Soccer Cleats Buying Guide | Best Fit Guaranteed

To optimize your performance in soccer it’s essential to wear the best cleat suited to your needs. Finding the right fit will reduce injuries, decrease discomfort and help improve your overall ball control. This soccer cleats buying guide will provide the best tips and advice you need to buy your perfect pair of soccer cleats

Soccer Cleats buying guide | Key takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from the soccer cleats buying guide


The type of cleat you need will depend on the surface you will be playing on.

For example, if you will be playing on natural grass, you will need cleats with longer studs that provide traction.

If you will be playing on artificial turf, you will need cleats with shorter studs that will not get caught in the turf.


Soccer cleats can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. It is important to find a pair that fits your needs and your budget.

Foot type

If you have wide or narrow feet, you may need to find cleats that are specifically designed for your foot type. Wide cleats will have a wider toe box and a more relaxed fit.

Narrow cleats will have a narrower toe box and a more snug fit.

Here are some additional tips for buying soccer cleats guide:

  • Try on cleats in the afternoon or evening

Your feet tend to swell throughout the day, so it is important to try on cleats when your feet are at their largest.

  • Wear the same type of socks that you will wear when you play soccer

This will help to ensure that the cleats fit properly.

  • Walk around in the cleats

Make sure that they are comfortable and that your feet do not slide around.

  • Bend over and touch your toes. 

Make sure that your heel does not come out of the shoe.

  • Have someone else look at the fit of the cleats. 

Sometimes it is difficult to see if the cleats are fitting properly from your own perspective.

Factors to consider when buying soccer cleats

In the soccer cleats buying guide, these are the factors you need to consider:

  • The type of soccer cleat
  • Understanding your foot type
  • How the soccer cleat should fit.

The type of soccer cleat

There are 5 different types of soccer cleats to help people buying soccer cleats the differences between them

There are a variety of different soccer cleats for different surfaces.

Before making a decision on what soccer cleats to buy you must first figure out what surface you are most frequently going to be playing on.

If you play indoor soccer you will need to get a pair of Indoor shoes specific for the hard court surface.

You can not wear soccer cleats indoors and wearing indoor shoes for grass or artificial surfaces is not recommended.

However, turf shoes can be an ok choice for indoor shoes but they could have a negative impact on your performance

This indoor soccer shoes vs turf shoe guide will go into more detail.

To quickly summarize the differences, here is a table that compares them:

FeatureSoft GroundFirm GroundMulti GroundTurf ShoesIndoor Shoes
SurfaceWet or muddy grassDry, natural grass, artificialAll surfaces, apart from indoorsArtificial turfIndoor courts
StudsLonger, metalShorter, plastic or rubberShorter, plastic or rubberShort, plastic or rubber nibsNone
ComfortLess comfortableMore comfortableMore comfortableMore comfortableMost comfortable
Best forPlayers who play on wet or muddy fieldsPlayers who play on dry, natural grass fields, and artificialPlayers who play on a variety of surfacesPlayers who play on artificial turfPlayers who play on indoor courts
a table showing buyers the differences between different types of soccer cleats.

Below, I go into more detail about how each cleat differs depending on the surface you are playing on.

Soft ground (SG) Cleats

a pair of black and bronze nike soft ground soccer cleats

Soft grounds are perfect for players who mostly play on soft or muddy grass surfaces.

This is how they are specifically designed for these surfaces:

  • Stud configuration

The stud configuration on an SG cleat has fewer and longer studs when compared to firm ground cleats.

This helps the athlete dig into the surface, providing them with better traction and grip when running and changing direction.

The studs are usually made from durable plastic or metal, spaced across the cleat’s sole to prevent a build-up of mud and debris.

  • Material

Soft grace surfaces are the harshest on your soccer cleat.

This is why soft ground cleats have an upper that is made of durable, water-resistant materials.

They also have a slightly varied construction to aid in support and reinforcements of the soccer cleat for the athlete.

  • Adaptability

To help players adapt to playing on different grass surfaces, some SG soccer cleats feature removable studs.

This can help players optimize their performance by altering their studs for the surface and their playing preference.

Firm Ground (FG) Cleats

a pair of black and bronze nike firm ground soccer cleats

Firm ground cleats are specifically designed for players who play on harder, firmer grass surfaces.

This is how they differ from other soccer cleats:

  • Stud configuration

Unlike soft ground cleats, firm ground cleats have more but shorter studs, that are evenly distributed and made of plastic or rubber.

