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Have you ever been watching a Major League Baseball game and said to yourself, “I wonder how much those baseball cleats weigh?” This question is often asked by baseball fans after seeing a player run at high speed with what appears to be heavy cleats on their feet.
Though baseball cleats may look heavy, they are actually only 8 to 13 ounces in weight each. The overall weight of the cleat depends upon the baseball player’s shoe size, whether the player prefers metal or molded spikes, and if the cleat is “high-top” with added ankle support or not.
In this article will we dive into the different types of baseball cleats and how these different options affect the weight of the cleat. We will also go over some interesting facts about baseball cleats.
Metal or Molded Spikes?
The main choice that every baseball player must make is whether they prefer metal spikes or molded spikes. Metal spikes usually provide more running traction for the player. However, the downside to using metal spikes is that this adds anywhere from half an ounce to a full ounce of weight onto each cleat. Pitchers and catchers often prefer metal spikes for their greater ability to “dig in” to the dirt.
Molded spikes do not provide as much traction and cutting ability as metal spikes, but they are much lighter and result in greater speed for the baseball player. Outfielders, and other players who rely on high-speed running, often prefer molded spikes for their lighter weight.
Baseball players usually prefer molded spikes when playing on artificial turf instead of grass. Players that prefer molded spikes claim that they experience less wear and tear on their joints since they distribute weight much better than metal spikes.
High Top or Low Top?
Another important decision that each ballplayer must make is whether they prefer high top of low top baseball cleats. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of cleats.
High-top cleats like this provide extra ankle protection for the baseball player. This makes it a top choice for athletes who are prone to ankle injuries. The only downside to high-top cleats is that they are much heavier than low-top cleats and can cause the player to run at a slower speed.
Low-top cleats are often chosen by fast outfielders or any other “speedy” players. Low tops are much lighter in weight than high-tops and this makes them a top choice amongst big-time base stealers. The baseball players who want to produce top-level speed on the basepaths prefer low-top cleats with molded (not metal) spikes.
Interesting Facts about Baseball Cleats
Here are some more interesting facts about baseball cleats below:
- The spikes on the end of baseball cleats may be made out of rubber, steel, or even plastic. The plastic spikes that are used by baseball players are similar to the spikes used by track athletes and football players.
- In all levels of youth league baseball, metal spikes are NOT allowed. This rule was put in by governing bodies to reduce the risk of injuries. Metal spikes can cause dangerous cuts if a player is stepped on or slid into incorrectly.
- Metal spikes are used by players at the high school, college, and professional levels of baseball. Some MLB players use the same pair of cleats for the entire season, while others change out their cleats on a much more frequent basis.
- Cleats have been a part of baseball for well over 100 years. The first official baseball cleat was invented in the year 1882 by a man from Philly named Waldo Claflin.
- In today’s game, popular baseball cleat brands include Nike, Mizuno, Under Armour, and New Balance.
- Baseball cleat prices can range from $30 to over $100 per pair. This is another reason why baseball is one of the most expensive sports to play.
- Prior to the 2019 season, Major League Baseball would impose fines on ballplayers who worn odd colors of cleats that did not match their respective team’s color scheme. Starting with the 2019 season, Major League Baseball decided to relax its cleat color regulations and allow players to wear black, white, gray, and/or any team-colored cleats. Many Major League Baseball players like Ben Zobrist and Mike Clevinger have spoken out in favor of the rule change.
- Many Major League Baseball players have signed lucrative contracts to represent these cleat brands. In 2014, Los Angeles Angels Outfielder Mike Trout became the first baseball player since Ken Griffey Jr. to get his own signature Nike baseball cleat. Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper has a hefty contract with Under Armour that runs through year 2026. Los Angeles Dodgers Ace-Pitcher Clayton Kershaw surprised many fans back in 2019 when he signed a long-term deal with Sketchers to represent their brand of baseball cleats.
What is Your Experience with Baseball Cleats?
Do you have any experience with baseball cleats? Have you been able to try out both the metal and the molded spikes? Was there a noticeable difference in the weight of each type of cleat?
Do you prefer high-top or low-top cleats? Did the high-tops provide the extra ankle and foot protection that they claim?
Do you have a favorite brand of baseball cleats? Under Armour claims to have the lightest weight and most comfortable cleat, but Nike and New Balance still seem to be popular choices for many baseball players.