The Importance of Baseball Cleats and How to Choose Them
At every level, the baseball uniform remains relatively similar. There is a jersey that helps to show which team you play for, pants that are durable for the various movements that you will make in the field, at the plate and on the basepaths, and the baseball cap that helps to shield your eyes and again, signal who you play for and represent on the field.
There is one other part of the uniform that may be overlooked to some degree. Baseball cleats are another part of the uniform that serves an important purpose. There are many reasons you should have cleats, especially if you are buying them for a child who is still learning and growing within the game.
Today, we will review the importance of baseball cleats and help you choose the right ones for you with the help of HB Sports, home of New Balance cleats.
The History of Cleats Before understanding the importance of cleats, you should know the long history of cleats dating back to before their use in baseball. Cleats offer the rare advantage that they offer both protection and safety to the athlete while also providing an athletic advantage. Cleats are hardly exclusive to baseball in this case. You have likely seen many other sports where the use of cleats is a necessity.
The earlier origin of this goes all the way back to Greek and Roman times when leather shoes with spikes were used in sports like golf. The first known documentation of cleats in a sports setting was in the 1500s when King Henry VIII ordered that “football boots” containing studs on them, were used in soccer.
It wasn’t until the 1860s when soccer-style cleats were first used in a baseball game. From that first use, there were more innovations made to adapt cleats to be made for the motions within the game of baseball. The earliest cleats in baseball had studs that detached from the shoe. By the 1880s, cleats started to come with built-in studs.
Over time, cleats for baseball evolved as playing surfaces changed to include artificial turf. Players would prefer a shorter stud for games played on turf and longer studs for games played on natural grass.
Today, we really can’t picture a baseball game or seeing a professional baseball player without cleats. It has become a traditional part of the uniform and while it is a standard part of the baseball equipment used in games, there are still innovations being made to allow for better motion, comfort and protection of baseball players all over the world.
Why Baseball Cleats are So Important There are three main reasons why baseball cleats are so important: grip, comfort and protection. Let’s take a closer look at all three of these benefits.
Baseball involves a lot of quick movements that need to made within a split second. Think about how a shortstop may have to range to his left or right to make a play on a ground ball or how a baserunner breaks to steal second base. These motions are very reactionary and require seamless movement. When wearing cleats, you can make these movements look and feel smoother because of the added grip. Every step is important in baseball, especially if you are trying to make a play. An explosive first step can be the difference between making a catch or watching the ball sail past you or stealing a base or being thrown out on the basepaths. With more grip comes more speed and you can make plays with much more decisive motion.
Next is the comfort that cleats can provide. All shoes are different and if you are going to be on your feet for long periods of time, like you are when you stand in the field, at the plate or on the bases, you need to feel comfortable in your cleats. Even when you are moving, your feet can take a real beating with the amount of movement that is involved. Like we said earlier, an explosive first step is important, but the slightest misstep or awkward movement can lead to potential injury. With the right cleats helping you to feel comfortable at all times in the field, you can take that first step with confidence and really feel good for the entire game.
Finally, there is the improvement they can make to your overall game as a source of protection. If you are playing baseball competitively, not wearing cleats can lead to a serious injury. Depending on the surface you are playing on, you need cleats to help you maintain the balance and grip you need to make plays consistently. You should definitely do some research when buying cleats for yourself or for your children. Get to know what kind of playing surface you will be playing on. For kids, you should avoid the metal cleats for a while and stick to rubber cleats that make for much more grip. When you have the grip you need, you can perform better. You get better footing at the plate to plant and add power to your swing. You can make better plays in the field because you have more balance in your steps. You can be more effective running the bases with less chance to slip and lose your balance. No matter what position you play, you can see your performance improve just by wearing the right footwear.
How to Choose Baseball Cleats With an understanding of why cleats are so important, you still have to pick out the ones that are right for you. Making a choice can be difficult too since there are so many different options available.
First, there are a number of brands you can research. At HB Sports, you will find a great selection of New Balance cleats that can help you get the best grip and keep your feet protected and comfortable as you play the game. There are certain components you have to consider when buying cleats.
Material - Most baseball cleats are made from mesh or synthetic leather material. The reason for this is because the material allows for breathability and can resist a lot of the elements that can come with playing any outdoor sport. One of the ways you feel the most comfortable when wearing cleats is having breathability so that you don’t feel like you are overheating or uncomfortable. Additionally, the material used is very durable so that it not only stands up to the elements, but also can handle the constant movements that go with the game of baseball. You want to have cleats that don’t fall apart easily after a few times sliding, diving and lunging around the diamond.
Cleat Type - When buying cleats, a big decision you will make is the type of cleat to buy. In some cases, certain leagues will have requirements on cleats that can be used, for example, in youth leagues, cleats with rubber molds are commonly required. You can choose molded cleats, made with non-removable rubber studs that work on almost any surface, TPU/MCS cleats that use a harder plastic material for the spike pattern, metal cleats that offer more traction and grip when running or turf cleats or training cleats that work best when playing on artificial turf by giving you even more grip.
Height - The height of the cleats you choose is also dependent on comfort. You can choose low-top cleats that are lightweight and ideal for players who need to make speed a priority in their game. While you get the better speed, you don’t have as much support on the ankles. If you choose mid or high-top cleats, you get a lot of stability and comfort from the fit of the cleats, but you lose some of the lightweight nature of the cleat and the speed that can come with. It all depends on what your preference is and how you want to be able to move and the comfort you require when wearing cleats.
For everything you need to get from New Balance cleats to baseball equipment like bats, fielding gloves and batting gloves to other apparel and equipment bags, the place to go is HB Sports.
When it comes to cleats, HB Sports has a great selection of New Balance cleats in a variety of sizes and colors to go with any uniform and to fit any player at any level. There is something for everyone so you can get the appropriate footwear needed to play your best at the plate, in the field and on the basepaths.
All of the equipment sold at HB Sports comes from some of the top brands in the industry and is designed to be durable and help with your performance. With the right equipment, you can see your game evolve to become more balanced. Choosing the right equipment can important to the development and growth of a player, so you want to shop for equipment at a place that can offer the best.
At HB Sports, you get the best in a lot of areas. You get great selection on all products from bats to fielding gloves to batting gloves to New Balance cleats and much more. There is something for everyone at HB Sports.
Additionally, you will find these items at a great price that is affordable. Buying equipment can be a challenge if you are looking for a bargain. Most of the time if you find one, you get what you pay for and the quality doesn’t meet your standards. At HB Sports, you are shopping for products from brands like DeMarini, Marucci, Louisville Slugger, Rawlings and more. These are top brands in the industry that have a long history of quality.
Finally, you get customer service that helps you find exactly the products you need. At HB Sports, the customer service you get provides you with one-on-one attention like you are family. We answer all of your questions and take note of all of your needs in a bat or glove and help guide you to the right purchase for you. You can rely on one of our experts to find the perfect equipment for you from the right bat to cleats that will last for years to come.
So choose to shop with HB Sports and get the experience you deserve when buying the products you need to improve your game on the field and at the plate. The right bat, glove and cleats can make a huge difference in the way you perform and how you grow as a player. You want to buy your gear from a place that puts the focus on helping you get the right equipment to become that better player. That place for you is HB Sports and with a large selection and great prices, it will make your purchases for all of the equipment you need a home run.
- Christopher Bastien