There is a huge variety of football boots in the modern world. Manufacturers are experimenting with materials, the design features of the upper, the structure of the sole, the number and location of spikes, etc. How to properly navigate this variety and choose boots that are perfect for you? If you are interested in this question, then you have come to the right place. In this article we will tell you about the most important criteria and nuances that will help you choose the optimal pair of football shoes.


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Since the availability of many available options does not imply ease of choice, before going to the store for new boots, we recommend that you decide on the following aspects:


What kind of surface will you play on? Speed, comfort or accuracy. What is more important?
From what material is it better to buy boots? How to understand what size shoes you have?
How much does the shoes you need cost? Which boots are better to buy for a child?
We wear football shoes correctly.

If you clearly define the above aspects, it will be much easier for you to make the right choice from a huge variety of football shoes, without being led by the marketing tricks of manufacturing companies. These criteria are basic, everything else is purely technological nuances that can give the player certain functional advantages, but they will not fundamentally affect the correctness of your choice.

It is naive to believe that even the most expensive and high-tech cleats will turn an amateur league player into a contender for the Golden Ball. Nevertheless, a rational choice of boots will undoubtedly allow you to move around and work with the ball with much greater comfort, which will give you the opportunity to much more reveal your playing potential.


Where will you play?


The fundamental nuance when choosing the optimal pair of boots is the type of coverage on the field where you most often have to play and train. Natural grass lawn (of various lengths), artificial pile in an outdoor stadium, or synthetic carpet, wooden floor or rubber coating in indoor arenas – it is on such surfaces that football is mainly played in our country.

It is important to understand that the number of spikes on football shoes primarily depends on the rigidity of the surface. The tougher it is, the more spikes it will take to evenly distribute the load on the foot around its perimeter and provide a reliable grip.

Decide on which surface you play most often or consult with coaches, especially if you are choosing shoes for a child.

When choosing cleats for your child, we recommend consulting with a trainer about the training surface and the most suitable shoe option for playing on it. Depending on the type of playing surface for which they are intended, there are several generally accepted markings of football boots. Let ‘s consider the main ones:

FG (Firm Ground) — cleats for playing on natural and artificial grass fields

This group of football shoes is perhaps the most popular and numerous. Due to the existing trend towards universalization, it is very comfortable to play on both natural and artificial turf in the boots of most modern models with the FG marking. Cleats of this category usually have from 9 to 14 cone-shaped spikes of medium length (12-15 mm) made of plastic or polyurethane. Additional spikes of trapezoidal or triangular shape are often used.

SG (Soft Ground) — cleats for playing on wet fields and on lawns with long grass

This is the only option that will allow you to feel more or less comfortable in the conditions of football “off-road”. Elongated (up to 18 mm) and pointed spikes, which are most often made of metal (sometimes polyurethane), provide improved grip on wet lawn or ground, giving the player much-needed stability in such conditions.

Some, often quite expensive models are equipped with the ability to install different sets of spikes, which allows you to vary their length depending on the properties of the playing surface and your own feelings. There are models with auxiliary spikes made of artificial materials to give additional stability.

important! Boots of the SG category are not suitable for children and young men under 15 years of age, because the increased load has a destructive effect on the weak foot, which can result in frequent injuries, as well as various kinds of deformities. These shoes are designed for mature professionals who know how to achieve a better grip with a certain configuration of spikes.

AG (Artificial Ground/Grass) — boots for playing on artificial lawns

On the sole of boots belonging to this category, there are usually several more spikes than in models for playing on natural grass – namely, from 15 to 27, depending on the specific model. The spikes of such boots are usually quite short (up to 10 mm) and have rubber or polyurethane tips. There are also auxiliary spikes in the structure of the sole to give greater stability. They can be either one-piece or two-level, and the lower level is made of a softer material. This is due to the need to provide better grip on harder artificial surfaces. It should be noted that the size and shape of the spikes are not regulated by football rules, so manufacturers are given a wide field for experiments in this direction. Don’t pay too much attention to this when choosing your first pair of cleats.

