New Balance Men's 3000 V4 TPU Molded Baseball Shoe1

7 Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet (2021 Reviews)

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Flat feet is a condition affecting up to 30% of Americans — which means plenty of baseball players have overcome this lack of an arch in their feet over the years. The condition does not have to hinder play, but can place unique strain on both the body and the shoes.

Asking what are the best baseball cleats for flat feet is a challenge, because there are no models designed specially for the condition. However, there are many models with features that can help.

Flat feet is when feet lack an arch in the inner-mid area of the foot, between the heel and ball near the toes. It causes all of the foot’s bottom surface to touch the ground while standing — instead of the normal practice which lifts a small portion off the ground. Think of the narrow middle part of bare footprints.

The condition is not the end of the world for baseball players, and having the proper equipment should help. Let’s take a look.

Quick Summary

  • Those interested in more stability and absorbing shock should consider the Men’s 9 Spike ADV series from Mizuno.
  • Adidas offers some innovation that might help players with flat feet with its Men’s Adizero Afterburner baseball shoe.
  • Under Armour attracted attention with its affordable yet super-comfortable Men’s Harper 4 series of baseball shoes backed by a MLB star.
  • New Balance, Under Armour and Adidas offer other baseball cleat options for players with flat feet or other foot or ankle ailments.
  • Topping our list is the New Balance Unisex-Child 4040 V5 Baseball Cleats series, with the brand’s typically wide shoes and laser-focus on comfort.

Who Should Get These Products?

Any baseball or softball player diagnosed with flat feet, or with other foot ailments, as most of these examples are designed with foot support and comfort in mind.

What to Consider When Choosing Baseball Cleats

Playing Surface

The first thing to consider is where the cleats will be used the most. Baseball cleats can have pro-level metal spikes, molded plastic or rubber spikes, or some form of “all surface” style on the bottom. Be sure to know whether your league allows metal spikes. If your home field has artificial turf, metal might not be the way to go. But for fields with lush or long grasses, many players insist on good ol’ metal.

Support

Elements or designs to provide support for the ankle and feet are critical. For those with flat feet, pay attention to features like adjustable ankle straps, or flexible material inside to hold feet firmly in place yet allow some give-and-take during play. Shoes too firm could cause pain, and sometimes too much stress on the shoe’s bindings. Good athletic shoes cup the heel firmly, and have soft footbeds throughout for slight (but not too much) cushioning.

Arch Support

We separate this from general support due to the arch area’s importance with flat feet. Some people might look for cleats with “high” arch support, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. In reality, some type of element to support the arch is fine, if it’s sturdy with at least some give to allow shaping to the foot, and not so obtrusive. Look for terms like “midsole,” “sidewall,” or EVP for the material inside the shoe.

Lightweight

All sports shoes should be as light as possible while still maintaining durability, to allow for full-speed running and sideways agility. Heavy cleats also can tire a player, never good for potential injury. For players with flat feet who are tired, this could cause unnecessarily harder stomping during strenuous running — which just jolts the arch area and joints.

Toe Box

The toe box, or front area housing the ball of the foot and toes, should be wide for people with flat feet. This might be the most important thing to look for, aside from arch support. Some brands are known for wide toe boxes, or options to choose between widths. Others might be more known for producing very tight shoes, not always a good thing.

Other

Other features or elements to look for in baseball cleats when you have flat feet or other conditions affecting the feet are attention to the sole/cleat area, as stability overall can make an impact; a padded collar, or the opening where the foot slips into the shoes; and extra padding or cushioning in the midsole.

Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet: Our Choices

We reviewed a number of baseball cleats based on factors that would provide the most support for players with flat feet. Here are our recommendations based on those considerations, along with pricing and user feedback:


1. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet for Outsole: Mizuno Men’s 9 Spike ADV Franchise 8 BK

Two features jump out with the Mizuno 9 Spike ADV model (see Amazon), and both are horizontal: the 9 spikes in its outsole that are specially designed just for baseball; and the full-length midsole, the layer just above the spikes that acts as a shock-absorber.

That the midsole fully runs from heel to the tip of the toes emphasizes comfort for those with flat feet. The rubber studs at the bottom are solid for any type of field, and it’s the strategic placement of them that deserves a close inspection.

