How to Choose Soccer Cleats: Everything You Need to Know

How do you choose soccer cleats? The beautiful game is one of the most popular sports in the world because it requires very little to no equipment to start playing and enjoying. After the soccer ball itself, the next most important piece of equipment to not forget to pack inside of your soccer bag are soccer cleats.

Soccer cleats come in many different styles and playing with the right cleats, based on various factors, is crucial for optimal performance and preventing injuries on the field.

In this blog, I will go over everything you need to know about how to choose soccer cleats for any situation.

How to Choose Soccer Cleats Image by Unsplash +

Main Factors to Consider When Choosing a New Pair of Cleats

When it comes to replacing your old soccer cleats, there are various important factors to consider first before you invest your money in a new pair.

Foot Type:

All soccer players have different feet and it is very important to understand your foot shape, arch type, and width measurements. If you are a player with wide feet, or want your feet to feel like they have more room in the cleat, consider getting wide soccer cleats.


Soccer cleats can be made from different materials that can affect the cleat’s durability, break in period, and comfortability. Leather soccer cleats tend to be more long-lasting than synthetic materials, including synthetic leather, synthetic fabrics, and knitted uppers, but they may need extra care and attention.

Of all the types of leather, kangaroo leather stands out as the most premium option.


Before choosing a cleat, consider whether or not you want a traditional lacing system or a laceless option, which are very popular nowadays.

Stud Patterns

The primary playing surface that you will spend most of your time training on will influence what type of studs you get with your soccer cleats. Different studs are designed for different surfaces for obvious reasons.

Firm Ground Cleats (FG):

The Firm Ground stud pattern is the most popular type of stud pattern that features bladed or conical studs. Firm Ground cleats are used mainly for outdoor play on natural grass fields but can also be used on artificial grass fields.

Soft Ground Cleats (SG)

Soft ground cleats have fewer but longer studs made from metal and these cleats are designed for wet and muddy natural grass fields.

Artificial Grass Cleats (AG):

Artificial grass cleats, or turf shoes, are designed to be used on artificial grass or turf. Turf shoes have a lot of short studs spread out evenly along the soles of the shoes.

Indoor Court (IC)

Indoor soccer shoes have no studs and are designed to be used on hard surfaces, such as when playing futsal or pickup games on concrete.

Aesthetics Preferences:

Your style and preference are also an important factor in choosing the right soccer cleats for you. Make sure to pick a color and a type of cleats that matches your personal preferences so that you actually enjoy wearing them.

How to Choose Soccer CleatsImage by Goncalo Acuna

Anatomy of a Soccer Cleat

Now that you are more familiar with the main factors to consider when buying new soccer cleats, let’s discuss the main parts that make up a soccer cleat in the first place.

The Upper

The upper is the top part of the soccer cleat, often made from various materials like leather, synthetic fibers, and knitted fabrics. The upper determines the fit, comfort, and touch on the ball.

The Outsole

The bottom part of the cleat, the outsole, will feature a specific stud pattern based on the surface that the cleat or shoe was specifically designed for

The Midsole

Positioned between the upper and the outsole, the midsole provides cushioning and support to the feet and it plays a crucial role in absorbing impact forces during running and jumping. The insoles of the cleat are technically located here at the midsole.

The Collar

The collar refers to the area around the ankle, extending from the upper. Cleats may have different collar designs, including low-cut, mid-cut, or high-cut options. Many players believe that a high-top version of a cleat will provide more ankle support, but that is not true. The point of the high-cut collar is to provide a sock-like fit.

How to Choose Soccer CleatsImage by Fachry Zella

Tips for Choosing the Right Soccer Cleats for you

Now that you know about some of the key factors to consider when looking to find new cleats, let’s go over some important tips to find the right cleats for you.

  • Try on the soccer cleats with a pair of socks or grip socks that you will use during a real game or training session
  • Compare the shape of your foot with the shape of the cleats
  • Avoid overly tight cleats that provide too much of a snug fit
  • Check the measurements of the cleats before purchasing, especially the width measurements.
  • Check for a spacious toe box and heel area
  • Consider cleats made from high quality and flexible materials
  • Read reviews of people who have tried the cleats you are interested in.
  • And Most importantly… Try the cleats first before you buy them!

Frequently Asked Questions

How should soccer cleats fit?

A very common question a lot of people ask is how should soccer cleats fit? Your soccer cleats need a nice snug fit and should provide a sock-like feel, but they must provide enough room for you to be able to retract your toes inside of the cleats. There should be some space between your toes and the end of the shoe, but not too much and not too little.

How long do cleats take to break in?

The break-in period for soccer cleats is about 1 to two weeks.

How to clean soccer cleats?

To clean soccer cleats check out this detailed guide: how to clean soccer cleats.

What are the best soccer cleats?

There is no universal answer for what are the best soccer cleats because it all comes down to personal preference. However, it is important to wear the right type of cleats based on the surface you are playing on, so the best soccer cleats are the cleats that were specifically designed for that type of surface.

For example, the best soccer cleats to wear on a natural grass field are firm ground cleats, the best cleats to wear on wet grass are soft-ground cleats, the best soccer shoes to wear on artificial turf are turf shoes, and the best shoes to wear when playing indoor soccer or futsal are indoor soccer shoes.


In conclusion, before you go out and buy cleats it is important to understand how to choose soccer cleats based on various factors. In this blog I covered the key factors to consider before you invest in new cleats, I explained the major parts of a soccer cleat, as well as provided you with tips on how to choose the perfect cleat for you.

Remember, having cleats that are ultra lightweight with a comfortable fit, proper control, and amazing traction for the playing surface you plan to play on the most, is crucial for an enjoyable playing experience.

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