You can play soccer anywhere and it’s important to be able to keep your footing. Soccer cleats, soccer shoes with studs along the soles, will help you with this, but how do you choose what’s best for you? The ground you play on might be hard or soft, or wet or dry. Soccer cleats are made of three different materials: rubber, plastic or metal. The following are a few ideas for which football cleat is best in the different conditions.
Molded Rubber Cleat
Hard ground includes concrete, stone and asphalt, basically the street or other urban area in which you can kick a soccer ball, and indoor locations such as wooden-floored sports halls. Plastic and metal studs are of no use to you in this environment; in fact they will prevent you from playing. A soccer training shoe with molded rubber cleats is ideal. They are sometimes referred to as indoor soccer shoes or flats and they most closely resemble regular sneakers.
Turf Soccer Shoe
Dry grass, turf, real and artificial, are firm ground. On this surface you need more grip than can be offered by the rubber cleats on a soccer training shoe. The turf soccer shoe’s sole is covered with small rubber studs. These are molded to the shoe and cannot be altered. They provide the grip you need in dry conditions on prepared playing surfaces. They could also be used for hard ground outside but not for indoor play as the soles will leave marks on the floor.
Plastic and Metal Studs
For when the grass is wet and muddy or the playing surface has seen a bit too much of the season you’re going to need longer studs. These are the shoes commonly associated with the football cleat. Longer studs must only be used on soft ground. If the ground is too hard to take the stud then it will hurt your feet and affect your balance and therefore your performance in the game. Plastic and metal studs are usually removable meaning that you can clean your boots easily and, even more importantly, swap your studs during the game if rain comes or the pitch worsens.
Blades are short molded rubber cleats and are often long strips rather than dimples or round studs. Blades fall somewhere between the turf soccer shoe and plastic or metal removable studs. The blades are not removable. They are to be used outside on grass too firm to take a stud but still too slippery for the turf shoe’s rubber sole. Spring and summertime grass is the time and place to use blades.
- Photo Credit soccer shoe closeup image by Daniel Gillies from Fotolia.com
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