There have been an ongoing debate and a flood of questions about turf shoes versus cleats for as long as both types of shoes have been on the market. I suspect you have come here to see which one is the best and the differences between the shoe types. Well, my friend, you have come to the right place because I’ll explain everything to you.
In general, turf shoes are better as they are much more comfortable, do less damage on the field, and have better player safety than cleats. On the other hand, cleats have the best traction over turf shoes; even tough turf shoes have a great grip as well.
So, cleats are meant for maximum traction, and turf shoes are, well, for everything else, really. The answer to the question isn’t a straight line, so to fully understand the pros and cons between turf shoes and cleats for baseball and softball, you need to take a closer look at the shoes and their features.
Difference Between Turf Shoes and Cleats?
There are some noticeable differences between turf shoes and cleats that you should know. Let’s take a look at both of them and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Turf Shoes
If you quickly look at turf shoes, they look like sneakers. However, there are rubber studs on the outsole to increase the traction and grip like crazy!
The sneaker-type build makes turf shoes as comfortable as any other sports shoe, but don’t mistake them for sneakers as they wouldn’t have much grip on a baseball or softball field!
When you compare turf shoes to cleats, the field damage is also reduced as the rubber studs on the outsole are less damaging. This is especially important on an artificial turf field as it isn’t as deep as a real grass field.
This brings us to safety. Generally, turf shoes are safer as the grip is great but not as great that it is unforgiving. When you are on a roll and running or turning like crazy, and the cleat won’t give up, it is a serious safety hazard for your knees and everything else if you fall.
Turf shoes are often considered for infielders, but they work very well on an outfield as well. The only exception is that if the grass is wet, the traction isn’t as good as with cleats. Some people report that turf shoes aren’t an issue on wet grass, whereas others say you should use cleats when wet. Personally, I haven’t noticed a considerable downgrade on turf shoes on a wet field.
Cleats are made with maximum traction in mind, and they work for that like crazy. Oftentimes, cleats have 8 to 15 metal or rubber cleat studs on the outsole. They are considerably larger and longer than the dozen rubber studs on a turf shoe, making them strike on the ground very well.
Cleats are used only on real grass fields and will destroy artificial fields because the artificial field isn’t as deep as the real thing.
There is a situation where cleats are generally better than turf shoes. This is when it’s wet or muddy, as turf shoes might not have the ability to deliver the required grip, depending on the wetness and muddiness, of course.
When talking about safety and comfort, cleats can be so unforgiving, thanks to the superior traction, that they can be unsafe to use. For example, if you make a sudden turn, but your cleat gets stuck deep on the field, it can mess up your knee. However, turf shoes often come with less lateral support than high-top cleats, so ankle sprains are a more common occurrence with them.
On the other hand, Comfort isn’t a match for turf shoes, which is why many people choose turf shoes over cleats. Comfort is very important if you spend hours on a field multiple times a week.
Should You Choose Turf Shoes or Cleats?
Both cleats and turf shoes have some pros and cons to their name, but which one should you choose for baseball or softball?
You should choose turf shoes for baseball and softball as they are more comfortable, safe, and do less field damage than cleats. As an outfielder, cleats will perform better on a wet grass field than turf shoes; however, turf shoes can be great as well, and they are the best choice in more situations.
To make the best decision for you, take a look at the features of both shoes below so you can be sure of what you need and what is the best for you.
Personally, I highly recommend turf shoes as they are the best choice in terms of comfort, safety, and field damage. Turf shoes have great traction, but cleats should be the choice if you want the maximum grip without caring about other features.
My favorite turf shoes are the 3N2 Mofo Turf Trainers. These shoes are very durable as they are made from genuine leather and are reinforced in the right places. In addition, they are lightweight so that they won’t hold you back, and the glide midsole is designed to relieve back and knee pain which is a bonus for comfort. And when talking about wet or muddy fields, some turf shoes don’t have good enough traction, but the Mofo Turf trainers certainly do!
Are Baseball and Softball Turf Shoes the Same?
Many people think that baseball and softball are the same, but there are many considerable differences between the two. If that’s the case between the sports, are there differences between the turf shoes?
Baseball and softball turf shoes are the same. Both shoes have rubber studs on the outsole, are made from similar materials, and have the same features. The difference between them is that baseball shoes have manly designs, whereas softball shoes have girly designs. Also, the sizing may vary between shoes.
The turf shoes are the same for the features, but the designs are different as baseball is played mostly by men, and softball mostly by women. This makes the manufacturers make designs appealing to the leading gender of the sport.
Also, as men have larger feet than women on average, the same size in baseball and softball shoes might not fit the same person. This is because the same size for men is often wider and designed for a man’s foot, whereas a softball shoe of the same size can be more narrow as it is designed to be worn by a woman.
This, of course, varies between the sport, the gender that particular shoe is meant for, and between manufacturers.
Here You’ll Find My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope that it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level. You can find my favorite fastpitch bat, softball, and glove.
- Bat: My absolute favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. Therefore, these balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player out there. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. Oh, and the glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
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