Opinion: The Best Baseball Cleats | STACK

Opinion: The Best Baseball Cleats

February 8, 2013 | Eric Bunnell

Must See Baseball Videos

It's the time of the year to start breaking in a new pair of baseball cleats. But getting them ready for opening day is the easy part. Finding the perfect pair is what proves to be difficult. When picking out baseball cleats, the biggest hang-up comes with deciding whether to purchase a low-top or a mid-range model. To make the right selection, first decide which features are most important to you. Factor in things like weight, ankle support and durability. (Check out STACK's New Balance Baseball 2013 Photo Shoot.)

During my career, I always found myself going with low-top baseball cleats. Here's why.

Why Low Tops Are the Best Baseball Cleats

Speed

My game was based on speed, both on the bases and in the outfield. So I needed the lightest baseball cleat available. I also required enough support to handle playing a pair of weekend double-headers on top of a sprinkle of mid-week games. When looking at the cleats on the market today, I see more low-top options (around a 60/40 ratio). So players have more opportunities to find the right combination of weight, support and style, while fitting a variety of budgets.

Price

This will ultimately depend on the brand and model, but when browsing the 25 most expensive cleats offered by a popular online baseball retailer, I found that the average price of low-tops was a little over a dollar less than the mids. I found seven low-top cleats ranging from $85 to $95 and only five mids in this range. The most expensive cleat available was a mid, the Nike Lunar Huarache Carbon Elite Mid Metal (retailing at $140). The most expensive low-top cleat was the Mizuno Pro KL 6 Low Metal ($125).

Weight

Checking out the same 25 shoes on the weight scale, the edge goes to low-top baseball cleats. On average, low-tops were slightly over an ounce lighter than mid-range models. My list of low-top cleats featured seven pairs under 13 ounces, including two pairs at 10 ounces or less. The lightest shoe available was the adidas adiZero 5 Tool Metal Low ($110) at an astonishing 9.3 ounces. The lightest mid-range cleat was the 3N2 Viper Mid Metal ($100) at 12.2 ounces.

Style

This is completely subjective, but in my opinion the low-tops flat out look better than their mid-level counterparts. The Nike Zoom Vapor Elite ranks at the top of my scale in the looks department, along with the New Balance 4040 Low Metal ($95), which sports a more up-to-date style. The Nike Air MVP Low ($80) and the New Balance 3030 Low ($75) offer a more traditional look. Speaking of tradition, if you are a player who likes to wear stirrups, low-tops allow for more of the sock to be shown, which is more aesthetically pleasing. But if you prefer wearing pajama pants, it doesn't really matter because it will look awful either way.

Topics: BASEBALL
Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...
Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

The 5 Most Painful Spots to Be Hit by a Pitch

2014 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Matt Kemp on His Way Back to MVP Form

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

Build a Better Baseball Body With Joe Mauer's Workout

The Reebok ZQuick Is a Racing Tire for Your Foot

Puma Fass 500 S Running Shoe Offers a Cushy Minimal Ride

The Best Non-Basketball 'Player Exclusive' Kicks

Catcher Technique, Part 10: The Baseball Workout

adidas Unveils the D Rose 4

adidas Previews the FIFA World Cup Battle Pack Collection

How to Find the Perfect Running Shoe

The Most Protected Players in Major League Baseball

Under Armour Introduces the SpeedForm Apollo Running Shoe

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

New iSlide Athletic Sandals Help Athletes Recover

adidas Releases New Golden Adizero F50 FG Messi Cleat

Hanley Ramirez's Overhead Tire Pull

Jordan CP3.VII Out This Week in 4 Colorways

Evan Longoria Sharpens His Skills With This Exercise

SNEAKER ALERT: First Look at Air Jordan's 2014 Playoff Pack

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Form Meets Function With the DZR Marco Bike Polo Shoe

STACK Approved: Puma BioWeb Elite LTD Training Shoe

Increase Your Pitching Velocity With These 3 Exercises

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

Derek Jeter's Best All-Star Moments

Check Out Under Armour's Alter Ego Highlight Cleats

Who Wore the Best Tennis Shoes in History?

Use These 3 Grips to Throw a Changeup They Can't Hit

New adidas Running Shoe Puts Spring in Your Step

Jordan Brand Reveals Flight Runner, Its First Running Shoe

Hanley Ramirez's Explosive Sled Row

A Closer Look at Stephen Curry's Anatomix Spawn Silver PE

Will Johnny Manziel Get His Own Signature Cleat?

Nike Free Hyperfeel Knit Shoe Moves With You

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Turkey Bowl Gear Essentials: Nike Free Trainer 5.0 Training Shoe

SNEAKER ALERT: Jordan Announces Super.Fly 3

The Best Commercial You Won

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

Kettlebell Training for Baseball and Softball Players

How David Ortiz Maintains Peak Performance

The Best Basketball Sneakers of 2014

Joe Mauer

Air Jordan Releases the Flight Flex Trainer

The ASICS GEL-Kayano

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

Yes, Snoop Dogg Designed a Custom Football Cleat With adidas

SNEAKER ALERT: adidas Introduces Supernova Sequence Boost

Treat Your Feet Right: When to Replace Your Worn Out Shoes

SNEAKER ALERT: Reebok Retro Runner, the GL6000

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Introducing the Warrior Prequel

Sneak Peek: Puma evoPOWER Soccer Cleats

Post Your Next PR with the Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus

SNEAKER ALERT: Nike Officially Unveils Hyperdunk 2014

adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX Hiking Boot

How to Choose the Best Running Shoe for Yourself

adidas Launches the adiZero Crazy Light 3 Basketball Sneaker

Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0: An Ideal All-Around CrossFit Shoe

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet