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Metal vs. Rubber Baseball Cleats

Baseball is a game played on a variety of surfaces, including grass and dirt. During the game, players need a shoe that provides traction to change directions while running and fielding. Baseball cleats made from metal and rubber were introduced to provide the traction. Each type of baseball cleat has certain features and advantages that make it unique.


Some leagues and organizations prohibit the use of metal cleats. These rules are found primarily in youth organizations that prohibit metal for safety reasons. As a result, rubber cleats are used in youth programs and metal cleats are used in the high school, college and professional levels.


Most metal and rubber baseball cleats are permanently affixed to the bottom of the shoe. However, interchangeable cleats have releases that allow them to be changed from metal to rubber and vice versa. This allows the player to change the cleats based on playing surface or league rules. The cleats are simply screwed in and out of the sole of the shoe.


Rubber cleats provide a durable, strong and effective baseball shoe. They can also be worn on and off the field. Metal cleats provide better traction because the cleats dig into the dirt or grass farther than rubber cleats.


Most major shoe brands that produce baseball cleats, including Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Mizuno, offer numerous models for both metal and rubber cleats. These brands offer unique features on different models for metal and rubber cleats to fit individual foot types and playing styles.


Metal cleats are typically more expensive than rubber due to a higher quality of construction. Rubber cleats are great for beginners due to a simple construction. Metal cleats can cost as much as $150, while rubber cleats can be found for as low as $40.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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