Cleats are important piece of softball equipment. Choosing the best softball cleats will help you get more stability during your game. Softball field is made up of dirt and grass, which means that you need shoes that will give you some traction.
On the field, you are constantly performing all kinds of movements and there is a lot of pressure on your feet. It is important to choose the pair of women’s softball cleats that will give you enough comfort to withstand the heat and seven intensive innings. This is a really tough question that depends greatly on each individual’s need. But here’s a bit of a breakdown of what to look for when purchasing a new pair. Take this as an advice, not as a general rule.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Softball Cleats for Women and Men
- Best Women’s Softball Cleats
- Best Men’s Softball Cleats
- Types of Softball Cleats
- What More to Look for in Softball Cleats
10 Best Softball Cleats for Women and Men
Best Women’s Softball Cleats
1. Under Armour Women’s Glyde Rm
Under Armour Glyde Rm are some of the best selling woman’s softball shoes on the market and take our number 1 spot for the best women’s softball cleats. That’s not hard to see why.
These are fantastic in every major aspect: performance, feel, fit and durability. The Under Armour Glyde Rm feature a synthetic upper and padded ankle collar and a full-length EVA midsole for comfort, making these probably the most comfortable softball shoe you can find.
They are rubber molded for great traction on all surfaces. The rubber is durable and sturdy so you don’t have to worry about how long would it last.
These are near-perfect softball cleats and they have all the features to back that statement up. The only thing we wished for is that they could’ve come in more colorways, but in those three that these come in look very nice on the field.
2. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Velo V1 TPU Molded Softball Shoe
These New Balance women’s softball shoes are the second TPU shoes on this list. They are made from synthetic materials and feature a rubber sole. Comfort is the name of the game with these as they feature a Fresh Foam midsole that makes them one of the most comfortable women’s softball shoes on the market.
The fit on these is great and are a great option for those who have wider feet.
They are pretty breathable too, as the upper is made from mesh materials. Quality wise, our only complaint is that the molds could be a little more durable.
A fantastic thing about these cleats is that they feature a lace cage and that means that you can easily tuck your laces in for a cleaner look.
Speaking of looks, the New Balance Velo V1 comes in a variety of different colorways so you can easily find the one that resemble the colors of you team!
3. Mizuno Women’s 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2
Mizuno has been producing fantastic softball cleats for quite some time now, and their 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 is no exception.
The Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 has 9 metal spikes for advanced traction and most of the elite softball players use metal cleats, so you can’t go wrong with these.
The 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 are one of the most comfortable women’s shoes for fastpitch and they use full length midsole to make them that comfortable.
Stability and cushion is provided by parallel outsole wave and they also feature a toe protector, which we are huge fans of. They feel and fit fantastic and all of those features truly makes them one of the best woman’s softball cleats in the game.
4. Nike Women’s Lunar Hyperdiamond 2 Pro Fastpitch Softball Cleats
Nike Lunar Hyperdiamond 2 Pro are metal cleats with fantastic traction and lightweight cushioning. Zoom Air cushioning and Lunarlon foam provide lightweight feel and performance and the TPU plate featuring 9 metal spikes provides superior traction.
Since these are low top cleats you shouldn’t expect the best ankle support in the world and that is one of the rare downsides that the Nike Lunar Hyperdiamond 2 Pro have.
Overall, these are a great option if you are looking for lightweight cleats that don’t need a long break-in period. These have a great price and are worth every single penny.
If you don’t like Hyperdiamond 2 Pro, check our review of the Nike Lunar Hyperdiamond Pro 3 softball cleats.
5. adidas Women’s Icon Bounce TPU Cleats
The adidas Women’s Icon Bounce TPU are a solid pair of rubber molded softball cleats and some of the best looking. In our opinion, the best thing about these cleats is the fit and comfort that they provide.
They have good cushioning provided by BOUNCE midsole and STEALTRAX TPU plate to provide traction. The adidas Icon Bounce TPU has a fantastic feature called IRONSKIN toe cap which provides protection when toe-draging.
