Category Archives: softball cleats

Features of Softball Cleats

softball-cleats

Before buying equipment for your young female athlete, it is important to understand the requirements of her sport. Softball doesn’t require as much equipment as some more intense sports. However, equipment for softball players does need to include excellent footwear.  Here are some of the features of softball cleats:

What are Cleats?
Generally, “cleats” refers to any shoe with projections on the sole. The spikes on cleats for softball have different spacing than cleats for other sports and are designed for providing the traction needed by softball players. Cleats help a player:

  • Run faster.
  • Stop more quickly.
  • Move from side-to-side more precisely.
  • Slide into base or home.

The spikes on softball cleats can be from either rubber, Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or metal. Some cleats for pitchers have a reinforced toe area to protect the pitcher’s toe. Often cleats have an attached tongue to keep debris from getting into the shoe.

Types of Cleats
The biggest difference in cleats is whether spikes are metal or molded. While metal gives more traction, it also:

  • Can be more dangerous when players slide.
  • Tends to tear up the field.
  • Are more expensive.
  • Is prohibited in some situations.

Molded cleats are made out of either TPU or plastic. While these are less expensive to buy, they need to be replaced when the studs wear down.

Which Cleats to Choose?
Because fastpitch softball is more competitive, players in college, professional and competitive leagues are generally allowed to use metal cleats in games to help them steal a base. Some high school teams allow metal spikes and others do not, so it is important to find out what is allowed for your young athlete.

Important Features to Consider in Buying Softball Cleats
When buying cleats for softball, the brand or style is less important than getting a good fit. Here are some features to consider:

  • Leather upper is more durable than synthetic but may be less flexible.
  • If color is not required by the team, a darker color will hide the dirt better.
  • Shoes with enhanced toe protection will be more durable.
  • A style with a debris-free tongue can keep dirt out of the cleats.
  • Choose a stud configuration specific to softball for best performance, traction, and stability.

Help in Choosing Softball Cleats
Do you need help in choosing the best softball cleats for your daughter?  The experts at Longstreth Sporting Goods specialize in fitting equipment and footwear for young female players.  While young players may focus more on style and color, the professionals at Longstreth can help her consider fit and how the shoe feels on her foot so that you get the shoe that most enhances her game. We also carry the best field hockey gear and lacrosse gear for your athlete.

Choosing your Softball Footwear: Turf Shoes, Metal Cleats or Molded Cleats

softball-footwear

Softball, like many other sports, is a game where inches count. Whether it is a runner beating a tag, or a pitcher painting the corner, those inches can make the difference. That is why choosing the right pair of shoes is so important to help young players do their best. Here is how to decide whether you need turf shoes, metal cleats or molded cleats:

Turf Shoes

If you are going to do indoor practice, you will need to have turf shoes. In fact, most indoor facilities prohibit cleats because they tear up the practice surface. Turf shoes:

  • Keep your feet close to the ground.
  • Give good traction indoors.

Another time that turf shoes might be worn is on artificial turf since spikes can’t grip on that surface.

Metal Cleats

Cleats are generally the choice for outdoor practice and play. By being able to dig into soft dirt infields and grass, metal cleats can give you the best traction and grip you need to either take off or slow down.  In addition, they are terrific for helping a batter to dig a toe hold so they can hit without slipping. Professional and collegiate players generally use metal softball cleats because they provide:

  • Better grip on soft surfaces.
  • Lighter weight shoes.
  • Greater durability.

However, metal cleats may not be the best choice for younger players to put in their equipment bag. Why? Metal cleats work best only on fields kept in perfect condition, which might not be the case where younger players practice and compete. Additionally, metal cleats can wear down if you aren’t careful to only wear them on grass or dirt. Most importantly, before you buy metal cleats, be sure to check your league rules, since many youth leagues don’t allow them.

Molded Cleats

Molded cleats are a good all-around shoe for the entire season because they are stable, strong, and suitable for many surfaces. The primary advantage of molded cleats are:

  • Better gripping on hard surfaces.
  • Less expensive.
  • More durable than metal cleats on a variety of surfaces.

While molded cleats won’t help you to grip and turn as quickly as metal, they will work better on very hard or dry surfaces. For a reliable shoe that will serve you well in most circumstances, molded softball cleats are an excellent choice.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between turf shoes, metal cleats or molded cleats depends on the playing surface you are using, the level of your experience and the rules of your league club.  Rather than a one-size-fits-all strategy, Longstreth provides many different options in softball footwear to fit your particular athletic needs. Whether you need turf shoes for indoor practice, metal cleats for superior traction, versatile molded cleats, or other softball equipment like catcher’s gearLongstreth Sporting Goods offers softball equipment and apparel specifically designed for female athletes to give them the best fit and performance.