How To Buy Soccer Cleats

When you’re on the pitch, your soccer cleats are your ultimate tool. You need a pair that delivers unrelenting traction, support and feel of the ball. Use this guide to prep for your next soccer season.

Want to elevate your performance on the soccer field? Start with the right pair of cleats. Use this guide to find the pair that matches your playing style.

Soccer Cleats

Soccer Boot Materials

  • The upper of your soccer shoe makes contact with the ball. This component of the shoe is light and low-profile to promote better “touch” on the field. You can even select some soccer boots with a texturized upper for better ball grip. Keep in mind, soccer cleats fit much more snugly than other athletic shoes.
  • Kangaroo Leather Uppers: Also known as “K-Leather,” this material is soft, lightweight and durable. It molds to the foot for excellent touch on the ball. It’s best on dry field conditions.
  • Leather Uppers: This material is soft and flexible. It molds to the foot for a natural feel of the ball. It’s comfortable without sacrificing support. Plus, leather is highly durable.
  • Synthetic Uppers: This material holds up well in inclement weather and does not require a break-in period. It’s breathable and easy to clean but may not provide the same level of feel for ball contact.
  • Keep in mind that leather cleats can break-in and stretch more easily over time.

Cleat Types

  • Molded cleats are permanently attached to the bottom of your soccer boot. They’re great for young or novice athletes who play on a variety of field conditions. They provide adequate traction and versatility. When the cleats wear, you will have to replace the full boot.
  • Detachable cleats have studs that can be easily changed or replaced. Experienced players often like to change studs for different field conditions. Shorter studs are best for playing on dry ground, while longer studs allow a player to dig into wet, uncertain surfaces. When your cleats wear, you will not have to replace the full shoe.

Firm Ground

  • Built for most firm, natural surfaces
  • Bottom is formed with non-detachable rubber or hard plastic cleats
  • Purpose is to provide control and help you keep your footing when making quick cuts

Soft Ground

  • Designed for wet and muddy natural surfaces
  • Feature both plastic and removable metal studs, allowing for versatile play
  • Studs are typically longer for ultimate traction and spaced apart wider to avoid mud clumping
  • Most have four studs under the ball of the foot, and two to four under the heel

Hard Ground

  • Perform best on hard or synthetic grass surfaces
  • Feature round, plastic studs that are non-detachable
  • Studs sit on top of the field as opposed to digging into it
  • More studs in hard ground cleats than soft or firm ground


  • Perform best on either outdoor or indoor artificial turf
  • Shorter rubber studs cover a large area of the outsole
  • Specialized rubber sole makes quick maneuvers easy and provides optimal traction
  • Turf cleats are great training shoes, and they work as a backup for indoor play