The stud configuration is perfect for better stability, quicker acceleration, and faster multidirectional movement on harder, firmer grass.

  • Material

The upper of the FG cleats is made up of lightweight synthetic materials or leather.

These materials will offer the athlete durability, flexibility, and comfort while playing on firm grass surfaces.

With technological advancements soccer cleat brands are always looking for new ways to help give players the edge, whether it be shooting, dribbling, or ball control.

The Adidas F50 line is a perfect example of this.

  • Versatility

As well as being used for harder natural grass surfaces, FG soccer cleats are also a great option while playing on artificial turf too!

The stud configuration and stud length reduce the risk of getting caught on the turf surface.

However, constantly using the FG cleats on artificial surfaces may cause extra wear and tear.

Multi-Ground (MG) Cleats

a pair of black and bronze nike multi-ground soccer cleats

Multi-ground soccer cleats are ideal for soccer players who play on a variety of grass and artificial surfaces.

The unique stud configuration provides great grip, stability, and traction on various surfaces.

This is how multi-ground cleats differ from other soccer cleats:

  • Stud configuration

The hybrid stud configuration of multi-ground cleats features a mix of shorter and longer conical studs and bladed studs, made from rubber, plastic, or a combination of the 2.

This allows the athlete to perform on various different surfaces with the same level of traction.

  • Materials

Depending on the brand and model, MG soccer cleats are manufactured with synthetic materials or leather, but they aim to provide a mix of durability, flexibility, and comfort.

Out of all the types of soccer cleats these ones are designed to be one of the most durable.

  • Versatility

This type of soccer cleat is a favorite amongst players who frequently play on mixed surfaces because of the ability to optimize the athlete’s performance regardless of the playing surface.

Whether it’s playing on soft ground, firm ground, or artificial turf, multi-ground cleats provide a good balance of traction and performance across these surfaces.

Turf Soccer Shoes

a pair of black and bronze nike turf soccer shoes

Turf shoes are a good fit for players that play all their soccer on an artificial pitch, as their stud configuration is perfect for traction and grip on these types of surfaces.

This is how they differ from other soccer cleats:

  • Outsole design

Turf shoes have a unique outsole that is made up of multiple rubber studs and nubs that go across the entire sole.

The studs are shorter and more compact when compared to soft ground, firm ground, and multi-ground soccer cleats.

This will provide the athlete with the best possible traction and comfort while playing on artificial surfaces.

  • Durability

To help combat the harsh abrasive turf surfaces, the outsole of turf shoes is manufactured with tough rubber or a similar material.

The upper of turf shoes are typically made out of synthetic materials, this helps give the athlete better breathability, flexibility, and a lightweight feel.

  • Cushioning and comfort

To reduce the impact of running on firmer artificial grass surfaces, turf shoes will include extra cushioning for the midsole of the foot.

Artificial turf lacks natural cushioning when compared to soft and firm grass surfaces

Indoor Soccer Shoes

a pair of black and bronze nike indoor soccer shoes

Indoor soccer shoes are the same as futsal shoes and they are great for players who play the majority of their soccer indoors.

Even if an athlete occasionally plays indoors it is recommended that you get a pair of cleats and indoor soccer shoes.

Turf would be a suitable backup for indoor shoes, however, they will not be optimal for performance.

This is what separates indoor soccer (futsal) shoes and cleats:

  • Flat outsole

Out of all the other soccer cleats and shoes, indoor soccer shoes are shoes that have a flat outsole.

Typically the flat outsole is made from non-marking gum rubber that provides the highest amount of contact with the hard floor surface.

The sole also features a specific tread pattern to aid multidirectional

This allows the athletes to be more precise with their movements and turns.

  • Lightweight

Indoor soccer shoes are the lightest type of cleat with a low-profile design.

This type of design allows the athlete with a greater range of motion at the ankle, more responsive control, and quicker footwork.

  • Enhanced cushioning

Indoor soccer is played on the hardest surface, so it is appropriate that indoor soccer shoes have extra cushioning.

This helps the athlete provide more shock absorption, which reduces the amount of stress the foot, ankles, and knees are put under during intense games.

Understanding your foot type

Your foot type can also play a role in what soccer cleat will work best, everyone’s foot type is different and certain soccer cleats and brands may be more suitable than others.

This may include:

  • Feet wider than the average foot
  • Feet narrower than the average foot
  • Whether you are flat-footed
  • Whether you have high-arches

Wide Feet

Wide feet are typically where you have feet that are wider than the average.

