So you would like to have a comparative look at soccer cleats vs softball cleats. Well anyone who plays either soccer or softball must have a suitable pair of cleats because they make movement easier, and they provide a strong grip between the shoe and the playing surface. Regardless of the time of year or whether the game is indoors or outdoors, knowing the difference between softball and soccer cleats is essential, especially for the athlete that plays both of these sports and may be considering purchasing only one pair for both sports.
The biggest and most notable difference between soccer cleats and softball cleats is the prevalence of metal spikes on softball cleats. Metal spikes on soccer cleats however are often against soccer regulations. Plastic spikes are best for soccer cleats.
There are several other differences too but the feature of a metal spike is the most prominent difference between these two cleats.
Cleats for Softball versus Soccer Cleats – Breaking Down the Differences
Both soccer and softball cleats provide traction and help with generating force, by giving a solid connection to the ground. Most softball cleats that offer quality, comfort, and practicality will have metal spikes. Dry, natural outdoor surfaces are best for these cleats.
Cleats with metal spikes, like the ones for softball, have longer spikes than soccer cleats. This helps players use force from the hips to throw and hit the ball. As players step to engage with the ball, the front foot must pivot to make an effective throw or hit. This is the best method for being able to skillfully convert good footwork and appropriate footwear into results on the field of play.
Advantages – Benefits of Metal Spikes
Metal spikes have several advantages and benefits over plastic:
- Metal keeps its shape and stays more rigid for a longer period of time than plastic.
- Plastic wears out and snaps off far more often than metal.
- Metal digs deeper into certain surfaces than plastic.
- Metal is more appropriate for use on the softball surface.
Cleats with Plastic Spikes – Their Practicality
Soccer cleats are made up differently because of the continuous running, change of direction, stopping and acceleration involved while moving with or without the ball. In this sport, metal cleats would have too much traction. It would therefore place massive amounts of stress on players’ knees and backs.
Also, metal cleats in a semi-contact sport like soccer would increase the chances of injury to other players. These can leave bruises and bludgeoning with torn and ripped skin if they come into contact with another player on the soccer field.
What to Consider before Buying Cleats
Its advisable to get cleats with removable spikes if someone is a super athlete who plays both soccer and softball. The option to switch out the molds is not only fantastic but saves money too.
When shopping around for cleats, take into consideration how active the athlete is and how often they play sports. You want to think about overall longevity and comfort as well as the price. The cleats should also give the ultimate in durability and stability.
Cleats with Metal Spikes
Metal spikes are the most stable and durable but, because so many leagues require plastic over metal for the safety of all players involved, they are difficult to come by and a bit more expensive.
Expect to spend anywhere from $90 to $150 for a pair of cleats with metal spikes.
Men’s New Balance 3000 V4
New Balance is a leader in great sports footwear. They’re reliable, comfortable, and always quite reliable for the athlete. New Balance’s 3000 V4 model gives a whole new definition to cleat comfort.
These cleats have rubber soles with synthetic material and a full-length midsole made of Fresh Foam for the ultimate in comfort. There’s a Lace Cage tongue, which helps keep laces snug and out of the way. They also have an Ultra Heel providing the most in coziness for the back padding of the foot.
There aren’t too many downsides to these shoes. Many users report and attest to how comfortable they are. The most common complaint is that the measurement is off. So, if someone needs 11.5 wide, it will be better to opt for the 12.5 wide.
Men’s New Balance 4040 V5
For men, there’s no other option than something from New Balance. These fantastic metal cleats comprise all synthetic materials with a rubber sole. They’re flexible and supportive while providing impressive traction for the best performance.
The synthetic materials allow for a comfortable and breathable upper without adding excess weight to the shoe. This means athletes will be light on their feet with a cushiony forefoot pad for maximum support over many miles.
However, a good number of people report defects with these shoes, even after one use. Also, depending on where an athlete holds their center of gravity in the heels, it can provide some difficulty with traction. They’re also a little tight for many men’s feet and seem to run a bit small for size.
Women’s New Balance Velo V1
Once again, New Balance tops the list for cleats and they don’t leave the ladies behind. Just as with both of their metal cleats for men, these comprise 100% synthetic materials, like leather and suede, with a solid rubber sole.
These are comfortable cleats containing a Fresh Foam midsole and Lace Cage tongue for keeping laces out of the way. They’re also very breathable since the perforations on the shoe vamp up this feature. New Balance did a good job here of providing comfort and luxury in a metal cleat for women. They’re not only fashionable but also provide a superior fit.
