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Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Can you play soccer without soccer cleats?

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and a big reason is that, unlike sports such as baseball or football, it requires minimal equipment. If you have a ball, you can play soccer virtually anywhere, but is it necessary to wear cleats?

You can kick a ball wearing practically any shoes, but if you’re an aspiring, talented player and take the game seriously, it’s a good idea to wear cleats whenever possible. However, for recreational soccer, wearing them might not be necessary.

In this article: Adidas Men’s Predator 20.4 Cleats, Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Men’s Football Cleats and Adidas X Speedflow 3 FG Soccer Cleats.

Why should I wear cleats?


If you’ve ever walked or run over grass, you may have noticed that your feet sink into the ground, and it’s harder to move than on a hard surface. Not only that, but it’s easy to slip or slide on grass if you’re not wearing shoes with enough grip.

Soccer cleats have studs that dig into the ground and let you move more efficiently without compromising your agility or speed. They also help prevent slipping when the grass is wet and reduce injury risk.

League rules

If you play in a league, there’s a good chance it requires all players to wear cleats. Rules requiring players to wear them are usually in place due to safety concerns. However, you should also be aware that some leagues prohibit players from wearing cleats with metal spikes, so it’s best to check with your league before buying cleats.

Why shouldn’t I wear cleats?

Indoor soccer

Synthetic turf surfaces offer a similar experience to a natural outdoor grass field. However, because the artificial grass is layered over a mat, there’s no need to wear cleats with spikes that will dig deep into the ground.

Traditional soccer cleats are prohibited on most indoor fields since they can damage them, so it’s best to wear turf or indoor soccer shoes. These shoes usually have rubber nubs in a treaded pattern on the sole that provide sufficient grip but don’t dig into the ground.

Casual playing

If the most soccer action you get is kicking the ball around on a Sunday afternoon, investing in soccer cleats is pointless. You can get by wearing almost any athletic shoes, even for a light, casual game between friends. They don’t offer the same performance as cleats, but they’ll get the job done if you’re just looking to have fun.


Q. How long do soccer cleats last?

A. It depends on how often you play and how well you take care of them, but at the very least, a quality pair of cleats should last six to 18 months.

Q. Can I wear indoor or turf shoes to play outdoor soccer?

A. While it’s impractical to wear cleats to play indoors, you can wear indoor or turf shoes for outdoor play. Although they don’t offer as much traction as cleats on grass, indoor soccer shoes provide significant traction over other athletic shoes.

Best soccer cleats and shoes

Adidas Men’s Predator 20.4 Cleats

These shoes are made with durable synthetic leather and have a textured control print coating for improved ball control and precision during powerful shots. The low-cut ankle gives players more mobility, and the FXG outsole provides excellent stability.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 Men’s Football Cleats

If you’re a speedster on the field, these cleats can help you accelerate to your top speed quickly and make plays with quickness and agility. The lightweight upper has a ghost lacing system that offers minimal interference, and the wide-stud layout gives players enhanced traction.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Adidas X Speedflow.3 FG Soccer Cleats

These lightweight cleats are ideal for firm ground play and are excellent for players of all skill levels and positions. They have a sock-like fit for increased support, a Speedskin upper for improved stability and rubber molded studs for better grip on grass.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

New Balance Men’s 442 V2 Pro FG Soccer Cleats

These cleats have an upper made with premium leather and a redesigned stitching pattern for improved ball control and feel. The synthetic suede lining and supportive inner cushioned pillows provide long-lasting comfort and support.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Adidas Predator Edge. 1 Turf Soccer Cleats

For those who don’t mind spending the money, these turf shoes are built to last and offer elite performance. They have a two-piece collar for a secure fit and strategically positioned ribbing for enhanced ball control.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Nike Tiempo Legend 9 Club Turf Soccer Cleats

Look no further if you want an affordable pair of turf shoes to help elevate your game the next time you step on the pitch. These shoes are made with soft synthetic leather, have a nonmarking rubber outsole and allow players to increase their accuracy on powerful shots.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods and Amazon


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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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