The Different Types of Soccer Cleats Explained

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Are there different types of soccer cleats? The simple answer is yes, there are many different types of soccer cleats, and to get a more in depth answer continue reading this blog.

Soccer cleats are arguably the most important piece of soccer equipment and choosing the right pair based on various factors is crucial for optimal performance and injury prevention. If you are new to the world of the beautiful game, it may be confusing to figure out which pair of soccer cleats you need based on your current situation, which is why I have created this detailed guide.

So before you invest your money in a new pair of soccer cleats make sure to finish reading this article first.

Different types of soccer cleats Image by Unsplash +

Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Firm ground cleats, the most common types of soccer cleats, are designed for natural grass fields, but they can also be used on other surfaces occasionally, such as thin carpet turf. Firm ground cleats have plastic studs, either bladed or conical, that offer optimal traction and stability on grassy surfaces as well as being able to withstand various weather conditions.

Soft Ground Soccer Cleats (Metal Soccer Cleats)

Soft ground cleats, also known as metal cleats due to their metal studs, are made for wet or muddy conditions. Metal cleats are usually made with far less studs than firm ground cleats, six metal studs to be exact, but their longer length enhances penetration and traction especially in wet fields.

It is advised to not use these cleats on surfaces other than wet grass because that can quickly damage the metal studs.

Hard Ground Soccer Cleats or Multi Ground Soccer Cleats

Hard ground cleats, which feature shorter studs that provide stability without penetrating too deep into the ground, are specifically designed for dry and harder surfaces. During times of the year when the grass fields are really dry and hard and firm ground cleats cannot penetrate into the grass, that is where hard ground cleats come in handy.

Hard ground cleats have a lot of short studs that are spread out to help distribute weight more evenly. These cleats boast a combination of rounded and bladed spikes, ensuring optimal traction and even pressure distribution.

Artificial Grass Soccer Cleats (Artificial Turf Shoes)

Specifically designed for turf or artificial grass surfaces, turf soccer shoes feature numerous shorter studs across the soleplate. These turf shoes offer reduced joint pressure and enhanced durability on hard surfaces such as artificial turf.

Indoor Soccer Shoes:

The last type of soccer cleats to talk about, although they are more shoes then they are cleats are indoor shoes. When you want to play indoor soccer it is very important to have shoes with a gum rubber flat outsole.

If you try to play on a futsal or indoor court with cleats, that will lead to injuries and you will not be able to enjoy the game because you will keep falling over.

Different types of soccer cleats Image by Jutta Kamp

Different Types of Soccer Cleats: Materials

Now that we have discussed the different types of soccer cleats based on their stud patterns it is important to talk about the different materials used to make soccer cleats.

Leather Uppers:

Leather soccer cleats are often referred to as molded soccer cleats because the natural leather literally molds to the shape of your feet, providing a custom and comfortable fit. The most premium type of leather you can get is kangaroo leather, but calfskin leather is another high quality option.

Most leather cleats are considered a higher quality than synthetic cleats because they will last longer and provide a better fit.

Synthetic Uppers:

Lightweight and often more affordable than leather, synthetic materials provide durability and water resistance. Although synthetic uppers are usually lighter than leather uppers, they may not mold to your feet as well and provide a truly unique custom fit.

If you feel that synthetic uppers squish your feet and toes, then it is best to look for some wide soccer cleats.

Knitted Uppers:

Featuring a sock-like fit, knitted uppers enhance comfort and flexibility while maintaining durability. This design is popular among players looking for a modern, yet snug fit.

Different types of soccer cleats Image by Animesh Srivastava

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the most common playing surface for soccer?

The most common playing surfaces for soccer include:

  • Natural grass
  • artificial surfaces
  • Indoor surfaces
  • Hard court surfaces

What is FG, SG, AG, and IC in soccer?

  • FG (Firm Ground Cleats): Designed for natural grass fields.
  • SG (Soft Ground Cleats): Designed for wet and muddy grass field
  • AG (Artificial Grass Cleats): Designed for artificial surfaces
  • IC (Indoor shoes): Designed for indoor surfaces and harder outdoor surfaces

How should soccer cleats fit?

To find out how soccer cleats should fit, check out this blog. It is important to know that soccer cleats may feel tight at first because they have to get past the break in period, which should only last about 1-2 weeks depending on how much you are using your cleats.

If you face discomfort even after the break in period consider either stretching or shrinking your soccer cleats.


In conclusion, the beautiful game has different types of soccer cleats designed for different surfaces to play on. Remember that the main difference between soccer cleats are the studs, since cleats need the right studs for whatever playing field you plan to play on, and the materials used to make the cleats, either leather, synthetic or knitting.

If you are in need of new cleats before soccer season starts, make sure to read this full article to help you find the right cleats for your current situation.

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