The best soccer shoes for are not determined by a name brand. While there is a style I always preferred during my playing days as a youth, college and pro. The best soccer shoes should be determined by the fit for you, as all feet are unique. Adidas seems to have a wider fit, where Nike is more narrow. It also depends on the playing surface, because you want to wear a shoe that best fits the ground. There are however certain characteristics that each shoe should have when making a decision about play futbol. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
History of the soccer cleats [Football boots]
When I think of ‘soccer cleats’ I think of all the English and Europeans who cringe when they hear the word “soccer”…
Depending on the country depends on what it’s called, but for most it’s football or futbol.
A little history on soccer cleats / football boots…
The first soccer cleat is credited to England’s King Henry VIII. After reviewing the history of soccer cleats, most sources say that the first pair was made by King Henry’s personal shoemaker Cornelius Johnson, in 1952.
These were high top style, which is funny because in the last few years has become popular with the “built in sock”. This makes the boot look higher and give more support, so they say. I personally am not a fan because they were difficult to put on. Others say they fit great. Find what you like.
The lower version has been most popular over the past 50 years. To this day most college and pro coaches in America call them boots over shoes or cleats.
Soccer cleats [molded or blades]
Regular cleats [molded or blades] are going to be the most popular soccer shoes, because most of you are going to usually play on grass. Plus if you play on good long turf, you can still use molded or blades.
The difference in molded and blades is the bottom of the shoe.
Blades are shaped more like blades at the bottom, compared to molded which are more like cleats you think of. It’s more of a preference thing, so just try out the two and find what’s best for you. I felt like blades made me slip sometimes, but that’s just me.
Turf shoes for soccer / football
Turf shoes with the small nubs [approximately 50-70] on the bottom are a wise investment.
The picture below shows the bottom of 1 orange turf shoe.
They can be used to play on many surfaces and can help prevent injury because they help keep the joints from taking all the pressure when changing direction or turning.
The size of the nubs are slightly larger than a bb and are good for both kinds of turf. They are not to be confused with indoor flats or molded cleats and should not be worn in long or wet grass.
You can wear these on hard surface like dirt or even concrete or gym flooring.
Gym flooring like basketball/futsal floor is best using indoor flats, but you could use these turf shoes too.
For me the turf shoe is one of the best, because you can wear them on short or dead grass, dirt, long or short turf and even hard floor like concrete or sports court.
Again if money isn’t an issue get 1 of every pair, but if you want to save $50-$100 per year just get either the turfs or indoor flats and then your molded/cleats.
For college and pro, you can also get six studs if you often play on wet grass. The one pair you will need if you play outdoor is the molded cleats, like you see most.
Indoor soccer shoes [flats]
Are great for playing on turf, hard court, dirt, low dry grass or just casual. Out of flats or turfs I feel like I see more kids wearing flats because they play in indoor facilities.
Flats are best for indoor/hard surface, but wearing them on long turf or grass will have you slipping. The turf shoe will help you play better on turf or short dry grass, but for concrete or sports court I would say indoor are better.
These are by far most wanted world wide because people in most parts of the world don’t have great grass fields.
I remember traveling to Guatemala for a mission trip and taking tons of shoes from all the GFT families who donated.
Most of what we took were cleats, but if we would have had flats the kids could have used them more. The fields they played on were mostly dirt or concrete. Some fields were turf, but most of the time you don’t get that option in many parts of the world.
Six studs usually seen only in college or pro
When putting on some six studs you will get a feeling inside that says ‘this is business’. The reason is because they are so long and mean. There are only 6 long cleats, so if you step on someone’s foot or leg they will remember it.
The reason you would use six studs is for fields that are really wet/soft. These are difficult to find and can be expensive but are worth it. They’re essential for college and pros, especially defenders because they don’t want to slip. You would not wear these on grass – only wet fields. And don’t forget the replacement studs.
Playing on wet fields can get clumps of grass stuck between your cleats, but with the 6 studs there’s not enough cleats to get trapped under your boots. The players who usually use them most are defenders, because they really don’t want to slip and get beat.
The longer cleats/studs will help you stay on your feet, keeping you from slipping. Also the forwards get a little nervous playing against defenders who have 6 studs. Make sure you only use these when the field is soft, or else you will end up with some sore feet.
Runners [running shoes or training shoes]
For select soccer players up to high school, college and pro’s you will want some ‘runners’. These are not for playing, but for running or jogging.
Pro teams the day after a game will usually only take a light jog around the field and runners are what they use.
You also use runners for walking up to the game field or to and from the vehicles.
Best soccer shoes to donate
When you think of donating soccer cleats you think of cleats right. Well when I traveled twice to Guatemala in Central America for mission trips, I learned that the best soccer shoes to donate to most people are indoor flats. When you think about it, people who usually need donations don’t have tons of shoes.
So when they get donated shoes they often times only have 1 other pair. And many of the times, the one pair they have are either boots or dress shoes.
The best soccer shoes to donate are indoor flats, because not only can they use them for soccer, but also they can wear them for walking throughout the day.
Prevent injury changing out soccer cleats
Preseason is a great example of when you should change out your soccer cleats. The reason is because your feet get used to the same fit, and when you change out your boots it helps them to get some relief, which is good for the muscles in your feet.
I wrote a popular article on how best to take care of your boots and feet. It is very common to get blisters with new shoes. What I recommend is only wearing new soccer shoes [football boots] for 10-30 mins the first few times you wear them. This helps break in your new shoes without giving you blisters.
Best soccer shoes priced right
Hey soccer shoes/boots are expensive and have been for a long time. Some cost over $200! But you can get shoes as low as $30-$40 new. This price probably won’t give you the “best” shoe, but if you are shopping for kids soccer shoes ages 4-9, who cares about having great shoes.
The U8 and under are going to grow so fast, I wouldn’t worry about getting the best soccer shoes at ages Under 9.
If your an adult then you don’t have to worry about growing out of your shoe, so I would spend at least $60 on a good pair. It will make the difference.
If you play high school or college get a good pair and spend up to $100+.
You can find soccer cleats for a good price, and sometimes get the highest quality… Finding shoes that are from the year before will be priced lower, just because they are trying to promote the newest shoe.
There are certain stores like 5 below that are in nice areas that can have cleats for $5. This is smart, especially for the younger players who will only wear them for 1 season. Often times these are the best soccer shoes that have only been used 20 times.
Top 3 soccer shoe brands
Diadora has soccer shoes with high quality feel and look. I am not a fan of Under Armour for soccer shoes. They came on the seen a few years ago and priced all their stuff like Adidas, but can’t compare in terms of quality for best soccer shoes.