However, pitchers should get cleats intended for their position and should stay away from the Velos. Many people report how the lining in these breaks down only after a handful of games. These come with claims of horrible blisters and other physical ailments when this happens.
Women’s Mizuno Swift 6
For a metal cleat that’s lightweight and tough featuring the latest in high performance, Mizuno has a shoe designed specifically for female softball players. Although specific for pitchers to deliver the ball fast, they’re good for any position.
This is because of how each cleat has nine spikes with strategic positioning that maximizes traction and movement. They have a patented Wave Plate that disperses impact energy across a wide area to provide superior cushioning with stability.
There’s also heel-to-toe cushioning and full-length midsole for the ultimate in comfort. The padded “booty” tongue means the shoe has a superior fit and feel. Many people have provided favorable reviews for these shoes.
Cleats With Plastic Spikes
Plastic cleats are widely available and most recommended for use on the soccer field. Many leagues require these over metal ones. The only downfall is that the plastic molds that comprise the spikes wear down quickly. This means replacing cleats will be frequent.
The price range of plastic cleats has a far wider depth than metal ones. They can cost as little as $35 or go as high as $265. So, while they are generally less expensive than metal cleats, their frequency of use will be a major factor in purchasing them.
A Unisex Cleat by Adidas, the “Copa Mundial”
These cleats from Adidas do not disappoint. They apply superior engineering techniques while accommodating both men and women. A rubber sole rests snugly under a 100% leather shoe. The shaft, platform, and boot opening measure to accurately perfect proportions. These give legendary stability, comfort, and flexibility.
Explosive speed and traction on grass are superb with these cleats through the EVA midsole, giving lightweight comfort. The soft synthetic lining provides maximum coziness while also being incredibly durable. The rich leather upper and dual-density outsole sets the standard for firm ground play while giving a great fit and feel.
Be careful where you buy these cleats though, there are many fakes on the market. Nefarious sellers will present them as the real deal.
Men’s DREAM PAIRS
DREAM PAIRS isn’t a company like New Balance or Adidas in being a long-standing, reliable manufacturing brand, but, they make a much sought-after cleat that’s excellent for both soccer and football. The company created these cleats for the most control and grip when playing on damp or soft surfaces.
One of the more desirable and unusual features about these cleats is their sock-like design that’s stretchy and soft. This sits snugly about the ankle, which is fly-knit mesh. It’s a rather fashionable shoe too while allowing for freedom of movement. DREAM PAIRS designed the internal system so that the shoe cradles and supports the foot’s natural contours, including the arch.
Thermoplastic polyurethane comprises this flashy and fitted cleat. But they are lightweight and soft with a cushiony insole for added comfort. The spikes are rubber with rotational traction.
The Goletto VI, A Women’s Cleat by Adidas
The Goletto VI for women by Adidas makes for an excellent ladies’ cleat. The FG W model is white, blue, and coral for the most in performance and fashion. An entire synthetic upper sits atop a rubber sole. These women’s cleats with a flexible outsole have beautiful traction on natural surfaces.
Allowing for fast agility and quickness, Adidas designed these for women to up their game. They have that classic, old-school Adidas look with durable, lightweight comfort. Since the shaft measures low-top from the arch, it makes for a unique and comfortable cleat.
This is definitely a great women’s cleat for playing soccer.
Men’s Diadora Capitano TF
For a cleat that’s great for indoor or outdoor soccer games, Diadora provides a quality engineered turf soccer shoe. They’re good quality, well-priced and perfect for the occasional player. Because of their versatility, athletes will benefit from playing on a wide variety of surfaces and conditions.
Rubber composes the sole with a soft, polyurethane upper. The insole and midsole contain fixed cotton and shock-absorbing EVA foam. What gives this cleat superior traction is the unusual feature of an anti-abrasive, multi-studded outsole.
Many people love the relaxed fit of these Diadora cleats.
Cleats are a necessary component of field sports. So ensuring an athlete has the right pair is crucial to playing a great game. But, there are many things to consider when hunting for them. Of course, they should be comfortable and have a great fit but they should also have some longevity.
The frequency with which a person plays either soccer or softball in addition to budget considerations will be major deciding factors. Therefore, expect to pay more for metal cleats than for ones with spikes made of plastic or rubber. Conversely, plastic or rubber molds will be acceptable by most leagues and reduce the amount of injury incurred by the player or inflicted onto other players.
In the event an athlete plays both soccer and softball, investing in a pair that can perform well in both is advisable. So, getting something from New Balance or Adidas will ensure a quality pair of shoes while providing maximum security, durability, and stability.