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Trying to understand the different types of soccer cleats is like trying to solve a crime where all the suspects are cleats, there are just too many options to choose from.
It’s important to know the difference and what they’re best suited for so that you can make an informed decision when buying your next pair.
This article will help you in choosing the perfect pair of cleats for your level of expertise, and the type of playing surface.
6 Types Of Soccer Cleats – Know The Difference
Compared to other sports, soccer places a higher priority on cleats. Aside from the ball, it is the most crucial piece of gear. A good pair of cleats designed for the perfect surface and weather conditions can improve a player’s performance.
Soccer players often require many pairs of cleats to accommodate all the different types of surfaces on which they play. While some cleats can be used on multiple surfaces, and some playing grounds require specific cleats.
Firm Ground Cleats (FG)
Firm-ground cleats, also known as FG cleats, are a type of soccer shoe that is designed to provide traction and stability on natural grass fields.
They have a soleplate with small plastic studs that are either bladed or conical in shape, and they are suitable for use on most natural grass fields and some wet conditions.
However, it is not recommended to use them on artificial turf as it can be harmful to the player’s joints and the shoes will wear out faster on this type of surface.
- They come in the traditional soccer cleat design.
- For added traction and control, the bottom of the shoe is constructed from hard plastic or non-removable rubber.
- Suitable for players at the beginner and intermediate levels.
- Perfect for use on practically any kind of field and in any weather.
- For safety purposes, many youth programs mandate it.
Artificial Ground Cleats (AG)
Artificial ground (AG) cleats are specially designed for use on artificial grass surfaces. They have a higher number of shorter studs distributed across the soleplate, which helps to reduce pressure on the body and joints when playing on harder artificial terrains.
The shorter studs also reduce the chance of getting stuck to the pitch, providing better traction and reducing the risk of injury.
AG cleats are typically conical in shape to allow for good rotational movement. They are also more durable than other types of cleats to withstand the extra pressure from the harder AG surfaces.
They may be made of stronger plastic materials and have extra reinforced areas on the soleplate and taping around the front of the boot to prevent sole separation.
AG cleats can be used on any type of field, and are especially suitable for playing on artificial grass surfaces. However, if you want the best performance, it’s best to choose the proper stud pattern for the surface you will be playing on.
- Designed For artificial or rock-hard ground
- A large number of short studs are evenly distributed on the outsole
- Provide the perfect option on a frozen pitch
Soft Ground Cleats (SG)
Soft ground cleats, or SG cleats, are a type of soccer shoe that is designed to provide extra traction on wet and muddy fields. They have a soleplate with longer metal studs that can be removed by unscrewing them.
The metal studs are fewer in number and longer in length than those found on FG cleats in order to provide better penetration on wet pitches. Some cleats may also have long conical plastic studs.
SG cleats are generally heavier than other types of cleats due to the construction of the soleplate around the metal studs.
It’s important to note that some leagues do not allow metal studs, so make sure to check with your league before wearing them. SG cleats are more suitable for experienced soccer players who can customize the boots according to their needs.
They should be used only on wet natural grass fields and not on other surfaces as they can cause discomfort and potential injuries to the player’s knees and also because it can damage artificial grass and turf pitches.
- They have bottom studs that are easily replaceable and that can be screwed on and off.
- Depending on the weather and the playing surface conditions for the game or practice that day, the kind and length of the studs can be altered.
- Perfect for seasoned players who can adjust the cleats to the playing surface and weather.
- Ideal for wet, muddy fields as well as well-kept, soft grass fields.
Hard/Multi Grounds Cleats (MG)
Soccer cleat manufacturers have come up with an alternative for players who are unsure of what kind of cleats to wear on various surfaces. They have developed cleats like the Adidas FxG, Nike MG, and Puma FG/AG that can be worn on both firm ground (FG) and artificial turf (AG) surfaces.
These cleats often have a conical and bladed stud design, which offers the best traction on both FG and AG surfaces. The studs are engineered to provide pressure uniformly over the soleplate.
