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Why you shouldn’t wear football or soccer cleats for baseball

We’ve fielded a number of questions about what the difference is between each style of cleat and asking whether a player can wear a cleat designed for another sport while playing baseball.

We’ll offer a quick overview, then go into more detail later in this article.

wearing football cleats for baseball

So, can I wear football cleats for baseball?

The short answer is no, you shouldn’t. Football cleats are going to take away from your game.

They’re heavier and designed to protect your foot during a tackle. It’s unnecessary weight that will slow you down and sap your agility.

But the rules say that I can wear any cleat that I want!

Most leagues don’t specify that you have to wear baseball cleats. So, you’re right, you are allowed to wear a soccer cleat or a football cleat while playing baseball. The reality is that it’s going to be more of an issue than it’s worth.

As mentioned above, soccer and football cleats are designed with a different intention in mind. So, your game will suffer if you opt for a different sport.

What’s the difference between football, soccer, and baseball cleats?

Baseball cleats

Relatively light weight, focused on speed, agility, and traction. Don’t offer much protection.

Baseball generally requires quick movements, running in relatively short distances (compared to football and soccer), and the ability to change directions. You don’t need to worry about getting tackled or having someone go after your feet.

baseball player wears metal cleats

As a result, baseball cleats are focused on being lighter so that you can reach your top end speed quickly.

They layout of the “spikes” or molded cleats on a baseball shoe are designed for traction. All of the cleats are close to the outer edge of the foot.

Football cleats

Heavier than baseball cleats. Designed for durability and protection from contact.

Football cleats are built with durability and protection as the main focus. As a result, football cleats are typically heavier and more cumbersome. They’re more likely to slow you down and will impact your agility.

football cleats and helmet

That means you’re going to have trouble getting to plays “in the gap” because you’re a bit slower. Quality football cleats will help protect your feet if you get hit by a fast ball or have a runner trying to break up a double play at second.

Ultimately, we don’t think the tradeoff is worth it.

Soccer cleats

Lightest of the three sports. Designed for constant movement. Not designed for protection or traction.

Soccer cleats are designed to be as light as possible because soccer players are known to run more than seven miles in a game. The lighter cleat is great for speed but decreases protection.

soccer cleats

Soccer cleats also have a significantly different layout for their cleats. The layout and number of cleats or spikes on a soccer cleat is different. Ultimately, the key difference is that you lose a “toe spike” because it’s a safety issue for soccer players.

That means that you’re losing the cleat where you’re most likely to push off. It’s a huge loss in traction and will slow your reaction time.


Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Most rules will allow you to wear whatever cleats you can find. We strongly recommend using baseball cleats for a baseball game. After all, companies have spent years trying to perfect the design of their shoes.

Check out our recommendations for the best baseball cleats and the best youth baseball cleats on the market right now.

There is a reason that companies make separate shoes for separate sports. They’re the experts who have learned exactly what players need to succeed. Trust in their expertise and buy a cleat designed for the sport that you’re playing.