Soccer Shoe Buying Guide

There are several types of soccer shoes, cleats and styles designed for various surfaces. Use this buying guide to determine the right soccer footwear for you.

FYI, Soccer Boots or Soccer Cleats?! If you’re new to the sport, you’ll hear soccer shoes call soccer boots. Don’t panic. It’s term from over the pond, like “pitch” for field. We’ve decided to stick with the American term, soccer cleats here!

Types of Soccer Shoes

Firm Ground Soccer Cleats (FG):

Firm Ground soccer cleats feature a variety of short, circular molded and bladed studs strategically patterned for optimum grip without being too long. These work best on outdoor natural grass surfaces, but may also be used on outdoor turf or artificial grass. Caution: do not wear these on indoor surfaces, as they could cause injury. (Hint: like ice-skating…) Shop All Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Soft Ground Soccer Cleats (SG):

Soft Ground soccer cleats feature longer, fewer often interchangeable studs spaced farther apart to dig into soggy ground. These are designed specifically for wet or muddy outdoor natural grass fields. Caution: do not wear these on hard ground, as the pressure of harder studs could result in injury. You can get by with Firm Ground soccer cleats on softer ground. But most dedicated soccer players have a second pair for the next-most-common conditions which, in many parts of the country, is Soft Ground. Shop All Soft Ground Soccer Cleats

Turf Soccer Shoes:

Turf shoes feature a rubber outsole with shallow studs and are designed primarily for indoor/outdoor artificial surfaces. However, this versatile design may also be used as secondary shoes for short outdoor grass and shorter turf indoor surfaces. Shop All Turf Soccer Shoes

Artificial Grass Soccer Shoes (AG):

Artificial Grass shoes are a new category of soccer shoes for newer artificial grass fields. They are similar to Turf shoes, but feature a more spread out cleat pattern for better control on the new longer artificial grass fields. Shop All Artificial Grass Soccer Shoes

Indoor Soccer Shoes:

Indoor soccer shoes feature a flat non-marking rubber surface without studs for traction on hard gym floors, smooth concrete or other flat surfaces. These shoes are also comfortable and great for street or casual wear. Shop All Indoor Soccer Shoes

Futsal Soccer Shoes:

Futsal or “futbol sala” is Spanish for indoor soccer. It is played indoors on hard surfaces with 5 players per side and requires futsal or indoor soccer shoes. These are the best shoes because they feature a non-marking rubber surface without studs for traction. These shoes can also be worn casually on the street. Shop All Futsal Soccer Shoes

Types of Soccer Shoe Upper Material:

Kangaroo Leather:

Kangaroo Leather Often referred to as K-leather, Kangaroo leather is extremely thin, soft and stretchy, allowing for superior feel and control. Because it is thin and supple, it is not quite as durable as full-grain leather or synthetic materials and is not waterproof.

Goat Leather:

Goat Leather Relatively new for use in soccer shoes, it is lighter and thinner than other leathers and great for touch and control. Its softness also eliminates the need for a break-in period.


Leather Full-grain leather offers comfortable, lasting strength on the field. While it is extremely durable, it does not wear in as quickly as thinner K-leather. There are many grades of leather used in soccer footwear. In general a higher price will buy you a soccer shoe with more supple leather for better feel and ball control.

Synthetic Leather:

Synthetic Leather This product usually goes by a company “name” and is more like leather in its qualities and has a feel and look of leather and is very durable and holds up better in wet situations. Examples are adidas’ Hybrid L-S and NIKE’s Nikeskin. Super light and super soft, they look and feel like real leather without the weight.


Synthetic The most durable material, synthetic offers waterproof, breathable comfort. However, it can take a little longer to break in and is stiffer than leather. Teijin microfiber is a good example of a synthetic soccer shoe material.

Women’s Soccer Shoes vs. Men’s Shoes

At one point in time, female soccer players had no choice but to wear men’s shoes. However, offers versions of many men’s styles in colors made for them. It is important to wear shoes designed to your gender, as women’s feet tend to be smaller and narrower and women’s shoes are specifically designed for women and the snug stability they require to play their best. Shop All Woman’s Soccer Shoes


Soccer shoes need to fit snugly in the heel and forefoot area. This will allow optimum ball control and feel. The incredible amount of running and kicking also necessitates maximum foot stability. Keep in mind that soccer shoes are meant to initially fit snugly with the idea that they will be stretched and molded to a player’s foot over time for the perfect fit. Note: natural leather shoes will loosen up more than synthetic leather soccer shoes.

It is extremely important to wear the right type of soccer shoe for the surface you are competing on. Most Club players have several types of shoes for a variety of weather and playing fields, as using the wrong type of soccer shoe may cause injury. offers hundreds of styles sure to meet your needs.

Soccer Cleats and Shoes for Kids

It’s important to know the surface your child will be playing on, as using incorrect soccer shoes results in poor performance and, more importantly, possible injuries. For example, using firm ground cleats on an artificial surface can be dangerous because the unnecessarily strong grip could cause excess joint stress. Suggestion: Hard Ground soccer shoes are a safe, appropriate choice for beginners up to 9 years of age, while Turf shoes tend to be a versatile option for players 9-13 competing at a higher level. Shop All Youth Soccer Shoes

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