Over the years baseball cleats have truly evolved. Whether it has been the move from rubber spikes to plastic spikes, or metal cleats being built stronger while getting lighter, these changes have been applauded by athletes.
As companies continue to create new cleats and innovative tech features for them, New Balance has taken a step ahead of the rest.
With the launch of the CompV1, New Balance is the first to offer a cleat with a mix of glass fiber reinforced TPU and standard TPU spikes. To go along with this, a number of pros will sport the CompV1 during the 2018 season. But a pair of stars got early access to the shoe during the 2017 playoffs. Athletes Fransisco Lindor and Jose Altuve were the in-game wear-testers of the new cleat, helping the product team get to the final version to bring to market.
This cleat is way more than just your average molded spike, so in order to take a deeper dive into the shoe, we chatted with the New Balance baseball product team.
How The Cleat Came To Life
A lot of information was brought to the attention of the New Balance baseball team over the past few years. In their research three big things stood out:
- The fact that high school athletes are playing more and more baseball games today —some even 100 plus games a year. This led parents to be a lot more thoughtful about the health of their teenagers’ feet. In response, they built a shoe that has metal spike performance with the comfort of a TPU spike.
- Turf baseball fields are popping up all over the country, and many of these fields don’t allow you to wear metal cleats on them. This makes an alternative option so important. In response New Balance designed a cleat that works on dirt and turf fields.
- Most professionals today are wearing plastic cleats, and these are the guys that kids are watching play every night. In response the CompV1 was created to give the comfort and performance the pros get.
These three things gave New Balance a nudge to create something new. They were looking to create something different in a stale market that was producing only metal and TPU cleats. In response to this the product team decided to build something they could tell a story around, and this turned out to be the fiberglass TPU cleat known as the CompV1.