Most people would agree when we say quality sports cleats aren’t cheap. If you or your kids play soccer and baseball, you may be worried about buying two different cleats – one for each sport. Doing that will burn a sizable hole in your pocket. The only workaround may be to use one cleat for both sports. So, can you use soccer cleats for baseball? There’s a short answer.
Yes, you can play baseball with soccer cleats. Although soccer and baseball cleats differ in structure and functionality, the two sports overlap in terms of certain kit requirements. Soccer cleats are versatile enough to allow you to wear them during a baseball game. Most notably, they possess studs and ankle safety mechanisms which are major requirements for baseball.
Using soccer cleats for both baseball and soccer will save you cost and keep you from shopping for two new pairs of boots every time you or your kid outgrows them.
In this post, we’ll cover the following:
- Differences Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats?
- Similarities Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats?
- Factors to Consider Before Using a Soccer Cleat for Baseball
- Final Verdict
Let’s dive in!
Differences Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats?
These shoes are both sports shoes with certain similarities. However, they also have some key differences in functionality and design. Knowing the main differences will help you figure out how well your soccer cleats will serve you in a baseball game.
Check them out below:
|Soccer Cleats||Baseball Cleats|
|Type of Material||Most come with rubber or plastic studs||Most come with metal studs|
|Shape||Round with blunt curve at fore-end||Longer with pointy fore-end|
|Studs||Made of rubber or plastic with blunt ends and varying lengths||Made of metal with spiky ends and similar lengths|
|Safety Mechanisms||Heel cap||Ankle support|
|Type of Cleats||
1. Type of Material
We’ll start by assessing what materials manufacturers use to make the main body of these shoes (excluding studs). Soccer cleats are mostly made of genuine or synthetic leather. There are plastic ones, but those are uncommon, especially in professional play.
Synthetic leather soccer cleats are lighter, thinner, and more flexible than genuine leather ones. They also don’t absorb as much water and hardly stretch out like genuine leather shoes.
Genuine leather cleats work better with players who have wide feet. They are sturdier and provide better protection. Many players report that they’re the most comfortable kind of soccer cleats.
We’ve created a list of the best soccer cleats for wide feet. You should check it out if you’re having trouble finding one that fits you comfortably.
Baseball cleats are also made of genuine and synthetic leather. Pro players prefer genuine leather ones because of their higher durability and comfort level.
When it comes to overall material, the main difference between the two sports shoes is their studs. Soccer cleats use plastic or rubber studs, while baseball cleats have thick metal studs.
Later in this article, we’ll talk more about why the difference in studs matters a lot.
Soccer cleats generally have a lighter weight than baseball cleats. This makes sense because of the way both games are played.
In soccer, the players are almost always moving from one point on the field to another. However, baseball players are stationary for longer periods.
Soccer players also have to be able to kick the ball on the ground or in midair without too much resistance from their shoes. They jump high to head the ball in many instances. If you see a baseball player jump to head the ball, something has gone awfully wrong.
Hence, it makes sense that soccer boots are lighter to allow for easier movement.
Next, we’ll look at the overall design shape of both types of shoes and why the manufacturers made them that way.
The cleats used for soccer are round with a blunt curve or (or cap) at the toe area. Baseball cleats are longer and have a pointier end at the toe area. Baseball cleats are also cut lower than soccer cleats.
Soccer players need the blunt toe region because it helps to control the ball better and allows them to guide their shots accurately. Baseball has no such needs; hence, the pointy ends.
The lower cut on baseball shoes also helps players move better side-to-side. Soccer cleats trade this support for a higher cut and a little more ankle support.
4. Sections Design
A cleat is divided into three distinct sections that are merged during production to form the whole shoe. They are:
- Upper section
- Middle section
- Bottom section
Let’s analyze all of these areas and note the key differences between baseball and soccer cleats.
This is the top of the shoe. The upper section of soccer cleats is lighter and more flexible than that of baseball. It also has no mesh or holes in its stitching. The baseball shoe’s upper section is thicker and has mesh holes for ventilation.
The result is that soccer cleats are optimized for touching a ball, while baseball ones focus more on improved protection.
This part consists of the midsole, which is a layer between the inner and outer undersurface of a shoe. Your foot rests on the inner sole while the outer sole rests on the heel.
Not every soccer cleat has a midsole. In cases where they do, it’s quite thin. Baseball cleats tend to have thicker midsoles.
Soccer cleats don’t favor mid-soles to maintain the lightweight principle of the sport and boost speed and flexibility. Baseball shoes have heavy midsoles for a variety of reasons:
- They provide support for players who spend most of the game standing (about three hours).
- They improve stability when running.
- They help with pitching and batting by providing an anchor for players.
This part houses the heel of the shoe. Baseball cleat heels are thicker than those used in soccer shoes.
Just like the midsole, this is to provide baseball players with more support when they stand. However, soccer cleats have a heel cap that helps protect players’ ankles.
The studs are the pointy bits attached to the heels of sports shoes. Studs for both sports are different in composition, length, and shape. Here’s how:
The studs on soccer cleats are made of rubber or plastic, round/blunt at the ends, and of varying lengths. Most baseball cleats have studs made of metal, shaped like sharp spikes, and of nearly the same length (they are also longer).
