Choosing the Right Baseball Shoes

Foot shape, level of play, and fit preference all play a role in finding the perfect baseball cleat.

There are several options when choosing a ball shoe. Once the right fit for your foot shape and performance features are determined, your level of play and league regulations will also have an influence on your choice, as well as your personal preference regarding the shoe design.

When choosing a baseball shoe, there are key elements to consider:

  • Fit
  • Shoe Construction
  • Cleat Style
  • Toe Protection

Fit

Agility, speed, balance and comfort from the 1st inning to the last is what you expect from your baseball shoe all season long. It is important you have the correct size in a baseball shoe, with a snug fit and no pressure points. A shoe that is too big will cause slippage and create blisters, as well as create an unbalanced stance; a shoe that is too small can cause pain and discomfort, and affect your ability to run the bases. 

The internal padding in the shoe keeps your feet comfortable and responsive throughout the game. A sole made from quality materials will keep you from feeling pressure from the studs underfoot, for comfort and to ease fatigue.  Look for a shoe with a good amount of insole padding in the forefoot, arch and heel areas for stability to offset the impact from running, quick stops and starts, and slides onto base.

Shoe Construction

A commonly asked question by new-to-baseball players and parents is, “why can’t I use a soccer shoe to play baseball?”

Although soccer and baseball shoes are similar in that they use cleats on the bottom outsole of the shoe to provide traction, they are constructed differently as they perform contrasting functions. Soccer shoes allow you to touch and feel the ball on the top and sides of your foot to control the ball with precision.  Baseball shoes focus on stability and balance, protection and durability – you don’t want to feel the baseball with your feet!  Instead you need protection from grounders and for sliding while still being able to run hard.

Soccer shoes are available with different leathers, synthetics and microfibers, all if which have slight differences both in the way the ball feels on your foot, and the way the shoe fits over time.

While baseball shoes can be made of leather, most players prefer a synthetic shoe because of their accommodating fit and performance features, and for their lightweight and durable characteristics.

Soccer shoes are designed to fit like a low-profile shoe with the top line edge under the ankle, whereas baseball shoes offer a mid-cut shoe or a low-cut shoe. The mid-cut shoe is higher on the ankle bone and protects this vulnerable area from foul balls and grounders.  Mid-cut cleats offer support without losing mobility, and are often the choice for pitchers, catchers and first basemen.  Low-cut cleats sit just below the ankle bone and are great for freedom of movement. Outfielders, 2nd and 3rd basemen often choose this style as they allow for quick cuts and change in directions.  Ultimately, your personal preference for the cut of the shoe will be a huge factor.

Many of the shoes built by the leading baseball brands including Mizuno, New Balance and Under Armour offer both a low-cut and a mid-cut styles.

Cleat Style

Cleats are the spikes that are on the bottom of the baseball shoe – the number and pattern of the spikes will vary with each manufacturer, but all have the function of providing traction and stability when hitting, running and fielding.

Metal Baseball Cleats

Metal cleats are only worn in competitive leagues such as high school, college and major baseball leagues. The spikes themselves are made from steel for strength, and deliver better balance and grip into the ground with takeoff. Metal spikes are great for helping a batter dig a toe hold in the batter’s box for more traction and stability.

Power pitchers tend to use metal cleats to get every last ounce of the drive to lengthen their stride to home plate. For the flamethrowers, metal spikes might be the difference between a 94 mph fastball and a 96 mph pitch.

Plastic Baseball Cleats

A polyurethane (PU) plastic baseball cleat is suitable for players of all calibers as they are lightweight and have strategically placed spikes that distribute your body weight better, resulting in less pressure points. It is no secret the plastic cleats won’t dig into the ground quite as well as metal, however they are stable in all weather and field conditions, allowing you to feel your feet “grab” the ground to give you more strength and power in mud or hard ground.

Turf Baseball Cleats

Turf shoes can be worn at all levels of play. Instead of metal spikes or plastic cleats at the bottom, turf shoes have a sole that is rippled. These shoes are great when playing on artificial turf or for players who do not want the “grab” on the ground that can cause stress on the knees. Some people prefer to be lower to the ground with the turf shoe, which gives them better stability and balance when running to a base or the ball.

Toe Design

Dragging your toe is a common baseball movement, especially for pitchers, and it's important to choose a shoe that is durable and reinforced in the toe area. Look for a strong overlay that will keep this area from being torn.

Start your baseball season off on the right foot by choosing the ball shoe that maximizes your speed, control, and ensures premium comfort. With the proper fit and cleat traction, your baseball shoe can give you the winning edge. Let our baseball specialists help elevate your game at your local Source For Sports baseball retailer.

