Best Softball Cleats Reviewed & Tested for Performance
Softball is a fantastic past time and for many, a competitive sport that is played by kids and grown-ups all over America. Fast-pitch or slow pitch, there’s a game going on somewhere right now. Some players are wearing runners, football cleats, rugby cleats or even soccer cleats to play the game. But you know better – the wrong softball cleats are like trying to pitch while wearing a catcher’s mitt. You know that all softball cleats are not the same and that running bases in running shoes can end in an ugly injury. You are off to a great start.
Below we've comprised the best softball cleats around right now. Some have been designed with baseball in mind, but will work just perfectly for softball as well! Read through, find a pair you love, and get out there on the field!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Nubuck, Suede Upper
Durable Rubber Outsole
Double Stitched Overlays
10 Best Softball Cleats
1. Adidas Wheelhouse 2
Nubuck, Suede Upper
Durable Rubber Outsole
Double Stitched Overlays
This softball shoe is designed for either fast pitch or slow pitch. It features a cool camo pattern on the outsole and rubberized studs. It is a comfortable softball shoe that will perform very well on the field no matter what position you play.Read more
This softball shoe is designed with a three-quarter length midsole made of EVA to provide cushioning while maintaining a lightweight shoe. It also has an EVA insole for additional comfort.
The upper in the Performance Wheelhouse 2 is made of Nubuck leather that is double-stitched at the toe and heel overlays for extra durability. For a reasonable price, you get a comfortable and durable softball shoe with a unique look, reinforced to last through seasons of softball competition.
2. Mizuno ADV Finch 6
This is a fastpitch softball cleat with rubber studs from Mizuno, who has made athletic gear for more than 100 years. This softball cleat is endorsed by Jennie Finch as well. It is designed for comfort and durability no matter the field type. You’ll be able to perform at your best through all innings in this shoe.Read more
The full-length midsole offers maximum comfort for long hours of play or practice. Your feet take a pounding running all of those bases and these softball cleats will let you do that comfortably.
Rubberized studs are durable and softer than metal studs on cleats. They’re also permitted by all leagues and programs, leaving you worry-free. A solid pair of softball cleats to consider for your next purchase!
3. Mizuno Swift 5
Mizuno Wave Cushioning
Padded Tongue & Collar
Metal Cleat May Not Be Permitted
Just like their predecessor, the Mizuno Swift 5 is ideal for fastpitch players, though it's best to check the rules to make sure metal cleats are allowed. These softball cleats are outfitted with Mizuno's unique 9-spike pattern for maximum traction, keeping you rooted on the ground no matter how fast you play.Read more
When it comes to softball cleats, traction is paramount. It allows you to be properly rooted in the ground, which is important for fastpitch as it allows you to have proper control when playing. These softball cleats are also designed for superior push-off for better acceleration, meaning you'll be outfield before the batter even starts to run.
As the name implies, the support system in the insole is wave-shaped to better contour to your unique foot shape. This allows for proper guidance and stability of your feet and works in tandem with the metal cleat for maximum push-off. It also provides strong cushioning and energy transfer which reduces the chance of pain and fatigue.
4. Adidas PowerAlley 4
5x3 Protrax Cleat System
May Run Narrow
This softball cleat packs a punch when it comes to performing. It has a nubuck upper that provides durability over time and use and comes in a couple basic color combinations and options. 5x3 protrax metal spike configuration provide ample traction and grip to help you perform and respond to changing situations on the field, while rubber sole gives a bit of flexibility and cushion. It’s a breathable, solid softball cleat to get you playing more aggressively on the field.Read more
Inside the PowerAlley 4 is an internal shank that helps support the midfoot for all dynamic movements involved during play. It helps support your foot during later moves, twists, and pivots, providing a rigid base for energy exchange. EVA midsole is crafted with Adidas technology, LITESTRIKE, making it lighter than other regular midsoles. This helps with foot fatigue during play, and adds to the softball cleat’s lightweight properties.
Comfort can be found with a textile soft lining inside the softball cleat, while diamond perforations in the uppers allow for breathability in hot summer months. A low collar allows for mobility in the ankle, letting you crouch and sprint without feeling hindered. IRONSKIN overlay at the toe helps against scrapes and helps protect you against any wild grounders. A newer model for this year, it’s a great softball cleat to consider!
5. Nike Hyperdiamond 2
This low top pair of softball cleats is incredibly durable and allows you a great deal of movement. You’ll sail through the diamond in this should which offers enhanced traction as well, or sail through the outfield to catch that ball before it becomes a home run. Either way, you’re a winner.Read more
The solid rubber outsole on the Hyperdiamond 2 offers up enhanced traction so you can accelerate faster and move with greater stability. These are a game changer kind of softball cleat.
The low top nature of these softball cleats allows your ankle greater natural movement, making it much easier to turn at the bases or line up to catch the ball. Greater traction means greater performance.
