Baseball is one of the most-watched sport in the USA. It has been played for quite a while now. Just like any other sport, gear is crucial in this sport too. Baseball requires unique sports gear. Requirements for those gears are according to the situation too. One of those gears is baseball cleats.
Baseball cleats are a very critical gear when it comes to performing at the top level. Your cleats should enhance your performance, and they should enable you to reach new heights in the game.
These cleats need to be flexible and extremely lightweight. They need to be able to handle different weather and ground conditions in the USA.
Now, as soccer is getting more traction in the USA, some people who play both games have some relevant questions like
“can you wear baseball cleats for soccer?”
“is there a difference between football and baseball cleats?”
“will baseball cleats work for soccer?”
“are baseball and soccer cleats the same?”
I am here to answer all these questions for you. Let’s get right into them.
Soccer cleats vs Baseball cleats
There are a lot of factors that go into making cleats for these sports. Player movement style is different in both of these sport. So cleats are made according to that. The surface these sports are being played on is also critical. Different surfaces require different kinds of studs. The weight of these cleats differs too.
Let’s look at the factors below.
1) Types of cleats
Both soccer and baseball cleats look the same except for few key differences. Soccer has cleats for hard surfaces, soft surfaces, turf, and indoor.
While soccer cleats are divided based on surfaces, baseball cleats are differentiated based on studs. Baseball cleats come in three types, namely Metal, molded plastic, and turf.
Let’s look at the differences between these cleat types.
a) Firm surface soccer cleats vs. baseball metal stud cleats
Both of these cleats are commonly used in the respective sport. Hard surface soccer cleats have molded plastic studs that are perfect for a natural grass field. Since the surface is firmer, it doesn’t require metal studs as your feet won’t penetrate deeper. Keeping these studs clean is very easy.
Soccer players suddenly change directions while running so they need studs that can give them that freedom. These types of studs provide much more maneuverability to the player on a firm surface.
When it comes to baseball cleats, they have metal studs. Baseball players have to run on grass as well as hard clay surfaces, so they need studs that can provide traction and grip on both surfaces. This is why metal studs are the right choice.
So you might ask, is it ok to wear football cleats for baseball? The answer would be not everyone, but if you are an outfield player, then you can wear them.
b) Soft surface soccer cleats vs. baseball molded plastic stud cleats
This kind of soccer cleats come with longer studs and sometimes have a metal tip on them. They are perfect for wet grass surfaces or when there is too much mud. Since the surface is soft, players need more traction to start running or changing directions. Longer studs help players push into the ground to get a jump.
The reason why baseball cleats come with a molded plastic suds is that their functioning has to be exactly opposite to metal studs. Baseball surfaces have a lot of mud, and if you wear metal studs, it’s going to be hard to get off the ground. You don’t want your feet to get stuck in the field. These styles of baseball cleats can also work on any surface, which is a bonus. Usually, it rains in the spring season during baseball season, and these cleats would be perfect during that period.
c) Turf soccer cleats vs. baseball turf cleats
Playing on turf is totally different than grass or mud. You cant have metal or plastic studs on them. Metal will damage the turf, and plastic studs won’t give you any grip.
Soccer cleats come with large studs all around the shoe except the arch part. This helps with better traction on the turf surface but also to control the ball using mid-foot.
Baseball cleats come with a lot of smaller studs, and they cover the entire area of the shoes. This gives baseball players the grip they need to run on the turf surface.
In the case of turf, you can certainly use soccer cleats for baseball but vice versa would not be possible since soccer cleats cant have studs in the midsection of shoes.
d) Indoor surface soccer cleats
There are no indoor baseball surfaces, but there are indoor surfaces in soccer. These shoes have a good quality rubber sole and don’t have any studs.
These shoes would have no use on any kind of baseball surface.
2) Material used for the cleats
The material of cleats plays a very important role in maintaining efficiency. Most baseball cleats use high-quality full-grain leather or synthetic leather. Some brands do make knitted baseball shoes but that’s rare.
Your cleats should have material that allows breathability and flexibility. That’s why using pure leather is best for these cleats. Synthetic leather is a cheaper alternative to genuine leather. It’s not a durable as pure leather. One good thing about synthetic leather is that it offers more support than pure leather.
In contrast, soccer cleats are made from specific materials like synthetic, knit, calf, and kangaroo leather. Their quality is determined by touch rate. Touch rating is crucial, it tells how well a player can control the ball with those cleats.
In baseball, there is no such thing as touch rate. In most beginner-level situations, you can get away with using the cleats made for either sport, but at a professional level, you need precision.
