Friday, February 20, 2015
Molded vs. Metal Cleats
Softball cleats have been used for years to improve the traction and mobility of softball players on the field. With technological advances in design, cleats have become more durable on the field, in play and in competition. Molded cleats have been used by the majority of past softball players. In the most recent years, metal cleats have been the prefered style of shoe worn by softball players in most softball leagues. Although there is little difference in the appearance of the designs, each cleat allows for different benefits.
“Molded cleats are generally made of rubber or hard plastic. These cleats are the easiest to maintain and clean, and they generally last longer.”3 They are designed for younger players in youth leagues, but the young softball athletes easily outgrow their cleats and do not need them for a long period of time. “The higher priced molded cleats are made of a stiffer rubberized plastic material that varies for different manufacturers, which are designed to give the most traction to a player before going to a metal cleat.”1 Many players will graduate from molded cleats to metal cleats when they get into high school softball or older select leagues of softball.
Metal cleats have been the primary choice for professional and collegiate players all around the world, because metal cleats have a much lighter feel to them. These cleats are very easy to recognize when walking because everyone can hear the metal spike on hard surfaces. The metal cleats are the thinnest and can penetrate the ground the easiest in both dirt and grass. “Metal cleats also give you better grip on soft ground, giving you the extra step of advantage when stealing bases or pivoting to dive for the line drive.”2
When deciding what cleat players want to purchase, it should be less about the advantages that the cleats offer and more about what level in the sport you are entering. Most youth and younger leagues do not allow metal cleats, because this type of cleat can harm novice skilled individuals that are not as experienced as veteran players. So before they purchase a pair of cleats make sure the league allows the type you are considering to purchase.
1Baseball and Softball Cleat Buying Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://www.homerunmonkey.com/baseball-softball-cleat-buyers-guide
2Molded vs. Metal Fastpitch Softball Cleats. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://softballchatter.ringor.com/molded-vs-metal-fastpitch-softball-cleats/
3How to Choose a Pair of Softball Cleats | iSport.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://softball.isport.com/softball-guides/how-to-choose-a-pair-of-softball-cleats