How to Choose the Right Youth Baseball Cleats

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HomeBlogsChris Sloan's blogHow to Choose the Right Youth Baseball Cleats
How to Choose the Right Youth Baseball Cleats
Chris Sloan

In-Depth Advice On How to Choose the Right Youth Baseball Cleats

Plus: Tips on how to choose a child's baseball cleats.

Pick the proper cleat type.

  1. Metal Baseball Cleats
  2. Fabricated (Molded) Plastic Cleats
  3. Turf Shoes or Turf Cleats
  4. How to clean baseball cleats

Now, the soles of each pair of baseball cleats will be adorned with spikes. They aid in giving you the proper traction, whether sprinting, catching, or doing anything else on the field. They are also known as spikes or simply plain ol' cleats. Particular cleatless baseball shoes are used for turf or practice, while cleats are often made of metal or plastic.

Metal Youth Baseball Cleats

Best for: Play in a fierce competition like high school, college, or professional leagues.

Cost: Will be more expensive than other cleat models

Because they are smaller than molded spikes and can quickly penetrate the ground, metal spikes provide incredible grip on hard soil or dense grass. Due to the risk of injury or field damage, they are only permitted in high-competition levels like high school or college baseball. They are not allowed in younger leagues or on artificial grass. The fact that metal plugs are sometimes more costly is an additional drawback.

Fabricated (Molded) Plastic Youth Baseball Cleats

Best for: Youth leagues.

Cost: Typically the lowest cost baseball cleats you can purchase

Molded plastic cleats are more affordable and long-lasting than metal ones but provide less traction. Many players just starting out or playing for fun will be more comfortable and forgiving. They are often utilized in soft or muddy situations and juvenile leagues.

Turf Shoes or Turf Youth Baseball Cleats

Best for: Exercise, practice, and synthetic turf

Cost: Varies from each vendor but typically lower cost than metal spikes but higher than molded cleats

Due to their greater comfort and lack of pitch wear compared to baseball cleats, turf cleats are often used for training and practice (and may also be worn on artificial grass). This is because turf shoes feature hardly perceptible little rubber spikes on the sole. Turf cleats obviously perform less effectively than baseball cleats due to the absence of spikes. For more on turf shoes, see our list of the best baseball turf shoes for 2024!

NOTE REGARDING MACHINE LENGTH: You should also consider cleat length while learning how to pick baseball cleats. The spike length is vital depending on the sort, of course, you are playing on, and the weather. Shorter nails often perform better on hard surfaces since they don't dig as deeply. However, longer spikes perform better on softer pitches but are less sturdy. Some  cleats also contain interchangeable spikes, allowing you to adjust the length of the spikes to suit your demands.

Cleats based upon postion

The position you will play on the field is another crucial consideration when deciding on kids' baseball cleats. This is because some positions need cleats with certain qualities to function correctly.

Youngsters' baseball cleats for outfielders

You may choose between wearing metal or plastic cleats while playing on the field. Plastic cleats are preferable to metal ones in a thick and packed terrain because sand and mud may readily collect on the bottom of the plastic sole. Be advised that typically a player can't wear metal cleats until the age of 14 due to safety concerns.

Baseball outfielders' cleats

Because the grass is softer than the clay infield and metal offers superior grip in this situation, outfielders often wear metal cleats.

Baseball Pitchers Cleats

Pitchers need cleats with excellent traction and stability. Given their exceptional ground adherence, metal spikes are the best choice; however, be advised that many turf fields in high school play will not allow pitchers to wear metal spikes so having a good pair of turf shoes always comes in handy.

Select the optimal cut length

Youth baseball cleats are available with low or mid tops. Your level of movement, support, and protection on the field depends  on the length you choose.

Low heels

Allow for the most movement possible at the expense of support and safety.


Mid-tops are ideal for athletes who seek more significant lateral assistance since they provide strong support and protection. They do not, however, provide as much movement as low shoes.

Understand the anatomy of a Baseball Cleat

Baseball Cleat Components - Outer - Athletic Shoe Components - Athlete Audit

Upper: A sturdy upper often constructed of leather or synthetic leather.

Prevents running and turning off the toe.

Vents: - provide some breathing room when the temperature is high.

Tongue: Lightly cushioned yet thin enough to allow for comfort and airflow.

Padded Collar: Assists in comfort and foot stability.

Solid, often plastic, padding under the heel strengthens and enhances support; it also aids in blocking the leg.

Heel Cushioning: Specific baseball cleats may include extra heel cushioning for increased shock absorption.

Your feet will rest on an insole, which offers comfort and orthopedic support. Some could be detachable.

The midsole, which is firmer in the heel for running and serves as a cushion between the insole and the sole,

When racing over dirt, the plate, which is often composed of strong, enduring TPU plastic, keeps pins in place and is very wear-resistant.

Most baseball cleats have metal spikes. However, molded plastic spikes are also used to assist them in sinking into the ground (more common in youth leagues).

Read more on how to choose baseball cleats here.

Discover the ideal fit

Work shoes that are comfortable significantly improve your performance. What if your baseball cleats caused pain while you ran or rubbed against your Achilles heel? Most individuals are unable. So, just how should your baseball cleat size be?

Indicators of a flawless cut

A heel that fits properly and doesn't lift, and a tight fit (no wider than a finger's breadth).

The pins did not cause any pain, irritation, or pressure spots.

The ideal amount of flexibility, support, and cushioning for the ankles

Advice for properly sizing baseball cleats

Wear the socks you wish to play in and go shopping for the ideal fit in the afternoon.

