A Buying Guide on the Best Baseball Cleats for Kids & Youth

The beauty of baseball is that it can be a fun family activity for all ages. Even a toddler can be taught the rudiments of playing baseball with a padded bat and ball! Baseball cleats are not always necessary for friendly backyard games, but in a competitive game or practice, they are essential.

Baseball cleats are must-have safety gear because they increase traction in the ground, whether the game is being played on firm ground or on a muddy field. These sports-specific shoes have cleats or spikes that can be made of metal, rubber, or plastic, depending on the type of ground on which they will be used.

Rubber and plastic cleats are usually thick and rectangular in shape, while metal cleats are typically thin and rounded.

Our Favorite Picks for Baseball Cleats

Here are my top picks for the best baseball cleats for young players. Be sure to check first with the league requirements for cleats to ensure that, indeed, you’re getting the right cleats for your children.

1. New Balance J4040V3

New Balance J4040V3

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The synthetic material used in these shoes provides benefits in breathability and durability, as well as in ease of cleaning the shoes. The attractive two-tone design with the “N” logo enhances pride of ownership in the branded shoes. The rubber sole, with its wide rectangular cleats, ensures effective traction on both firm and soft ground.

What's Great About It: These are relatively wide shoes that accommodate the toes, yet offer snug comfort. Many parents say that these are less constricting from the toes to the heels than other cleats.

2. Boy's Nike Vapor Keystone 2 Low (GS)

2. Boy's Nike Vapor Keystone 2 Low (GS)

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

These are low-cut cleats that offer support for the ankles and feet, while also being lightweight.

The synthetic leather upper coupled with the perforations on the toe box promote better airflow inside the shoes, a must for extended games. The breathability factor also increases, thanks to the mesh material used in the collar and tongue. These sturdy cleats provide sufficient traction on most types of ground. 

What's Great About It: The low-cut design allows for more flexible movement in and around the ankles so kids can be quicker on their feet. The cushioned parts in the shoes add sufficient support to the feet, too, especially when running, jumping, and landing. This pair comes stiff, but in just a single game, it becomes softer without losing its all-important cushioned support.

3. New Balance YB3000

New Balance YB3000

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The mid-top style offers more support and stability in and around the ankles, a desirable feature for more aggressive and active players. The synthetic and mesh material ensures breathability, too, which is convenient when traveling or playing for extended periods during the summer.

The wider toe area doesn’t pinch the toes, while the narrower profile in the midsole and fore hugs the feet well. The cleats are standard in size, but are great for traction purposes, nonetheless.

What's Great About It: These cleats have a cool design with the camo print on top drawing the eyes, so young baseball players who want practicality and beauty from their shoes will love them.

4. Adidas Hot Streak Low J Baseball Cleat

Adidas Hot Streak Low J Baseball Cleat

Suitable for: 3-12 years (Toddler, Little Kid, and Big Kid)

The three-stripe pattern makes the Hot Streak instantly recognizable in sports circles. The synthetic material is as beautiful as it is strong and sturdy. The rubber sole has long cleats that hug the ground, yet allow for quick changes in movement.

What's Great About It: These shoes are popular among parents because they are easy to clean with soap and water. They will also last longer than your standard cleats, so you can get great value for your money.

5. Under Armour Boys' UA Heater Mid TPU Jr.

Under Armour Boys' UA Heater Mid TPU Jr.

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

These shoes respond well to movement, whether it’s running to the next base or making a quick turn to field a ground ball. The abrasive-resistant toe piece, coupled with the synthetic leather for the upper, adds durability to the entire shoe, while also ensuring that every part of the foot is protected from the elements. The cleats bend where they should bend — in the midfoot area — yet stay relatively rigid in other places for better support, while the cushion system offers shock absorption.

What's Great About It: Look beyond the technical specifications, and you will find a pair of baseball cleats that your young player can actually run, jump, and skid in well!

6. Nike Huarache 2KFilth Keystone

Nike Huarache 2KFilth Keystone

Suitable for: 8-12 years (Big Kid)

These shoes run on the narrow side, but they're still preferred by players who want a more snug fit in the toe area. The lacing system ensures a customized fit around the feet, while the synthetic leather on the upper keeps the shoe on the foot. The rubber outsoles have sturdy cleats that can withstand weeks of practices and games on both hard and soft ground.

What's Great About It: The Nike brand usually delivers on performance, and these Huarache shoes are no exception. These shoes are so durable that they will last even after the wearer has outgrown his size.

7. Mizuno 9 Spike ADV YTH FINCH FRHSE6

Mizuno 9 Spike ADV YTH FINCH FRHSE6

Suitable for: 8-12 years (Big Kid)

Girls love baseball too, so the Mizuno 9 cleats are a great choice for footwear for your baseball-playing girl. Aside from the girly colors, these cleats have spikes that grip the ground, yet allow for quick movements across firm and muddy ground. The rubber studs will last for years, too, before new cleats are needed, while the wider toe area allows room for feet to grow before replacements are necessary.

