George Springer and Nike officially unveil the first true hybrid baseball cleat today, the Nike Lunar Vapor Ultrafly Elite. Springer, one of Nike’s most swagged out ballplayers, will wear them tonight versus the Mariners. UPDATE: THEY’RE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON EASTBAY.
The cleat that gives ultimate traction without sacrificing comfort is something all the brands are chasing, and the Ultrafly, a half-metal/half-plastic cleat, might be the way to do it best. Bryce Harper has been wearing metal in front and plastic in back since 2013, but this cleat is the first hybrid we’ve seen offered to all ballplayers, at least since WPW started in 2012.
The above shows what we mean by hybrid on the Ultrafly Elite: five metal spikes where traction demands are greatest, and five plastic spikes where comfort is the priority.
From our article when we first got a sniff of the upcoming cleat:
“The player who will see the most value from hybrids like the Nike Vapor Ultrafly Elite is the guy playing a heavy schedule. If you play 90+ games a summer in metals, your feet will start to feel it, but if you go with plastic, you may not get the traction you’re looking for. Enter the Ultrafly Elite:
Unlike Harper’s which have metal fronts and plastic backs, Nike has strategically placed the metals at points where traction is most important, and the more forgiving plastic under the balls of the foot and at the front of the heel. Nike would be able to explain it better than us, but the placements look like the best case scenario for traction and comfort. Expect to see burners like George Springer and Alcides Escobar to be all over these.”
When the Ultrafly first appeared, we thought Springer would be the perfect guy for these, and what do you know, the 5-tooler snatches these babies right off the assembly line. As a guy who plays ALL OUT every night with as much power and speed as Springer, he needs that balance of comfort (plastic) and agility (metal). He wasn’t “supposed” to wear these until the release, but he couldn’t resist, and I can’t blame him.
Shop the Ultrafly here.