Soccer cleats and football cleats both help you manage grassy terrain by cutting, running, stopping and planting. While the requirement of the type of movement is similar for both soccer and football, there are unique features of cleats  that make the choice confusing! Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when choosing which type of cleat you require for each sport.

The Basics

Soccer cleats should generally be light because soccer requires:

  • Continuous movement through the length of a game
  • Quick acceleration
  • Agility
  • Speed

Football cleats also have the same basic requirements as soccer cleats but with a few added needs that should be considered:

  • Ankle support
  • Added protection
  • Stability
  • Durability

Since football is a more high-impact sport than soccer you need to have better protection for your feet. There is more cushioning around football cleats than soccer cleats as there is a higher chance of foot injuries.

Different Styles

Football cleats are available in low-cut, mid-cut or high-tops. Which position you play usually dictates the style you should choose. Running backs and wide receivers wear mid-cut or low-cut styles as it allows for greater agility and maneuverability. Linesmen usually wear high-tops as they require added ankle support and stability.

Since soccer requires speed, quick acceleration, and abrupt change of direction soccer cleats are always low-cut. A soccer players legs aren't usually subjected to the forces of a hard tackle from the side and a high level of protection or ankle stability is not necessary

A Variety Of Choices

There are many different types of cleats available to suit various purposes and requirements. A basic distinction is made between molded and detachable cleats.

Molded Cleats:

Molded cleats are usually made of rubber and have the studs permanently attached to the shoe bottom. They are worn on harder surfaces such as artificial turf as they provide increased traction and explosiveness. 

Detachable Cleats:

Detachable cleats have removable studs that allow you to change the cleat depending on field conditions. When faced with wet and slippery fields it is better to utilize longer cleats to increase traction and stability. Shorter cleats should be preferred on dryer harder surfaces to allow for quicker acceleration. Since you can easily adjust the studs around the sole, you can easily adapt them to different weather and ground conditions.

Going Further

The biggest difference lies in the area of orthopedics and the different kinds of stresses on players' knees, ankles and hips. Football cleats are mainly molded horizontally across the shoe to provide front driven support. This is because in football the athlete needs to resist force against his or her movement forward. A central toe stud allows for better traction during quick accelerations. Soccer cleats on the other hand do not have a toe stud and are designed to keep the feet and center of gravity close to the ground allowing for great stability.

When deciding which cleat to buy you should keep all these tips in mind and decide which cleat would suit your requirement best. Make sure that you know the rules and regulations of where you are going to use the cleats as different leagues have different rules. An example of this can be that that steel studs and toe cleats are not allowed in most soccer leagues. Remember before making the purchase you should find the cleat that you feel most comfortable in. At the end of the day, that is what matters most when buying any type of shoe!