difference between soccer and football cleats

Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats? – Explained by Soccer Coach

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between soccer and football cleats, you’re not alone. As a soccer Coach, I’m here to shed light on this topic. At first glance, these cleats may appear quite similar, but there are essential differences.

Each type is specially designed to meet the unique demands of its respective sport. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between soccer and football cleats, helping you understand which pair suits each sport best. Let’s dive in!

Soccer Cleats

Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats are designed with a low-cut style to allow for maximum mobility. The low-cut design gives players the flexibility they need to run, change direction quickly, and control the ball effectively.

The upper part of soccer cleats is typically made of lightweight and breathable materials such as synthetic leather or mesh.

This not only reduces the shoe’s overall weight but also enhances ventilation, reducing sweating and keeping the player’s feet dry and comfortable.

Soccer cleats have smaller and thinner studs than football cleats. They are arranged in a circular pattern for excellent traction on natural grass.

This design allows quick direction changes, which is essential in soccer. Soccer cleats come with conical or bladed studs, offering better grip and agility on the field.

Football Cleats

Football Cleats

Football cleats, on the other hand, are designed with a higher cut that covers the ankle. This design provides added support and protection, which is essential in a contact sport like football.

The upper part of football cleats is usually made of thicker, more durable materials such as leather or synthetic leather. These materials can withstand the rough and tumble of the sport, offering long-lasting durability.

Football cleats have bigger and thicker studs than soccer cleats. They offer excellent traction on artificial surfaces like turf. Football cleats often combine conical and bladed studs for stability and agility.

Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats

When it comes to choosing the right footwear for the game, soccer cleats vs football cleats stand out with distinct features. While both soccer and football cleats serve the same basic purpose of providing traction on the field, there are key differences between them:

1. Weight

Soccer cleats are designed to be lighter, typically weighing between 7-10 oz. This lightness helps soccer players maintain agility and speed on the field. On the other hand, football cleats are heavier, usually weighing between 11-15 oz. The extra weight provides more support, especially for players in positions that require more stability.

2. Material 

Soccer cleats are made from a thinner and more flexible material. This allows players to feel the ball better, which is crucial in soccer. In contrast, football cleats are made from a thicker and sturdier material. This provides better protection for players due to the rugged nature of football.

3. Studs

The studs on soccer cleats are shorter and flatter. This design is safer for players as it is less likely to cause injury during a tackle. Football cleats, however, have sharper and longer studs. These provide more traction and often include a toe spike for extra grip.

4. Midsole

Soccer cleats do not have a midsole. This design allows players to maintain a low center of gravity and stay near the ball. Football cleats, however, come with an extra midsole layer. This acts as a shock absorber, protecting players from injuries.

5. Outsole

The outsoles of soccer cleats are thin and light. This improves agility and speed on the field. The outsoles of football cleats, on the other hand, are thicker and stronger. This maximizes protection for the players.

6. Design

Soccer cleats are all low-cut. This allows the players’ ankles to move freely for better ball control. Football cleats come in three designs: low, mid, and high-cut. The design chosen depends on the player’s position and the level of ankle protection needed.

7. Toe Feel

Soccer cleats are designed with a natural toe feel. This is important for better ball handling. In football, toe feel doesn’t really matter unless you’re a punter or a kicker.

8. Stud Shape

The studs on soccer cleats are usually round or bladed. This design allows for quick release and helps prevent ankle injuries. The studs on football cleats are typically rectangular. This shape provides better traction and stability.

Using the wrong type of cleat can affect your performance and potentially lead to injuries. So, when considering soccer cleats vs football cleats, always choose the one that is specifically designed for your sport.

Also Read: 13 Fun & Essential Soccer Drills for 10 Year Olds (U11) – According to Soccer Coach

Which Cleats to Choose for Each Sport

Choosing the right cleats for soccer or football can greatly impact your performance on the field. Here are some tips:

  • Soccer players should choose cleats with smaller, thinner studs for natural grass surfaces. The low-cut ankle design and lightweight materials will provide greater flexibility and comfort.
  • Football players should choose cleats with larger, thicker studs for artificial surfaces. The higher cut and thicker materials will provide added support and protection for the foot.

The difference between soccer and football cleats lies in their design, stud configuration, and materials used. While both types of cleats provide traction on the field, choosing the right type of cleats for each sport is important to optimize your performance and minimize the risk of injury.

Can You Use Football Cleats for Soccer?

People often ask this question “Can You Use Football Cleats for Soccer”.

While it’s technically possible to use football cleats for soccer, it’s not recommended due to the differences in design and functionality. Football cleats are heavier and have a higher cut, which can restrict movement and agility on the soccer field.

The stud configuration on football cleats is also designed for artificial turf and may not provide the same traction on natural grass surfaces typically used in soccer. Therefore, using the correct cleats for each sport is crucial for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Also Read: What is the Average Soccer Player Height Based on Positions?

