Lacrosse Cleats vs Baseball Cleats – What Makes Them Different?
In sports, even the tiniest details can make the difference between winning and losing.
For successful athletes, talent and hard work play a huge role in their success, but optimal equipment also helps a lot.
Best results are only possible when an athlete feels comfortable on the field and a big part of that comfort is wearing proper shoes.
Each sport features footwear specifically designed to help players reach optimal performance.
However, not everyone plays in the big leagues and has all the gear at their disposal.
This is particularly an issue for parents of young athletes who play more than one sport.
Often, young players will play both lacrosse and baseball and it would be really helpful if they could use only one pair of cleats.
In this article, I’ll compare lacrosse cleats vs baseball cleats and answer can you wear baseball cleats for lacrosse or vice versa.
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Lacrosse Cleats vs Baseball Cleats – What are the Differences?Table could not be displayed.
Both lacrosse and baseball are outdoor sports played on the grass or turf field and involve a lot of quick movement.
So, logically, the two do have some similarities when it comes to footwear, or cleats, to be more precise.
However, there are some notable differences due to the different requirements in each sport.
In most cases, baseball cleats are made of genuine leather, at least the ones used by pros. Natural leather makes sure that cleats will last longer and provide better breathability.
On the other hand, lacrosse cleats are commonly made of synthetic materials, such as artificial leather.
This makes them more lightweight, comfortable, and helps injury prevention.
Usually, lacrosse cleats will have mesh vents for better airflow. Materials used for spikes or studs also differ.
In lacrosse, they’re always made of plastic or hard rubber. Baseball players prefer metal cleats, especially at the higher level of the game.
As lacrosse is a sport with more close contact, using metal cleats will significantly increase injury risk.
Due to the same reason, metal cleats are usually prohibited in baseball below the age of 13.
Younger baseball players also wear cleats with plastic or rubber spikes, often molded to the sole of the shoe.
Due to the different nature of movement in each sport, lacrosse and baseball cleats feature a slightly different spike pattern.
Baseball cleats are designed to mostly support short sprinting in a straight line and sudden stops at a full speed.
Lacrosse, on the other hand, involves much more lateral movement and zig-zag running.
One thing in common for cleats in both sports is the toe spike whose role is to provide stability and traction when taking off or sprinting on the grass or dirt.
For extra traction, baseball cleats also usually have the middle stud in the sole of the shoe.
Lacrosse cleats, in most cases, will have spikes on the outside of the sole of the shoe, ensuring safer and more stable side-to-side movements.
In both sports, ankles take a lot of beating during the game, so the proper support is essential.
Again, the nature of the movement determines the differences between the two sports on this matter.
Even though both lacrosse and baseball cleats can be low, mid, or high-top, the difference is which one is preferred by athletes in their respective sports.
The majority of lacrosse players wear high-top cleats as their “boot cut” going up the shin provides extra padding for the ankle and better protection during sudden lateral movements.
Baseball players usually prefer low or mid-top cleats because they’re lighter and provide more flexibility.
As baseball cleats are, in general, bigger and bulkier, wearing high-tops would only add more weight and bother the players.
Still, some baseball players wear them in certain situations, such as when they’re coming back from an ankle injury.
Can You Wear Baseball Cleats for Lacrosse?
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As I already mentioned, wearing the same pair of cleats for both baseball and lacrosse would solve a lot of problems and save a fair share of money for players and especially their parents.
When it comes to wearing baseball cleats for lacrosse, it all depends on the type of baseball cleats in question.
If you plan on using plastic or rubber molded cleats, you can get away with it. In most leagues, these types of baseball cleats are allowed.
Still, you should know they won’t provide much ankle support and likely won’t help you deliver optimal performance.
Metal baseball cleats are strictly prohibited in all lacrosse leagues as they pose too much of an injury risk.
Can You Wear Lacrosse Cleats for Baseball?
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The situation here is not much different. Basically, there’s nothing stopping you from wearing lacrosse cleats on the baseball field.
However, they won’t help you be at the top of your game which is why they’re mostly suitable for recreational play or youth leagues.
The good thing about lacrosse cleats is that they also feature a toe spike which helps with stability and traction when you need to suddenly stop or take off.
This makes them a better fit for baseball than cleats from some other sports, soccer for example.
Still, as they’re designed for use on grass or artificial turf, they won’t provide a solid grip and traction on the dirt of the baseball field.
There’s a reason why shoe manufacturer specifically designs cleats for each sport.
Due to the different nature of various sports and varying movement patterns, what works on one sports field may not be perfect on the other.
The situation is no different when we talk about lacrosse and baseball.
Sure, in a pinch, you can use lacrosse cleats for baseball and the other way around, unless your plan involves baseball shoes with metal spikes
However, by doing so you may lose some of the competitive advantages that specifically designed cleats provide.
If you’re only playing for fun this may not matter at all, so you can be practical and save some money by using one pair of cleats for both sports.