For males, a foot width of 4.2 inches (10.7 cm) at its widest point is considered wide, and for females, a width of 3.7 inches (9.4 cm) at its widest point is considered wide.

If you are not sure whether you have wide feet or not consider some of the signs below:

  • Your feet feel uncomfortable in regular-width shoes
  • You frequently get blisters, redness, or calluses on the sides of your feet.
  • Your feet feel like they are swimming in your shoes.

Here are some tips for finding wide shoes:

  • Shoes that are made for wider feet will usually be labeled so make sure to keep an eye out
  • Your feet are at their largest at the end of the day, making it the best time to try on shoes
  • Find shoe designs with wider toe boxes
  • Choose shoes that have flexible soles
  • Stay away from shoes that have narrow heels.

Make sure you consult with a podiatrist beforehand if you think you have wide feet.

If you have wide feet these best shoes for each surface:

Narrow Feet

Narrow feet are typically slimmer than the average foot width.

If you have a foot width of 2 1/8 inches (5.4 cm), you can consider yourself having narrow feet.

These are some of the signs that you may have narrow feet:

  • Your feet feel squashed even though your shoes are the right length
  • Your toes feel squeezed/pinched when wearing shoes
  • Calluses or corns frequently occur on the sides of your feet
  • After a short period of time either walking or standing, you will feel a pain in your feet

Here are some tips for finding shoes for narrow feet:

  • Your feet are the biggest at the end of the day, this is when you should try shoes on
  • Try and find shoes that have a wider toe box and a lower heel
  • Look for shoes that have greater flexibility
  • Try to stay away from pointed-toe shoes or high heels

Make sure you consult with a podiatrist beforehand if you think you have narrow feet.


Having flat feet means that the arches in the foot have completely or nearly completely collapsed.

This means that a large percentage of the sole of the foot will be in contact with the ground while walking, jogging, or running.

There are 2 types of flat feet:

  • Flexible flat feet

This is the most common form of flat feet.

When weight is placed on the foot the arch will collapse, however when the weight is removed from the foot then the arch will return to its normal shape.

  • Rigid flat feet

This is the less common form of flat feet

Regardless of whether there is weight in the foot or not, the arch will remain collapsed.

Here are some symptoms to be weary of if you suspect your have flat feet;

  • Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back
  • Fatigue in the feet
  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Instability in the ankles
  • Swollen feet
  • Bunions or hammertoes

One of the most common solutions for people with flat feet is to get custom-made inserts that can help to support the arch of the foot and reduce pain.

You can also perform specific stretches and exercises to strengthen the ligaments and tendons in the foot.

Make sure you consult with a podiatrist beforehand if you believe you have flat feet.

High arches

Having a high arch in your foot means that the arch in your foot is higher than normal.

The most common causes of high arches include:

  • Genetics
  • Neurological disorders
  • Previous injuries
  • Deformities

Some symptoms of high arches are:

  • Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back
  • Fatigue in the feet
  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Instability in the ankles
  • Swollen feet
  • Bunions or hammertoes

There are numerous solutions available to individuals with high arches including, wearing shoes with good arch support, wearing custom-made insoles, and exercises to help strengthen the muscles and ligaments in the foot.

Make sure you consult with a podiatrist beforehand if you believe you have high arches.

How the soccer cleat should fit

When trying on soccer cleats they should be a snug fit, and not too tight.

There should be enough room in the toe-box for you to slightly wiggle your toes, however, your heel should remain locked in place.

If your cleats are too big then you will be more likely to get blisters and other foot injuries.

Equally, if your cleats are too tight then this will also cause foot pain and a lack of breathability while playing soccer.

If you are trying to find a soccer cleat that fits well then use these tips:

  • Try your shoes on in the evening

As the day progresses your feet will swell and become bigger so it is best to try your soccer cleats on when the foot is at its largest.

  • Where soccer socks when trying on cleats.

Soccer socks will tend thicker and provide better cushioning on the bottom of the foot, this will give you a more reliable fit than if you were to wear other socks.

  • Walk in the cleats

If you have space to walk or run in the cleats, then do so!

Even better if there is a grass or turf surface.

When walking or running make sure that your feet feel ‘locked in’ but not too tight that it causes discomfort.

  • Touch your toes

The purpose of trying to touch your toes is to ensure that the heel stays in place.

If the heel moves out of place then you need you get a better-fitting cleat.

  • Get a second opinion

Sometimes it is best to get someone else to look at how you walk in the cleats and feel where your foot, heel, and toes are positioned in the cleat.