Although these multi-ground cleats provide players who play on both FG and AG pitches a premium option, they lack metal studs and may not offer the best traction on wet playing surfaces.
Bear in mind that while these cleats are excellent for athletes seeking an adaptable and affordable alternative for their cleats, if you’re planning to play on wet fields, you should look for other options like soft ground cleats.
- Designed for artificial or harsh natural surfaces, such as hard ground or artificial turf.
- Soccer cleats designed for hard surfaces often contain a lot of short studs uniformly distributed throughout the whole outsole.
- For the majority of players, they are a great backup pair and offer a good choice on freezing grounds.
Turf Soccer Shoes (TF)
Turf shoes, which are designed specifically for indoor, carpet-like turf surfaces, are comparable to the ritzy high heels of the soccer world. But don’t be deceived; turf pitches are different from artificial grass pitches (AG), which are really just long, green replicas of plastic grass with rubber materials.
Turf shoes are entirely different from AG shoes, having a flat bottom and coated in small, strong rubber spikes.
Even though there isn’t a rule that forbids you from wearing turf shoes on every sort of soccer field, if you want to be the center of attention on the field, you should only wear them on indoor wooden courts and hard turf surfaces.
On the other hand, if you aren’t too serious about your game, you are free to wear them anywhere you like.
- They have different raised patterns on the bottom in place of studs and are made for use on artificial turf and harder outdoor surfaces.
- Appropriate for training and could be used as a backup pair for playing on hard surfaces
Indoor Soccer Shoe (IN)
These kinds of shoes are made for indoor use, such as those made of hardwood or synthetic turf, and are designed exclusively for indoor soccer. In order to provide the best traction and grip on smooth indoor surfaces, they often have a flat sole with a rubber or gum outsole.
For increased mobility and control, indoor soccer cleats frequently have a low-cut style. They may also have a padded collar. Also, they have fewer, smaller rubber studs, which put less strain on your joints and feet.
Because of the flat sole and rubber outsole’s inability to provide the traction and stability required on real grass surfaces, indoor soccer shoes/cleats should not be used on outdoor fields.
- Similar to lightweight, low-cut shoes
- Designed for indoor soccer games or recreational space
- Has a flat, rubbery bottom for increased traction on indoor courts and fields.
- When playing on artificial turf indoors, many soccer facilities require it to prevent damaging the surface.
|Firm Ground Cleats (FG)||Natural grass surfaces in dry condition||Non-removable plastic studs that are either bladed or conical in shape|
|Artificial Ground Cleats (AG)||Artificial grass surfaces||A larger number of shorter, conical, and hollowed studs distributed across the soleplate|
|Soft Ground Cleats (SG)||Natural grass surfaces in wet and muddy conditions||Fewer and longer removable metal studs|
|Multi-ground Cleats||Both natural and artificial grass surfaces||Shorter than firm ground cleat studs that are either bladed or conical in shape|
|Turf Soccer Shoes (TF)||Synthetic grass surfaces||Many small, durable rubber protrusions on the bottom of the soleplate.|
|Indoor Soccer Shoe (IN)||Hard court, cONCRETE||Flat gum rubber outsoles with no real studs|
What Material Are Soccer Cleats Made Of?
Soccer cleats are traditionally made of leather, but over time, new materials have been developed and are now commonly used. These materials often include a combination of synthetic fibers and sometimes include additional leather.
Some common materials used include:
- Leather: Leather is a conventional material used in the manufacturing of soccer cleats. It is durable and provides good support for the foot.
- Synthetic fibers: Many soccer cleats today are made of synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and polyurethane. These materials are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant.
- Carbon fiber: Some high-end soccer cleats are made of carbon fiber, which is extremely lightweight and strong.
- Rubber: Rubber is often used for the outsole of soccer cleats to provide good traction and durability on the field.
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU): TPU is a type of plastic that is often used in soccer cleats for its flexibility and durability.
