We’ve been tracking the cleats worn by MLB starters since 2017, and the 2022 numbers are in. Sponsored by Rawlings and Dick’s Sporting Goods, this report (like our glove report) focuses on starting position players. These players are listed along with a few select players on Baseball-Reference.com’s 2022 team pages. Focusing on the most active players, Starters, allows for an improvement in data efficiency. After the 2022 season, not much has changed outside of the championship leader and they have taken an even more confident lead.
Read on to see which brands were worn by baseball starters in 2022 But first, let’s take a look back at the dates for the 2021 season.
2021 cleats worn by MLB starters
In 2021, Nike was the prominent leader, but New Balance reclaimed second place from Adidas. Under Armor’s decline continued while the Jordan brand grew.
What shoes are you wearing?
what do you rock Personally, I’m a big fan of the Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 2 Mid shoes.
What shoes do MLB players wear?
2022 cleats worn by MLB starters
Since 2017, Nike has increased its lead every year. Starting with 38% of the league, Nike is now worn by 50% of Major League Baseball’s best.
Only seven baseball shoe companies compete in MLB: Nike (+3% as of 2021), New Balance (EVEN), Adidas (EVEN), Under Armor (+1%), Jordan (-4%), Mizuno and Asics.
Here are the top 7 cleats among MLB starters:
Nike | 50% of shoes are worn by MLB starters (+3% by 2021)
Best Nike baseball shoes with Links to purchase from the merchant with the best inventory
- Alpha Huarache Elite 3 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- (New) Alpha Huarache Elite 4 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Steam Ultrafly Elite 4 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Trout 8 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods / On Sale at Baseball Express
- (New) Alpha Huarache NXT | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Check out all of our featured Nike shoes here.
For the second year in a row, the top cleat for both Nike and MLB was the Alpha Huarache Elite 3 (Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods). The Alpha Huarache line has been the dominant stud in baseball since its release, although it originally came out in 2020 and is frankly being overplayed! We are pleased that there are some recent new releases:
NEW BASEBALL BOOTS: NIKE ALPHA HUARACHE NXT
FIRST LOOK AT NIKE ALPHA HUARACHE ELITE 4 BASEBALL BOOTS
NOW AVAILABLE: THE NIKE FORCE ZOOM TROUT 8 ELITE BASEBALL BOOTS BY MIKE TROUT
Here are a few stars who rocked the Alpha Huarache Elite 3 (available at Dick’s Sporting Goods):
The Vapor Ultrafly Elite 3 and 4 (available from Dick’s Sporting Goods) were significantly more limited but still had some stars:
The third most worn Nike shoe among MLB starters in 2022 was the Trout 7. Although some players don’t like the idea of wearing an opponent’s signature shoe, Josh Bell wore them among others.
New Equilibrium | 22% of cleats are worn by MLB starters (EVEN)
Best New Balance baseball shoes with Links to purchase from the merchant with the best inventory
- 4040v6 | Shop at Baseball Express
- (New) COMPV3 | Shop at Baseball Express
- 3000v4 (Worn by Aaron Judge) | Shop on Amazon
- 3000v5 | Shop on Amazon
- (New) 3000v6 | Shop at Baseball Express
New Balance held on to second place in the league in 2022 with usage around the same as 2021. New Balance sees a variety of usages in MLB including 4040v6, 4040v5, 3000v6, 3000v5, 3000v4, COMPV3 and Lindor 1.
Astro’s standout rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña debuted two different boots in the 2022 season, launching both the 3000v5 (Shop on Amazon) and 4040v6 (Shop at Baseball Express) studs. Aaron Judge, in his second year at (incognito) New Balance, launched a new pair of road bike cleats that feature his own unique logo on the side of the cleat, obscuring the NB logo. Keep an eye out for what might be rocking Aaron Judge this year – pop culture stars with class like
Aaron doesn’t stay free agents for long.
Here is a list of MLB’s best worn New Balance shoes:
adidas | 16% of shoes are worn by MLB starters (EVEN)
Best adidas baseball shoes with links to buy from retailer with best inventory
- Afterburner 9 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods (New)
- Icon 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Afterburner 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Afterburner 8 | Shop at BaseballSavings.com
Adidas is a firm No. 3, worn by 16% of all major league starts (See all our featured Adidas boots here). Adidas is known for giving its athletes free rein to customize across the league, as long as they don’t block the logos. This is most evident in JP Crawford’s Afterburner 8 football boots (Shop at BaseballSavings.com). Crawford put the initials “KC” and “BB3” on his shoes to keep his fiancée and late friend with him at all times.
The Icon and Afterburner footwear lines continue to be Adidas’ bread and butter, with the Icon 7 (shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods) and the Afterburner 8 (shop at BaseballSavings.com) being the most popular in the league. Adidas recently ended their relationship with former figurehead Fernando Tatis Jr. after Tatis’ one-year disaster, but they still got some airtime with Yordan Alvarez.
Here’s a list of some of adidas’ best:
Under Armor | 8% of shoes are worn by MLB starters (+1%)
Best Under Armor baseball shoes with links to buy from the retailer with the best inventory
- *NEW* UA Yard | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- *NEW* UA Harper 7 | Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Under Armor enjoyed a mild recovery season when it came to their representation in the major leagues. Under Armour, while not widespread, still has a lot of star power.
Much like Mike Trout’s signature cleat, few besides Bryce Harper wore his signature shoe, but it’s one of baseball’s sharpest cleats each year, the Harper 7 (Shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods), which was released a few months ago.
Under Armor has a knack for young talent and was worn by 2022 AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez. Joining Rodriguez is another high-performing rookie, Bobby Witt Jr., who wore the UA Yard shoes. Here’s a list of some of Under Armor’s biggest stars:
Jordan | 2% of MLB starters (-4%)
Official Jordan Brand members Manny Machado, Vladimir Guerrero and Mookie Betts are leading the way for Jumpman, although there are many more rocking non-contract Jumpman shoes. Jazz Chisholm, one of MLB’s swag kings, donned the pair of sculpted retro Jordan 1s pictured above. These Jordan 1s feature custom Naruto graphics, many based on Sasuke Uchiha, including the character’s name and silhouette.
Mookie rocked these gray Jordan 10 Snakeskin shoes (above). These player-exclusive Jordan 10s feature red and blue accents. Jordan saw his impact in the MLB case when many athletes who jumped at the chance to wear them stopped competing, including Wil Myers and Robinson Cano.
With some rumors of a big signing, 2023 may be the year sneakerheads can take a break from chasing eBay, and Jordan will be releasing a new shoe again.
The remaining brands were as follows:
Asics is exclusively worn by Japanese players Shohei Ohtani and Seiya Suzuki. Asics capitalizes on its fame in the Asian market, where Ohtani and Suzuki are ubiquitous in baseball news.
Molded (plastic) studs are known to relieve the joints of tall players, but despite this we saw that 86% of the starters wore metal studs only. However, the group that was exclusively formed is among the best (and largest) in the league. Not surprisingly, 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 only suitable for young players starting out in the game, but molded cleats can be very useful for players who need to take some weight off their feet. I’d recommend at least looking into mold casting for practice if you plan on playing a busy schedule during your 2023 season.
What do you think of our 2022 MLB Studs Report? Please comment below.
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