So the good folks at New Balance were kind enough to send a scrub like me some of the freshest cleats out—Josh Reddick’s style New Balance 4040 cleats.
So I wanted to give you guys a quick little write-up on my experience with these babies.
One thing is not in question: I have the best looking cleats on the field. New Balance made a handsome shoe. That’s obvious. As important as that is to all of us, more important is how the shoe feels. I took a bit of a risk by wearing these for the first time in a game that I was the starting pitcher. I expected blisters as can be the case when you are doing anything so vigorous as pitching (especially on a humid day in the East Bay).
To my surprise, my feet felt great the whole day and I survived 9 innings on the hill and 5 at bats. The piece at the front of the shoe designed to protect the toe looks like it did a decent job saving the shoe from wear, though there is a bit of wear slightly above it on the leather (to be expected when you drag it along the ground 130 some-odd times).
The noticeable difference between the Puma cleat I was using (which I also thought was a good shoe) was the flexibility of the 4040. Sometimes baseball cleats can feel like you’re running on clogs because the metal combined with a stiff shoe make it hard to plant or round your stride. This is not the case for the 4040 as it is designed by a running shoe company who is very familiar with the concept of running in circles. The 4040s felt great on the bags as well as on the mound.
The old saying I always think of when cleat shopping is, “Look good, feel good, play good.” The “look” and the “feel” are well taken care of with the 4040s, and the “play” part is up to you.
But don’t take my word for it, consult the experts: