Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats: Best Analysis in 2022

Did you know that different sports had different cleats? I certainly didn’t when I first started playing baseball. There is a big debate on soccer cleats vs baseball cleats. Also, players always called them cleats and not shoes, another thing I didn’t know. In the beginning, I thought wearing my cousin’s soccer cleats would get the job done, but I quickly realized that it wouldn’t work.

Furthermore, the difference between the fields in which you played either sport made it so that using one sport cleat in another field doesn’t work. Now that I have played the sport for a long enough time, I know better than mixing up the cleats. And I am going to let you in the difference between the cleats and why you shouldn’t mix them up.

With each of the materials, we will also make a comparison between the soccer and baseball cleats. Alongside letting you know the difference between the cleats, I will also do a deep dive on what is used to make each of the cleats. By doing so, I will let you know which material might be the best for which cleats. 

Key main difference between soccer cleats and baseball cleats are the toe studs. In baseball, there is an extra toe stud which isn’t seen in any soccer cleats. Also, there is a stud pattern difference between baseball and soccer cleats. In baseball cleats, the front side studs are in a triangle shape while soccer cleats have two studs opposite from one another. Surprisingly many soccer cleats have removable studs but no baseball cleats have them.

Table of Contents ↴

Anatomy of Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats

Anatomy Of A Baseball Cleat

Before we start talking about whether you can wear a baseball cleat for a soccer game, we need to know the part of a baseball cleat. For a standard baseball cleat, we found 14 unique pieces, and each piece has a different function, all of which is stated below for you. 

  1. Cut length – This comes in low-cuts or middle-cuts. Low-cuts provide better mobility, but mid-cuts offer better ankle support
  2. Eyelets – The holes keep the lace in place
  3. Lacing – Can be easily adjusted 
  4. Upper – Made using genuine or synthetic leather 
  5. Toe cap – Keeps the toe safe while running
  6. Ventilation holes – Keeps the foot cool during the summer months 
  7. Tongue – padding for comfort
  8. Padded collar – Provides better comfort and support
  9. Heel counter – reinforces the heel cup and increases support
  10. Heel cushioning – for additional cushioning
  11. Insole – where your feet rest on and maybe removable
  12. Midsole – between insole and outsole and is thicker
  13. Plate – bottom of baseball cleats, a bit durable, keeps studs in place
  14. Studs – Common in cleats, keep feet on the ground, maybe plastic for younger players
Anatomy of Cleats
Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats_Anatomy of Cleats

Anatomy Of A Soccer Cleats

For a standard baseball cleat, we found 17 unique parts. Each part has a different function, all of which is stated below for you.

  1. Lining – made using soft fabric for comfort
  2. Eyelets – the holes keep the lace in place
  3. Lacing – can be easily adjusted
  4. Toe box – better running and aggressive movements
  5. Vamp – on the front of the cleat, grants superior feel
  6. Upper – made using thinner and lighter material
  7. Heel panel – covers the heel
  8. Tongue – has minimal padding
  9. Insole – where your feet rest on and maybe removable
  10. Last – defines cleat’s shape
  11. Midsole – between insole and outsole and is thicker
  12. Heel cup – helps to fasten down the heel
  13. Heel counter – inserted behind the shoe to keep the cleat’s shape
  14. Collar – improves fit and feel
  15. Soleplate – lightweight plate the holds the studs
  16. Studs – Common in cleats, keep feet on the ground
  17. Shape – depends on the last and affects overall shoe fit and feel

Wear Soccer Cleats in Baseball: Why or Why Not

The long and short of the argument is that is you can wear soccer cleats for baseball but only recreationally or for drills and such if you are a serious enough player who is participating in a proper league at the high school or above. Then you should be wearing baseball cleats that are appropriate for you.

If you are a serious player, then you will know that those who are fielding in baseball are stationary. Surprisingly this can be a large factor for soccer and baseball cleats. For those playing outfielder or infielder, they require comfortable footwork with sufficient padding in the sole. Since soccer players are always on the move, they don’t always need cleats that much padding.

SoccerforBaseball
Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats_SoccerforBaseball

Unless you only play baseball irregularly or in a smaller league, you will need the proper baseball cleats that allow for more comfort and grip on the field. Due to the style of the spikes on baseball cleats, players will always have strong traction on dry ground. Keep in mind that the tips will make sharp turns difficult due to the traction. 

Wear Baseball Cleats for Soccer: Why or Why Not

In a word, no and in more than one word no, you can’t wear baseball cleats for soccer because of the type of sports soccer is compared to baseball. Firstly baseball is a minimal contact sport while soccer is a full contact sport. Secondly, baseball cleats have a front toe stud made from metal. Therefore there is a high chance of serious injuries from tackles due to that toe stud.

If you are a serious enough soccer player, you should wear soccer cleats, as I said for baseball. Coincidently, referees in little leagues will be checking the young players for baseball cleats for soccer for safety reasons. Another point to remember is that soccer players are required to make sharp turns. And it is hard to do in baseball cleats that dig into the baseball fields too hard.