MG (Multi Ground) is a universal solution for playing on various surfaces

As already noted, the boundaries between the categories of football shoes are very conditional and have been blurring more and more recently. Manufacturers are concentrating their efforts on developing boots in which football players would be comfortable playing on both natural and artificial turf. The result of this work was the appearance of universal shoes marked MG. This is the optimal solution for those who do not have the ability or desire to buy boots for various coatings. Due to its versatility, such shoes are widely in demand among young players from club academies. In such models, 13-24 spikes of medium or short length are used, made of various materials (polyurethane, less often plastic or rubber). The sole of boots of the MG category often has a very complex, often multilevel structure, in which spikes of various designs and shapes are used.

“Centipedes” (multiships) – shoes for playing on a synthetic surface

You’ve probably heard the word centipedes repeatedly in relation to football shoes. This colloquial name for boots of this type was obtained due to the fact that their entire sole is literally dotted with short (no more than 5 mm) rubber spikes. Often there are much more than forty of them. In fact, this category of shoes among manufacturers is called TURF (Astroturf). Often they are also called “multiships” or “terfs”. Such a “studded” sole allows you to distribute the impact load around the perimeter of the player’s foot, providing enhanced grip with the coating, which, in turn, gives it additional ease of movement.

Another important feature of the models of this category of football shoes is their versatility. In such boots, you can play important matches on an artificial carpet in an indoor arena, or you can just go out for a warm-up run on a rubber track or a grass lawn. Regardless of the coating in such shoes, you will feel sufficient stability and lightness, thanks to the uniform distribution of loads.

Football shoes of the TURF category, as well as “futsal shoes”, which will be discussed below, are often called football sneakers. This definition indicates that such shoes can be used not only for playing football. This, by the way, causes the popularity of “centipedes” among young football players who, due to lack of experience, do not bother to choose boots for a specific coating. Over time, however, it is recommended to switch to specialized football shoes, especially for playing on a grass lawn.

“Futzalki” (Indoor, IC, IN) – shoes for futsal

In the “centipedes”, which we talked about above, it will be very inconvenient to play on the parquet or rubber covering of gyms. For futsal (mini-football), a special type of shoe was developed – the so-called “bumpers” (better known to us as “futsal”). Shoes of this category combine the properties of cleats for “big” football and shoes for playing on flat surfaces.  

The design of the top in them is identical to the classic football boots. Materials are used that give this shoe strength and practicality. Do not be afraid that your “futsal” will tear apart after a dozen sharp blows. The sole, made of rubber or polyurethane, does not contain spikes at all, however, has a special patterned structure that allows players to feel stable on a flat surface.

Such shoes can also be used on the street – whether it’s playing football on “synthetic” or jogging on a rubber or asphalt track of a school stadium. Playing on natural grass in “bumpers” is contraindicated, since there is a serious risk of injury. And you will slide like on an ice rink, which obviously will not allow you to show your best qualities.

You can go on indefinitely, but the main soles are listed above.

Over time, thanks to the tricks of manufacturers, new boot markings appear, such as MSR (Multi Stud Rubber), VHG (Very Hard Ground), SG PRO and AG-Pro. However, based on the general trend towards the universalization of football shoes, the differences between the models of these categories are not so significant as to pay too much attention to them. At the same time, the main types of coverings for playing football do not change. Therefore, if you have decided on which of them you will use new shoes, we can assume that you are on the right path to choosing the optimal option.


Choosing the coating material


There is no consensus among football players about which material is ideal for football boots. Some people prefer the feeling of comfort and practicality of genuine leather shoes, while others prefer the lightness and “ball feeling” provided by innovative materials. An important factor in choosing the material of football boots is also the property of the material to stretch over time. Players who have a wide foot are recommended to use boots made of leather materials.


Cleats made of materials having a knitted structure (knit) should undoubtedly be allocated to a separate category. The innovative technologies of Primeknit and Flyknit, developed by such “giants” of the sports market as Adidas and Nike, respectively, have allowed to provide a refined feeling of the ball that has never been seen before. Playing in such boots can be compared to playing in thin knitted socks.  

