At the beginning of most organized collegiate, high school, and youth soccer games, the assigned officials will take a moment to inspect the soccer cleats of each player. This is done for a very specific reason: soccer cleats are different than the cleats that players wear in other sports.
Yet because of the size and shape of soccer cleats, you can actually wear them in most sports if you wanted to save some money. This includes baseball or lacrosse, though it wouldn’t be safe or allowed to wear baseball or lacrosse cleats while playing soccer.
This is because soccer cleats are low-cut and light. They are designed to help players dig into the ground so they can make cuts and turns with ease. The cleats are shorter than you’ll find in other sports as well because of the need for agility within a soccer match. They are also always made from rubber, not metal, because of the tackling that occurs over the course of a game.
Rubber cleats into a shin at full speed, even when wearing the best shin guards money can buy, doesn’t feel good. Now imagine needing to protect against metal cleats!
What Are the Different Types of Soccer Cleats?
When you begin shopping for soccer cleats, you’ll find that most of them have been given an assigned initial. FG is common for soccer cleats, but you’ll also find AG, SG, HG, and IN in product descriptions. These are abbreviations for the type of ground that the soccer cleat works best on.
- FG = Firm Ground. These cleats work best on firm, natural surfaces. If you play on a grass field, these are going to be the cleats that you wear almost all of the time.
- SG = Soft Ground. These cleats are also intended for natural surfaces, but when the ground is softer. If it has just rained and you need to play, you’ll want this type of cleat on your feet.
- HG = Hard Ground. These cleats are designed for playing on natural surfaces that have worn-down grass. They are also useful for surfaces where some composite materials are used to create a field.
- AG = Artificial Ground. These cleats are designed to work on artificial turf only. They provide a better traction for the rubberized materials that make up the beds of most artificial fields. Unless the boot says otherwise, these should not be used on firm ground.
- IN = Indoor. These boots are more like a shoe and designed for court soccer.
Then the weight of the boot must be considered. Soccer cleats are very lightweight compared to the cleats from other sports. This is due to the amount of running and movement that the beautiful game requires. The lighter footwear reduces drag on the foot, which reduces fatigue in the player over the course of 90+ minutes.
The right pair of soccer cleats can help you get the traction needed while out on the pitch during a practice or in the middle of a game. Find the best soccer cleats today for your style of play and they will give you one more tool to help you improve your game.