From beginner to pro, we’ve got the right gear for your game, at the right price.

 

Bat Barrel Size

The length of a bat gives the player a greater reach across the plate to hit the pitched ball. Bats come in different lengths and weights and getting the right one will perform to enhance your child’s skill and strength. A bat that is too long or too heavy will compromise your child’s swing and technique, and alter that perfect ratio of weight, speed and power.

How To: Choose the Right Size of Baseball Gear for your Child | Source For Sports

A medium to large size barrel will allow your child to make consistent contact with the ball. A smaller bat barrel requires more skill to hit the ball on the sweet spot.

Having a bat that is tailored to your child’s size, strength and skill level will build their confidence as they learn and improve their batting skills.

 

League

Bat Barrel Size & Length

Junior Rookie

Senior Rookie

Mosquito

2 ¼” with up to 32” length

Peewee

2 5/8”

Bantam “A & AA”

Bantam “AAA”

2 5/8” or Open

No Regulation

Midget

Junior

Senior

No Regulation

 

Weight

When choosing a bat for the new-to–the-game player, it is critical to get the proper Drop Weight for their size and skill level. The Drop Weight is the length minus the weight of bat: all you need to know is that the larger the drop weight, the easier it is for your child to make constant contact of the bat with the ball. For example, a -10 bat and -12 bat are common drop weights for kids starting baseball, while an elite level player would use a -3 or -2 drop weight.

A way to test the weight of the bat is to have your child hold the bat out in front of him/her (as though pointing at the pitcher) with one hand just above the handle for 10-20 seconds. If he/she can do this without the arm shaking or the bat dropping, the bat is probably the right size. If the arm shakes or the bat drops, it is too heavy.

Bat Construction

Generally, kids can use an Aluminum or Composite bat, but refer to your leagues rules.

Aluminum bats are lighter and ready to go right out of the wrapper. Aluminum bats should be used in weather that is 15 degrees C or warmer. If the weather is colder, aluminum is more likely to dent and vibrate in the hands when contact is made with the ball.

Composite bats are not as temperature sensitive as aluminum. The bats also makes a different sound when the ball hits it. Once a composite bat is “broken in” it will be more lively and will rebound the ball better than aluminum. Composite bats are made of carbon fiber, graphite and fiberglass and deliver high performance, usually at a higher price tag.

 

League

Weight

Bat Type

Junior Rookie

Senior Rookie

Up to -13

Aluminum

Mosquito

Up to -13

Aluminum or Composite

Peewee

Up to -10 BBcore

Aluminum or Composite

Bantam “A & AA”

Bantam “AAA”

-3 Bcore

No Regulations

Aluminum/Composite/Wood

Wood Bat

Midget

Junior

Senior

No Regulations

Wood Bat

 

Baseball Glove

A youth glove is designed for younger players with smaller hands, and have shorter, narrower fingers that are suitable for players up to approximately 12 years old. Pricing will vary depending on the materials used to make the glove, with synthetic materials offered at a low cost entry point, up to Kobe leather gloves that are master crafted.

How To: Choose the Right Size of Baseball Gear for your Child | Source For Sports

Playing catch is the traditional way of breaking in your glove, but can take a long time. For a faster break in on leather gloves, check out the Mizuno Ball Steaming process.

 

Age

Infield

Outfield

8 & Under

9”

11”

9-13 Years

9”-10”

11”-12”

High School & Adult

10.5”-11.5”

12”-12.5”

 

Helmet Sizing

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is the worldwide safety standard for batting helmets. Testing involves creating a 70 mph impact on different areas of the helmet using both softballs, and baseballs. Manufacturers have created highly protective helmets to meet these standards.
To find the correct helmet size, measure the circumference of your child’s head above the ears and refer to the conversion chart below. These are an approximation as some brands may differ slightly because of padding and shell design.

How To: Choose the Right Size of Baseball Gear for your Child | Source For Sports

There should be about a finger width between the eyebrows and the bill of the helmet, and the bill should sit evenly, neither tilting forward or back, nor side-to-side. In Canada, all players under the age of 16 years old must use a chin strap. The chin strap must be done up snugly, securing the helmet to the head, allowing for no movement.

The main thing to remember is if it doesn't fit, it doesn't protect.

 

Size

Circumference

Helmet Size

X-Small

20-20 ½”

6 3/8-61/2

Small

20 ¾-21 1/24”

6 5/8-6 ¾

Medium

21 ½-22”

7 1/8-7 1/4

Large

22 1/4-22 3/4”

7 3/8-7 1/2

X-Large

23-23 ½”

7 3/8-7 1/2

 

From beginner to pro, we'll put you in the right gear for your game, at the right price.