For comfort, try stretching, walking, and jogging in the cleats.

Think about how far the cleats will spread. Synthetics do not stretch as genuine leather does.

To discover the most comfortable baseball cleats, try on various sizes.

Newer baseball cleats have to first fit snugly. While initially tight, they eventually get damaged.

Velcro straps can be adjusted quickly and easily, but laces provide the ideal fit.

Cleats for baseball: advantages

Turf shoes are cozy and provide plenty of grip and support in certain circumstances. Still, on particularly sloppy, muddy fields, they definitely fall short. Even on really soggy grass, they may still slip, even if the ground isn't excessively muddy.

This is the situation when kids' baseball cleats genuinely shine. Slipping on dirt or wet surfaces while attempting to accelerate, change direction, or play may result in significant injuries to players. Baseball cleats may slide but sink into the ground, significantly affecting player control and safety.

Due to their very firm soles, the cleats may also assist in avoiding turf toe, a sprained big toe brought on by abrupt acceleration, such as when cutting into a sprint.

The cleats are also available in high and low ankle variants to give players precisely the ankle support they want. When it comes to playing on muddy, wet fields, they have a slight advantage since they provide support and shield players from harm.

Baseball turf shoes work better on dry turf and other indoor surfaces, so you may need to wear them even if cleats aren't permitted on the field you're playing on.

Cleaning youth baseball cleats

Step 1

Shake off mud and grime with your youth baseball cleats by weaving them together. Clap your shoes in the locker room, on the field, or home to loosen dirt particles while holding one cleat in each hand.

To prevent damaging your clothing or furnishings, take caution while clapping your cleats together. Look around for any mud bits you need to throw away.

Sand from the boot's interior may be removed by securing the cleats together.

Step 2

Cleanse the plugs by soaking them in warm water. Use lukewarm water rather than boiling it to prevent harming the leather or plastic in your child's baseball cleats. For 5-7 minutes, completely immerse the cleats in warm water.

Observe the time. It may take longer for much mud on your footwear to disappear. The plastic or leather fabric of the baseball cleats might be damaged if you soak them in water for more than 7 minutes.

Step 3

After soaking, brush the cleats clean. Mud and filth that have been water-softened may be removed by brushing.

Step 4

Soak the cleats in warm water after cleaning them. After using the brush, rinse the softened dirt by moistening your cleats.

Step 5

Take off your shoes' laces. By doing this, you'll be able to clean both the laces' bottoms and the actual laces. It is helpful to take the laces off to ensure you do not overlook any dirt specks.

Step 6

Verify the cleanliness of the laces. After soaking and cleaning, the majority of laces will be spotless. If your laces are dirty, wash them in the sink. The laces may be left away to dry with the cleats later.

Step 7

With a moist towel, clean each stop tip. The spikes may get clogged with dirt, mud, and pebbles. Clean each end with a cloth before slipping your fingers and the fabric into the tiny spaces between the spikes.

Brush the stops of tiny shoes with a toothbrush.

Step 8

Use a Tide pencil or another stain remover to remove shoe stains. Warm water may not be able to remove tough grass stains and scratches. A moist cloth should be used to clean the stain after applying a tiny quantity of remover.

Step 9

Use dish soap to clean each shoe. Wipe the shoe, including the material that covers the foot and the laces, after mixing a little quantity of detergent into the cloth.

Shoes that smell is caused by germs that dish soap kills. Using dish soap to clean your shoe will make it smell nicer.

Don't let the detergent sink into your shoes. It won't easily wash off and will seep into the inside of your shoe. When you sweat while wearing the shoe, this may result in unpleasant foaming.

Step 10

Repeat the cleaning procedure as necessary to get your shoe clean. After cleaning, your shoe will appear brand new and continue to smell fresh if you run it a few times.

Step 11

Clean water should be used to rinse the cleats' outside. Hold them under the faucet, shower, or hose to get rid of sand, soap, and grime.

Clean the soap and grime from the sink, bathtub, or lawn when you're done.

Step 12

Rinse the cleats' inside. To remove the sand from the shoe, fill it with water and shake it.

Step 13

Dry the cleats' exteriors. Wipe the cleats with a dry towel to remove extra moisture on the shoes outside.

Step 14

Dry the cleats' inside. To absorb the wetness inside the shoe, stuff a tea towel, newspaper, or other dry fabric inside and wait until you reach 10 before taking it off. [9]

Step 15

Put the laces and shoes somewhere warm to dry. Your cleats will dry very rapidly in direct sunshine. Still, particular shoes may be damaged, so put them in a warm, shaded outside space. They may also be dried inside a warm area, such as a dryer or laundry room.

Avoid letting your shoes sit all night outdoors to dry. They may be chewed by local animals, and the night dew will wet them.

Step 16

Put your cleats back on. After they have dried, re-thread the laces through the cleats' lacing holes. Working your way up the shoe, begin lacing there.

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About Chris Sloan

Chris Sloan is a former baseball league commissioner and travel baseball coach who has made significant contributions to the sport. In 2018, he founded selectbaseballteams.com, a website that helps parents find youth and travel baseball teams in their local areas. Since its launch, the website has experienced impressive growth, offering a wealth of resources including teams, news, tournaments, and organizations. Chris's unwavering passion for baseball and his innovative approach to connecting parents with quality baseball programs have earned him a respected reputation in the baseball community, solidifying his legacy as a leading figure in the world of youth and travel baseball.

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