What is a soccer cleat?

  • Football cleats and soccer cleats are not the same
  • Soccer cleats are often referred to as "boots"
  • Toni Kroos will only wear adidas 11Pro cleats
Here's everything you need to know about soccer cleats.
Here's everything you need to know about soccer cleats. / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Soccer cleats give players the necessary traction, support, and mobility to excel on the pitch across all leagues, competitions, and skill levels.

The most eye-catching part of a soccer player's kit is always the jersey. Clubs produce new designs, color schemes, and patterns each season to keep the look fresh and exciting. Plus, away kits offer a different concept that aims to capture the attention of everyone from avid fans to casual spectators.

Soccer players themselves, though, know that their cleats are the most important part of their kit, even if viewers tend to focus on their shirt. Without proper soccer cleats, players would struggle with the ball at their feet, not to mention be at a higher risk for injury.

Understanding the true benefits of soccer cleats, and their difference to football cleats, is a must for anybody looking to step onto the pitch.

Los Angeles Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes
Los Angeles Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes / John Todd/ISI Photos/GettyImages

What is a soccer cleat?

A soccer cleat is the shoe players wear for all soccer activities, from warm-ups to full 90 minute matches. Often, professional players refer to their cleats as "boots."

The best soccer cleats provide players with a healthy balance of flexibility and support, giving their feet enough padding without weighing down their shot or passes. Unlike some football cleats, the lightweight shoe does not go past the ankle; soccer players need full mobility to execute at the highest level.

The most important part of soccer cleats are the studs beneath the boot. They are designed to give players traction on both real grass and turf without restricting their movement. Football players need even more stability and traction for certain blocks or plays, so their cleats have an additional stud at the very top of the shoe.

Despite the common attributes among all soccer boots, each player has their own unique preferences for certain models, exterior designs, and more. Real Madrid's Toni Kroos has worn the same blue and white adidas 11Pro cleats his entire career.