May 16, 2011

Soccer Cleats vs Baseball Cleats

So you want to get into soccer, but you don’t have any cleats. How about that pair of baseball cleats you have lying around – they’ll do, right? Well, not really. There are some key differences between soccer cleats and baseball cleats. If you are serious about soccer, you need the right tools...

Nike Mercurial Vapor soccer cleat (photo from CLF, flickr)

The Difference Between Soccer Cleats and Baseball Cleats

  • Cleats: Baseball cleats have an extra toe stud at the front of the shoe. Soccer cleats do not have this stud – it would be too dangerous during tackles. There’s a good chance that a soccer referee will not let you play if you are wearing baseball cleats.
  • Design: Soccer cleats are designed to keep your feet as close to the ground as possible, giving you maximum control over the ball. Soccer shoe designers accomplish this by removing part of the shoe known as the midsole.
  • Weight: Soccer cleats are normally lighter than baseball cleats. Players move around the field constantly during a soccer match, so having light shoes helps to reduce fatigue. Baseball players do not run around nearly as much, so fatigue is not a problem.
  • Feel: Baseball players do not need to “feel” the ball with their feet. For soccer players, having a good feel for the ball is important. Therefore, soccer cleats are made with more flexible materials that give you a greater sense of touch.
  • Strength: A good pair of baseball cleats should last a long time – but only if you wear them for playing baseball! Unlike soccer shoes, baseball cleats are not designed for kicking. The upper area of a soccer shoe (the striking area) is made from durable leather or synthetic materials. They won’t fall to pieces after a few hours of kicking.
  • Freedom: Baseball cleats often have added ankle support. That’s great for baseball players, but not so good for soccer stars. Soccer players need as much freedom of movement as possible in the feet and ankles. Soccer cleats, therefore, are low-cut at the ankles, allowing for greater movement.
  • Technology: Ah, this is the fun part! Soccer cleats come complete with cool technological bits and pieces that can help improve your game. Increased swerve, more shooting power and better ball control... things that baseball players do not need.
Adidas Predator Pulse soccer cleat (photo from adifansnet, flickr)
 Can You Wear Baseball Cleats for Playing Soccer?

You could wear baseball cleats for soccer, but you would have to remove that dangerous toe cleat! You would also lose all of the advantages that soccer cleats have over baseball cleats. If you are serious about soccer – and you plan to play regularly – then you should buy yourself a good pair of soccer cleats as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about soccer cleats (or any recommendations), leave a comment in the box below.

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