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What Cleats Do Pro Baseball Players Wear? Here’s Your 2022 MLB Cleats Report

Since 2017, we’ve tracked the cleats worn by MLB starters, and the 2022 numbers are in. This Rawlings and Dick’s Sporting Goods sponsored report (like our glove report) focuses on starting position players. These players are noted on Baseball-Reference.com’s 2022 team pages, along with a few select players. Focusing on the most active players, starters, allows for the efficiency of data to be improved. Following the 2022 season, not much has changed outside the league leader taking an even more commanding lead.

Andrew McCutchen’s Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 3 mid cleats.

Read on to see what brands were worn by baseball starters in 2022, but first, let’s look back at the data for the 2021 season.

2021 Cleats Worn by MLB Starters

In 2021, Nike was the prominent leader but New Balance took back the second-place spot from Adidas. Under Armour’s decline continued while the Jordan brand grew.

What Cleats Do You Wear?

What cleat brand do you wear in 2022?

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What are you rocking? Personally, I’m a big fan of the Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 mid cleats.

What Cleats Do MLB Players Wear?

2022 Cleats Worn by MLB Starters

Since 2017, Nike has extended their lead each year. Beginning with 38% of the league, Nike is now worn by 50% of Major League Baseball’s best.

There are just seven baseball cleat companies competing in the MLB: Nike (+3% from 2021), New Balance (EVEN), Adidas (EVEN), Under Armour (+1%), Jordan (-4%), Mizuno and Asics.

Here are the top 7 cleats among MLB starters:

Nike | 50% of Cleats Worn by MLB Starters (+3% from 2021)

Best Nike Baseball Cleats w/ Links to Purchase from Retailer with Best Inventory

  1. Alpha Huarache Elite 3 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  2. (New) Alpha Huarache Elite 4 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  3. Vapor Ultrafly Elite 4 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  4. Trout 8 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods / On sale at Baseball Express
  5. (New) Alpha Huarache NXT | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods

See all our featured Nike cleats here.

Marcus Semien’s Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 3 Low cleats.

For the second year running, the top cleat for both Nike and the MLB was the Alpha Huarache Elite 3 (shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods). The Alpha Huarache line has been the dominant cleat in baseball since its release, though it initially appeared in 2020 and is frankly outplayed! We’re happy there’s some recent new releases:




Ronald Acuña Jr. switched from New Balance to the Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 3 mid.

Here are a few stars who rocked the Alpha Huarache Elite 3 (available at Dick’s Sporting Goods):

Joey Votto wearing the Nike Vapor Ultrafly Elite 4 cleats at Citi Field

The Vapor Ultrafly Elite 3 and 4 (available at Dick’s Sporting Goods) were much more limited, but still had some stars:

Mike Trout wearing his signature Trout 7 cleats.

The third most-worn Nike cleat among MLB starters in 2022 was the Trout 7. Though some players don’t like the idea of wearing the signature cleat of an opponent, Josh Bell wore them, among others.

New Balance | 22% of Cleats Worn by MLB Starters (EVEN)

Best New Balance Baseball Cleats w/ Links to Purchase from Retailer with Best Inventory

  1. 4040v6 | Shop at Baseball Express
  2. (New) COMPV3 | Shop at Baseball Express
  3. 3000v4 (Worn by Aaron Judge) | Shop at Amazon
  4. 3000v5 | Shop at Amazon
  5. (New) 3000v6 | Shop at Baseball Express
Jeremy Peña wearing his New Balance 4040v6 cleats.

New Balance hung on to the second spot in the league in 2022 with usage about even with 2021. New Balance sees a wide variety of usage across their lines in the MLB, including the 4040v6, 4040v5, 3000v6, 3000v5, 3000v4, COMPV3, and the Lindor 1.

Oneil Cruz’s custom Dominican Republic New Balance 4040v6 mid cleats/

Astros’ standout rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña debuted two different cleats in the 2022 season, using both the 3000v5 (Shop at Amazon) and the 4040v6 (Shop at Baseball Express) cleats. Aaron Judge, in his second year with (incognito) New Balance, rolled out a fresh pair of road cleats that feature his own unique logo on the side of the cleat, obscuring the NB logo. Keep an eye out for what Aaron Judge might be rocking this year — pop culture stars with class like
Aaron don’t stay free agents for long.