- Foam Composite: Foam composite is usually used as reinforcement and cushioning materials in soccer cleats.
These materials are used in combination to create a soccer cleat that offers a balance of support, durability, and performance on the field.
However, cleat manufacturers such as Adidas and Concave have patented and copyrighted their specific materials and designs.
Concave has a unique convex upper made of both leather and synthetic materials and has incorporated a safety feature called the ‘MetaGuard’ to protect players’ metatarsal area.
What Cleats Are Not Allowed In Soccer?
In soccer, there are certain types of cleats that are not allowed due to safety concerns. These include:
- Metal cleats: These cleats have metal spikes or studs, which can cause injury to other players. They are not allowed in most youth and amateur leagues and are rarely seen in professional leagues.
- Screw-in cleats: These cleats have removable studs that can be screwed into the sole of the cleat. They are not allowed in many leagues because they can be easily altered to have longer or sharper studs, which can cause injury.
- Square cleats: Some cleats have square studs or cleats, which can cause injury to other players. They are not allowed in most youth and amateur leagues and are rarely seen in professional leagues.
- High-top cleats: High-top cleats, which extend above the ankle, are not allowed in many leagues because they can cause injury to other players.
It’s worth noting that FIFA, the governing body of soccer has laws on cleats, which are followed by most of the leagues. It’s always advisable to check the rules of the league you’re playing in before buying cleats.
What Are The Differences Between Conical & Bladed Studs?
Soccer cleats typically have bladed studs or conical studs. Conical studs are rounded and offer balance and stability on the pitch. They work well for players who wish to concentrate on maintaining perfect balance and rotation while they play.
On the other hand, bladed studs are pointed and offer more traction and acceleration on the field. These are ideal for players who want to move quickly and increase their speed. It’s important to keep in mind that while bladed studs offer higher traction, they also place more pressure on the joints and should be worn with caution.
|Type of Stud||Pros||Cons|
|Conical Studs||Balance and Stability||Less Traction and Acceleration|
|Bladed Studs||Traction and Acceleration||More Pressure on Joints|
How Should Soccer Cleat Fit?
To ensure that you get the most out of your new soccer cleats, it’s essential to make sure they fit properly. The ideal fit should be snug and similar to a sock, with enough space in the front of the shoe to comfortably wiggle your toes.
Properly fitting cleats provide freedom of movement, improved ball control, and stability for your feet and ankles. On the other hand, cleats that are too tight can cause blisters, and loose-fitting cleats can increase the risk of ankle injuries.
What Are Laceless Soccer Cleats?
Laceless cleats, as the name implies, do not have laces and have become popular in soccer due to advancements in technology. These cleats offer a smooth striking surface for better control of the ball.
The first laceless cleats were introduced by Lotto in 2006, called the Zhero Gravity. Adidas is currently a leading brand in the laceless cleats market, with popular models such as the Predator, Adidas X, and Nemeziz.
However, some players and critics argue that laceless cleats lack proper fit and ankle support, and may be seen as a gimmicky trend.
What Are Cleat Spikes Made Of?
The material used to make cleat spikes is often firm and durable, such as rubber or plastic. Some cleats have metal spikes, which can provide better traction on certain types of surfaces.
To give the player more traction and stability, they are made to be screwed or nailed onto the cleat’s sole. Some modern cleats include a detachable spike system that enables you to alter the spikes based on the playing surface.
Why Are There Different Types Of Soccer Cleats?
There are different types of soccer cleats to cater to the different needs of players and the different playing surfaces.
Cleats are designed with specific features to enhance performance and safety on different surfaces.
Final Thoughts – 6 Types Of Soccer Cleats – Know The Difference
The real magic of a perfect soccer shoe is the soleplate and stud configuration. It’s like the brain of your cleat, determining your level of field domination.
So, don’t just focus on the aesthetics of your cleats, make sure you’re choosing the right cleats for the right surface.
And, if you found this article helpful, don’t be a ball hog and share it with your fellow players.”
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