Mizuno typically offers quality baseball cleats, and this is no exception, priced in the mid- to high range, probably for more advanced players aged 13 and up. However, adult softball players have reported positively on their fit and wear. Note that some users have suggested ordering a size a little bigger than usual.

What We Like:

  • Full-length cushioning midsole.
  • Baseball-specific outsole.
  • Studs underneath designed for maximum effect for baseball moves.

Not So Much:

  • The weight, at 1.9 lbs.

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2. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet for Innovation: Adidas Men’s Adizero Afterburner V


There are several features of the Adizero Afterburner V by Adidas that should catch the eye of any baseball player with flat feet. The special EVA midsole is lighter than most alternatives on sports shoes. Almost like a soft, snug soccer shoe, the sock-resembling construction comfortably wraps the foot.

The Sprintskin upper portion is laminated and not only boosts support, it limits weight. But it’s in the rear where we pay attention, with an external heel with a traction zone that rotates to maximize turf or dirt grip.

On the outside, a mix of textile and synthetic surfaces place emphasis on light weight or strength in all the right places. All of these together make the Afterburner a solid offering by the German-based shoe maker — and one with plenty to offer for people with flat feet.

What We Like:

  • Sock-like construction.
  • Lightweight yet designed for durability.
  • Innovative rotational exterior heel.

Not So Much:

  • Be careful with pricing as there seems to be a very wide range to choose from.

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3. Best Baseball Cleats on a Budget for Flat Feet: Under Armour Men’s Harper 4


With the Harper 4 Mid, Under Armour pitched a model into the baseball cleats mix that caused a splash and attracted a legion of followers. For players with flat feet specifically, this cleat backed by MLB star Bryce Harper has plenty of foot and ankle support all around.

It has a full-length, EVA midsole for cushioning and sharing stress throughout the bottom, helping with comfort. A lace bar adds great support at midfoot, without sacrificing flexibility. Up higher, there is an adjustable ankle strap for serious support and stability.

Perhaps what’s most forward-thinking is the hybrid cleats at bottom — with metal spikes in front, molded on the heel. This combo lets the metal up front dig in for traction and power, while the rear spikes are molded to reduce overall weight but still grip enough for safe play.

What We Like:

  • Awesome pricing, for the quality.
  • Hybrid outsole of metal and molded spikes.
  • Extra, adjustable ankle support.
  • Lightweight for a mid-ankle height at 14 oz.

Not So Much:

  • Shaft (highest point from bottom of foot) might be too tall for some players.

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4. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet Just for Comfort: New Balance Men’s 3000 V4 TPU

New Balance Men's 3000 V4 TPU Molded Baseball Shoe


Equaling the popularity of the Harper model is the 3000 V4 line by New Balance. Once again this sports shoe manufacturer aims squarely at installing comfort features, and the 3000 V4 is no exception with bootie-like construction and even a “comfort collar.”

Baseball players with flat feet will appreciate the wide front section typical of NB offerings. Two features jump out for flat-footers: the fresh foam midsole with “cushioning technology” aimed at boosting support and — what else? — comfort.

Its 11.2 oz. in weight is not the lowest available for baseball cleats, but lower than most. If you have flat feet, going with a New Balance model probably is your safest bet.

What We Like:

  • Cushioning midsole.
  • Collar for comfort.
  • Lightweight.
  • Low- to mid-range pricing.

Not So Much:

  • Beware of a wide range in pricing.

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5. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet for Affordability: Under Armour Men’s Leadoff


Those eyeing alternatives to the Harper model should look into the Leadoff line from Under Armour, for nice pricing considering the features. To the point, this affordable and quite popular model includes a full-length EVA midsole, for even cushioning.

A padded collar along with special heel construction provides comfort with each step. Leadoff pairs (learn mroe) are available in low- or mid-ankle styles. (Mid is like a half-way high-top, in basketball shoe terms).

Some nice touches are around the toe box area, which is too often overlooked by other brands. Here, UA added perforations to allow airflow inside the inner toe area, to not get bogged down with moisture; and an overlay atop the shoe cap for protection in an area that often wears out with baseball cleats.

What We Like:

  • Full-length EVA midsole.
  • To cap overlay.
  • Padded collar for comfort.
  • Affordable pricing for all options.