6. Nike Huarache 2KFilth
Dynamic Flywire Technology
Nike Zoom Cushioning
Metal Cleat Only
While this particular cleat was indeed designed for baseball, it still makes a great softball cleat! Sythetic and mesh uppers help to make it lightweight and breathable for those warmer summer months of play. And, with Nike, you know you’ll be getting a softball cleat packed full of technology to help you perform on the field. The Huarache 2KFilth comes in a few different color combinations and options, so you can find one suitable for your team uniform. Take your game to the next level with Nike’s softball cleat Hauarache 2KFilth!Read more
On the field, you need softball cleats that respond to lightning quick movements and reactions. Inside the Huarache 2KFilth is Nike Zoom cushioning that helps keep you comfortable, but also provides responsiveness unlike any other. This particular model was designed with mid fielders in mind, so you’ll have plenty of lateral support for lunges and quick stops. Metal cleats provide the ultimate infield traction, letting you dig in to set for the next at-bat.
Lace up vamp on this softball cleat does allow for a perfect fit, and also provides some protection to the forefoot and ankle against grounders. The ankle is supported from a high collar on the cleat, helping to keep you safe during dynamic play. Mesh uppers make it airy and light, keeping you cooler in the heat of battle. It’s a solid softball cleat option for those looking to up their game!
7. Adidas Freak X Carbon
Studded Carbon Frame
Shaped Heel Cup
Limited Long-Term Durability
Initially designed for football, the Adidas Freak X Carbon have found their way into the hearts of softball players, thanks to the breathable and supportive SPRINTSKIN upper, studded carbon frame and shaped heel cup. It's one softball cleat that will give the competitors a run for the money!Read more
Unique to Adidas shoes, the SPRINTSKIN upper is a synthetic laminated material that, along with the mesh lining, work together to provide strong support without adding unnecessary weight or hindering breathability. Discomfort and poor temperature regulation can distract you from the game, so it's important to keep these things in check with your softball cleats.
Owing to their name, the Adidas Freak X Carbon features a carbon fiber plate that extends from the heel to the forefoot to improve multidirectional stability. This along with the molded softball cleat outsole keep your feet stable and properly rooted on the ground.
8. Under Armour Spine Glyde ST CC
4D Foam Insole
Our third pitcher-specific fast pitch (metal studs) softball cleat, this shoe can only be described as tough. As an upgrade from the Spine Glyde, the SPine Glyde ST CC will stand up to all the drag you can give it, keep your feet stable and give you maximum torque and control. On or off the mound, you will have a hard time finding a better performance than this softball cleat.Read more
The lightweight synthetic upper on the Spine Glyde ST CC is already very durable. However, it also features an abrasion resistant toe piece that gives you extra protection to stand up to the drag.
The softball cleat features a molded 4D Foam insole that forms to the shape of your foot. This prevents your foot from slipping in the softball cleat and increases your lateral stability. The outsole is meant to dig in to provide you torque and control.
9. Mizuno ADV Erupt 3
Aggressive Stud Design
Padded Tongue & Collar
Built with Mizuno’s relatively new, already famous nine spike design; this softball cleat is great for any field surface with its aggressive traction. This is a very comfortable softball cleat that is suitable for fastpitch or slow pitch.Read more
The outsole on the Erupt 3 features Mizuno’s ProFlex design which allows greater forefoot flexibility for control. As the name suggests, this allows for more eruptive power and acceleration for your very best performance.
This outsole of this softball cleat features Mizuno’s nine spike design. The studs are GroundGrip designed for aggressive traction and control no matter the field.
10. New Balance 4040v1
Mesh & Synthetic Upper
These New Balance softball cleats are suitable for either slow pitch or fast pitch. It’s a shoe designed for pitchers but great for any player who wants a lightweight, durable and responsive performance.Read more
New Balance has given this softball cleat Toe-Protect rubber compound that reinforces the toe area and protects the shoe not only from the abrasion of toe drag but the elements as well.
These softball cleats are built with New Balance’s innovative REVlite midsole. The material provides premium durability and responsiveness in a shoe that is ultra-lightweight.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In considering a pair of softball cleats, you should consider a set that is optimized for the position that you play. Different players have different requirements during play, and so their priorities will differ as well:
Softball cleats are not always the most comfortable shoes, but they should never be so uncomfortable as to cause damage or injury to your feet and ankles. Players have been known to wear multiple pairs of socks to deal with the discomfort that thin soles and cleats can cause.
Comfort features in a good softball cleat include:
Before you settle on any pair of softball cleats, you should be aware of your league’s rules. Many softball leagues (especially amateur and slow pitch), pitches and schools prohibit the use of metal cleats for safety reasons. Especially for children. Some pitches do not allow metal cleats for safety or full molded cleats because they tear up training pitches. However some high school, college and professional leagues allow for metal cleats.
The benefits of each cleat type are listed below.
Low-top or High-top? Low-top softball cleats may allow a player to run faster and are less restrictive. High-tops offer increased ankle support. If you have a prior injury, high-tops are probably a good option to help prevent re-injury.
