When buying softball cleats, you’ll have to pick the type of material and stud length that you want. The choice depends on what position you’re playing at and what is the most important for your game: speed or stability.
The studs in metal softball cleats offer advanced traction abilities. The studs are blade-shaped and slightly rounded at the edges which allows firm grip. They also can be pointed in different directions so they give secure traction during all kinds of movements, forward or lateral. The fact that elite players have metal studs speaks enough of their unmatched performance. If you want to get good grab when leading off from a base, these cleats are a good choice for base stealers. They’re also good for a batter’s box, for digging a strong toe hold, so you don’t slip with your swing.
The metal studs, however, aren’t always appropriate on all field conditions, as they can dig too much into the dirt. If they stick but your body keeps moving, they can cause injuries in ankles or knees. These cleats can also be hard on feet, especially for an infielder who has to stand on hard dirt all game long market.
This type of softball shoes can be rubber or TPU, and the studs are formed from the outsole of your shoe. The number of studs and their arrangement depends on the brand, but they are usually wider studs with deep grooves for better traction. Molded studs are used in youth leagues because they are considered safer. On grass or on wet ground, where metal spikes dig in too much, these short rubber studs give good traction. They also can be more comfortable in long games than metal cleats.
Molded studs are stable and strong, but tend to wear down faster. They may slip in the infield or batting box as they don’t grip as much dirt.
Turf shoes, or trainers, have rubber soles with shallow patterns formed into the sole of the shoe. You can use them in the batting cage where cleats are not allowed. But you can also use them for practice play or field training on hard surfaces or artificial grass. Buying a pair of turf shoes will also keep your cleats from wearing down.