Baseball and soccer are two of the biggest and most popular sports in the United States, with each having its own type of cleat that is specifically designed to be used for each sport.
This being said, there are often overlaps between the design of cleats and sports shoes in general that allow them to be used for multiple different activities.
With this in mind, we are going to be taking a deeper look into whether you can use baseball cleats for soccer today.
Baseball cleats can, but shouldn’t be used for soccer. Baseball cleats are usually heavier and bulkier, which makes them far from ideal for soccer players. The feel for the soccer ball isn’t the same with baseball cleats and while it can be used from a safety perspective, players won’t perform as well.
The Extra Stud
They may look similar on the outside, but there are some major differences between baseball cleats and soccer cleats. To begin with, there is an obvious change in the design of the studs that Baseball cleats have.
When comparing a baseball cleat to a soccer cleat, you can see an extra stud on the toe end of the baseball cleat. This increases grip on the ground, which is especially important when a player is scrambling between bases or trying to lock their feet into the ground when preparing to hit the ball.
This may sound like an added bonus for the soccer field, as surely having more grip and traction is a good thing right? Well, not really. The reason is that this stud is quite often a relatively pointy and potentially quite sharp one that could become a major issue for a number of reasons if used in a soccer game.
To begin with, the risk of causing injury to another player is drastically increased if you wear a baseball cleat as this sharp stud could pierce the skin or cleat of another player and cause major problems. If you were to perform a tackle with a Baseball cleat on, you would almost certainly draw blood from an opposition player and likely receive a red card.
The second reason that this pointy stud could be an issue if used on the soccer field is that it could potentially burst the ball that you are playing with. Just think if you were to stab a soccer ball with a knife or another sharp object, it would likely burst and if you stood on it too hard this would definitely happen.
The Sole and Material
A second noticeable design alteration between Soccer cleats and Baseball cleats relates to the bottom of the cleat and an area that is known as the sole.
The sole of a Baseball cleat features a heavy section called the midsole, that elevates players away from the ground and once again helps aid grip to the harsh ground that Baseball is often played on.
Soccer cleats do not feature this midsole area as it would add unnecessary weight to the cleat and bring the player too close to the ground. Whilst grip is important to Soccer players, the need for the cleat to be lightweight now takes priority as this allows players to run faster and glide with the ball.
The material that a baseball cleat is made out of is much more rigid than a Soccer cleat as there are less drastic movements required whilst playing Baseball (most of the time anyway).
This being said, the top side of a soccer cleat is much thicker than any other kind of cleat as this is the area that receives the most impact during a soccer match, essentially this is in place to prevent injuries to the metatarsal (which is very common in soccer).
This area is also one of the most prominent parts of the cleat that a player kicks the ball with, so it needs to be thicker in order to withstand the repetitive nature of kicking a Soccer and not break after a few kicks of the ball.
The Ankle Support
Another aspect of a baseball cleat that differs from a soccer cleat is the noticeable addition of ankle support that soccer cleats do not have. The reason that baseball cleats have such rigid ankle support is that players need it for when they slide between bases when they are about to be called out.
This sort of sliding is still required in soccer, but the ability to have freedom of movement both on and off the ball is considered much more important when designing a cleat to use for Soccer.
The reason for this is that slide tackles are not strictly part of the laws of the game, they are not banned but they are also not specifically stated as a way of tackling the ball from an opposition player.
So, Can I Use Them?
In a word, no.
There is no real way of being able to use a baseball cleat for playing soccer as the design of the cleat is just too different for it to be possible. it would be dangerous to wear a pair of baseball cleats to play soccer at any level and if you ever spot someone doing so, you should alert the officials as soon as you can.
This hasn’t stopped some people from coming up with ingenious ways of altering their baseball cleats to play soccer though. As you may expect the main way that this can be done is by removing the extra stud that we mentioned earlier, thus removing the injury risk to other players.
Whilst this does do the trick in terms of removing the injury risk, it would destroy a pair of perfectly good baseball cleats that could be used for a game of baseball with your friends, in all likelihood you would need to buy another pair of cleats before you could play baseball effectively again
There is a reason that sports have their own specific cleat and that is that they provide certain advantages to other forms of footwear when used for this activity.
If you use them for something else, these advantages can quickly be reversed and become either hindrance for yourself or dangers to both your own teammates and opponents.
If you have a pair of baseball cleats that you are considering using to play soccer, don’t do it. instead, you should go out and buy a pair of soccer cleats, there are plenty of brands that sell cleats for all price ranges.
If you really can’t afford or simply don’t want to buy soccer cleats, there are some forms of footwear that may be able to give you a similar feel to them. this being said, nothing comes close to the real thing and as such, the answer to the question posed is that you cannot use baseball cleats for soccer.