Almost made it through the entire week without more college gear and it was getting depressing. Here we have the #20 Oklahoma State Cowboys, with the best-looking throwback jersey in the game, hands down. Just an absolute classic. We also get a nice variety of Wilson leather, and the first DeMarini batting gloves we’ve seen on WPW. Many thanks to Alix for the hook-up. GO POKES!
There’s nothing in the athletic repertoire that people go more nuts over than footwear. The debate about basketball shoes (which most definitely have an influence here) is infinite, but there isn’t a ton of chatter out there about baseball cleats. For that reason, we had to put together a list of the best footwear on the diamond.
After taking into account your voting and our own inherent bias, we came up with the top 15 cleats in the game, as we see it. There were some really good suggestions that helped make this list more complete, but there are definitely cleats we missed and cleats we still haven’t seen yet. As always, hit us up on Twitter or Instagram and let us know your thoughts. To the list:
BJ Upton and Coco Crisp’s adidas adiZero 5 Tool 2.0 Cleats (worn on Mother’s Day)
These cleats manage to have a vibrant design but still look under control. Some cleats (see Adam Jones) have bold designs but end up looking sloppy—not the 5 Tool 2.0s. And I hear they’re ridiculously light.
Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinser’s Nike Zoom Vapor Elite Cleats
These are probably my personal favorite, which I mentioned in the Andrus feature. I love that gradient fade from blue to red and the bottom line is that the Zoom Vapor Elite is plain sexy as hell.
Matt Kemp‘s Nike Huarache 2KFresh Low Cleats
A popular vote, the 2KFresh seem to be a favorite cleat among the superstars of the game.
Brandon Crawford’s NIKEiD Air Max MVP Elite 3/4 MCS Cleats
These I had not noticed before and thanks to a WPW reader’s vote, I checked them out and absolutely love them. Crawford is just one of those guys that makes everything look good. The best part: these cleats can be made on NIKEiD.
Miguel Cabrera‘s New Balance 3000 Cleats
Jimmy Rollin‘s Jordan 12 Cleats
CarGo’s kicks won the popular vote. My personal favorite of the group is the Venezuela colorway. They’re just not something you see everyday but so clean.
Hanley Ramirez‘ New Balance 4040 “Hanleywood” Cleats
Like I said about Miggy’s, NB is not shy about catering to the big dogs, and the “Hanleywood” 4040s are no exception. These are just a lot of fun.
Jeremy Guthrie’s Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh Elephant Print and Nike Air Jordan 1 Cleats
Guthrie is a known sneakerhead and these Elephant print 2KFresh’s might be the sneaky pick of the litter in this entire group. So fresh and so fitting for the Royals colors. Flawless.
CC Sabathia’s Jordan 11 Concord (Opening Day 2013) and Jordan Melo M8 Cleats (Opening Day 2012)
I included CC more for the M8s than the 11s. The Melo M8 is my favorite of the Jordan choices. Jordan’s tend to be a little too flamboyant for my tastes, but the Melo M8 is a classic shoe. Nothing too fancy (the 11 is the same way), just gets the job done, a lot like CC.
Jason Heyward‘s Nike Air Swingman MVP Cleats
The Swingman MVP was a cleat a lot of you voted for, but most voted for the Adam Jones version. I’m sorry guys, that cleat is ugly. I feel like people get all hyped up at exclusives and ignore the fact that they aren’t a well-executed shoe. The Heyward is, and he goes socks up so everybody knows it. Heyward is my kind of ballplayer.
Carl Crawford’s Jordan 6 Rings Cleats
Such a nice looking cleat. They seem a little bulky though, no? I wonder how Crawford likes them in terms of playability, though we don’t need to hear it from him; they’re one of the prettiest shoes in the game today.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s New Balance 4040 Cleats
Another exclusive New Balance that I couldn’t ignore. The Indian’s colors just look really good, and Cabrera’s slick fielding only enhances their beauty.
Bryce Harper‘s UA Spine Highlight Cleats
These are on here because you all insisted. They just don’t really do it for me, and what baseball player without a history of ankle injuries needs that much ankle support? Regardless, I can’t ignore the fact that tons of you out there love them. But, wouldn’t you love anything Bryce laced up with? I sense a little bias.
Mariano Rivera’s Nike Cooperstown Cleats
The ultimate classic. Enough said.
How’d we do? Any we missed? Let us know and we’ll keep the dialogue going.
If you liked this, you’ll probably like our 20 PRETTIEST GLOVES, too!
The Andrus post and Guthrie Instagram got me thinking, who do you guys think has the best cleats in the game? I want to put a post together of the top 20 or so, so give me your suggestions in the poll below. Just tell me the guy and the model (if you can), and I’ll check them out. This post has been a long time coming, so I’m hoping for a nice response from you all.
