What Are Soccer Cleats? Explaining Everything. 

What Are Soccer Cleats? Explaining Everything. 

What are soccer cleats? The primary purpose of soccer cleats is to provide traction on the field. The cleats dig into the ground, providing grip and preventing players from slipping and sliding on the field. 

These cleats come in various styles and designs, each with its own unique features. And, they range significantly in cost.

The design of the cleats can vary depending on the position played by the player. For example, strikers may prefer cleats that are lightweight and provide excellent traction, while defenders may opt for cleats that are sturdy and provide excellent support.

With so many styles and designs available, it’s essential to choose the right pair of cleats that suit your playing style and soccer position. In this article, we’ll dive deep into soccer cleats!

What Are Soccer Cleats?

How To Break in Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats are specialized footwear designed exclusively for soccer. They are also known as football boots in some countries like Europe.

The cleats on the bottom of the shoe are designed to provide traction and grip on the grass or turf field.

The shoes are made with materials that are lightweight, durable, and flexible to allow for quick movements and changes in direction.

Soccer Cleats Materials

Soccer cleats are made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic leather, and mesh.

Leather cleats are more durable and provide better ball control, but they are also heavier and take longer to break in.

Synthetic leather (which most cleats are made out of these days) and mesh cleats are lighter and more breathable, but they may not provide as much durability or ball control as leather cleats.

The sole of the cleat is typically made from rubber or plastic, and the studs on the bottom of the cleat can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, rubber, or metal.

Metal studs are typically only used on soft, wet fields, as they can be dangerous on hard or dry fields. Additionally, you probably won’t find any youth soccer cleats with metal studs.

Types of Soccer Cleats

There are several types of soccer cleats, each designed for a specific type of player or playing surface. The most common types of soccer cleats include:

  • Firm Ground (FG) Cleats [Most Common]: These cleats are designed for use on firm, natural grass fields. They typically have 12-15 studs on the bottom of the shoe and are the most versatile type of soccer cleat.
  • Soft Ground (SG) Cleats: These cleats are designed for use on wet or soft natural grass fields. They typically have longer studs that provide better traction in muddy or wet conditions.
  • Artificial Ground (AG) Cleats: These cleats are designed for use on artificial turf fields. They typically have shorter, more numerous studs that provide better traction on the harder surface.
  • Indoor (IN) Cleats: These cleats are designed for use on indoor soccer fields or gymnasium floors. They typically have a flat sole and no studs, providing better traction on the smooth surface.

You can read more about the different types of cleats in a recent article I wrote.

How to Choose Soccer Cleats

Fit of the Soccer Cleat

When selecting soccer cleats, the fit is crucial. You want to ensure that your cleats fit comfortably and securely. Here are some tips to help you choose the right fit:

  • Try on cleats with the soccer socks you will wear during games.
  • Make sure your toes have enough room to move and wiggle inside the cleat.
  • The cleat should fit snugly around your foot, but not be too tight.
  • Walk around in the cleats to make sure they are comfortable and do not rub or pinch your feet.

Style of Cleats

Soccer cleats come in a variety of styles, from traditional to modern. Here are some things to consider when choosing the style of cleat:

  • Traditional cleats have studs or blades on the bottom for traction.
  • Modern cleats may have a more streamlined design and use different materials.
  • Some cleats are designed for specific positions, such as striker or defender.
  • Consider the color and design of the cleat, but remember that performance is more important than style.

Considering Playing Surface for Cleats

The playing surface is an important factor when choosing soccer cleats. Different surfaces require different types of cleats. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right cleats for your playing surface:

  • Firm ground cleats are designed for natural grass surfaces and have studs or blades for traction.
  • Soft ground cleats are designed for wet or muddy fields and have longer studs for better traction.
  • Turf shoes have shorter, rubber studs for artificial turf surfaces.
  • Indoor soccer shoes have a flat sole for indoor courts.

If you are playing on turf or grass, you will want to purchase a firm ground (FG) style of cleats.

Caring for Soccer Cleats

How to Clean Soccer Cleats

It is essential to take good care of your soccer cleats to ensure they last as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to care for your soccer cleats.

Cleaning Soccer Cleats

Cleaning your soccer cleats regularly is essential to maintain their performance and appearance. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Remove any excess dirt or mud from the cleats using a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth.
  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap.
  3. Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water and gently clean the surface of the cleats.
  4. Rinse the cleats with clean water and dry them with a clean towel.
  5. Allow the cleats to air dry completely before storing them.

Do you want to learn more about cleaning and drying your soccer cleats? Read ‘How to Clean Soccer Cleats’.

Difference Between Baseball and Soccer Cleats

Soccer vs Baseball

There are some key differences between baseball and soccer cleats that you should be aware of.

Firstly, baseball cleats tend to have a more rigid sole and spikes that are longer and sharper than soccer cleats. This is because baseball players need to be able to dig into the softer ground and gain traction when throwing, running, stopping, and changing directions. In contrast, soccer cleats have shorter and more rounded spikes that are designed to provide a better grip on grass and turf surfaces without getting caught or stuck.

Another difference between baseball and soccer cleats is the shape of the toe. Baseball cleats typically have a more pointed toe, which helps with digging into the ground and making quick turns. Soccer cleats, on the other hand, have a more rounded or slightly blunted toe to help with ball control and maneuverability.