What's Great About It: These shoes are obviously designed for girls and, thus, they're a gem, considering that most shoes are either made for boys or for unisex purposes.

8. Adidas Performance Change Up MD 2

Adidas Performance Change Up MD 2

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The best cleats aren’t just about appearance but, more importantly, about the actual performance on dirt, grass, and mud fields. These Adidas Performance cleats are sturdy enough for these surfaces and offer comfort, support, and stability for the entire foot, thanks to the cushioning system. The textile lining and perforations on the toe box make them easy to wear, even on hot summer days.

What's Great About It: Kids can customize the colors of the cleats, thanks to the small plastic panels that come with the package.

9. Mizuno Youth Franchise 7 Mid

Mizuno Youth Franchise 7 Mid

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The combination of wide toe area and snug ankle fit makes the mid-top Mizuno popular among beginners. The outsole has studs with unique patterns for better traction on most types of surfaces, while the arch gets sufficient support from the midsole design.

What's Great About It: This is among the most comfortable and flexible cleats for boys. Parents can even insert extra cushions into the shoes for added comfort.

10. Nike Ribbie Jr

Nike Ribbie Jr

Suitable for: 4-12 years (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The rubber outsole uses the trademark Nike Grind technology that, in essence, enhances stability. The EVA wedge in the midsole and the synthetic leather for the upper make it a suitable pair of shoes for beginners and intermediate players.

What's Great About It: Kids say that wearing the cleats make them feel more confident when playing, thus, improving their game.

More in Sports Shoes: The Best Tennis Shoes to Get for Your Kids

How We Choose Baseball Cleats

Making the right choice for cleats can mean the difference between winning and losing the game. Keep in mind that baseball cleats aren’t just regular footwear because these have been designed specifically for the demands of the sport.

The best baseball cleats for both adults and children should provide the following benefits:

  • Good flexibility for making quick, powerful, and explosive movements on the field
  • Excellent traction, depending on the field conditions
  • Sufficient support necessary to reduce the risk of injuries, including impact-related injuries
  • Comfortable feeling from toe to heel

Of course, durability is a must, since baseball is a game that involves plenty of movements on hard and soft surfaces. Just like gloves, be sure to regularly replace baseball cleats, even if there are no visible signs of excessive wear and tear on them. Otherwise, the risk of injuries from insufficient support, comfort, and flexibility can increase.

When choosing baseball cleats, the following factors should be considered.

Construction

Genuine leather has a more luxurious feel, in addition to being more supple, durable, and breathable than synthetic leather — and this is reflected in the higher price tag.

However, don’t dismiss synthetic leather either, as it provides excellent support for the ankle as well as the front and middle of the feet, all for a more affordable price. The most important aspect is choosing the cleats that provide the most comfort, support, and stability within your budget.

Ankle Support

High-top cleats provide added support in the ankles, an important factor in lateral movements. Mid-top cleats combine the benefits of easy movement and moderate ankle support. Low-top cleats allow for faster speed including quicker lateral movements, although the stability aspect can be compromised.

Cleat Type

Each type of cleats has its pros and cons, particularly in relation to the type of surface. Kids must change their baseball shoes depending on the surface for best results.

Metal cleats dig into grass and hard dirt better than other types, thus, the excellent traction on these surfaces. But they can also cause injuries during sudden changes in direction, so care must be used when using them. These cleats also wear down prematurely when used on other surfaces aside from dirt and grass.

Molded plastic cleats are known for their strength and stability on most surfaces. However, their most suitable use is on soft ground or in muddy conditions, since they bounce off the ground (i.e., players are less likely to be stuck in the mud). They are more affordable than metal cleats, too, although their efficacy in gripping the ground is reduced.

Turf shoes are usually used during training and practice sessions. They are best used on natural and artificial turf because they provide the right amount of traction for harder surfaces.

Baseball cleats should ideally be chosen based on the position of the player who will be wearing them. Even youth players in competitive league games usually have assigned positions.

Infielders, for example, choose metal cleats when playing on dense and compact ground. Outfielders also use metal cleats on well-maintained fields, but plastic cleats are better on muddy ground.

Foot Size

The feet should obviously be comfortable while wearing the cleats, so foot size is crucial in making your choice. Be sure to check that the toe doesn’t leave a space of more than ¼ of an inch from the end of the cleat, and that the heel fits snugly.

I suggest getting cleats that are a little too tight, as opposed to a little too loose, because the cleats will eventually expand during the break-in period so that the player will feel more comfortable in them.

Also, parents and coaches must be aware of the league’s rules and regulations about the use of cleats on the field. For youth baseball, metal cleats aren’t allowed for safety reasons, so I didn’t include metal-studded shoes in my list.

Conclusion

Unlike basketball shoes, baseball cleats cannot be worn as streetwear because of the studs on the outsole. Therein also lies their appeal — your child will feel like a pro baseball player whenever he’s on the field because he’s outfitted in the right gear from head to foot! You, the parent, will appreciate that he’s in the right safety gear for the sport.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she’s not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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