Frequently asked questions about buying soccer cleats

These are some of the most common questions surrounding a soccer cleats buying guide

How do I know what soccer cleats to buy?

This is how you know what soccer cleats to buy, there are 3 factors to consider:

  • The surface you will be playing on
  • Personal Preference
  • Budget
Figure out what surface you will most likely be playing on.

There are different styles of cleats depending on which surface you will be playing on

The different surfaces you can play on include:

  • Soft ground
  • Firm ground
  • Artificial turf
  • indoor
Personal Preference

Choose cleats that are best suited to your play style.

You may want a pair of cleats that helps improve control, gives you better traction off the surface, or has a larger strike zone to assist your shooting.

Consider what colors you like as well, would you prefer a bright pair of cleats or subtle pair?


Soccer cleats can vary in price, ranging from $30 all the way up to $150.

Typically for each soccer cleat model, there will be a low-end, a mid-end, and a higher-end cleat.

Visually these cleats will look the same but the higher-end models will be made with a better quality material and have better technology to aid performance.

Depending on your age and the level you play at, find a pair of cleats that meets your needs while fitting within your price range.

Should I buy soccer cleats one size bigger?

When looking to purchase soccer cleats there are a few factors when deciding to wear soccer cleats one size bigger:

  • Comfort

Regardless of the size you should be getting a cleat that feels comfortable to wear.

While wearing the soccer cleat your heel should be locked in place, while allowing enough room for you to wiggle your toes.

Soccer cleats that are too small can cause discomfort, but equally, cleats that are too big can also cause foot problems too.

  • Foot growth

If your feet or your child’s feet are still growing, you might think it’s a good idea to buy a bigger soccer cleat size to accommodate for the foot growth.

However, larger cleats may cause discomfort and increase the chance of getting blisters or other injuries.

If your feet or your child’s feet are still growing it may be best to get a lower-end cleat model.

  • The brand and model

There is a wide range of soccer cleat brands with different models, with each brand having different sizing variations.

It is best to research the brand and its specific sizing model as some recommend going down or up a size for the best fit.

  • Put the soccer cleat on

Before purchasing your soccer cleat you should always try it on where possible.

This will give you the best possible idea of how your feet feel in the soccer cleat and whether or not you need a bigger soccer cleat.

What are the 3 levels of soccer cleats?

Typically each brand will offer 3 different variants of a model.

This will include a high-end, mid-tier, and, low-end version of the model.

The levels will have different names depending on the brand.

Nike soccer cleat levels

These are the 3 soccer cleat levels for Nike:

  • Elite – High end
  • Pro – Mid-tier
  • Academy – The most affordable
Adidas soccer cleat levels
These are the 3 soccer cleat levels for Adidas:
  • Prime – High end
  • Gameplay – Mid-tier
  • Climacool – The most affordable
Puma soccer cleat levels

These are the 3 soccer cleat levels for Puma:

  • Future – High end
  • King – Mid-tier
  • One – The most affordable

What is the difference between FG and MG soccer cleats?

The table below highlights the main differences between FG and MG soccer cleats:

FeatureFG CleatsMG Cleats
Stud typeConicalConical and bladed
Stud materialPlastic or rubberPlastic or rubber
Stud placementMolded into the soleplateMolded into the soleplate
SurfacesFirm natural grass pitchesNatural grass pitches and artificial turf pitches
Best forPlayers who play on firm natural grass pitchesPlayers who play on a variety of natural grass and artificial turf pitches
A table showing the differences between FG and MG cleats

The main difference between FG and MG cleats is the stud patterns.

FG soccer clears have a series of small, conical studs that provide traction and stability on firm natural grass pitches.

While MG soccer cleats have a combination of conical and bladed studs to provide traction on firm natural/soft grass pitches and artificial turf pitches.

Can you wear soccer cleats for different sports?

You can wear soccer cleats and shoes for some sports but for others, it is not recommended.

Here are sport-specific comparisons for whether or not you can wear soccer cleats for that sport:

Soccer cleats buying guide | Final thoughts

Buying soccer cleats can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the help of this soccer cleats buying guide, you can find the perfect pair of cleats for your needs.

The most important factors to consider when buying soccer cleats are the surface you will be playing on, your budget, and your foot type.

Once you have considered these factors, you can start to narrow down your choices.

There are many different brands and models of soccer cleats on the market, so it is important to do your research and compare different options.

You can read online reviews, talk to other players, and visit sporting goods stores to try on different cleats.

With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect pair of soccer cleats for your needs.

Please share this soccer cleats buying guide if you found it helpful!

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