If you look at a lot of baseball cleats (as I do) you will notice that, on metal cleats, there are many different takes on the positioning, angles, and even the length of the metal cleats. These different approaches are an attempt to nail the ideal biomechanic, and are sometimes trademarked and patented (Mizuno’s 9 Spike is a good example of this).
The thing that I’m hung up on is the heel. No matter what the cleat configuration in the forefoot, the heel cleats are almost always the same: 2 on either side behind the shank, 1 at the rear center. Why is this?
This is not the case for molded cleats, which usually have 4 heel cleats, 2 on each side.
Intuition tells me that this is a carryover from when most metal cleated shoes had leather soles, like dress shoes, with tacked on 3-in-1 cleats forefoot and heel.
The Japanese market still uses these types of metal cleats exclusively.
This is due to their regulations. Here is a basic japanese shoe:
So can anyone tell me why the heel cleats are nearly always in this position?
Am I correct in guessing that its just an unquestioned tradition?