Let’s look at the difference between cleats for these both sports.
a) synthetic leather soccer cleats vs. baseball cleats
Synthetic leather cleats are cheaper, durable, and also lightweight.
Synthetic leather cleats also provide adequate support overall. It does provide more support than pure leather in some areas.
The problem with synthetic leather soccer cleats is that it has low touch rate, Which is bad for any soccer player. At a beginner level, it could work but at a professional level, it’s much better to use pure leather cleats.
These soccer cleats could be used for baseball. Overall, there is not much difference in both these cleats.
b) Knitted soccer cleats vs baseball cleats
Knitted cleats are comfortable and flexible. They give a barefoot feeling. In soccer, these cleats provide a much better touch rate, so ball control can be easier in these cleats. The problem with these shoes is that they lack support and cushioning.
On the other hand, knitted baseball cleats offer more support and cushioning than soccer cleats.
If you are an offensive player in soccer, then these cleats could be really good for you. When it comes to baseball outfield players can certainly use knitted cleats.
c) Calfskin leather soccer cleats vs. Genuine leather baseball cleats
Leather cleats are breathable, flexible, and offer more support. The calfskin leather cleats offer more support to soccer players as well as baseball players. This type of cleats is also known for its ridiculous touch rate.
These shoes can be good for baseball players who play in the diamond.
One downside to these cleats is that they have a break-in period. That means it can take time for players to get used to the feeling on their feet.
Calfskin leather cleats are terrific for players who play defensive positions in soccer.
When it comes to baseball players, calfskin leather cleats might work for infield players. Pitchers and batters still might struggle with these soccer cleats. They are not as convenient as leather baseball cleats. Secondly, missing toe studs in soccer cleats can make it hard for baseball players to get a jump off the ground.
Both cleats are almost identical with few differences. So a baseball player who is learning the game shouldn’t have a problem with using either of them.
d) Kangaroo leather cleats for soccer
These are the most expensive type of soccer cleats. They are made from genuine kangaroo leather. These cleats also have the highest touch rate compared to others.
The biggest issue with this type of cleat is durability. They are not as durable. They require too much maintenance, which is a downside.
Soccer players who play attacking forward positions will have the most benefit from these shoes. These shoes are too specific for soccer and baseball player would find it hard to be comfortable in them.
These shoes are also pricey, so investing in them is not a great idea for baseball players.
3) Weight of the cleats
The weight of the cleats is vital in high-performing situations. Even slightly overweight cleats can decrease a player’s performance. It is due to the fact how players train and practice. Having correct shoes is a top priority.
When we compare soccer cleats to baseball cleats, there is one key difference. That is the weight of these cleats.
Soccer cleats are lighter in weight, while baseball cleats have a little bit of heft. Soccer players have to be nimble on their feet. Players need to suddenly change directions while running. So having lightweight shoes makes it easier.
While baseball players also need to be quick, they need a little more weight for getting a good grip on the firm clay surface.
4) Structure of the cleats
The structure of the cleats is a crucial factor too. These cleats are designed to deliver high performance. Soccer cleats have some unique features, and baseball cleats have some unique features too.
There are two things that we mainly need to address here.
a) Front end of the cleats
Ball control and directional pass with precision are 2 of the most crucial things players need to do while playing soccer. The companies design these cleats by keeping those things in mind. Therefore soccer cleats are more rounded at the toe area. It enables players to have better ball control while dribbling and passing.
On the other hand, baseball cleats come with a toe-guard. This toe guard helps with the safety of the toe but also helps with the durability of the cleats. Baseball players, in general, put a lot of stress on the toe area, so the toe area of the cleats wears out faster. Toe guard helps with that.
b) Stud Pattern
Both soccer and baseball cleats come with an almost identical number of studs under them.
They both come with a five-stud pattern under the toe region. There is one key difference in the pattern though.
While soccer cleats have 5th stud in the middle of the toe region, baseball cleats have 5th stud in the front of the toe. This front stud helps baseball players to dig their feet into the ground to get a jump start.
Soccer players need maneuverability, so having that extra stud in the middle allows them to have that zigzag movement on the field.
Support is another one of the critical things when it comes to soccer or baseball cleats. Both these sports require the players to have proper support to their feet.
We talked about how the material of cleats is significant in providing support to the feet.
Using genuine leather cleats is typically the best choice for both these sports. They offer the best support and comfort to your feet. Breathability is also high with leather, so your feet don’t feel cramped in the shoes.
