Types of Soccer Cleats

Types of Soccer Cleats

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Did you know that there are several different types of soccer cleats? Are you also aware that choosing the wrong kind of soccer cleat could affect performance and possibly result in a nagging foot injury?

In general, the type of cleats you wear during training and games should be appropriate for the ground conditions that you will be playing on.

For example, if you play on artificial turf and indoor, you may want to invest in a couple pairs of cleats. Each one will have different types of studs and materials.

We understand that there are many brands of cleats to choose from but now we are letting you know that you should consider the surface being played on.

Can we overwhelm you anymore? Well, we hope this article will help you choose the best type of soccer cleats.

Types of Soccer Cleats to Consider

The following are the various types of soccer cleats you’ll run into when shopping for a new pair. The most important thing to consider is the main playing conditions. Is it natural grass, turf or hardwood? Answering this single question can help you focus in the right direction.

Firm Ground (FG) Cleats

Firm ground cleats are the most common type of soccer cleats.

Pitch conditions that have natural grass fields that are not too wet or too dry are ideal for these cleats.

These boots typically have 12 studs equally distributed across the sole – (4) studs near the toes, (4) studs between the ball and arch of the foot, and (4) just beneath the heel.

Most FG cleats use a combination of bladed and conical studs, with the bladed studs usually under the heel to make it easier for the player to pivot.

FG cleats are popular with youth soccer players because they are quite versatile and effective on most soccer fields.

Artificial Ground (AG) Cleats

As the name suggests, AG cleats (also known as multi-ground cleats) are designed for use on artificial grass or turf.

They usually have shorter and more numerous studs to provide better traction and stability on the harder turf surface.

Many big brands like Adidas and Nike carry many AG cleats in their inventory. More so in the U.S., many fields are being converted from natural grass to artificial grass.

Soft Ground (SG) Cleats

SG cleats are best used on soft or muddy pitches. These boots provide the most traction among all the cleat types.

Many youth soccer players do not need SG cleats as there are long metal studs that can be harmful to other players.

The studs in SG cleats taper towards the bottom and, compared to FG studs, they are longer and there are fewer of them. Because the studs can penetrate deeper into the soft ground, it enables easier turning and pivoting without slipping.

However, because of there longer studs, SG cleats are relegated to just soft and muddy fields and are not that suitable for hard and dry surfaces. The impact of the studs hitting the ground as the player runs will transfer right back up the legs, which can cause serious muscle and joint strain.

Indoor Cleats

Indoor cleats are designed for use on indoor soccer fields or hard surfaces like a basketball court.

These cleats have a flat sole and a non-marking outsole to avoid scuffing the floor.

Wearing any type of studs on a hard surface can result in major slipping. You should never wear traditional soccer cleats when playing futsal.

Futsal Shoes

Futsal shoes are similar to indoor soccer shoes, but have a thinner sole and are more lightweight for better maneuverability on the hard, smooth futsal court surface.

These shoes don’t scuff up surfaces like the hardwood on a basketball court.

Also, these shows are able to grip harder surfaces so players can change direction quicker.

Most players opt to just wear indoor cleats for futsal games so it isn’t necessary to buy two different pairs of indoor shoes.  


It is important for players to be comfortable with a certain type of soccer cleat. Understanding the differences between each can have a significant impact on the performance of the player.

At any given time, a player may opt to have a couple pairs of cleats. For example, in the northeast many players will go indoors or play futsal during the winter months. Having a pair of indoor soccer cleats is necessary. Then when the player goes outside in the fall and spring, they can wear their artificial grass cleats.

If you don’t know where to start or are still confused, your best bet is to purchase firm ground (FG) cleats as a soccer player. These are the most adaptable type of soccer cleats for pitches in the United States. 

I hope this article helped you decide which type of soccer cleat to go with!

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      Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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