If you've decided that you're going to get back into playing baseball as an adult, your first priority will be to buy the right equipment. While a glove and bat are important, don't discount the value of a good pair of cleats — they'll provide you with traction whether you're playing defense, swinging, or running the bases, which can help you avoid the injuries that could occur from slipping and falling while wearing conventional running shoes. Whether you shop online or at an in-person retailer, here are some tips to make sure that you get the right pair of cleats to help you succeed on the diamond.
Think About Your Game
Even though you're new to baseball as an adult, you likely played the sport as a child. Using this information, as well as an honest assessment of your athleticism, think about how you expect to play the game. If you're in top shape, for example, you'll likely be a speedster and could find yourself playing center field and trying to stretch singles in the doubles. If you're heavy and not overly mobile, you may end up playing first base. Your game will influence the cleats that you buy; speedy players often favor low-cut cleats, while heavier players prefer high-cut models due to their ankle support. Knowing this information will help you refine your search.
Metal Versus Plastic
Metal cleats aren't allowed in softball, but if you've enrolled in a baseball league, you'll be able to wear metal cleats if that's your choice. You have the option, however, of wearing metal cleats or plastic cleats. Each has its advantages. The former provides the highest degree of traction whether you're on the infield or outfield. Some baseball shoes have removable cleats, allowing you to switch between metal and plastic with a small wrench. This can be ideal if you expect to play a little softball, too, as you'll be able to switch to plastic cleats.
Leather Versus Synthetic
Leather cleats are an ideal choice for their durability, as the leather should last you for several years. Some players favor synthetic cleats, however, because they're typically more affordable — although the degree of affordability ranges significantly based on the brand and style of the shoes. Leather cleats will often allow for better air circulation, due to the breathability of the natural material. This is ideal if your feet typically sweat profusely or if you live in a hot climate.
Head on over to a store like Finley Shoe Store to begin your search for the right pair of cleats.