The Best Soccer Cleats
Soccer — or football as it’s called in Europe and the U.K. — is becoming one of the most popular participation sports in the U.S., fourth in line after football, basketball and baseball. The team sport requires no special equipment except for specialized shoes called cleats, making it open and affordable for everyone.
Soccer cleats are different from regular running shoes and are designed to form fit around your foot to give you the best touch to the ball. It’s the cleats on the outersole of the shoe that give you the grip needed on grassy and sometimes muddy fields, reducing the risk of slipping, sliding and falling. Proper soccer cleats also allow you to better control and pass the ball.
You might already have the perfect pair of running socks before you get out on the pitch, but what about cleats? Before choosing the right pair for you, you should determine the kind of surface you will be playing on, since each will require a slightly different shoe for optimal performance. To help you find the right cleats for your soccer-playing feet, we’ve curated a list of different soccer cleats you can purchase online.
There’s no doubt that when playing soccer, you need to wear cleats. Without a pair of soccer cleats on your feet, you increase the risk of your legs slipping and sliding. Aside from having cleats on the bottom to help you stay upright running across the pitch, soccer cleats are designed to form fit around your foot, giving you the best touch to the ball that you can have. The right pair of soccer cleats will also help you to better control and pass the ball. Before choosing a pair, figure out the surface you will be playing on — natural grass, artificial grass or artificial turf — because this will determine your choice.
The type of shoe you need to play on grass is a firm ground or molded soccer cleat. Generally, these have a series of non-removable PU/TPU/rubber studs that are either bladed or conical in shape. This style of cleats are designed to provide traction and stability on most natural grass soccer fields.
These soccer cleats are similar to firm ground cleats, except that the studs are usually shorter and circular in shape. You can, however, find multi-ground and hybrid artificial grass soccer cleats that combine circular studs with bladed studs that are often found on firm ground cleats. In this way, if you choose multi-ground or hybrid soccer cleats, you only need one pair to play on both artificial grass and firm ground fields.
Artificial (indoor) turf
The main difference in soccer cleats for indoor artificial turf play is the outsoles have even shorter studs than artificial grass cleats because this type of turf is very thin and not multi-textured and lush like grass. You’ll see more studs on an artificial turf shoe than on other soccer shoes and they can also be worn on hard, dry natural grass surfaces and long-bladed artificial grass surfaces. The extra stud pattern gives you additional traction and support on thin carpet turf and also eliminates pressure on the individual studs, which can cause foot or knee pain and injury.
Top 5 Best Soccer Cleats
Editor's Choice – Adidas Predator 20.4 Flexible Ground Soccer Shoe
Suitable For All Terrains
Best for Firm Ground – Hawkwell Men's Big Kids Youth Outdoor Firm Ground Soccer Cleats
Aqua, Black, Lime Green, Navy And Orange
Best for Women: PUMA King XL i FG Women's Leather Soccer Cleats
Firm Ground, 3g, 4g Astroturf
Best for Kids with Wide Feet – New Balance Kid's Furon V6+ Dispatch Junior FG Soccer Shoe
Impulse/vibrant Orange, Bleached Lime Glo/citrus Punch, Black/gunmetal
1 Little Kid-6 Wide Big Kid
Best Indoor for Kids – LEOCI Soccer Cleats Kids Turf Shoes
1.5 Little Kid-4.5 Big Kid
1. Editor's Choice – Adidas Predator 20.4 Flexible Ground Soccer Shoe
These flexible ground soccer cleats are suitable for all playing surfaces. The thing about soccer, from season to season and league to league, is you may or may not know where you or your child will be playing each game. It could be on natural grass, artificial grass or on indoor artificial turf. If you don’t want to purchase a separate pair of soccer cleats for each surface, then you’ll need a pair of flexible ground soccer shoes to keep you or your child at peak playing performance.
