Tag Archives: softball cleats

Features of Softball Cleats

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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.

Guide to Buying Essential Softball Equipment for your Daughter

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Are you planning to buy softball equipment for your daughter?  Having the best equipment that your daughter is comfortable in will allow her perform to the maximum and be the best. Here is a guide that will help you buy the right softball gear.

 Softball bat

There is no better bat than the other. You need to purchase a bat that suits your daughter’s skill level, weight, height, and age. If your daughter is small and is just building up her strength choose a lighter bat that she will be able to control and swing easily. If she is stronger, a heavier bat will do for her as she will be able to control her speed.

8-9 year old girls should use a softball bat of 26-28 inches. As your daughter grows each year, you can just add an inch.  Aluminum bat is good for beginners, so you can start with the aluminum bat. It is easy for her to improve her swing and doesn’t put much weight and pressure on her shoulder. Softball bats at Longstreth are available in a wide variety for your daughter to choose from.

Helmet

The helmet is one of the most essential softball gear. Softball helmets are made of durable plastic and foam. It helps distribute the forces in case the ball hits the batter’s head. The design of the helmet is based on the team or individual preference, but ensure to buy a helmet that fits your daughter’s head a little tight.

Gloves

With the modern technology the softball gloves have improved a lot resulting in excellent performance.  Consider the size, comfort, and design to suit your daughter’s taste and built, however, note that there are different types of gloves for a different player position. If your daughter is an outfielder, the glove size would be a little larger. Their hand configuration would have deeper pockets that help catch the ball. Infielders require small glove; it allows them to release the ball faster.

Cleats

Buy the shoes that fit your daughter and that she is comfortable in. Consider the material of the cleats, the weight and how stable is your daughter in the shoes.  Consider the inner sole and the outer sole. Equally, check the stud length. All these considerations would help you in selecting the best cleats for your daughter.

Protective equipment

The kind of protective equipment your daughter would need would be based on the position she is playing in. Catchers especially need to have the right catcher’s equipment to stay safe. Sliders protect your daughter when sliding to the base and also protect her calf. The sliding shorts are padded upper thigh with a synthetic compression legging. Other equipment that helps protect your daughter and reduce chances of injuries include,

Knee savers- for catchers they help minimize strain at the knee joint.

Leg Guards/Shin guards- There is a difference between the two. Leg guards are for catchers and they should cover a little bit above the top of the knee all the way down to the ankles and top of feet. Shin guards are usually for batters. They cover from the top of the foot and ankle to half way up the shin. These protect the shin from fouled off balls.

Elbow pads- they help protect elbows and are usually used by batters.

Battling gloves- they help reduces chances of hand blisters.

Chest protector- they help cover the chest and avoid compelling injuries.

When buying the softball equipment note that different leagues have different rules and regulations. Find out about the colors and other specifications from your daughter’s coach. While its easy to get carried away and spend a fortune on the equipment, you don’t really need the real high end stuff if she is just starting out. What really matters is the fit- the equipment needs to be comfortable for your daughter in order for her to play well. Longstreth Sporting Goods Store has all the right equipment for your young player and our sports counselors are always at hand to answer your questions and to help you guide in making your buying decisions.

What size softball bat do I need?

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Determining the size of the right softball bat is critical for every softball player. The bat is a crucial equipment piece and it’s important to find the perfect size for the player. Bat design is a factor to consider but you can’t just choose the design and color simply because the bat looks cool. Here are other factors to consider when choosing the right size of your softball bat:

Bat Weight

If you are strong and big in body size, choosing a heavier bat allows you to use maximum power. However, smaller players can play better using lighter softball bats. A player wants to maximize her bat speed.  Using a light bat can yield greater bat speed. If you want to know the softball bat suitable for your body size and strength, swing a variety of them and choose the one that maximizes bat weight AND swing speed without hurting your natural swing path.  One tip is that you should be able to hold your bat with one hand at the end and your arm fully extended perpendicular to the ground without having the bat waver or dip.  If you are a high school player, you should be using a bat weight that is 10 ounces less than the bat length.  If you are younger than high school, you can use bat weights that are a greater drop than 10 ounces from the bat length, typically 11 ounces to 13 ounces less than the length in inches.

Height

Consider using a bat between 26 and 29 inches if you are less than four feet high. Players between four and five feet should use a bat length of 29-31 inches. Five to six feet tall players should use a bat with a length of 31-34 inches. Considering these measurements while choosing the length of your softball bat will assist you in reaching the peak of your performance.  If the right weight for you is in a bat that is a little long, choking up to 1” up the barrel can make this bat work well.

Ensure to have these requirements before choosing your bat.

  • A bat that is too light will make players be quicker, pull you away from the ball and have little power.
  • A bat that is too heavy will cause an unbalanced and slow swing, and will also decrease your ability to control the strike zone.

Bat materials

You can either choose composite bats or alloy bats.  Composite softball bats are made of material similar to carbon fiber and usually provide a bigger sweet spot and greater power. They are easy to control since in most bats the weight is evenly distributed.  Composite bats help reduce vibration and sting at hand. While alloy bats are made of aluminum and metal, they are less expensive compared to composite bats, typically last longer and can be used in cold weather. Unlike composite bats, they don’t crack.

Once you’ve chosen the right softball bat for your game, always store it in its perfect softball bag. Softball bags are designed in different varieties. Ensure your bag can store all equipment including your glove, softball cleats, helmet, sweatshirts, batting gloves, some first aid items, as well as any extra player protection equipment.

At Longstreth, we take pride in providing helpful information to help players in this industry. Contact us today for all softball equipment needs.