Most of the seriously competitive softball players participate in fastpitch softball. If you want to excel in leagues like this, then you’re going to need excellent fastpitch softball cleats.
You can’t just use any sneaker you have around the house, as those simply won’t give you the traction and other advantages you need to become a more effective player.
You have to understand that fastpitch cleats are usually different in certain ways to other types of cleats. Softball cleats are designed to improve and secure the mobility of the player.
On the other hand, soccer cleats are purposely designed to enable better ball handling. And soccer cleats are better for kicking the ball, which isn’t exactly recommended in softball.
In many ways softball cleats are very similar to baseball cleats, as they involve the same types of running activities (fielding, running the bases, and stealing a base).
If you’re in a rush…
Top Factors When Deciding Which Fastpitch Softball Cleats to Get
If you’re buying fastpitch softball cleats, here are some factors you need to look at first before you make your purchase:
Spikes. These are also called the cleats, but by whatever name you call them they’re the parts on the sole of your shoes that provide you with the traction you need.
It’s at the top of the list because the issue of metal spikes is controversial in softball.
If you’re using them, you need to keep from injuring your opponents near the base when you slide.
The legality of metal spikes depends on the league you’re playing in, so first make sure you can use them before you buy them.
They also don’t pick up large patches of grass or mud. These attributes make them the best fastpitch softball cleats for both infielders and outfielders.
You also want metal spikes for fastpitch softball cleats for pitchers, as they provide the proper stability needed for the feet.
But they’re the most expensive option, as they can cause injuries even to yourself when you suddenly change directions when you’re running.
They can also ruin playing surfaces such as artificial turf.
If metal isn’t allowed, then you have to get rubber or plastic spikes.
But they do come with some advantages aside from their lower priced tags.
You can wear them on concrete or asphalt surfaces without damaging them and they can last for much longer.
And they’re actually better if the playing surface is muddy or too soft. Since they don’t dig as deep, you won’t get stuck in the mud as with metal cleats.
You may want to get interchangeable cleats which you can screw on the sole. This way, you can put the spikes you want that suits the playing conditions and the rules of the playing field.
Material. This is usually a choice between leather and synthetic material.
But synthetic materials can provide additional support at the front and middle of your foot and ankle.
Ankle support. This is usually a choice between high tops and low tops.
For speed, you want low tops, so you can sprint down the base paths and across the fields.
This is also the best configuration for pitchers, as they don’t cause rubbing like high tops do.
On the other hand, high tops provide extra ankle support and stability, which can help fragile ankles remain healthy.
The mid tops offer a compromise between the two, offering a bit of ankle support with easier movement.
Aesthetics. The look of the cleats is rightfully at the bottom of the list, as it’s the least important factor.
While you may want to color-coordinate your entire uniform, you may want to avoid the white cleats as much as possible. The dirt they pick up is much more noticeable.
Reviews of the Top Fastpitch Softball Cleats
Here are some excellent cleats you can look at to start your search for softball cleats.
- Mizuno 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 Fastpitch Cleat
Mizuno Women’s 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 Fastpitch Cleat. This comes with metal spikes for an excellent grip on the playing surface.
It’s made with synthetic leather, but offer breathability and a great feel.
It’s also uniquely shaped to help dissipate the impact forces away from your feet, so you can minimize the risk of overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis.
And your comfort is also taken into account, as it features a padded tongue and a full-length midsole.
And it’s also very light at 10 ounces. With 8 color combinations to choose from, you shouldn’t have any trouble matching your team colors.
These cleats have received almost universal perfect scores from all its customers.
It offers all the features of the metal spike version, except with this you get thermoplastic polyurethane cleats.
You get the stability and traction you need to play well.
You can always trust Adidas to provide various high tech innovations for their footwear.
This features metal spikes and synthetic materials.
Its long list of impressive features also include the cushioned Litestrike midsole to absorb the impact, thermoplastic polyurethane heel clips that keep your heels from sinking into the grass, and an Ironskin toe cap designed to help the cleat last longer by protecting against the toe drag movement of pitchers.
It also comes with an OrthoLite sockliner and an internal shank plate to provide arch support.
Final Thoughts on Girls Fast Pitch Softball Cleats
All these shoes are great, as long as you get them in the right size. You want the feet to fit in snugly, so there’s no sliding around inside the shoes that can cause blisters.
Even for children, you shouldn’t overcompensate for growth. Your best bet is to determine the exact size that fits the child, and then pick a half-size larger.
The space behind the ankle should be just large enough to fit a single finger.