Which softball cleats are best?

One of the greatest joys in life is watching your athletic child succeed in sports. If your little one is a softball player, you want to see them play like the budding star they are. Providing them with high-quality softball cleats is the first step in helping them take their game to the next level.

Softball cleats give players the comfort and traction they need to perform at a high level. The best softball cleats, such as the Nike Kids’ Hyperdiamond 4 Keystone Softball Cleats, provide excellent protection and give players the flexibility to move swiftly.

What to know before you buy youth softball cleats

Size

The last thing any parent wants is their child getting injured. Softball can be a dangerous game, but you can help minimize the risk of injury by having your child wear the right size cleats. Wearing too big cleats can feel awkward at best and cause injury at worst. However, they shouldn’t be too tight, either, as that can also be uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is to leave a bit of room in the toe box so your child’s feet don’t feel constricted.

Metal vs. molded cleats

Metal cleats offer the most traction on a softball field but are usually more expensive than molded cleats, which use hard plastic or rubber nubs. Molded cleats don’t have replaceable studs, but they’re more durable than metal cleats.

It’s important to note that some softball leagues prohibit metal cleats due to safety concerns, so check your child’s league rules before buying softball cleats.

Cleat height

Cleat height is a matter of preference, as there is no difference in functionality between a low-cut, mid-cut and high-cut shoe. Low-cut shoes are lightweight and ideal for speedy players who don’t want to limit their mobility or flexibility. However, mid-cut and high-cut cleats provide more ankle support and stability than low-cut shoes.

What to look for in quality youth softball cleats

Midsole cushioning

Softball cleats should have plenty of cushioning in the midsole. Cushioning provides a layer of protection between the studs and the sole. Without it, players would experience pain or soreness from the jagged spikes. Cushioning also makes it comfortable for players to wear cleats for extended periods, gives them more responsiveness while striding and offers more explosiveness to main top speed during agile movements.

Spike length

Whether metal, plastic or rubber, the spikes on your child’s cleats should give them plenty of traction. Shorter studs are ideal for outfielders since they spend most of their time on soft grass. Longer spikes are more suited for infielders, as they dig into dirt better.

Durability

Softball cleats should have a sturdy build for withstanding the rigors of several games and protecting players from dirt and debris. A thick, padded tongue helps keep out debris and prevents shoelaces from coming undone easily. Also, most softball shoes have a toe cap for added protection and durability, so that once it wears out, there’s still a layer of fabric underneath.

How much you can expect to spend on youth softball cleats

Youth cleats are cheaper than adult cleats, usually costing $35-$40. For more durable shoes, you can expect to pay up to $50.

Youth softball cleats FAQ

Do pitchers need different cleats than other players?

A. In a slow-pitch league, pitchers can wear the same cleats as other players. They can also wear the same cleats in fast-pitch leagues, but cleats with a reinforced toe box are ideal there, due to many pitchers’ tendency to drag their back foot’s toe on their follow-through.

How do I clean my child’s softball cleats?

A. To remove dirt and debris buildup, clap both cleats together outdoors and use a cloth or an old toothbrush to remove grass and mud stains.

What are the best youth softball cleats to buy?

Top youth softball cleats

Nike Kids’ Hyperdiamond 4 Keystone Softball Cleats

Nike Kids’ Hyperdiamond 4 Keystone Softball Cleats

What you need to know: These cleats are made with high-quality materials and deliver excellent traction and elite performance.

What you’ll love: They have a durable leather upper with molded details, and a padded collar and tongue for a comfortable fit. The foam midsole has soft cushioning for greater stability, and the rubber outsole with Nike Grind spikes provides superior grip. They come in six colors.

What you should consider: They’re not as flexible or responsive as other softball cleats.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top youth softball cleats for the money

Under Armour Kids’ Glyde RM Softball Cleats

Under Armour Kids’ Glyde RM Softball Cleats

What you need to know: These provide superior comfort and flexibility, making them ideal for beginners and intermediate youth players.

What you’ll love: They have a textile forefoot and a mesh fabric upper for increased ventilation. The thermoplastic polyurethane toe cap adds extra protection and the Charged Cushioning in the midsole lets players take off with explosiveness. Also, the heel pocket offers a secure, locked-down fit.

What you should consider: They only come in black or pink, and some customers complained about durability issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Adidas Kids’ Purehustle 2 MD Softball Cleats

Adidas Kids’ Purehustle 2 MD Softball Cleats

What you need to know: These boast a clean-cut design and are made for youth softball players looking for a balance of flexibility and comfort.

What you’ll love: The mesh tongue and textile upper are breathable, letting players’ feet stay cool and dry longer. The sockliner provides a secure fit, and the Lightstrike midsole offers sufficient responsive cushioning. The molded rubber studs are strategically placed to give players superior traction on dry and wet surfaces.

What you should consider: They don’t have as much cushioning in the midsole as other cleats, and they’re only available in one color.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.