Here’s a list of the MLB’s best wearing New Balance cleats:

Adidas | 16% of Cleats Worn by MLB Starters (EVEN)

Best Adidas Baseball Cleats w/ Links to Purchase from Retailer with Best Inventory

  1. Afterburner 9 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods (New)
  2. Icon 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  3. Afterburner 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  4. Afterburner 8 | Shop at BaseballSavings.com
JP Crawford wears these custom Adidas Afterburner 8 cleats.

Adidas stands firm in the #3 spot, being worn by 16% of all major league starters (See all our featured Adidas cleats here). Adidas is known for letting their athletes across the league have free range with customization, as long as they do not block off the logos. This is most prominently showcased in JP Crawford’s Afterburner 8 cleats (Shop at BaseballSavings.com). Crawford put the initials “KC” and “BB3” on his cleats to keep his fiancée and late friend with him at all times.

Kiké Hernández’s custom Japanese Icon 7 cleats.

The Icon and Afterburner cleat lines continue to be Adidas’ bread and butter, with the Icon 7 (Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods) and Afterburner 8 (Shop at BaseballSavings.com) being the most common around the league. Adidas recently ended their relationship with previous poster boy Fernando Tatis Jr. after Tatis’ disaster of a year, but they still got some air time with Yordan Alvarez.

Here’s a list of some of adidas’ best:

Under Armour | 8% of Cleats Worn by MLB Starters (+1%)

Best Under Armour Baseball Cleats w/ Links to Purchase from Retailer with Best Inventory

  1. *NEW* UA Yard | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  2. *NEW* UA Harper 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Wander Franco wore these custom yellow Under Armour Harper 6 cleats.

Under Armour saw a slight bounce-back season when it comes to their representation in the Major Leagues. Under Armour, though not widely used, still has major star power.

Similar to Mike Trout’s signature cleat, few besides Bryce Harper wore his signature shoe, but its one of the sharpest cleats in baseball every year, the Harper 7 (Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods) which released a few months back.

Bryce Harper wearing his signature cleat.

Under Armour has a knack for young talent, and were worn by 2022 AL Rookie of the Year, Julio Rodriguez. Rodriguez is joined by another high-performing rookie, Bobby Witt Jr., who wore the UA Yard cleats. Here’s a list of some of Under Armour’s biggest stars:

Jordan | 2% of MLB Starters (-4%)

Official Jordan Brand members Manny Machado, Vladimir Guerrero and Mookie Betts lead the way for Jumpman, though there are many more who rock Jumpman cleats without a contract. Jazz Chisholm, one of the swag kings of the MLB, donned the pair of molded retro Jordan 1’s seen above. These Jordan 1’s feature custom Naruto-themed graphics, many of which are based around Sasuke Uchiha, including the character’s name and silhouette.

Mookie rocked these gray Jordan 10 “Snakeskin” cleats (above). These player exclusive Jordan 10s feature red and blue accents. Jordan saw its influence in the MLB fall, as many athletes who jumped at the chance to wear them no longer start, including Wil Myers and Robinson Cano.

Robinson Cano wore these Jordan 1 turfs during his time with the Mets.

With some whispers of a big signing, perhaps 2023 will be the year the sneakerheads can take a break from hunting eBay and Jordan will put out a new cleat again.

The remaining brands were as follows:

Shohei Ohtani in ASICS.

Asics is worn exclusively by Japanese players Shohei Ohtani and Seiya Suzuki. Asics capitalizes on their fame in the Asian market where Ohtani and Suzuki are ever-present in the baseball news.

Plastic (Molded) Cleats vs Metal | Why Do Pros Wear Plastic Cleats?

11-year veteran and 4x Gold Glove Award winner Brandon Crawford wears molded Nike cleats.

Molded (plastic) cleats are known for relieving stress on the joints of major leaguers, but even still, we witnessed 86% of starters wearing exclusively metal cleats. The group that was exclusively molded, however, is some of the league’s best (and biggest). To no surprise, many of these players are league veterans, including players like Paul Goldschmidt, Brandon Crawford, Albert Pujols, and Giancarlo Stanton. There is a common misconception that molded cleats are just for young players getting their start in the game, but molded cleats can be very useful for players that need to relieve some of the strain on their feet. I would recommend at least looking into molded for practicing if you plan to play a heavy schedule during your 2023 season.

What do you think about our 2022 MLB cleat report? Please comment below.

One comment

  1. All kinds of talk about how cool some cleats are and what market share a cleat maker has but no talk about widths. Whats up fellows? Don’t you think that it’s import when discussing cleats and spikes to talk about widths? New Balance used to be the king of widths but they only make up to a 2E width now. You mean to tell me all MLB players have the same width feet? Come on!

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