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ADIDAS/May 2024/
3 minute read

Softball Cleat Guide - Choose the Right Cleat for You

Learn the in’s and out’s of what shoes to wear for softball, from the three types of cleats to what’s best for each position.

Softball asks players to attack the ball, drop-step, and dig it out, requiring quick agility and speed at the drop of a dime. To ace these plays, softball players need the right gear, and a great game can all come down to choosing the right softball cleats. Overall, no cleat is better than the other—it just comes down to personal preference and common conditions. 


The Three Types of Softball Cleats: 

Metal Cleats: Thin metal cleats provide durable traction by digging into the ground with every step. These types of cleats work well for firm ground conditions as well as muddy or soft fields. Be sure to check your league regulations, as metal cleats are often prohibited for safety reasons in junior and amateur leagues.

Molded Cleats: Made with rubber or hard plastic (TPU), these cleats are a more comfortable option. They provide their best traction on firm ground fields, or for younger players when metal is prohibited. A hard plastic cleat will be lighter weight and thinner than ones made with rubber. 

Training or Turf Cleats: A comfortable alternative to cleats that still provides traction on turf opposed to a regular sneaker. 


Adidas Softball Cleats 

Now that you know a bit about the different types of cleats, it’s time to find your perfect pair. All adidas softball cleats are crafted with a softball specific upper for optimal fit and function for female athletes, and they come with a few key differences that make them great for different athletes’ needs. 


Adizero PureHustle 3 Elite  

  • Mesh windows throughout the upper for maximum breathability.   
  • Lightstrike midsole provides the athlete with comfort and responsiveness.  
  • A traditional metal outsole that provides ultimate traction on the playing surface.   


Adizero PureHustle 3 TPU 

  • Lightstrike midsole for lightweight comfort and snappy response to quick moves.  
  • A plastic (TPU) molded outsole that is viable for playing on multiple surfaces.    


PureHustle 3 MD  

  • Bounce midsole offers cushioned comfort for the beginner softball athlete.   
  • A rubber molded outsole that is viable for playing on multiple surfaces.     


For strength training in the gym or warming up next to the field, regular training shoes are a great option for maximum comfort and stability.  


Softball Cleats by Position and Conditions: 

Choosing your cleats by position and field conditions are a great way to decide what’s right for you. If you typically play on dry, firm ground, then molded cleats will provide the best traction and the most comfort, but metal cleats are also a great choice for excellent traction. If you play on wet or muddy fields, then metal cleats will grip better. 


Deciding the silhouette is up to personal preference and comfort. Go for a low-top cleat for ankle mobility, agility and speed. Choose a mid-top cleat for more ankle stability and support.  


  • Infield and catcher cleats might perform better in molded cleats since they get optimal traction and comfort on hard dirt.  
  • Outfielders might prefer the grip and natural ground versatility of a metal cleat.  
  • Softball cleats for pitchers should be metal or high-tread TPU, and they should install a pitching toe protector to guard against the toe drag movement during each pitch.  


What is the Difference in Softball vs Baseball Cleats?  

The ultimate difference is the fit and intention of the cleat. Softball fields have a tighter footprint than baseball fields, so softball cleats prioritize lateral stability for fielders to be able to react quickly in tight spaces. Some softball cleats are built specifically for a female foot which typically has different characteristics than a male foot. However, they offer the same materials, comfort and performance. 


What is the Difference in Softball vs Soccer Cleats?  

A softball cleat typically has different materials and construction than a soccer cleat. Softball cleats are designed with a midsole for added comfort on the hard surfaces of dirt infields and base paths. Metal cleats put pressure on the feet, making the midsole a key component to the athlete’s comfort. Softball cleats are also more stable and supportive than soccer cleats due to the field conditions and demands of the sport’s movements. 


How Should Softball Cleats Fit? 

The right softball cleat will fit snugly and securely around your foot while leaving wiggle room for your toes. Finding a cleat with a thick tongue will help to keep the infield dirt out of your shoes and helps to keep your laces tied. All adidas cleats fit true to size, which makes a comfortable fit that much easier to pick. Set out to find your ideal pair of softball cleats from adidas, plus more softball gear to elevate your game.