Baseball Cleat for Soccer
Baseball Cleat for Soccer

The cleats will need to craters the soccer fields and give soccer players a greater range of motion. With the ability to crater the ground, players will apply more power to their kicks. On the other hand, a greater range of motion is required for making sharp turns when passing opponents.   

Cleats Material: Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats

With more innovation and research, manufacturers of soccer and baseball cleats have found numerous materials to make the right cleats. Each of the materials results in a variety of benefits unique to them. At the same time, I might not be able to point you to any particular material and state that this one is the best choice for baseball cleats or soccer cleats. However, I can inform you of the different materials and include their unique properties. From that, you might be able to make your mind on what you prefer in your metal cleats.

Types Of Materials Used For Baseball Cleats

For the most part baseball cleats make use of synthetic, mesh or knitted, and genuine leather as the primary material. The reason for picking these materials is because they provide more sturdiness and breathability. Out of all these materials, synthetic and leather cleats are the best used during rainy weather matches since they are more water-resistant. Similarly the best baseball gloves are also made using mainly genuine or synthetic leather.

Materials
Materials

Types of Materials Used For Soccer Cleats

In the case of soccer cleats the best materials are synthetic, mesh or knitted, and genuine leather along with a surprising choice of kangaroo leather! While kangaroo leather might come as a shock to many it does have some benefits. Overall these materials help in increasing the player’s performance by allowing for in most cases increased speed.

Now that I have told you about the types of materials used in the making of baseball and soccer cleats we can now get into it more. By saying that we are getting more into it more what I mean is that we will be taking a more in-depth look. Below I have listed each material and tell you how each of them helps the players.

Synthetic

In terms of price, synthetic is the cheaper option for many players. On top of that, synthetic cleats are also rather reliable during different weather conditions while being light on one foot. But synthetic material doesn’t only have good points since it tends to have a low touch rating. By having a lower touch rating, what I mean is that soccer players will have a harder time controlling the ball.

Also, with greater affordability, synthetic leather loses ground in durability when compared with genuine leather articles. Overall there isn’t much difference between synthetic baseball and soccer cleats other than the lower touch rating. While the touch rating might not be an issue for baseball players, it is an important soccer cleats feature. Therefore, synthetic leather is good for baseball cleats, but synthetic leather is not for serious soccer players.

Knitted

Knitted soccer cleats might be rather recent, but it has surprisingly gotten positive reviews. Due to the materials used to make them, these cleats tend to be both lightweight and comfortable. According to some, it’s almost like playing soccer or baseball while being barefoot. Also, these cleats’ flexibility has a higher touch rating, which means greater control for soccer players. Adidas is the first who have made knitted soccer cleats.

Compared to baseball knitted cleats, soccer knitted cleats are a bit thinner thus less durable. Knitted cleats for baseball players have greater support and more padding as well. Knitted cleats can be a solid choice for those playing soccer as midfielders, winger, or forward. Also, outfielders in baseball and the case of drills, knitted cleats are a viable option.

In conclusion, knitted cleats are a good choice, but you will need the best possible version once you are in the big leagues.

Genuine Leather

When it comes to sports-related equipment, genuine leather products are the best, hands down. In particular, soccer cleats made using calfskin tend to work the best. In truth, it is due to the calfskin cleats having a higher touch rating compared to other leather cleats. Also, leather cleats will be more durable and offer better protection.

For those playing soccer or baseball more defensively, these calfskin soccer cleats will be the best choice as far as I saw. Coincidently calfskin cleats work well in the baseball diamond. Soccer players in the center-back, full-back, wing-back, and sweeper positions will enjoy the most benefit with calfskin cleats.

In baseball player’s cases, infielders and middle infielders can get away with wearing calfskin soccer cleats. However, the fact that soccer cleats are the most comfortable is still present with calfskin cleats. This is because they don’t require more stability provided by the toe stud, which is vital for pitchers and base runners. Another factor to remember is that these cleats need to break in like with all leather products.   

Kangaroo(Soccer Only)

Compared with calfskin cleats, these kangaroo(k) leather cleats have a slightly higher touch rating. Thus soccer players will have a bit more control, but baseball players won’t know the difference. When I tried them on for the first time, I was confused since, to me, nothing seemed different. Along with being not that different from calfskin, these cleats are really hard to find. In my case, I had to hunt them down for a long time and finally found them through a sports equipment forum. 

Even though the cleats were a second-hand version, the cleats were still unreasonably expensive. They aren’t all that worth it for their price point and how hard it was to locate them. As a baseball player, I didn’t experience anything particularly noteworthy. As specialized equipment, these k-leather cleats are meant for those serious about the sport and are playing at a high enough league.

Through my research, I found that these football cleats are frequently worn by strikers during a soccer game.

Leather Harvesting And Impact On The Environment

Since we are talking about animal harvesting, something needs to be addressed when we mention leather cleats. While cows and kangaroos aren’t endangered, knowing where the leather for your cleats comes from is relevant.