The upper and lining on these is made from textile and the tongue is padded, which is a nice detail. The only thing that we wished was better is the durability of these cleats.
However, these are quite affordable and come in multiple cool colorways and all of them look fantastic.
Best Men’s Softball Cleats
1. New Balance Men’s 3000 V5 Molded Baseball Shoe
The New Balance 3000 V5 molded men’s shoes are in our opinion the best option for men and that’s for a couple of reasons. The first one is that they are seriously lightweight. That is because these use the FRESH FOAM midsole cushion that also offers a nice level of cushioning.
The 3000 V5 are low-cut shoes and are probably the best ones for movement on the field, no matter if it’s on natural or turf surface. That is also because these have TPU molded outsole which also provides traction.
On the tongue is a lace cage that protects them during games, which is quite a nice feature.
The lightweight, cushion, support and level of comfort that these cleats have truly sets them apart from the competition. And, another great thing about these is that they come in numerous different colorways! Our favorite is the all-black colorway with the golden New Balance logo on the tongue. It certainly stands out on the field!
2. Under Armour Men’s Leadoff Mid Rm Shoes
Under Armour Leadoff Mid Rm shoes are the first mid-cut shoes for men on this list, and if you are looking for those types of shoes, these are probably the best.
The Under Armour Leadoff are rubber molded so you a right to expect that they provide great traction on multiple surfaces. They have a great level of comfort also, provided by full-length EVA midsole, heel construction and padded collar. Under Armour have added a durable overlay on toe cap for additional protection.
The Leadoff Mid Rm comes in three colorways: Black/White, Red/White and Royal/White. All of them look absolutely fantastic!
3. New Balance Men’s 4040 V5 TPU Molded Mid Cut
New Balance 4040 V5 are the second mid-cut men’s cleats on this list. They are a very lightweight pair of shoes compared to some other shoes in the same category.
They feature a REVlite midsole (full-length) which provides responsiveness and durability. The upper is synthetic (Kinetic stitch synthetic upper) and tongue is molded and quite thin.
Their downside is that they do take some time to break-in, but once that is done, they fit quite nicely. These are a great option if you have wider feet, and our recommendation is that you go for a half a size up to get the proper fit.
The New balance 4040 V5 comes in 2 colorways: Black/White and White/White.
4. adidas Men’s Icon V Bounce TPU
Adidas designed the Icon V Bounce with kid of a streetwear style in mind. That makes these shoes very good looking and they really stand out on the field. So, it that is important to you, you should seriously consider the Adidas Icon V Bounce.
They feature a sock-like fit which kind of hugs the foot for enhanced comfort and gives the player a secure fit and a sense of comfort. On top of that, adidas designed the Icon V Bounce with responsive cushioning. The upper and lining are textile and the outsole features a Stealtrax plate.
Like the most of softball cleats, these also come in various different, interesting colorways, so if won’t be a problem to find the right one for you.
5. New Balance Men’s 3000 V4 Turf Shoes
The third softball shoe from New Balance finds itself on this list of men’s softball shoes, this time it is a turf shoe.
The New Balance 3000 V4 are hands down one of the most comfortable shoes for softball, courtesy of Fresh Foam midsole. The shoe is very well cushioned, giving you good protection. Upper part of the shoe is made from mesh and that gives the shoe great breathability.
The 3000 V4 from New Balance feature a lace cage so you can tuck you laces in while playing for better feel and look.
These are perfect for playing indoors and are the only pair of shoes on this list that can be used for everyday activities also!
How to Choose the Right Softball Cleats
This is a really tough question that depends greatly on each individual’s need. But here’s a bit of a breakdown of what to look for when purchasing a new pair. Take this as an advice, not as a general rule. When picking your softball cleats, first you should check the rules of your league. The NFHS has stated that metal cleats are allowed in high school softball because metal is allowed in college games. However, you should always check with your coach first, because not all leagues have adopted this stance. Stud length and stud location are also still regulated in many leagues, so make sure you’re familiar with the regulations before you shop.