In soccer, you can get cleats with low-top, mid-top, and high-top. Most soccer players prefer low-top cleats. Mid-top and high-top have a little bit more weight than low-top cleats. When you are playing at the top-most level even the smallest things matter. Some players also find mid-top and high-top bit restricting for ankle movements. They could interfere with dribbling or sudden turns on the field.
When it comes to baseball, it doesn’t matter the ankle length. Most baseball players are not constantly running like soccer players. Players in baseball have the freedom to choose whichever ankle-length fits their playing style.
Another critical factor in these cleats is midsole support. The midsole is significant in soccer cleats. Players use that part to control the ball. That’s why in soccer cleats, the midsole is almost non-existent. Players need to feel the ball under their feet for better control, and having thick cushioning defeats that purpose.
While in baseball, there is a good amount of support in the midsole by virtue of having more cushioning in that area. Baseball cleats are more comfortable than soccer cleats. This is why many baseball players might struggle if they try to play with soccer cleats. It’s one of the major differences between soccer cleats and baseball cleats.
Now that we have understood all the differences between soccer cleats and baseball cleats, let’s answer the biggest question at hand.
Can you wear baseball cleats for soccer?
The short answer is No. You shouldn’t. That answer would also work to a similar question “can you wear soccer cleats for baseball?” for that matter.
The longer version of this answer requires putting more thought into it. We looked at the differences between baseball cleats and soccer cleats. There are few areas where they differ from each other for functional reasons.
Let’s summarise them below.
The weight of the cleats differs between soccer and baseball. Soccer players need maneuverability, while baseball players need stability. That’s why soccer cleats are lighter in weight than baseball cleats. So players using cleats made for other sport could hinder their performance.
2) Front of the cleats
Soccer players need better ball control with their cleats. Therefore, the toe area in those cleats is more rounded as it helps control the ball better.
In baseball, players put a lot of stress on their toes. While running, throwing the ball, and battling players put a lot of pressure on toes. That’s why baseball cleats come with a toe guard to increase durability and protect the toes.
That’s why using cleats made for other sport is not such a great idea.
3) Ankle Support
Soccer players prefer low-top cleats. Even though mid-top and high-top soccer cleats are available, they have more heft, so players don’t prefer them.
Baseball players have similar choices too, with their cleats. Baseball players have to jump, run, so they need more support. They can choose low-top, mid-top, or high-top according to their needs.
Practically there is no midsole in soccer cleats. It’s like that so players can have better ball control with their feet.
While in baseball cleats there is a good amount of cushioning present in the midsole part. This helps baseball players with support.
That’s why baseball cleats are incredibly comfortable than soccer. So players using cleats made for other sport would make them uncomfortable.
5) Toe Stud
Baseball cleats have one toe stud right at the front, while soccer cleats have a toe stud in the middle of the toe area.
Baseball players need to dig in their feet in the ground while doing a lot of things. So having that top toe-stud is crucial for baseball players.
Where as soccer players need maneuverability which is possible because of the mid-toe stud.
So using baseball cleats for soccer can be really bad for playing soccer as that top toe-stud can become a nuisance.
Now that we have summarised the difference and similarities, let’s take a look at some of the common questions people have about using baseball and soccer cleats.
1) Is it OK to wear baseball cleats for soccer?
No, it’s not. As you have gone through the information presented above, it’s not safe or beneficial to wear baseball cleats for soccer. If you are playing at a beginner’s level or for moderate training exercises, you might get away with using baseball cleats. For the professional level, I wouldn’t recommend using baseball cleats for soccer at all.
2) Are soccer and baseball cleats different?
Yes and no. Some aspects of their match to each other and some don’t. The general shape is similar except for the toe part, which is more round in soccer cleats. Also, toe stud positioning differs between them.
3) Can my son wear baseball cleats for football?
At a beginner’s level, your son can wear baseball cleats for football. As you gain experience and go towards professional-level football, you should buy cleats made specifically for football.
4) What type of cleats are illegal in soccer?
Cleats with a front toe-stud can be considered illegal in soccer. While chasing the ball or tackling another player, there is always a chance of one player injuring the other, and that chance increase with the front toe-stud. So the referee might ask you to change your shoes.
I have provided you with loads of information that can certainly help you a lot. Be it baseball or soccer, they both require certain types of playing and gear.
Important thing is to understand your level of play in these games. If you are playing both games for fun, then surely you can wear cleats made for either soccer or baseball without any worry. It’s much better than using regular shoes, that’s for sure.
But at an advanced level, you need to start prioritizing things. You have to increase your efficiency and enhance the performance, and that’s when even minor details matter.
One final thing I would like to add is matching your needs and goals to the game you are playing is much better in long run.
I hope my thorough take on this subject helps you and I wish you the best.