. With thirteen million people picking up a ball and bat in America last year, it’s clear to see that America’s favorite pastime is still holding strong.
The last thing you want to see is your kiddo get hurt while playing which is why it’s important for them to have the right equipment from helmets to cleats. Read on to learn about what you need to keep in mind when choosing the best youth baseball cleats for your kids.
Top 5 Best Youth Baseball Cleats of 2018
Here are our reviews of the best youth baseball cleats of 2018.
This option from Under Armour is made from synthetic leather with rubber cleats. One of the major benefits is the mesh tongue which helps to keep your feet cool. We also like that the EVA midsole gives an even weight distribution across the foot.
The only con that we found is that they have a narrow fit which would make them uncomfortable with players with wide feet.
These Nike youth baseball cleats have been taking the market by storm. They’re made from synthetic leather with rubber cleats and also feature both a mesh tongue and collar. This make is popular with young kids as there’s a sockliner which gives a bit of extra cushioning.
Made to be as close to a running shoe as possible, this design by New Balance is set apart by its lightweight design. They’re made from synthetic leather and have metal cleats. These cleats also have an insert at the front to protect your feet from balls or collisions. The New Balance youth baseball cleats are made of mesh materials to improve breathability.
One of the best-priced options on the market, Mizuno’s 9-spike style offers excellent traction. These cleats are made from synthetic material and durable rubber studs. They’re also optimized for comfort with extra padding in the tongue.
One of the newer entrants to the market, these are very affordably priced considering the brand and materials used. They are made of a high-quality nubuck leather on top with a synthetic toe overlay. The entire show is constructed with performance in mind, further enhanced by the rubber outsoles.
Why do Kids Need Quality Cleats?
The main reason to get a proper pair of cleats is for safety and protection. Having the right kind of shoes helps prevent common baseball injuries like ankle rolls or sprains. Furthermore, having shoes that are tightly laced and a toe guard give additional support and prevent injuries.
The second reason for getting cleats is comfort. Baseball requires a lot of sudden starts and stops and your kids will have a lot more fun when they’re in shoes that are built specifically for baseball.
For sure, kids can play a quick game of pick up baseball in their everyday shoes but if they’re interested enough to join a league, it’s worth outfitting them with a sturdy and well-fitting pair of cleats.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Youth Baseball Cleats
As much as we wish that we could give you one suggestion for the best youth cleats on the market, the fact is, it depends on a range of factors. You and your child need to sit down and decide the following before you purchase a new pair of cleats.
The material your cleats are made out of affects the flexibility and durability of the shoes. Generally, baseball cleats are made of genuine or synthetic leather and each has pros and cons.
The benefits of genuine leather cleats are that they’re more breathable and durable than their counterparts, however, they are also more expensive.
Synthetic leather gives the advantage of extra support around the front of the foot and ankle and benefits from a lower price point. Ultimately, comfort should be your primary focus so it’s a good idea to try out both materials.
Types of Cleats
So once you’ve sorted out the material of the shoe, the next thing is looking at the material of the cleats themselves. It’s worth noting that some lower levels do not allow metal cleats so be sure to check with your league bylaws or child’s coach before making a purchase.
Baseball shoes fit into three categories; metal cleats, molded plastic cleats and turf shoes.
- Metal cleats mean business. They give the best traction and make it easy to start quickly and stop on a dime. The other side of having a strong grip, however, is that you need to get used to them otherwise a sudden change in direction can lead to a turned ankle. If you opt for metal cleats, be sure that your son or daughter always packs a spare pair of shoes since metal cleats wear down very quickly if used on cement.
- Molded plastic or rubber cleats are the most versatile. They have a weaker grip compared to metal cleats, but this is actually preferred by many players, especially if they play on soft or muddy fields. They’re also a cheaper option than metal cleats and longer-lasting.
- Turf shoes are really better-suited to practice as opposed to games and would be something you purchase in addition to either of the options above.
There are three different options for ankle support in baseball shoes; high tops, mid tops or low tops.
- High tops cover the ankle giving the most support but can also restrict movement.
- Low tops are preferred for players who prioritize speed over stability.
- Finally, mid tops are a good option for players looking to balance mobility but still have some ankle support.
Along with comfort, if your kids play a specific position, that will impact their preferred style of ankle support. I know as a parent, you’re leaning towards the high tops, but for infielders, lower and lighter cleats are better.
We understand when parents are leery of buying their young children expensive shoes. Since their feet are growing so quickly, shoes are unlikely to last more than a single season. If you have a tight budget, it’s worth trying out cleats that give a bit of extra toe room so your kids can grow into them and wear them for two seasons instead of just one.