Can My Kid Wear Soccer Cleats for Football?

For children who are just starting out in either sport and are not yet playing at a competitive level, it might be acceptable to use soccer cleats for football or vice versa.

However, as they progress and the level of play becomes more competitive, it’s important to invest in the correct type of cleats for each sport. This not only enhances performance but also helps prevent injuries.

Also Read: What is a Hat Trick in Soccer? – Explained by Soccer Coach

What Are the Different Types of Soccer Cleats?

Soccer cleats come in different types, each designed for specific playing conditions:

  • Firm Ground Cleats (FG): These are the most common type of soccer cleats, designed for natural grass fields. They have non-removable studs and provide excellent traction on firm, dry surfaces.
  • Hard ground cleats (HG): These cleats are specially designed to provide excellent traction and stability on firm, dry surfaces. With shorter, more numerous studs, they prevent excessive stud pressure, reducing the risk of injury on hard pitches. 
  • Soft Ground Cleats (SG): These cleats have fewer studs which are also longer. They are designed for wet, muddy fields where extra traction is needed.
  • Artificial Ground Cleats (AG): These cleats are specifically designed for artificial turf. They have many small studs spread across the sole to evenly distribute the player’s weight and reduce the risk of injury.

Also Read: What is Beep Test in Soccer & How to Prepare for It?

Do Soccer Cleats Work for Football?

While soccer cleats can be used for football, especially at a younger or less competitive level, they may not provide the same level of performance or protection as football cleats. Soccer cleats are designed for agility and quick changes in direction, while football cleats are designed for stability and protection. Therefore, using soccer cleats in a football game may not provide the necessary traction, especially on artificial turf, and may lack the ankle support needed in a contact sport like football.

History Behind Soccer and Football Cleats

The history of soccer and football cleats dates back to the 19th century. Early soccer cleats were leather boots with metal tacks or studs hammered into the soles to improve traction. Over time, these evolved into modern soccer cleats with moulded studs and lightweight materials.

Football cleats have a similar history, with early versions also featuring leather boots with metal studs. However, as the sport evolved and became more physical, the design of football cleats changed to offer more protection and support, resulting in the higher cut and thicker materials we see in modern football cleats.

Also Read: 4-2-3-1 Formation Explain: A Comprehensive Guide

Summing Up on Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats

While soccer and football cleats may look similar, they have different designs, materials, and stud configurations. These differences are tailored to the specific needs of each sport, and using the correct cleats can significantly enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Whether you’re a soccer player looking for agility and ball control or a football player needing stability and protection, choosing the right cleats is a crucial part of your game.

Remember, the right cleats can make a significant difference in your performance on the field, so choose wisely!

Also Read: 4 4 2 Soccer Formation Explain: A Comprehensive Guide – Mr Soccer Expert

Faqs on Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats

What Cleats is Messi Wearing?

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, is wearing Adidas’s X Speedflow Messi soccer cleats. These cleats are designed for powerful moves and staying agile at full speed. They are constructed with performance-ready components to elevate your game. These sleek Leo Messi cleats have Carbitex carbon fiber inserts and a raised forefoot for more flexibility while supporting quick cuts and turn in any direction. 

Also Read: How Many Miles Do Soccer Players Run in a Game – Answered by Soccer Coach

Why Do My Football Cleats Hurt My Feet?

Football cleats might hurt your feet for several reasons. They might be the wrong size, too narrow or wide, or not broken in properly. It’s important to ensure that your cleats fit properly and are comfortable. If you’re experiencing discomfort, it might be worth consulting with a sports equipment professional or a podiatrist.

Is It Ok to Walk in Cleats?

While it’s possible to walk in cleats, it’s not recommended for extended periods. Cleats are designed for specific sports surfaces and can be uncomfortable and potentially damaging to walk on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement. Additionally, walking on hard surfaces can wear down the studs on the cleats, reducing their effectiveness on the field.

Can You Wear Cleats on a Hard Surface Like Concrete or Pavement?

Cleats are designed for use on soft surfaces like grass or turf, and they can be damaged or worn down quickly if used on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement. Additionally, cleats can be slippery and unsafe on these surfaces. Wearing cleats only when playing on the appropriate sports surfaces is best.

How Often Should I Replace My Cleats?

The frequency with which you should replace your cleats depends on how often and intensely you use them. A good rule of thumb for regular players is to replace your cleats every 6-12 months. However, if you notice that your cleats are worn down, damaged, or no longer provide good traction, it’s time to replace them.

About the author


Hi I"m Aryan a pro soccer player, coach, and visionary in the world of soccer. With an impressive journey that began at the tender age of five, I have dedicated my life to the beautiful game.

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