Soccer and football have a lot of things in common and it is no coincidence that football is the moniker for soccer in Europe and the rest of the world outside North America. Curiosity about whether you can use soccer cleats to play football will come up at some point for anyone actively engaged in both sports, especially when splurging on two pairs of cleats is not economically viable.
This article answers the question “Are Soccer Cleats Good For Football?” by revealing whether football players can wear traditional soccer cleats on the pitch without problems. We also delve into the differences between both sets of cleats and similarities if any. Let’s get started.
Are Soccer Cleats Good For Football?
Soccer cleats are preferred by Kickers and Punters on football teams because they allow them to make more accurate ball kicks. But the lack of front/toe spikes or studs in soccer cleats unlike traditional football cleats may result in low traction which can affect the ability of other football players like Defensive Ends, Linebackers, and Quarterbacks to accelerate and jump during tackling and offensive play.
It is not uncommon for those who play football positions that require better kicking accuracy to ditch the idea of traditional football cleats completely in favor of soccer cleats. Standard soccer cleats can enhance their performance and increase their value to the team.
However, those that play other positions could enjoy better gameplay with traditional football cleats although wearing regular soccer cleats during emergencies won’t be a problem.
How To Differentiate Between Soccer and Football Cleats
The presence of a front spike/stud directly under the toe area in the latter is the main difference between soccer and football cleats. Football success hinges on the ability to tackle opponents and surge forward which becomes easier with the additional traction afforded by the toe spikes or studs.
Soccer and football cleats look identical in many ways and it may take a closer look to identify the differences between the two.
Are Soccer Cleats Lighter Than Football Cleats?
Soccer cleats manufacturers pride themselves on lightweight engineering because speed is a critical asset for players during offensive and defensive plays. The lightweight design also promotes longevity on the field and minimizes tired legs in players since they’re always on the move throughout the 90 minutes of play.
Unlike football where opponents can be blocked and tackled legally, aggressive physical contact during soccer can result in fouls that may even get a player sent off. Soccer relies more on the ability to outwit the opponent with your feet and lightweight cleats make that a possibility.
The use of synthetic material in the manufacture of soccer cleats promotes a lightweight finish while the lack of toe spikes is another powerful addition. The hypothetical use of traditional football cleats in soccer games could slow down players and make them less effective.
Tired legs may also be a common problem before the game ends and since substitutions are limited to 3 players, wearing football cleats on the soccer field could lead to dysfunctional play.
Are Soccer Cleats Better Than Football Cleats?
Soccer cleats are better than football cleats for playing soccer thanks to the lightweight design. Their versatility also makes soccer cleats suitable for not only soccer but can be suitable for playing on lacrosse fields and football stadiums.
Soccer cleats are a better option for anyone that plays multiple sports looking for one-sport-fits-all cleats due to budgetary constraints.
Differences Between Soccer Cleats and Football Cleats
On the field, soccer cleats and football cleats look all the same but their differences become clearer when they’re placed side by side.
1. Toe Spikes
The presence of a spike directly underneath the toe area is the main feature that separates traditional football cleats from soccer cleats. The toe spikes offer a better grip for football players in all aspects of the game especially during tackling and blocking opponents.
The stability afforded by toe spikes can be the difference between successfully remaining on your feet despite strong physical contact from opponents across different areas of the football field. But, toe spikes are not only unnecessary in soccer, they’re actually banned from the field.
No soccer referee will allow players with toe spiked cleats on the field and players’ shoes are routinely checked to be sure.
2. Low-Cut Designs
Soccer cleats have undergone a century of evolutions but they remain low-cut because players require speed and flexibility on the field. Not only could high-cut soccer cleat designs slow them down but they would also restrict ankle dexterity which may negatively impact performance.
Football cleats come in low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut styles but players have a preference for high-cut designs due to the strength of their grip on the playing field.
High-cut football cleats provide more stability and additional ankle support for players to minimize the tripping and falling risks during games.
3. Lightweight Designs
As previously discussed, soccer cleats are lightweight compared to traditional football cleats. With players always on their feet during gameplay, soccer cleats need to be lightweight to minimize tiredness from the constant walking, jumping, sprinting, and tackling.
Not only do traditional football cleats expose soccer players to a high risk of injury but they could slow them down considerably. This explains why soccer cleats manufacturers continuously focus on launching new models with lightweight designs.
Can I Wear Soccer Cleats For Flag Football?
Soccer cleats are a great choice for playing flag football due to their lightweight designs and versatility. The presence of studs provides some stability on the field to prevent slips and falls resulting in potential career-ending injuries.
Soccer cleats offer an advantage over traditional football cleats since they enhance the player’s speed and agility. The relatively minimal amount of contact compared with traditional football means the extra studs at the front of football cleats are unnecessary for soccer players.
The studs actually slow players down during games which can give opponents the edge. Other players may prefer wearing traditional football cleats to enjoy more ankle support but fortunately, the rules are flexible with no restrictions on the use of either type of cleats.
What Shoes Do American Football Players Wear?
NFL players typically wear Nike Football cleats to enhance their play during practice and official games. While various players wear different models of Nike, 3 out of 4 players rely on the Swoosh brand.
Nike football cleats worn by some of the most popular NFL players include:
Adidas comes in at a distant second with a quarter of football players preferring the three-stripes brand of football cleats. Popular models worn by football stars are:
Jordan and Under Armour are other brands of football cleats loved by a minority of players in the NFL.
Conclusion: Are Soccer Cleats Good For Football?
Soccer is a game of speed and traditional cleats are designed to reflect the players’ needs. With soccer players always on the move, anything less than lightweight cleats could tire their legs quickly and negatively affect performance.
Football on the other hand requires more strength and stability during gameplay which is why traditional football cleats are engineered with high-cut designs featuring front spikes to provide more grip on the field.
Soccer cleats can be good for certain football positions but not the other way around.