What Are the Differences Between a Football Cleat & a Soccer Cleat?

By Chris Joseph

Football and soccer both depend heavily on the use of the feet, as they share the same functions of running, cutting, stopping and planting. The sports are also played on similar surfaces, either natural grass, artificial turf, or its latest incarnation known as Prescription Athletic Turf. While many of the motion requirements are the same for both sports, there are unique features that require differences in the types of cleats that are worn.

Molded Football Cleats

The type of football cleat worn largely depends on the type of playing surface. There are two basic types of cleats: molded and detachable. Molded cleats are permanently attached to the shoe bottom and are usually made of rubber. They are worn on harder surfaces such as artificial turf since they provide for greater traction and explosiveness, and are often warn by ball carriers and receivers.

Detachable Football Cleats

Detachable cleats are attached with removable studs that allow the cleat to be changed depending on field conditions. Longer cleats can be installed to provide better traction on wet, sloppy fields, while shorter cleats are better suited to dryer, harder surfaces. The studs can easily be replaced with the use of a wrench, making the cleats easily adaptable to changing weather conditions as a game progresses.

Soccer Cleats

There are also detachable and molded soccer cleats. The type of cleat used depends not only on the type of surface, but also the skill level of the player. For safety reasons, many youth soccer leagues require the use of molded cleats, since they are less likely to detach during play. Detachable cleats are more suitable for experienced players since they can adapt the cleat length to the type and conditions of the field.

Basic Differences

While football and soccer players both wear molded and detachable cleats, because of the larger variety of playing surfaces, soccer requires additional types. There are shoes made specifically for indoor soccer that do not contain cleats, but resemble low-cut sneakers that provide better traction on the indoor artificial surfaces. Turf shoes contain raised patterns on the bottom instead of studs and provide traction on harder surfaces.

Other Differences

Because football is more of a high-impact sport than soccer, football cleats are made with a toe center cleat to provide greater stability. Soccer cleats tend to be lighter since the sport requires more continuous running, so they need to last longer. Many soccer cleats are also made with aluminum cleat caps for added traction traction and durability.

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