Not So Much:

  • Weight at 1.7 lbs.

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6. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet for Affordability 2: Adidas Performance Men’s Wheelhouse

Another Adidas attempt at a lightweight yet affordable baseball cleat, the Wheelhouse series has proved popular for young players. The EVA insole and lightweight, padded midsole are what players with flat feet should notice.

The Wheelhouse has options, including the now even lower-priced 2 series, or the more advanced 3 series. This line also comes with some style features, like camouflaged outer molded spikes, so pay attention when ordering.

The real draw for the Wheelhouse for those with flat feet is the low cost along with the EVA insole that allows the shoe to naturally contour along the shape of the feet while in action. Just pay attention when ordering since some users have reported that they might come too narrow.

What We Like:

  • EVA insole.
  • Lightweight and cushioning midsole.
  • Low pricing.

Not So Much:

  • Beware that they may be too narrow for some tastes; perhaps order a half-size larger.

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7. Best Baseball Cleats for Flat Feet Overall: New Balance Unisex-Child 4040 V5 Baseball Cleat

Even podiatrists (foot doctors, if you wondered) out there are recommending the Unisex-Child 4040 V5 Baseball Cleat line by New Balance for players with flat feet. The brand alone focuses on comfort over performance in all its sports lines, and the 4040 V5 cleat models, especially, lend themselves well to fit many types of foot sizes snuggly.

The midsole made of EVA — the material used to make orthotics and insoles — is preferred because it best molds to the shape of individual feet, and provides plenty of arch support on the inside-bottom part of the feet. That, along with a firm sidewall, provides superb support along the entire foot with this model.

Performance-wise, it is very light at 6.6 oz. On the outside, the lacing closure ensures a snug fit. Perhaps best is, in line with the brand’s tendencies, the width is very favorable for players with flat feet.

This model has variations, like the J4040 V5 for juniors, or models just for molded or metal spikes; or the “unisex-child” 4040 V5 for young baseball or softball players. Price ranges can vary greatly per features, but just look for the “4040” line for flat feet.

What We Like:

  • Width, design focus on comfort.
  • EVA midsole.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Lace cage to prevent laces from interfering with play.
  • Low- to mid-range pricing.
  • For Little Kid (4-8 years) and Big Kid (8-12 years)

Not So Much:

  • Nothing jumps out to not like about this series.

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About Flat Feet and Baseball

Flat feet is a condition affecting up to nearly a third of Americans, so it’s quite common. Describing it is fairly simple: most of us have arches in our feet, on the inside between the heel and ball of the foot. Those with flat feet either don’t have this arch, or have a small or shrinking arch.

The result is the entire soles of the feet touch the ground while standing. It is often painless, and is not debilitating for a great number of people with flat feet. It’s just something to be aware of, and make adjustments accordingly.

Flat Feet Impacts

Among many causes of flat feet, including hereditary (some children are just born without feet arches), obesity, diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis, its aging and wear and tear that baseball players should look out for. Flat feet over time or strenuous play can contribute to pain nearby such as in the ankles or knees — not good for baseball players.

Beware of certain injuries, too, like stomping on a base edge too hard while running. Bruising or damaging a foot arch can be very problematic, whether or not you have the flat feet conditions. Swelling near or around the arch, or anywhere on the inside of the foot, makes it hard to play sports especially baseball with all its sudden lateral movements.

As with other parts of our body (notably in the spine as discs deteriorate), most foot arches drop over the years. The tendons that hold them up just weaken. It’s not a bad idea to look into special cleats for baseball play even at a young age, if flat feet are diagnosed or even suspected.

Focus Up Front, and Below

The main thing to look for is up front: the width, or size of the “toe box.” Flat feet tend to widen the feet, namely along the ball of the feet into the toe lineup, so narrow shoes can be troublesome. After that, look for EVA midsoles, or parts of the inside with the EVA material, as it molds around feet contours naturally.

There are no baseball cleats specially designed just for players with flat feet. However, there are many models with features that certainly can help, and we outlined some of the best of them above.

See Also:
5 Best Japanese Baseball Gloves: A Primer
4 Best Budget Baseball Sunglasses
How Much Do Baseball Cleats Weigh?
Can You Run Over The Catcher In High School Baseball?
How Long Do High School Baseball Games Last?

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