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Soccer Shoes - The Essential Buying Guide

The most important purchase any soccer player makes is getting the right pair of soccer shoes. Good shoes are the most essential item in any soccer player’s arsenal. In this guide you will learn about the types of shoes available, which shoes to pick for different field conditions, how a player’s position affects what you should be looking for in a shoe, and how to find the right fitting soccer shoes.

Types of Soccer Shoes

Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Firm ground shoes are the most common soccer shoes available. They are made for play on natural, hard ground surfaces, which is where most soccer around the world is played. They generally have non-removable studs that provide players with traction and stability during play. The studs penetrate the field surface and grip the ground. These are good for most field conditions.

Soft Ground Soccer Cleats

Soft ground cleats generally have removable studs of differing sizes. They have less studs than firm ground shoes and provide stability and traction in muddy or wet conditions. Be sure to check with your league before purchasing soft ground soccer cleats, as some leagues do not allow them.

Artificial Turf Soccer Shoes

These shoes have more studs than firm ground cleats, however the studs are smaller. Longer studs cannot penetrate the surface of shorter artificial turf and poses a problem for players in terms of getting the right amount of traction.

Futsal or Indoor Soccer Shoes

These soccer shoes are designed to be worn on flat indoor and outdoor surfaces. The gum rubber sole grips the ground and is perfect for the quick start/stop game of futsal. Many soccer fans also purchase these shoes for casual street wear.

The Right Shoes For Every Condition

Here is the cheat sheet for which shoes you should pick based on the field/court conditions:

  • Grass - Traditional Firm Ground Cleats
  • Mud/Wet Natural Ground - Soft Ground Cleats With Removable Studs
  • Artificial Grass(longer/lush turf) - Artificial Turf Shoes or Firm Ground Cleats
  • Artificial Turf (thing carpet turf) - Artificial Turf Shoes
  • Hard Court/Concrete - Futsal or Indoor Soccer Shoes

Shoes For Every Position

Players in different positions need different types of shoes to meet the demands of their position. Here are some general rules of thumb and recommended shoes for each position.


This is a speed position that needs a speed-geared shoe. They should look for a lightweight shoe that is built for speed.


Midfielders often prefers cleats that are designed for the greatest amount of control available.


These players are often looking for cleats designed for power kicks. Defenders and goalies often have to send the ball to the other side of the pitch with one powerful kick.

The Right Fit

Comfort is the most important consideration when choosing your soccer shoes. When you receive your new soccer boots, try them on indoors to check for correct fit. Shoes should fit snugly without discomfort or pressure. Your toes should reach all the way to the front of the shoe, but should not touch against the end. Look for a gap or 1/4 to 1/2 inch. If a player is still growing, consider buying soccer shoes a little large and filling in the excess space by wearing an additional pair of socks.