Of all the parts of your uniform, your softball cleats are among the most important. Softball is a sport that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, ready to move with speed and agility and react quickly to whatever comes your way. 3N2 knows how important it is to keep up with the latest in softball cleats so you can take to the field comfortably, stylishly, and equipped to deliver a winning performance. Read on to learn about the history of cleats, 3N2’s most recent innovations, what to look for when buying cleats, and the best softball cleats available today.
A Brief History of Cleats
Cleats have been in existence for much longer than any of the sports for which they are now worn. Roman soldiers wore heavy-soled studded sandals called caligae that provided both grip and foot support, making it easier for them to battle confidently. It’s unclear when athletes began wearing cleats, but the first written evidence appeared in 1526, when Henry VIII’s “football shoes” were listed among his wardrobe. The late 19th century saw spiked shoes being used for several sports including football, rugby, and running. Cleats first appeared in the U.S. in the 1860s, making their debut on the baseball diamond, and increased in popularity as American football came on the scene in the early 1900s. Softball originated in Chicago in 1887 and softball cleats were developed and worn early in the sport’s history.
Since that time softball cleats have come a long way. Colors other than brown and black started turning heads in the 1970s. The advent of artificial turf in the 1960s brought about new types of cleats. Advances in technology, comfort, style, and durability continue to improve softball cleats year after year.
3N2 takes pride in being the forerunner of softball cleat technology. Our continual innovations mean that you’re in the latest and greatest every time you wear a pair of 3N2 softball cleats. Here are some of the ways we’re changing the softball cleat game for 2021, from our proprietary materials to our advanced designs:
GLIDE Proprietary Midsole: Keep a spring in your step game after game with the GLIDE – our lightweight, compression-molded EVA midsole specifically designed to relieve pressure on the knees and back, providing unparalleled comfort and performance.
METAMESH – Mesh technology: METAMESH is an advanced synthetic mesh that maintains the lightweight flexibility and breathability of conventional mesh while providing unprecedented abrasion-resistance and durability ratings that are off the charts.
IGNITE – Proprietary Outsole: Light up the diamond with IGNITE – our classic, rugged turf outsole boasting a single-form tread pattern that provides the uniform support and rotational traction needed to confidently power around the bases.
TPU shanks: TPU shanks are flexible, lightweight, and abrasion resistant and provide extra support, strength, and stability. Placed between the insole and outsole, under the arch area for ultimate performance game after game.
What to Look for When Buying Softball Cleats
Durability: From practice to gameday, inning after inning, your cleats need to be made to last. Look for double-stitched reinforcement in high-wear areas and sturdy materials that can withstand wear and tear.
Comfort: Keep your mind in the game, not on aching feet. Look for lightweight padding for extra cushion and shock absorption and breathable materials to keep feet cool and comfortable.
Weight: Heavy shoes weigh you down and affect your performance. Look for lightweight materials and construction so you can fly around the bases with ease.
Materials: Leather and suede are classics with great feel and excellent comfort. They’re sturdy and lightweight, flexible and breathable. Synthetics are used in more advanced technology and provide reinforcement of the shoe and additional ankle support. Look for combinations of these materials for softball cleats that are comfortable and perform well.
Design: You want to look good while you’re owning the game. Look for designs and colors that stand apart from the crowd and overall construction that maximizes performance.
The Best Softball Cleats for the 2021 Season
3N2’s softball cleats are showing up on many “best of” lists for 2021 for good reason. Our designs and technology outpace the competition and our proprietary materials and rave customer reviews elevate 3N2 cleats above all others. Here are our top performers:
If you are looking for lightweight softball turfs that are big on comfort and performance, the Viper Turf Trainer is the way to roll. Claiming the design from our pro-caliber Viper metal, the Viper Turf Trainer is a lightweight and stylish option with pro-grade suede and leather upper materials. Propel around the bases in the feather-light GLIDE midsole designed specifically for relieving knee and back pressure. The Viper Turf Trainer is perfect for everything from light training to grueling, weekend back-to-backs. A TPU shank in the arch and molded heel counter work to ensure superior fit and stability, while its IGNITE outsole – boasting a classic, single-form tread pattern – provides uniform support and rotational traction for confidently powering around the bases.
MOFO TURF TRAINER
Move forward with MOFO. Featuring a genuine leather and METAMESH upper with double-stitched reinforcement in high-wear areas, and our feather-light GLIDE midsole designed specifically for relieving knee and back pressure, the MOFO can handle being put through the paces. A TPU shank in the arch and molded heel counter work to ensure superior fit and stability, while its IGNITE outsole – boasting a classic, single-form tread pattern – provides uniform support and rotational traction for effortless performance. Five color choices help you stand out when you step up to the plate.
DOM-N-8 and DOM-N-8 PT
3N2’s DOM-N-8 and DOM-N-8 PT are the latest in 3N2’s lineup of high performance fastpitch cleats. The ShimmerStep iridescent logo makes an immediate statement as you step onto the field. An innovative ankle stabilization system combines with cushioned ankle collar to provide unrivaled comfort. High grade patent leather and nubuck look great and protect against wear and tear. Lightweight support, comfortable fit, and stunning good looks garner adoration for these cleats by professional fastpitch athletes.
Inning after inning, game after game, 3N2 will be there with you, providing you with all the gear you need to take the field with confidence. In 3N2 softball cleats you’ll have the comfort and performance to play your best game, every game.