Baseball has entered a new era, thanks in part to an up and coming age of shortstops and influencers like the Houston Astro’s Carlos Correa, or the Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor the game has seen a shift in focus heading towards cleats and on-field style. Companies such as adidas, Nike, New Balance, and Under Armour have been in an all-out battle to win the consumer with their cleats. Each brand bringing its own spin to the baseball cleat, whether that be materials used, colors, function, or price.
This article will examine three of the best youth baseball cleats on the market, primarily focusing on plastic or TPU cleats, with an introduction into metal cleats for the older kids heading into Pony or Babe Ruth Leagues. There will also be an “honorable mention” section that references some of the cleats that just missed the cut.
Nike Force Trout 4 Keystone
Nike has done its part in using the best athletes in sports to represent their brand. That strategy holds true in baseball as well, with their line of Mike Trout cleats, ranging from adult cleats all the way down to youth baseball cleats, these are some of the best on the market, with respect to comfort, price, and style.
The Nike Force Trout 4 Keystone cleat enters the market at a $40 price point, making it an affordable buy that will last more than one season. The cleat comes in three different colors, red, blue, and black, all with hints of white and yellow throughout, giving it a unique color and style, and in the ankle area, it has the signature “Trout” logo.
One of the most important items to look for in any cleat is comfort, baseball is a game that takes a few hours to play and that is a lot of time on your feet. The Trout 4 Keystone brings comfort to the cleat with a full foot cushion, and we can see that cushion right between the yellow lines and the black Nike swoosh (area is circled above).
Sure it’s comfortable, but what else makes this one of the best youth baseball cleats out there? Baseball is typically played in warm weather, which means it is easy to get overheated, however, the tongue and synthetic upper of the cleat provide for superior ventilation and stability. In regards to the synthetic upper, it is durable and constructed to last and perform more than just one season, which means you will not have to go back to the store or back online to purchase another pair.
Safety is always one of the top priorities for parents purchasing youth cleats, and the Nike Force Trout 4 Keystone checks that box. The high top ankle support provides stability in the ankle for all ages, it has been a design that is not just limited to youth cleats as well. Professional and collegiate players also are moving towards high ankle cleats because of the support it gives when rounding the bases. The TPU, or plastic, spikes are also a safety benefit, as youth baseball emphasises sliding to get out of the way, not only will it be less likely that your child will spike him or herself with plastic spikes, but also the other player.
The Nike Force Trout 4 Keystone is the best cleat in Nike’s youth range. It provides comfort, stability, comes in an three different colors, and will not break the bank. Trout’s cleat will have your child looking like Mike Trout on the field for more than one season.
New Balance Junior COMPv1
New Balance enters the market with a more expensive model, called the Junior COMPv1. This cleat is full of innovation, as New Balance has tabbed it as having “some of the most innovative spikes in the game”. The beauty of these youth baseball cleats is they are supposed to perform like metal, but have all the benefits of a plastic spike. These cleats are especially useful as your child comes closer to transitioning into metal cleats. Similar to the Nike offering, the COMPv1 comes in three colorways, black, red, and blue.
If the mid/high top cleat is a feature that you would prefer to stay away from, the COMPv1 is a low cut cleat. It is constructed of lightweight and flexible materials, key components for superior comfort and movement in a baseball cleat.
Taking a closer look at the ‘spikes’ on the COMPv1, they are made out of fibreglass and different from a typical rubber spike (compare to rubber spikes on Nike Cleats). Because these spikes are made from fiberglass and not standard TPU, they are far lighter, providing even more comfort and wearability.
While this cleat is at the top of the price range, it is worth every penny. The innovation and technology in this shoe is second to none. Not only in the spikes and the flexible plate, but in the
entire cleat itself. The midsole is full heel to toe of New Balance’s REVlite technology, which is used in everything from cleats that professional baseball players wear to everyday sneakers. New Balance has made a name for itself in the baseball industry, by producing some of the best cleats, from the top down. New Balance’s range covers all fits and needs.
The COMPv1 is more expensive, but the price is justified by the features that come with the cleat. This cleat brings incredible innovation to the game with their fiberglass spikes that perform like metal but feel like TPU. The cleat is also lighter than most normal plastic spiked cleats which can sometimes mean not as comfortable, however, because of the REVlite midsole and synthetic materials in the upper of the cleat, comfort is at the forefront of benefits of this cleat.
Rounding out the top three best baseball youth baseball cleats is the Leadoff Low RM Jr. This cleat is at the bottom of the price points, at 33 dollars. While it is the cheapest, by no means does that have any indication of a less quality cleat. The Low RM comes in seven different colorways, everything from all white to black and red.
A feature that Under Armour highlights is their superior step-in comfort, what does this mean for the player? It means this cleat is easy to put on and it is comfortable the entire time, including the process of putting the cleats on.
Like the aforementioned cleats, Under Armour’s product also has a full-length midsole, made from EVA, which is a comfortable foam similar to REVlite. The cleat’s upper and tongue are constructed of a synthetic mesh, which keeps good airflow into the foot so keep it cool and dry. The rubber spikes are also spread out through the entire outsole in order to relieve pressure points that may occur in cleats and in the foot. The cleat is a light 8.5 ounces, which will also be a factor in relieving further stress on the foot.
The Under Armour cleat provides a wide range of colors, which is something that the two previous cleats had not. Not only does it come in more colors, but it also has similar features to the Nike and the New Balance Cleats, for the lowest price point out of the three, the Under Armour Leadoff RM Jr is a great bang for your buck.
Overall, the New Balance Junior COMPv1 is the best cleat you can buy. The spikes are innovative, the materials are light, breathable and comfortable. For more information on metal cleats, click here for our assessment of the best cleats for high school and college players.
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