Types of Softball Cleats
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.
Material & Fit
The upper material has a lot of influence on the overall feel and performance of your cleats. When it comes to construction of your cleats it is important to find a material and a fit that is comfortable and not distracting during games.
Softball cleats come with either leather or synthetic uppers. Leather upper gives your cleat a good combination of sturdy and lightweight. Leather is generally more flexible and more breathable than synthetic and is still a popular choice in baseball. Softball leans more toward synthetic. However, you should keep in mind that synthetic does not allow sweat to evaporate as easily as leather does and can be less durable, but that greatly depends on the quality. Synthetic allows for the use of more advanced technology, like the reinforcement in the forefoot or midfoot, and additional ankle support.
When trying on cleats for the first time, you should wear your game socks. This way you will get the idea how they will fit with during game time. Make sure they have some flexibility, but when you first buy them, look for a snug fit. The cleats shouldn’t slip on your foot as this can cause instability. Even with a tighter fit you should leave room in the toe. This helps to avoid injuries when you’re changing direction.
What More to Look for in Softball Cleats
There are a lot of factors that are often overlooked when choosing fastpitch cleats, especially when buying them online. These six, seemingly small aspects, can make a big difference on the field, so read them carefully.
WEIGHT OR STABILITY
The weight of your cleat depends on the outsole and the ankle height. The lighter and faster your cleat is, the less stable it can be. If you’re playing in a low-cut cleat, look for a weight around 10-11 ounces. For a mid-cut, aim for 12 to 13 ounces. For a lightweight cleat with extra stability look for studs placed along the edge of the outsole. You can also get extra ankle protection from an ankle strap, or even just a higher cut. Mid-cut cleats are less common in softball than in baseball, but not impossible to see.
When choosing the stud length that’s right for you, you should consider that the harder the surface, the shorter the stud is. Longer studs are best for muddy terrain and wet dirt. These studs have a stronger grip and they can help avoid slipping and sliding by keeping the athlete’s feet firmly on the ground. Make sure to pick the length of cleat appropriate field position.
Dragging the toe is a common movement in softball,especially for the pitcher. The cleats take a lot of beating during the course of the season, and that is why extra reinforcement is very important, so you should always look for something durable.
Cleats are different from many other sports shoes as they have to be made with a stronger outsole so they can hold the studs, and they can put a lot of pressure on your feet. Always look for shoes that have a comfortable sole that keeps you from feeling the impact of your studs. Extra insole padding is always a good thing.
If you need extra support in your ankles, or have problem with overpronation, you should go for a mid-cut or 5/8 height cleat. Higher tops will extend up the ankle for added support, especially during lateral movements. A mid-cut cleat is a middle ground style, with a higher level of support that doesn’t sacrifice mobility. With a low-cut style, you will get full freedom to move during cuts, but little to no ankle support.
A good general rule is to stick with the brands you know, and do not buy cheap! If you are on a budget, take a look online or at outlet stores, but do not go to Walmart and expect to get a good quality pair of shoes for a couple of bucks.
Taking Care of Your Softball Cleats
- Wear your cleats only during the game. Wear other shoes to the field and when walking around between games on asphalt and concrete. You’ll keep the cleats from wearing out quickly and avoid slipping on hard surfaces.
- Clean your cleats after each game. For mud, wait until it dries, then use a stick to knock the dirt off. Keeping your cleats will help them last longer.
- When you are done playing, don’t store your cleats right away, wait until they air dry to avoid moisture build up.
- Pitchers should look for cleats with a reinforced toe. This is necessary because of the toe drag movement. If you can’t find any you like with reinforced toes, there are accessories that can protect the toe and avoid the cleat wearing out too soon.
We are very glad if we helped you in choosing a pair of softball cleats that fit you and perform the best. Please note that we have tried to be as unbiased as possible, but the reviews are somewhat reflection of our personal opinions. If you have any feedback, we would like to hear from you.