The adidas brand has a long history and connection with sports and sportswear, bringing decades of experience to these soccer cleats. The football boots have debossing on the forefoot to give you better ball contact with a snug fitting synthetic upper to keep you comfortable. The low-cut collar gives you more freedom of movement and in these soccer cleats, you can move with high-speed control and stability on all types of ground.
If you know the type of surface you’ll consistently be playing on, then there are two other models to choose from that are suited for firm-ground outdoor play for the best traction.
2. Best for Firm Ground – Hawkwell Men's Big Kids Youth Outdoor Firm Ground Soccer Cleats
A reinforced and hardened toe-cap on these firm ground soccer cleats lets you dominate the ball and give more power to your kick. Casual soccer players need one type of soccer cleats but anyone who is in a team league and may play in a tournament knows how important it is to wear cleats that can absorb the shock of continued high action on the pitch.
There’s a lot going for these soccer cleats for firm ground play, including the affordable price point. But cost isn’t everything: you want quality as well. The rubber sole soccer cleats have a transparent stud arrangement that supports all of your sudden accelerations and high-speed turns.
The cushioned insole provides extra comfort and the kind of shock absorption and support you need. And once you get control of the ball, the cleats’ reinforced and hardened toe-cap helps you dominate the ball and put more power behind your kick. These soccer cleats are available in five different bright colors such lime green, orange, aqua or blue as well as basic black.
3. Best for Women: PUMA King XL i FG Women's Leather Soccer Cleats
Suitable for firm ground, 3G and 4G surfaces, these leather soccer cleats for women have a lightweight TPU injected outsole with conical molded studs. These days, most soccer cleats are made of synthetic material but if you prefer the soft give of leather, then consider this model for women from Puma. Made from 100 percent leather, the soccer cleats feature classic lines and traditional styling but with updated materials and enhanced features for a more lightweight feel.
The shoes’ TPU injected outsole keep you light on your feet while the conical molded studs dig into the pitch to keep you stable and in control. Totally versatile, the cleats can be worn on firm ground grass and are also suitable for play on 4G and 3G Astroturf surfaces. The soccer cleats also feature Puma AptoLast, which conforms to the natural curvature of your foot. Available in sizes 5.5 to 9, the shoes are white with silver accents and come with a convenient boot bag for easy storage and transportation.
4. Best for Kids with Wide Feet – New Balance Kid's Furon V6+ Dispatch Junior FG Soccer Shoe
These are ideal firm ground soccer cleats for kids between 8 and 12 years old who need a wider fit. While buying shoes online is convenient, getting the right fit for wide feet can be challenging. When it comes to soccer cleats for kids, the difficulties increase since so many models are narrow by design for a contoured fit. New Balance is known for footwear made with a wider toe-box and a larger selection of wide sizes. The Furon V6+ Dispatch junior FG soccer shoes are no exception.
The cleats have a lightweight synthetic upper construction, a re-engineered synthetic PU vamp and knit collar for total comfort. The durable TPU outsole is equipped with a chevron stud configuration to offer incredible feel and feedback and the right grip on a hard grass surface to help optimize performance. The adjustable lace closures allows your child to customize the fit to his or her comfort level. The lightweight soccer cleats are available in three different colors and a full range of wide sizes.
5. Best Indoor for Kids – LEOCI Soccer Cleats Kids Turf Shoes
These soccer cleats are designed for indoor turf and are ideal for any child learning the game. Soccer used to be an outdoor sport but in the last couple of decades, indoor soccer — sometimes called Fustal — is gaining in popularity, especially in cities with programs to get kids interested in the sport. Indoor soccer means you can play year round, regardless of the weather or turf conditions.
Playing on an indoor surface requires a different football boot, something with smaller cleats, more akin to a running shoe, but not quite the same. These soccer cleats are for kids and are made from comfortable synthetic upper wraps for a close fit. The rubber sole is constructed to enhance friction and enhance stability, suitable for artificial grass and indoor soccer. The shoes have a high-end PU collar for a textured and comfortable feel to support the kind of game play your little one will enjoy.