Color choice - Many softball cleats are offered in a variety of colors that you can match to your team uniform. Some teams may even require that you purchase a softball cleat of a specific color. Also, darker colors show less dirt and scuffing than lighter colors, if they have a concern about showing wear.
Softball cleats need to be able to endure a lot of stress and strain. During the life of a cleat, it will be subjected to mud, rain, sweat, blood, and possibly even snow. As soon as the elements of a cleat start deteriorating, performance becomes heavily affected. As you can imagine, durability and performance are parameters that go hand-in-hand.
The durability of all kinds of shoes is mostly related to the material they’re built with; as well as, the manufacturing quality. Softball cleats are pretty much the same. Deterioration in your softball cleats can determine how much well you play. It also determines your potential risk of injury.
Each element degrades individually, but it’s equally important to understand the shoe degrades as a whole. This means every element should be in a similar state as the rest of them. If one element degrades much faster than the rest of the shoe, it will lose its quality and the potential usage the rest of the elements may still have.
Generally, the piece that degrades the fastest is the sole. This is no surprise, as it’s the part of the shoe that handles the most tension. Softball cleats are designed to provide comfort and protection to the foot. Put them under harsh conditions, however, and they’re not so good, anymore.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Whichever position you play during the game, it's important that your cleats help you perform the best possible.
Pitchers also should consider a low-top option to maximize their ankle movement, while those in the infield or outfield should consider metal cleats, which won't pick up as much debris.
Most cleats are either made from a combination of soft leather and synthetic, which make them quite easy to clean with a damp cloth, and soap. Simply wipe of any debris or mud from the field, and let the air dry.
Other Factors to Consider
There are several reputable companies making softball cleats. Avoid being tied to a brand name and look for a comfortable, well-fitting softball cleat that suits your needs instead. If you usually wear Under Armour but an Easton fits you better and suits your position, go for the Easton.
Feet are easily irritated and sometimes bruised during softball games. There is quite a bit of running, dodging and awkward movement that can be hard on the feet. Without the proper cushioning and design, not even the best softball cleats will keep you on top of your game for long. A poorly cushioned shoe may get you into the start of the game, but in the long run, will take their toll on your feet.
Don’t find yourself on the sidelines because of a poor quality or faulty pair. We carefully evaluated every single shoe reviewed in this article, and dug out their most unique features. We also let you know exactly how they earned their spot as one of the best softball cleats.
Remember, there are some aspects to consider when looking for the ideal pair of cleats. The first is whether the specific cleat is allowed in competition, and in what types of competition is it not if any. If you’re a competing softball player, it would be a poor choice to have obtained a pair of cleats not allowed in competition. You also want to consider whether they are supportive enough. How much they allow the ankle to flex versus how much support they provide for the ankle is a huge factor. Ask yourself what you need.
Think about how the build of the whole shoe should be and not just the cleats. Is the shoe constructed properly? There are also different types of cleats available. That makes yet another factor to consider. The age range and sizing are typical. Just make sure you know your size. Lastly, you must choose based on your specific style of play. Are you a pitcher? Do you typically slide bases? These are factors that come into play in the perfect shoe. Below we explain each factor, and how they are beneficial to you as a player.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can you use baseball cleats for softball?
There isn’t much of a difference except that some softball cleats are made of rounded rubber points which can be far more comfortable than the type found on baseball cleats. Baseball players generally do not use these types of points. The games are different so you would expect that the development of the rules and equipment would be separate as well.
q: How should my softball cleats ideally fit?
You want your softball cleats to fit a little tighter than regular athletic shoes to avoid having your foot move in the cleats. This helps your efficiency and also helps avoid blisters. Remember to leave room for your socks. Because cleats are usually thinly padded, players have known to wear more than one pair of socks with their cleats so make room for your second or even third pair if that is your preference.
q: Are softball cleat sizes the same as regular sneaker sizes?
Not necessarily. Different manufacturers make different sizes of their shoes, and none are standard. Your best bet is to measure your foot or have it measured by a professional like a podiatrist and then carefully read the sizing charts that manufacturers provide. Remember to leave room for those socks! Also, remember that you want a snugger fit than your sneakers.
q: Why are so many of these shoes black?
Black is generally acceptable to most teams and leagues and hides dirt and scuffs well. It’s also popular among players, so more manufacturers make more of them – supply and demand. Many of the manufacturers also make softball cleats to compliment team colors, and Adidas makes a shoe for kids that can change the color of the Adidas stripe on the side of the shoe. You could also dress up a black shoe with color by purchasing a pair of laces in any color or pattern you choose!
q: What does B(M) mean in terms of size?
This does not mean boys or men’s. It indicates the width of the shoes in two different measurement types. A or AA mean narrow, B is average or medium width, and C/D/E/EE are all indications of a wider shoe. N, M, and W mean narrow, medium and wide. What this means for a particular softball cleat can vary, so it’s always best to read the sizing charts.