Andrus’ bat has been slow to start this season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that his shoe game is airtight. The Nike Zoom Vapor Elite is my favorite shoe in the game right now, and Andrus’ exclusives take it to another level.
We’ve seen him swinging both Tucci (one photo down) and Marucci (two photos down) recently, but he’s shown a lot of variation in his career. The DU26 is likely Dan Uggla’s model, which we haven’t seen online. He’s also swung SSK and MaxBat in the past. We’ll update the Marucci as soon as possible.
Nike Zoom Vapor Elite Exclusives in Black/Grey/Red/Blue with Blue Laces
Look two photos above for a great shot at these. Plain and simple they’re the fastest looking shoes in the game. He’s got two different versions we’ve seen. Aside from the obvious custom colors, there’s a gradient fade from blue to red on the dimples on one shoe and also on the midsole of his other version (below) that is the difference-maker for me.
Both of these Zoom Vapors have custom soles (including the molded spikes) and are not available online, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about Andrus getting boosted in the parking lot by a WPW reader in the coming days. Smoke.
Nike Diamond Elite Pro II in Various Colors
As you can see in the photo above, Andrus most recently has been wearing a black/grey version of the DEIIs. These are exclusives, as are the royal/greys that he has also been wearing recently (below). He’s also worn whites with a black swoosh occasionally, too.
Sleeve on Mother’s Day
Figured we’d add this in since you guys love your pink. Get it while its hot.
Elvis Andrus, another popular request, is just dripping swagger. Smooth, flashy, stylish, the very pillars this website was built on. He belongs here, and here he will stay.
Andrus has one of the prettier gloves in baseball, and you can see it in the feature above and in the photos above. The A2000 1786-SS is available online, however, to get his colors you need to build a custom version yourself. You can get a glove just about identical to Andrus’—the only difference is the binding on Andrus’ is blonde and the builder does not allow for that color.
These are the specs:
- Leather Colors
- Palm: blonde
- Web: red
- Fingers: SuperSkin
- Thumb: SuperSkin
- Wrist: blonde
- Super Skin: yes
- Trim Colors
- Lacing: red
- Welting: black
- Binding: black
- Stitching Colors
- Logo Patch: black
- Wilson Logo: wilsonYellow
- A2000 Logo: wilsonYellow
- Web Stitching: red
- Shell Stitching: blonde
He also wears the Diamond Elite Pro II batting glove in royal/white underneath his glove. This is available.
Nike Show x2 in Black
Andrus’ black Show x2s are available, as well as a host of other colorways. Note: lately we haven’t seen him wearing the red version he’s wearing in the feature, though that version is also available.
Brecon No-Wrap Sleeve in Blue
Oddly enough, you can see Andrus wearing the Brecon No-Wrap sleeve on his non-throwing arm two photos above. Why? We have no idea. We’ve also seen him wearing them on both arms, just on his throwing arm, and not at all (multiple photos above). Who knows. Regardless, its available and you can wear it on whatever arm you choose.
Reyes stuck with the Under Armour Yard III’s from his brief tenure with the Marlins (what a disappointment that was), and has also stayed with the Marucci brand for his bats, but the new colorways are still fun to look at, and at WPW that’s what we do.
According to our source, Reyes uses the JR7 along with a model called the RH7. The RH7 is the same bat as Reyes’ JR7, except with Ryan Howard’s (RH6) knob-less handle.
Under Armour Epic in White/Blue
As you can see in the photo above, Reyes is wearing an exclusive white/blue pair of the UA Epic, a style we’ve also seen Bryce wear. The blue isn’t available, but a slick pair of whites is.
Under Armour Yard III Molded in Blue/White/Red
Reyes wears an exclusive version of the Yard IIIs (below). The ones in the feature are just the closest we could find. The Yard III is discontinued it looks like, but you can check Google and try to dig some up, as well as eBay at the above link.
On a related note, everybody is wearing molded cleats these days. Its something we’ve seen so much of lately that its hard to ignore. The reason, as I am told, is the grind. Over a long season, the pros feel that they’re putting too much stress on their joints with metals, so players are moving over to molded in great numbers.
In my opinion, I don’t think that should have an effect on the decision of a high school player, or even a college player, playing less than half of the games. I am genuinely surprised by the move, given the fact that molded cleats allow much less traction than metals, and I would think the demands of the Big Leagues would make performance the priority. Regardless of what I think, players are going molded—even Bryce Harper seems torn over the performance/durability debate, going half and half!
Benik W-107 in Royal Blue
As we’ve seen in the past, Reyes bolts around the bags with a Benik W-107 wrist guard on his left wrist. This is available at the link above.