One of the first things to consider is what kind of cleat is needed. There are four types of cleats to keep in mind. Each has its own pros and cons to what kind of surface is being played upon.
Molded cleats are molded to form plastic or rubber studs. These are the most durable because of their ability to be worn on and off the field. These are used in youth leagues because it makes base and field running safe.
Plastic cleats are great for hard outdoor surfaces and field turf. The only difference between these and molded cleats is the raised pattern on the bottom.
Metal cleats have permanent metal spikes for better traction to prevent slipping. Typically metal cleats are used in more competitive leagues, such as the college and professional levels and are banned in youth and amateur leagues. Metal spikes provide excellent endurance and traction on the field. Being on the lighter side, metal cleats are often preferred by competitive players looking for an edge in speed and quickness.
Interchangeable cleats feature removable studs to provide great versatility and peace of mind on the field. Studs that can be made of metal, plastic or rubber can be easily screwed off and replaced with a different style. This allows the athlete to simply replace worn studs instead of having to buy new shoes.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Depending how much ankle support you want, there are different shoes ranging from high tops with great protection to low tops with not as much.
- When you get your cleats, practice sliding and running to get a better feel for the cleats and how they will grip the field.
- Prevent cleats from wearing out by putting them on in the dugout and not walking in the parking lot with them on.
- Lastly, you want something that is light but durable.