Low-Cut vs. High-Cut Cleats
When you first know you're going to make a new cleat purchase, in addition to seeing the different type of cleats, you'll probably notice there are low-cut and high-cut cleats to choose from. Neither option has proven to be better than the other, but it's really more of a personal preference as to which style a player wears. How much stability your ankle will have and how much your movement will be affected greatly depends on which option you go with.
These styled cleats will allow for a quicker player to thrive. Low-cut cleats are lighter in weight, which allows a player to be more agile as there isn't any restriction on his or her ankles. One caveat with low-cut cleats, though: when wearing these cleats, a player is more likely to roll their ankles when running the bases or playing the field.
For any player who has ankle problems, these styled cleats are often the best bet. They provide more ankle support than low-cut cleats do. These have more material than the low-cut style, making them a bit heavier, but for those players who are not considered base stealers, this typically isn't an issue.
While the type and style of the cleat are important, there are other factors to consider when making your next softball or baseball cleat purchase.
The traditional cleat is made of leather. Leather cleats tend to breathe better, but there are cleats made of synthetic material that are better for wet and muddy field conditions.
With some cleats, a player will have the option of changing the stud length of their cleats. Different lengths work better on certain fields and different field conditions. Generally, shorter studs work better on harder fields, while longer studs work better on softer fields because they can dig into the playing surface more.
Any ball player who spends time on the mound will want to consider their toe drag. Cleats with a reinforced toe area are best for pitchers because of the toe drag when pushing off the rubber during their delivery. This unique issue is only experienced by pitchers, and when cleats are not reinforced, they begin to wear down over time. There are several cleat options available for players looking for a reinforced toe, and these cleats are just as comfortable as others.
The Difference Between Baseball or Softball Cleats vs. Football and Soccer Cleats?
The biggest difference between baseball and softball cleats compared to football and soccer cleats is the cleat pattern. Soccer cleats don't have a toe spike, because players need to kick the ball around the field. However, this spike is vital for baseball and softball players because they need the support when running the bases. Football cleats tend to be heavier than those used by any other sport, and these would never feature metal spikes.
New players may initially think they can use cleats from another sport, but that is just not the case for baseball and softball. There are movements and actions only done on a diamond that the cleats made for the sport help with. While using football cleats in baseball technically can be done, it's definitely not recommended, as they could really slow you down.
The need for proper, well-fitting baseball or softball cleats is something that can't be ignored by any player looking to excel in the sport.
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