I went through the differences between football and baseball cleats in my recent article. Today, let’s examine football and soccer cleats and their differences. It’s funny how most cleats look the same when you look at them quickly, even though they have differences tailored specifically for the respected sport. Now, soccer vs. football cleats, what’s the difference?
There are many differences between football and soccer cleats, such as football cleats come as low, mid, and high tops, whereas soccer cleats come as low tops. Also, soccer cleats don’t have midsoles and toe spikes that football cleats do. Football cleats are also heavier and cheaper than soccer cleats.
As you can see, the cleats are far from similar, and thus, you should have the right cleats for the right sport, at least if you want to maximize performance.
Next, let’s take a closer look at each feature more in-depth, so in addition to understanding the differences, you can understand the why!
What’s The Difference Between Soccer and Football Cleats
When we talk about the upper, it means the cut length and how long up to the ankle is the upper reaching.
Generally, the longer the upper, the more support and stability the cleat can provide.
There are three types of uppers in cleats;
- Low-cut upper
- Mid-cut upper
- High-cut upper
When browsing football cleats, you can find ones from all cut lengths, from low to high. The right length is often determined by the football position one plays, although preference plays a role there too. I’m going deeper into the right football cleat choice in one of my articles and revealing the right type by position.
Soccer cleats, however, come only as low cuts because the positions are more or less the same, and so are the requirements of each player. Low-cut cleats provide maximum mobility and ball control, which are essential in soccer.
Some players benefit from lower-cut cleats in football as they need mobility, such as running backs. However, other positions, such as linemen, require more protection and support, using high tops. Many positions use Mid-tops as they are between the three upper types.
When it comes to the outsole, there are slight differences when examining football and soccer cleats.
First, the football cleat’s outsoles are thicker than soccer cleats and come in fewer options than soccer cleats. These include rubber and plastic cleats that are only used on natural grass. However, you can get turf shoes with small rubber nubs on the outsole for turf fields.
On the other hand, soccer cleats come in many varieties and should be selected depending on the playing surface. These include;
- Firm-ground field
- Soft-ground field
- Artificial grass field
- Turf field
Generally, soccer shoe spikes are smaller than football cleat’s as the idea isn’t to give as much traction because maneuverability is the most important factor. This makes soccer cleats faster to run with as they don’t penetrate the ground as much.
There are similarities, too, as both football and soccer cleats come in molded and removable cleats.
The midsole is located between the outsole and the area you place your feet in, so it isn’t visible. For football, the midsole is there for comfort and protection as the cleats can be rough, and so is the nature of the sport.
In contrast, soccer cleats don’t feature midsoles because they are extra weight and would decrease the feel of the ball and, thus, control. Soccer cleats need to be as minimal as possible for the players to perform well with the ball.
Toe spike is found at the very tip of football cleats, yet you can’t find one from soccer cleats, and the reason is simple.
In soccer, you control the ball with your feet, and as it’s a contact sport, it would be very dangerous to have a toe spike at the end of the cleat. Toe spike would drastically increase the risk of injury as people step on each other’s feet.
However, toe spikes are included in football cleats, and there’s a reason for that. The toe spike below the big toe gives increased traction and hold on the field, giving extra pushing, tackling, and dashing power against the opponent.
Cleat weight is an important factor, especially in soccer, so they are almost always lighter than football cleats.
Soccer cleats doesen’t have a midsole, and they generally come only with low-cut uppers. The outsole is thinner, and the material is minimized from everywhere as much as possible for the best ball control achievable.
Football cleats, however, come in all upper sizes; they are included with cushioned and reinforced midsoles, the outsoles are thicker, and there is more material for protection and support. Thus, football cleats are heavier than soccer cleats.
As a reference, one of the most lightweight soccer cleats weighs only 3.2oz, whereas one of the lightest football cleats weighs 6.9oz.
The biggest similarity between football and soccer cleats is the cosmetics. When you take all sports cleats into examination, you can see that football and soccer cleats are included with the most dashing, fashionable, unique, and colorful designs.
However, cleats for baseball, softball, lacrosse, and most other sports, doesen’t have as splashy and showy designs.
Last but not least, price, which is often one of the first things people notice and look at when choosing a new least.
There is a considerable difference in cost between soccer and football cleats, and the answer often surprises people. Soccer cleats are much more expensive than football cleats; on average, even tough football cleats are included with more material, heavier weight, and often more components.
However, the amount of material and components doesn’t always make something more expensive. Soccer cleats are more complex and difficult to design because they feel that ball control needs to be excellent, making the construction much more difficult. Also, the materials are often more of a quality standard.
All in all, both cleats are perfect for their respective sport. Check out the table below and see quick information about the core differences.
|Upper||Low, mid, & high tops||Low tops|
|Outsole||Thicker & fewer options||Thinner & more options|
|Midsole||Midsole included||No midsole|
|Cosmetics||Dashing designs||Dashing designs|
Can You Use Football Cleats for Soccer?
Let’s move on from the differences to useability. Football and soccer are both of the world’s most popular sports, so it’s no wonder people are eager to know whether they can use football cleats for soccer because using one pair of cleats is significantly cheaper than two. So, what’s the case?
You can use football cleats for soccer if they aren’t included with a toe stud because they are banned in soccer. In addition, high and mid-top cleats aren’t the optimal shoe for soccer as they limit the required mobility. Yet, if you like your mid or high-top cleats, you can use them for soccer.
The presence of a toe spike limits the possibility of using football cleats for soccer, and it’s the only limit there is.
However, you should consider that football cleats are heavier, included with more material, and can home with higher uppers, making them nonoptimal for soccer, and you will notice a decrease in performance. If you are a recreational player, go for it if you wish. If you take soccer more seriously, getting a pair specifically for soccer is highly recommended.
Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Football?
Turning the previous question around, there are as many if not more soccer players than football players, so it’s only natural that the usage of soccer cleats in football is asked. That said, can you use soccer cleats for football?
You can use soccer cleats for football because there aren’t any rules against it. Soccer cleats come only as low tops, so they can be good to play for running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs, and high-speed players. However, positions that require more support, like linemen, should use football cleats.
You should also consider that football cleats don’t have midsoles, much supportive material, and a toe spike, making them the second-best choice compared to football cleats meant for football. That said, tackles and dives will be more difficult, you will sprain your ankle more easily, they aren’t as comfortable for football, and it will hurt when a football player steps on your toes.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.