Many models of cleats made of knit-type materials are equipped with a “collar” covering the ankle joint area on the football player’s leg and resembling an ordinary sock in appearance.

Genuine leather

Until a certain period, football shoes were made exclusively of genuine leather. Leather boots provide a comfortable fit and excellent practicality, however, a significant disadvantage of this material is that regular wetting when playing on wet fields leads to its deformation. Therefore, if you often have to play in rainy weather, it is recommended to use boots made of other materials.

It should be noted that nowadays leading manufacturers strive to minimize the use of genuine leather in the production of football shoes, aiming to transfer its best properties and characteristics to boots made of synthetic substitutes. The most expensive models are made of kangaroo leather, and cheaper boots for mass use are made of goat or calf leather.

Synthetic and composite materials

The use of synthetic materials has brought the football shoe manufacturing industry to a new level. It cannot be unequivocally stated that such materials are superior to leather in all respects. However, the feeling of playing in such shoes will be completely different.  Thanks to the use of composite materials, manufacturers managed to make the top of the boots thinner, which gives players additional lightness and increased comfort when working with the ball.

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that these materials do not stretch over time, therefore, giving preference to boots made of “synthetics”, when buying, you should carefully select their size.

Modern technologies have allowed manufacturers to create an analogue of genuine leather, almost as good as the original in functional properties, giving football players the opportunity to feel the ball in the same way as when playing in genuine leather boots. The synthetic skin substitute undergoes constant refinement in order to improve its characteristics. Shoes made of synthetic leather have water-repellent properties, which is an important advantage over boots made of natural materials.


What is important to you?


Each player performs certain functions on the field and has special game characteristics. Based on this, manufacturers have developed variations of football shoes optimized for specific playing positions.


“Gate guards”, defending their possessions, have to make a lot of jumps and sudden movements. The outcome of tense matches largely depends on their actions, so goalkeepers’ cleats should provide maximum grip on the field surface so as not to let them down at the most crucial moment. Goalkeepers also often have to perform strong shots from the goal, and therefore, the reinforced and enlarged impact area of the boots will be an important functional advantage.


For defensive line players, an extremely important factor is the accuracy of the passes performed and confidence in controlling the ball. In addition, defenders often have to engage in game collisions, and therefore additional protective elements (such as a reinforced pad or a “collar” on the ankle joint) certainly will not hurt.


Mid-line players overcome a greater “mileage” per game than football players of other roles. Therefore, maximum comfort when playing is a key parameter of boots adapted for a midfielder. It is recommended to have in your arsenal shoes made of natural or synthetic leather with a comfortable insole.

Speed and Ease

The main advantages of forwards are the ability to make sharp, “explosive” accelerations, as well as to deliver strong and accurate blows. Considering this, striker boots are usually somewhat lighter (average weight from 150 to 210 g) models for other playing positions. Most often, the top of the boots for players of the attacking line is made of synthetic materials. The impact zone should be as smooth as possible, not burdened with unnecessary components, which will allow the forwards to give the ball an ideal flight path.

The style of play is the second most important factor of choice.

The position on the field is the second most important criterion when choosing boots after the playing surface. If you take into account all the features of your role when choosing boots, then they will undoubtedly help you show your best playing qualities.


How to determine the size?


The ability to determine your size is also an extremely important aspect when choosing football shoes. If you already have a “favorite” model from a specific manufacturer – fine, it will be easier for you. Just look at the size on the tongue or inner wall and order cleats with a similar marking.

If you are choosing your first pair of boots or have no idea at all about the standards of Western countries, the recommendations below will help you make the right choice.

  • In no case should we focus on the usual shoe sizes. The leading manufacturers in the sports industry are hardly aware of their existence. They often use only the most common size grids in the world: UK (UK), US (USA), EU (Europe).
  • Leather shoes tend to stretch during wear, so leather boots are better suited for football players with a wide foot.
  • In order not to lose with the size, you should measure the length of your foot with a ruler and compare it with the matching tables for the model that you have selected for yourself.

The process of correct measurement of the foot and the dimensional grids of the main manufacturers are given in our article: “How do I find out what size football shoes I have?”


