The New Balance 4040v3 baseball cleat was a favorite among baseball players of all ages. Its innovative plate and advanced comfort ensured that you got the most out of every move you made on the diamond. So when it came time for the sequel, the 4040v4, New Balance had some big shoes — excuse me, cleats — to fill. How would they follow up such a smash-hit? It was simple: they’d start from the ground up and create “the most thoughtfully designed cleat in the game.”
“We went back and broke every part of the cleat down to its components,” New Balance Baseball Product Manager Matt Nuzzo explained. “We asked ‘How will each section benefit the player wearing them and what are these guys asking for?’ They want it to be lightweight, durable, and comfortable. And they want it to look good, so those features were what we focused the most on.”
Matt gave us the lowdown on how each section of the cleat is designed to take your game to the next level.
“On the upper, it all starts with the TPU mesh material. Meshes typically aren’t very durable, so we’ve woven plastic strands into the fabric. When the rest of the upper is put together and heated, those strands melt a little bit — forming a more protective, rough covering of the mesh. This gives you a stronger, more durable shoe that still stays breathable.
We also wanted to give players space to tuck their laces underneath their tongue. Laces can be distractions and if they are too long, you can trip on them. This eliminates that. It also helps the player imagine exactly what they’ll look like when they’re on their feet. Without those big laces hanging down, what they see online is what they’ll get.”
“We’ve used the REVlite midsole a lot for cleats in the past and it’s here again for the 4040v4. From the feedback we’ve gotten from players, they all love it and it’s become a staple of our baseball line. New Balance has really become synonymous with comfort on the diamond and that’s first and foremost because of REVlite.”
“The main story with the cleat is the two different densities on the bottom of the shoe. The same hard plastic that most cleats have surrounds the studs so that you don’t feel them, but then, as you get to the forefoot, you get to the ProMotion Zone. This area is much softer and provides a more natural bend — giving you incredible flexibility where it’s needed most.
We also worked a lot with Dustin Pedroia who we call our ‘OG.’ He helped launch New Balance Baseball and always gives us great feedback. He noticed as he was rotating that some front studs that turn inwards were getting caught on the diamond. We conducted a lot of research on why those studs were always rotated that way and found no good answer. So we turned them out more, creating a more circular pattern and they tested off the charts. They now all slice through the same way and really promote uninterrupted movement.”
With their extraordinary attention to detail and smart design features, it’s safe to say that New Balance has another hit on their hands with the 4040v4. It’s got the comfort, durability, and responsiveness baseball players crave. The only question is: what color will you choose?