Both stud patterns help players grip the ground or grass better. However, baseball cleats’ studs are metal to help dig even deeper into the ground and optimize stability.
The metal spikes can be dangerous if they come in contact with other players; however, this is improbable in a game of baseball.
However, soccer is a contact sport requiring players to kick the ball with their feet, exposing the studs in the process. Hence, heavy metal studs have no place in soccer. In fact, baseball cleats with metal studs and toe spikes are banned from all levels of soccer.
6. Toe Spike
The presence of a toe spike among the studs is perhaps the most distinctive feature between both soccer and baseball cleats.
Baseball cleats come with an extra toe spike to help players dig deeper into the ground before swinging the bat and while accelerating. On the other hand, soccer shoes don’t have toe spikes to maintain balance and reduce the risk of injuries.
Most soccer shoes have a pair of spikes at the front that are well-spaced to give players more balance. However, they are positioned a lot further from the toe regions.
7. Safety Mechanisms
All sports, whether contact sport or not, come with the risk of injuries. That’s why cleat makers include safety mechanisms in their designs.
Let’s check out how soccer and baseball shoes vary in that regard.
Baseball cleats have ankle support, while soccer cleats don’t. This helps to protect baseball players when they perform sudden sprints, turns, slides, and sideways movements.
The heel cap is padding around the heel that allows players to turn with their heels firmly in place. This helps to prevent injuries.
Soccer cleats have heel caps while baseball cleats don’t.
8. Type of Cleats
Shoes for baseball, soccer, and other sports are categorized into distinct categories based on their functionality. This is a major difference between them since all sports have separate rules, fields of play, game styles, and more.
Let’s check out the types of cleats for both sports.
Soccer Cleat Types
These are cleats built for muddy or soft surfaces. They have metal tips that help dig deeper into the ground and prevent slipping.
They can have conical and molded or bladed and flat studs. These boots work best on hard surfaces.
These cleats don’t have any studs or spikes. They’re best for wooden surfaces.
Artificial-Ground and Turf:
These football cleats have few studs (scattered beneath the heel and forefoot) but the studs are large.
Baseball Cleat Types
You won’t find this in many youth leagues. The metal spikes provide maximum stability.
These have molded plastic or rubber spikes. The molded plastic cleats are versatile and have use on a wide variety of surfaces.
Artificial-Ground and Turf:
With these cleats, the entire sole is covered with small rubber spikes.
Similarities Between Soccer and Baseball Cleats?
1. Both Support Running
The two sports involve a lot of running, albeit to varying extents. That’s why manufacturers design the cleats to support sprinting by reducing the chances of slipping while in motion.
2. Both Use Studs
Not all sports shoes have studs, but those of baseball and soccer do. For this reason, many people accidentally buy one instead of the other. To be fair, their studs can look similar to inexperienced eyes. We already talked about their key differences, such as shape, material, and presence of a toe spike.
3. Both are Made of Leather
The two kinds of sports cleats are made of leather. This could be genuine or synthetic. In both cases, synthetic leather shoes come in a wider variety of colors and designs. Hence, many casual players prefer them.
Factors to Consider Before Using a Soccer Cleat for Baseball
This section will be very useful if you’re buying soccer cleats that you can also use for baseball. It will also help you decide whether or not to wear soccer cleats you already own for an upcoming baseball game.
Perhaps your kids love to play soccer and baseball, and you hope to save a little by having them wear the same shoes for both sports.
No matter what, we’ve got you covered. Here are the most vital factors to consider.
Before you use a soccer cleat for baseball, you need to ensure it’s safe to do so. If the shoe doesn’t have a midsole or the cut is too high, the player might experience some discomfort, especially during longer games.
Heavy players need more ankle support. So, if your shoe doesn’t have that, it may be best to stick with proper baseball cleats. Nursing a recent ankle injury? You should not use a soccer cleat in a baseball game until it fully heals.
2. Play Level
The required skill and intensity for playing baseball varies with each level (from kid games to youth to pro). Do not underrate the impact of metal studs in a baseball match. They help give extra precision and balance, particularly to batters and pitchers.
In a higher-level game, such as pro league baseball, where the margins for victory can be thin, you may need the help of metal spikes, particularly the toe stud.
Toddlers and kids can use soccer cleats with rubber spikes with no problems. In fact, metal studs are hardly ever allowed at that level. If the player is on the verge of going pro, then it’s better to use baseball cleats or more stable soccer shoes.
3. Type of Soccer Cleat
Some soccer cleats have no place in baseball due to their category. Indoor soccer cleats, for instance, would be of little use on the baseball field. Soccer’s metal cleats, on the other hand, can be very useful if you put other factors mentioned in this section into consideration.
Your play position and the on-field condition should also help you to decide whether you should use a type of soccer cleat to play baseball. We’ve created a short list to help with your decision-making:
- Soft-ground cleats will help outfielders in wet seasons
- Firm-ground cleats are suitable for outfielders playing on natural grass
- Artificial-ground/turf cleats are good for baseball practice
Once again, you can wear soccer cleats for baseball. To avoid performance and safety issues, take all the factors we revealed above into consideration.
Tom is an accomplished writer, with years of experience producing buyer’s guides and tutorials for athletes online.
And it goes without saying – he’s sports-mad.