Finally, the materials used to make baseball and soccer cleats can also differ. Baseball cleats are often made with heavier, more durable materials like leather to withstand the wear and tear of sliding and running on dirt and grass. Also in baseball, players are pushing off bases and mounds to create more leverage.  Soccer cleats, on the other hand, are often made with lighter materials like synthetic fabrics to help players move quickly and efficiently on the field.

I think you could get away with wearing soccer cleats for baseball but I would not recommend wearing baseball cleats for soccer.

Difference Between American Football and Soccer Cleats

Soccer vs Football

As for American football versus soccer cleats, here are some differences:

  • Design: American football cleats typically have a thicker sole and more ankle support compared to soccer cleats. Soccer cleats are designed to be lightweight and provide good traction on grass or turf.
  • Style: American football cleats often have a high-top design, while soccer cleats are usually low-cut. This is because football players need more ankle support, while soccer players need more flexibility and range of motion in their ankles.
  • Stud Positioning: Football cleats have more studs in the forefoot than other sports shoes like soccer. They also have spikes at the end of the toe to get more traction when players push off.

Here are some more differences between football and soccer cleats.

Should I Buy Laceless Cleats?

Laceless cleats have been all the rage among youth soccer players lately. But, is it worth it? Laceless cleats are designed to provide a comfortable and snug fit without the need for laces.

Pros of Laceless Soccer Cleats

  • Comfort: Laceless cleats are designed to provide a snug and comfortable fit. Without laces, you won’t have to worry about any pressure points or discomfort caused by the laces.
  • Style: Laceless cleats look sleek and modern. They can give you an edge in terms of style on the field.
  • Convenience: Without laces, you won’t have to worry about tying and untying your cleats. This can save you time and hassle, especially if you’re in a rush.

Cons of Laceless Soccer Cleats

  • Fit: Laceless cleats may not fit everyone’s feet perfectly. Without the ability to adjust the laces, you might find that the cleats are too loose or too tight.
  • Support: Laces provide additional support to your feet. Without them, you might not get the same level of support that you need, especially if you have weak ankles.
  • Price: Laceless cleats tend to be more expensive than traditional laced cleats. You might want to stick with traditional cleats if you’re on a budget.

It’s up to the player to determine if laceless cleats will improve performance. For my son, he’s played in both but he’s reverted back to cleats with laces because he has a thinner foot.

As a side note – my son is the poster child for not keeping his laces tied but I’ve never seen him trip over them. Does that actually happen or is it a myth?

Do You Really Need Cleats for Soccer?

Yes! This is especially true if you are playing soccer outside.

Soccer cleats are specially designed shoes that provide better traction and support on the field. Without them, you may slip and slide, increasing your risk of injury and decreasing your performance.

Here are some reasons why you should invest in a good pair of soccer cleats:

  • Traction: Soccer cleats have studs on the sole that provide better grip on the grass or turf. This allows you to make quick turns and stops without slipping and losing your footing. Also, when kicking a soccer ball, the studs create more stability with the off-foot so you can dig into the ground while kicking it with your other foot.
  • Support: Soccer cleats are designed to support your feet and ankles during the game. They provide stability and prevent injuries such as ankle sprains.
  • Comfort: Soccer cleats are made with breathable materials that help keep your feet cool and dry during the game. They also have cushioning and padding to reduce the impact on your feet. They should fit snugly and be lightweight.

Overall, soccer cleats are an essential piece of equipment for any soccer player. They not only improve your performance but also protect you from injuries.

Even for ages 4-6, I always recommend parents invest in a pair of soccer cleats for their child.

How Much Are Soccer Cleats?

Depending on the brand, materials, size, and features, soccer cleats can range from $30 to $300.

You’ll find most quality youth soccer cleats will be under $100. While quality adult soccer cleats are $100 or more.

Here are some factors to consider when looking at the cost of soccer cleats:

Brand of Soccer Cleats

Some soccer cleat brands are known for their high-quality and innovative designs, which can come with a higher price tag.

Popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma are often more expensive than lesser-known brands.

Quality of Materials

The materials used to make soccer cleats can also affect the price.

Leather cleats tend to be more expensive than synthetic materials, as they are often more durable and provide a better fit. However, synthetic materials can be more affordable and still provide good performance.

Size of Cleats

The size of the soccer cleats matters. Naturally, youth sizes are typically more expensive than adult sizes.

The same cleat can vary from youth to adult with more features and better material.

Soccer Cleats Features

Soccer cleats can come with a variety of features, such as different stud configurations, cushioning, and ankle support.

The more features a cleat has, the more expensive it will typically be.

Final Thoughts on Soccer Cleats

It’s important to remember that the best soccer cleats don’t mean they will produce the best soccer player. Yes, having proper footwear does help but it’s all up to the player to maximize their performance.

Soccer cleats are only footwear specifically designed for the sport of soccer.  They provide soccer players with the necessary traction, support, and comfort to perform on the field.

Keep in mind that they come in a variety of styles and materials, each designed to suit different playing surfaces and player preferences.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, having the right pair of soccer cleats can make a significant impact on the turf, grass, or court. But, to get better, players have to put in the work!

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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