While searching for the location of the cleats leather, the most common answer I found was “as the byproduct of animals going to the food industry.” That might have been the truth in some cases, but the amount being made doesn’t make sense. Granted, some big name brands are willing to come forth with where they get their leather. At the same time, many of these brands are looking elsewhere, like molded plastic cleats, that might indicate exploitation. For an edge in a game, players should be looking for the best alternative. But keep in mind the impact those alternatives might have on the planet.

Leather Harvesting and Impact on the Environment
Impact on the Environment

Other Similarities & Differences

After all that we have talked about, there is still a few details that differentiate soccer cleats vs baseball cleats. Some of these make common sense, while others might have been harder to sport. Hopefully, you will use these pieces of information as factors to help you make a good purchase. 

Cleats Differences
Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats_Difference

Weight

Comparatively speaking, soccer cleats are generally lighter than baseball shoes. This is because soccer players are required to make more turns, whereas baseball players are stationary in most cases; by being lighter and having more flexibility, they can sharper turns without hurting themselves.

Front Side

For soccer cleats, the front toe cleat, also known as the strike zone, is more rounded. The reason for this is so that players have more control over the ball when striking. On the other hand, the front side of baseball cleats has a rubber toe guard. Since baseball pitchers and catchers like put so much pressure on the tips of your toe, we need this rubber guard. 

Ankle Support

For the most part, soccer players wear a low-top soccer cleat since speed is the biggest factor. While mid and high-top cleats are available and offer greater ankle support feature, these also decrease player speed. In a soccer game, speed is the name of the game, so players go for the low-top cleats more often. In contrast, baseball game involves all three top cleats, and players are standing more often, so baseball players opt for more ankle support since they have to slide a lot. Therefore knowing how to slide properly with cleats is important.

Midsole

The midsole is not present at all in soccer cleats, and because of that, it is very uncomfortable. This is an important factor as to why baseball players shouldn’t wear soccer shoes. Thankfully baseball cleats have padded midsoles; thus, standing for a long time is not that uncomfortable. 

Spikes

With its extra front-toe spike baseball cleats is very much different from soccer cleats. In particular, the front toe stud is the biggest difference between the two cleats. If you want to use baseball shoes for soccer, you will have to cut the extra stud. Otherwise, it will be baseball shoes, not soccer shoes. 

What Brands Are Worn By Pros?

When it comes to sports equipment we all love to buy the ones worn by pros in their fields. Don’t even try to deny it! And there is nothing with doing so since pros will only wear something that is proven to help you. After much market research and player equipment analysis I was able to narrow down the list to five main brands.

Here are the five main brands that provide most of the pro baseballers their cleats:

  1. Nike
  2. New Balance
  3. Under Armour
  4. Adidas
  5. Mizuno

Two out of the five names above also makes some great baseball gloves. Mizuno makes some of the best gloves like best baseball gloves for 10 year olds. Mizuno also makes the best baseball wooden bats as we found out.

Here are the five main brands that provide most soccer players their cleats:

  1. Nike
  2. Adidas
  3. Puma
  4. New Balance
  5. Under Armour

As you might have guessed from the list above Nike has sort of a monopoly when it comes to sports shoes. For baseball cleats Under Armour and Mizuno, both well-known baseball equipment suppliers made the list. For a soccer cleat, on the other hand, Adidas and Puma are more common choices for fans and it seems players as well.

Here is a simple graph that will show you how Nike has dominated the sports shoe market over the last few years.

Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats_Graph
Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats_Graph

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Are baseball and soccer cleats the same?

In simple words, the answer is no baseball and soccer cleats aren’t the same. The biggest difference between the two cleats is that baseball cleats have a front toe stub. Also, the cleat pattern is different for different cleats. 

Can youths wear soccer cleats for baseball?

Those playing in little baseball leagues can wear soccer cleats without any issues. But soccer players, even in youth soccer leagues, will need soccer cleats since baseball cleats may cause injury when tackling because of the front toe stub.  Therefore you take steps to prevent injuries while playing baseball or soccer.

Are soccer cleats cheaper or baseball cleats more affordable?

Those playing in little baseball leagues can wear soccer cleats without any issues. But soccer players, even in youth soccer leagues, will need soccer cleats since baseball cleats may cause injury when tackling because of the front toe stub. Since both have neutral colors and diverse colors to choose from you have a wide selection 

Are there factors to look for when buying soccer cleats for children?

For the most part, parents should pay attention to the cleat’s size and build quality. Also, parents should be sure to buy cleats for a good sport meaning baseball players should be wearing baseball cleats. In the case of baseball cleats, you might also have to make a decision between regular and metal cleats.  

Conclusion

As a former baseball player for a high school league team, I know how much a good pair of baseball cleats or sometimes called metal cleats help. If you only played baseball recreationally, soccer cleats are good enough, but if you want to be a serious player, you will need one pair of proper baseball cleats. With soccer cleats, you will need to change pairs as you grow and go up the league ladder. If you wear a soccer cleat at a higher level then you won’t have an edge. Thus wear baseball cleats and not worry about changing.

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