What to wear: Top cleats for girls fastpitch softball

Women's fastpitch softball can be an extremely competitive sport, and so it is pertinent for serious players to have the best equipment. I have compiled a list of the top cleats for women's softball, and provided an in-depth review of each pair of cleats.

1) Mizuno Women's Double Play Interchangeable Softball Cleats

These are, in my and my daughter's opinion, the BEST cleats on the market. We have tried many pairs and destroyed a few along the way, but with only one minor drawback, these are exceptional shoes.

Pros of this shoe:
Mostly durable and extremely comfortable
Accurate sizing
Breathable and light
Interchangeable spikes
Very versatile

Cons of this shoe:
Not a very durable toe for pitchers with a lot of drag

Mizuno really hit the nail on the head with these shoes. They are comfortable and durable for every position, except pitcher, due to the non-reinforced toe. The ability to change between metal and plastic spikes makes these shoes incredibly versatile, and being able to simply replace the spikes rather than buy entirely new shoes is very helpful. It is an easy and quick process to change the spikes, and truly worth the somewhat hefty price tag, seeing as you will go much longer without having to buy and break in new shoes.

My daughter and I highly recommend these cleats!

Additional Information (according to softball.com):
Available Sizes: 5-12
Price: $89.99
Link: Mizuno Women's Double Play Interchangeable Cleats

2) Nike Women's Team Destroyer Blk/Wht Turf Trainers

Although these aren't technically 'cleats,' my daughter purchased these and immediately fell in love with them. She has had several problems with many pairs of cleats, but these seem to suit her very well.

Pros of this shoe:
Durable and comfortable
Stylish and wearable in everyday settings
Accurate sizing
Strong toe for pitchers with a lot of drag

Cons of this shoe:
Less breathable than similar shoes from Mizuno

These trainers are an exceptional buy, and would be a wonderful compliment to a solid pair of cleats for games. They are, however, somewhat eclipsed by the aforementioned Mizuno Double Plays, as those are more versatile. The Destroyer's are a great buy for any player who wants a light and comfortable training cleat without having to sacrifice your entire wallet. These are relatively cheap, and will undoubtedly last you a very long while.

Additional Information (according to softball.com):
Available Sizes: 5-12
Price: $64.99
Link: Nike Women's Team Destroyer Blk/Wht Turf Trainers

3) Mizuno Women's Watley G3 Molded Softball Cleat

These shoes are a great buy for someone looking for softball cleats that will provide a competitive edge, but are not willing to pay the hefty price tag on the Mizuno Double Plays.

Pros of this shoe:
Extremely comfortable and quite durable
Heftier toe than the Double Plays
Accurate Sizing
Customizable color schemes

Cons of this shoe:
Toe is not durable enough for high-drag pitchers
Slightly heavier than Double Play's
Not very breathable

All in all, this cleat is a very good buy, and significantly cheaper than the Mizuno Double Plays. These shoes are very durable, though the toe may tear if worn by a pitcher with a lot of drag, which is common. They are more durable than the others mentioned thus far, but are less breathable. My daughter found that these shoes are a bit heavier than many others, which led to perceived slowness and tiring. These are still a very good purchase, are very reasonably priced, and would compliment the Nike Destroyers very well.

Additional Information (according to softball.com):
Available Sizes: 5-12
Price: $59.99
Link: Mizuno Women's Watley G3 Molded Softball Cleat

4) Mizuno Women's Finch G4 Blk/Wht Low Molded Cleats

These shoes are great for any position other than pitcher, will provide a light and breathable experience, and will quickly become a favorite among players.

Pros of this shoe:

Very comfortable and quite durable
Light weight\
Good in wet weather

Cons of this shoe:
Pitchers will wear down the toe very quickly
Inaccurately sized

The Mizuno G4s are really a good buy for any softball player looking for a solid cleat, unless they are a pitcher. The biggest downside to these cleats is the non-reinforced toe, which a standard pitcher will undoubtedly wear down within a week or two. I do not suggest these cleats for any softball pitcher, but rather for the other positions. My daughter found that these are very light cleats, and provide great traction in the outfield in wet weather. They are comfortable and stylish, but everyone should consider buying a size bigger than they typically would.

My daughter is a size 8 in the Double Plays, but she needed a size 9 in these, so I don't suggest buying these unless you can try them on first.

Additional Information (according to softball.com):
Available Sizes: 5-12
Price: $69.99
Link: Mizuno Women's Finch G4 Blk/Wht Low Molded Cleats

5) Adidas Women's Fastpitch 4 Low Metal Cleats

The Adidas Fastpitch 4 is a really good pair of cleats, and happens to be the only cleat my daughter has stuck with while pitching.

Pros of this shoe:
Perfect for pitchers, especially those with high-drag
Very durable and comfortable
Good for wet weather
Accurately sized

Cons of this shoe:
Not very breathable
Slightly overpriced

For pitchers, this is the only pair on the list that are very suitable for pitcher drag, unless you use Tuff-toe on the others. My daughter has been using these cleats for pitching and fielding for several months and they are still in very good shape. The strong toe is definitely the best quality, and they are durable in general. These shoes are the least breathable on the list, according to my daughter, but this isn't a major drawback. Aside from being slightly overpriced, these are a great buy, and will provide a competitive edge.

Additional Information (according to softball.com):
Available Sizes: 5-12
Price: $74.99
Link: Adidas Women's Fastpitch 4 Low Metal Cleats

All of these cleats have their strong and weak points, but all of them are extremely well made and will offer any serious player a competitive edge. Hopefully this list has made your decision a bit easier for you, and you are now well equipped with information to purchase that perfect pair of cleats.

Sources:
www.softball.com

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011