Prices and Categories


Manufacturers themselves do not diversify their products according to price criteria. However, among football players, the division of shoes into “professional” and “amateur” models is very widespread, so it would be wrong to ignore this aspect.

Elit and Pro

It is not surprising that all the innovative innovations concerning technologies and materials are used in the production of only “top” professional-level models, which (however, are made individually)  you can see famous football players on their feet during broadcasts of matches of the leading leagues. The price range of this category corresponds to the claims: 9000 UAH. for a pair of such boots is far from the “ceiling”. But it should be understood that by “laying out” such an amount, you get elite-level boots complete with all advanced technological advantages. At the same time, it is important to take into account that if you actively “drag” them in all games and training sessions of the season, soon you will most likely have to fork out for a new pair.

Semi Pro

The so-called “semi-professional” models, the cost of which varies in the range from 2000 to 4000 UAH, are perhaps the most in demand in the football environment. These are shoes of excellent quality, not much inferior in functional characteristics to the “top”-level models, but superior in practicality and durability.

For beginners

The cost of models that are commonly called “amateur” usually does not exceed the limit of 2000 hryvnia. Such boots look exactly the same as their expensive counterparts, however, they lack some elements of innovative technologies. This category is the best option for young football players, as well as amateur level players.  

Promotions and Discounts

It is unlikely that you will be able to buy high-quality football shoes for less than 900 hryvnia. Usually, fakes of models of popular brands from little-known manufacturers are presented below this price mark. But if you got to the sale of boots from collections that have lost their relevance, then you can buy a really high-quality sample at a very attractive price. Important tip: follow the promotional offers of sports stores.


Choosing cleats for a child


Young age determines some special nuances when choosing shoes. It should be borne in mind that not fully formed muscles and ligaments require a careful approach both in the process of training work and in the selection of the optimal model of boots. In addition, the coach of the youth football school can also give useful recommendations in this regard.

Below are the key aspects to consider when choosing shoes for a young football player:

  • as the first football shoe, it is recommended to choose the most practical models. Your young talent may really want boots “like Modric or Mbappe”, however, he will not feel comfortable enough in them, which will not allow him to fully unleash his playing potential
  • in childhood and adolescence, it is contraindicated to use boots for soft coatings (SG markings), on the sole of which there are metal spikes that increase the load on the weak foot
  • models from the FG and MG categories will be an excellent choice for a future champion. If most of the games and training take place on a synthetic surface, you should opt for “centipedes” (“turfs”), which will provide a reliable grip on the surface and reduce shock loads when driving
  • it is recommended to buy boots for a young football player as close as possible to the beginning of the season, leaving, however, some time to get used to new shoes. Thus, he will be comfortable playing in these boots for a longer time period.
  • you should not buy football shoes a size larger, relying on the fact that the child’s foot is growing rapidly. If the gap between the back of the boot and the heel is larger than his finger, you should not take this size, it will be very uncomfortable for him to play in such boots. However, if the heel is located right next to the back, in this case, you should try on boots a size larger
  • shoes made of natural and synthetic leather have the property of “giving out” in the process of wearing


Boots are bought. We are putting it into operation.


It’s done. You take out of the box your much-desired purchase. You really want to go out in them already for today’s training. However, there is no need to hurry. We recommend gradually wearing out and getting used to new boots in the training process. It is unlikely that you will feel as comfortable as possible if you put on your brand-new boots already for the next important match.

  • At the next training session, compare the sensations of working in new boots and those you are used to
  • Before using them in the gameplay, run a few laps in them at a warm-up pace. This will allow you to adapt to new shoes without increased foot loads.
  • When putting on new boots for the first time, do not overdo tightening the laces. This will allow the foot to choose the optimal position inside the boot and come into contact with the insole
  • You should immediately remove the new boots if you feel any discomfort or pressure and work out the rest of the lesson in a proven model in order to avoid calluses and chafing

Allow your new cleats to conduct a few “retracting” workouts and after a while they will be ready to lead you to new achievements. Good luck!


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