There is just one important equipment you will need when playing soccer. Soccer cleats (or boots) should ensure your stability on the ground, increase your ability for quick starts, change of direction and nevertheless they give you control over the ball. You will need the best soccer cleats possible to utilize your talent and potential.
Check our definitive guide to everything related to soccer cleats:
1. Best Soccer Cleats – Your position matters
One would say, that the ground and the ball is the same for every player, therefore all could play in the same soccer cleats. In reality, the requirements for soccer cleats differ a lot depending on the position you play.
Goalkeepers need cleats offering great stability and traction for making good saves. On another hand, they need clear kick zone for kick-outs and passes. Defenders prefer the higher protection of ankles. Midfielders need comfort and good traction for runs up and down. Forwards prefer lightweight boot for quick runs. So think twice how you play and what position you will play before buying a new pair of soccer cleats.
2. Soccer Cleats – Material
For a long time, Leather was a prime choice for soccer cleats upper material. Leather gives you unique feel on the ball. However, today the move to a synthetic material is visible.
Synthetic leather or pure synthetic soccer cleats are more durable, give you more variability in design and weigh less than leather ones. On another hand, synthetic soccer shoes are not so good in a feel of the ball.
The absolute new material is Knit. It looks like a sock and has the ankle collar. We will see if Knit is the future of soccer cleats.
Adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial
Adidas Men's Messi 16.3 Fg
Nike Mercurial Superfly V FG Ronaldo
3. Soccer Cleats for different grounds
We all agree that playing indoors in studs is stupid, but there are more differences depending on the surface you will play on. Choosing the wrong pair of soccer cleats for rainy and wet soccer afternoon can damage your performance not saying that you are risking serious injury.
Firm Ground (FG)
Firm Grounds are most common soccer cleats. They are used for natural grass surfaces and are accepted also for artificial grounds. They should be used on dry surfaces, in case of rain or wet ground you risk slipping. They have mostly 10 to 14 studs that are either conical or bladed in shape. Outsoles are molded and studs are non-removable. Firm Ground Soccer Cleats are a good and first choice if you are playing outside.
Soft Ground (SG)
Soft Ground cleats are opposite to Firm Ground. They are used on wet surfaces and with longer studs for ensuring extra stability. Six studs on the outsole are removable and exchangeable. Studs have varying length and you can adjust your soccer boots to different conditions.
Hard Ground (HG)
Hard Ground soccer cleats are used on the outdoor very dry surfaces, with less or no grass. They can be used also on Firm Ground surfaces. Their outsole is full of small rubber studs, they have a low profile and gives you good stability.
Artifical Ground (AG)
Artificial Ground soccer boots are the brand new type as a reaction of manufacturers to increase of artificial grounds all around the world. They have small rubber patterns or studs on the outsole and provide great traction on the artificial surface.
Turf soccer shoes were preferred choice for artificial surfaces till the emergence of Artificial Ground Cleats. They have a low profile and a high number of small studs.
Indoor soccer shoes have flat rubber (usually non-marking) outsole and are used for playing indoors in the gym.
Very Dry, Less or No Grass
HG - Hard Ground
FG - Firm Ground
SG - Soft Ground
FG – Firm Ground
IN - Indoor
Puma Attacanto L GCr HG
Adidas Performance Men's X 17.3 FG
Nike Tiempo Legend Vi SG-Pro
Adidas Performance Men's Ace 16.2 Primemesh FG/AG
Nike Hypervenom Phelon II IC Men's Indoor/Court
4. How to choose the right size of Soccer Cleats
Choosing the right size of soccer cleats is the hardest thing to do. First of all, remember that leather cleats will stretch a little after few matches. Synthetic cleats will stay as they are. You will not get any additional space.
Generally, you should apply a rule of the baby finger. The space between the top of the boot and your toe should be exactly the size of your baby finger (or in exact terms ¼ to ½ inch gap is ideal). Again, keep in mind that leather shoes can stretch a little bit but synthetic cleats will not.
5. Best Soccer Cleats for Kids
Choosing the right size and right soccer cleats for kids is much harder. It is really tricky as a kid will not describe exactly what he/she likes and dislikes. Also as a kid grows you will sooner or later have to buy new pairs again.
Still, there are few rules you can apply when buying kids soccer cleats. If you are buying the first pair of soccer cleats, buy size the same as any other sporting shoes it already uses. In case of kids soccer cleats, the rule of „baby finger“ or thumb is an important one. As his/her toes will growth, space will give the kid more comfort in future.
If your kid is satisfied with soccer cleats she/he already has, just repeat the brand and model when you will be buying a new pair when she/he grows up or wears them out. It is very probable that the same brand model will fit again and will be comfortable for your kid.
Adidas Kids' Messi 16.3 J Firm Ground
NIKE Jr Magista Onda FG
Adidas Performance Kids' Messi 16.3 Indoor
NIKE Junior Hypervenom Phelon II (IC) Indoor-Competition
6. Soccer Cleats Care
Nobody wants to buy new soccer cleats every month or two. Therefore it is extremely important to take care of cleats after every match. It can extend their life without decreasing their quality and your comfort.
Even great players like Ronaldo or Messi will take care and clean their shoes after their game. Except for their talent and will, cleats are the only equipment they use and hence they deserve the best care.
So keep in mind just a few rules regarding the soccer cleats care:
*clean them after every game
*put of the biggest dirt from outsoles immediately after the game
*later after you should make the wet cleaning with cloth (leather cleats) or soft brush (synthetic soccer cleats)
*dry cleats at room temperature (no sharp sun)
Nike Kids' Jr. Mercurial Vapor XI CR7 FG
adidas Originals Kids' Nemeziz Messi 17.3 Fg
Nike Youth Mercurial Victory VI Neymar FG