Visit any players’ forum and you’ll find that the debate can be intense: Which are the best shoes for slow pitch softball? We’ll get to our favorites shortly – in the meantime, we’ll give you the TLDR lowdown: Plastic or rubber cleats give you outstanding traction, particularly on wet grass and crumbly dirt, but they can be pretty uncomfortable.
Turf shoes tend to feel great on your feet, and they provide good traction whether you’re running bases or chasing down a fly ball in the outfield. If you’re playing on artificial turf, they’re likely to be mandatory. Of course, there are other factors worth considering: Durability, breathability, and price are a few biggies.
Considerations when Choosing Slow Pitch Softball Shoes
When choosing the best shoes for slow pitch softball, there are a few things to consider:
League Rules: Considering metal cleats? We have a little bit of bad news for you. According to World Softball League official rules, metal tipped or steel cleats are prohibited. Athletic shoes, turf shoes, and molded plastic or rubber cleats are acceptable choices.
Playing Surface: If you’re playing on a traditional field, you might like wearing cleats or spikes. If you’re playing on artificial turf, then you’ll find that turf shoes with a tight tread pattern are the best shoes for slow pitch softball. These shoes prevent damage to the playing surface, and they help improve your traction as well as your speed.
Gender: Don’t feel as if your gender consigns you to a few specific choices. Many female players opt to purchase men’s softball shoes when they’re not satisfied with the options available to women. Use a shoe size conversion chart to select a pair that fits your feet comfortably.
Size: While there are a few brands that seem to be true to size, there’s an almost universal rule that you ought to buy your slow pitch softball shoes in a half-size larger than your everyday footwear. If you’re not sure about size, it is a very good idea to take a look at the seller’s return policy: Are there free returns in the event your new softball shoes don’t fit quite right?
Appearance: Your team might opt for a uniform shoe color so that everyone looks alike, or you may have the ability to show off your sense of style. Either way, be sure to take appearance into consideration when deciding which are the best slow pitch softball shoes for you.
Price: While cheap softball shoes are available, they aren’t likely to last long. It is important to stick to your budget, but weigh the cost of purchasing one good pair that lasts a few seasons vs. several pairs that lose their integrity before the season comes to an end. While the best shoes for slow pitch softball might cost more up front, their longevity might make them the better choice in terms of value.
Mizuno Men’s 9-Spike Franchise 7 Low Baseball cleats are designed to support running, throwing, and hitting motions. With a padded tongue and collar for better comfort, these softball shoes feature mesh zones for enhanced airflow, and are perforated on the upper for overall breathability. Mizuno’s WAVE technology keeps the foot centered for better stability, and rubber studs provide good traction.
Numerous comfort features
Extra padding for comfort
Can take some time to break in
A few reviewers note that they can feel the cleats through the sole; padded socks can help
If you are looking for a good combination of comfort, stability, and traction at an affordable price, then you may like these men’s softball shoes from Mizuno. While designed with fast pitch and baseball players in mind, they are well-suited to the needs of slow pitch softball players. Good airflow and padded zones help keep your feet comfortable and cool, and the synthetic materials are very easy to clean with a few quick wipes.
Mizuno Women’s 9 Spike ADV Finch Elite 2 Molded Softball Cleats are designed to offer a combination of support and comfort. Parallel WAVE technology provides a good level of support, while rubber cleats offer long-lasting durability. The padded “booty” tongue provides soft, cushioned comfort across the upper foot. These women’s softball shoes come in a variety of popular colors to complement your uniform.
Less breathable than some other options
Mizuno Women’s 9 Spikes are designed for fast pitch softball, but they are very popular with slow pitch players as well. If you’re not interested in switching to a turf shoe and you’re looking for a budget-friendly cleat option, it’s likely that these will meet your needs. They offer a good level of support throughout the foot, along with extra padding on the tongue and heel – something you might appreciate if you tend to find that cleats feel overly stiff. While some reviewers note that these women’s softball cleats are true to size, many advise going up ½ size from your street shoe size, particularly if you wear socks with heavy padding.
Nike Women’s Hyperdiamond 2 Keystone Softball Cleats are made with synthetic leather and TPU mesh uppers, assuring a good combination of comfort and durability. A back loop makes it easy to pull shoes on over thick socks, and twelve cleats provide a good level of traction. The midsole is made with Phylon for lightweight performance and comfortable cushioning. These women’s softball shoes come in several attractive colors to complement your team’s uniforms.
Excellent quality for the price
Many reviewers note that these shoes are true to size
Stylish appearance combined with good performance
No wide sizes available
Comfort, style, and functionality combined? This might sound a little too good to be true, but that’s what most players discover when they try a pair of Nike Women’s Hyperdiamond 2 Keystone softball shoes. With a few different color options available, they offer a sleek profile and plenty of support throughout the entire foot. The cleats give you the traction you need, even when the field feels a bit slippery underfoot. Most reviewers are highly satisfied, so it’s possible that these really are the best shoes for slow pitch softball!
Under Armour Men’s Leadoff Low RM
Made from durable synthetic materials, Under Armour Men’s Leadoff Low RM shoes come in an attractive black and white or gray and white motif. Durable rubber cleats provide plenty of traction on clay and grass, as well as on turf when cleats are allowed. Perforations provide airflow without sacrificing stability.
Good traction, even on clay
Good for quick starts
A few reports of size running a bit small; many reviewers recommend buying ½ size larger than your street shoes
Can be tough to get clay stains off the white color
If budget is a primary consideration, then you may want to take a look at Under Armour Leadoff Low RM shoes. Although these cleats are designed with the needs of baseball players in mind, they’re very popular with both fast and slow pitch softball players – plus they complement different-colored uniforms. It’s worth noting that these softball shoes come in a limited number of sizes; if your feet are exceptionally large, you may have to choose a different brand.
Under Armour Women’s Glyde RM
With rubber soles for traction even on slick playing surfaces, the Under Armour Women’s Glyde RM offers four-way stretch construction for comfort. The uppers are made with UA Storm technology which combines water-repellence with good breathability. These women’s softball shoes are lightweight, so you’ll feel less fatigued even when playing hard.
Tongue is a bit narrow
If you are looking for an affordable women’s softball shoe that offers a good combination of speed and traction, then you may like what the Under Armour Women’s Glyde RM does for your game. Most reviewers are very surprised at the comfortable fit, and most appreciate the shoes’ appearance as well. Be sure to double-check your size. Many people report that the fit is true to size, but a few find that they need something a touch larger. If your feet tend to feel pinched in narrow shoes, or if you waver between two sizes, it’s a good idea to go up half a size from your street shoe size when ordering.
With these tips in mind, you’ll find it easier to choose the best shoes for slow pitch softball – a pair that meets your budget and feels great on your feet, while helping you play your best. We wish you a fun and successful softball season!