June 6, 2022

How to Choose the Right Soccer Boots

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Mike Semenza


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Hi everyone, Blayze professional soccer coach Mike Semenza is here with a fun breakdown of the importance of using the right type of footwear. Choosing the right kind of boots, or cleats, is important to your game performance.

In one of our previous sessions, we discussed playing on different surfaces. We talked about playing on natural grass versus artificial turf. Adjusting your style of play to those two different surfaces is important. But there is another element that comes along with that. Choosing the right footwear for those surfaces.

It might not seem that important and sometimes people go for the newest or flashiest shoes. In reality, this could hurt your game if you are choosing the wrong kind of boots to wear.

Today, we are going to talk about what kind of footwear you should use on firm ground and soft ground.

Firm Ground vs. Soft Ground

You can identify firm versus soft ground simply by stepping on the ground.

Firm Ground

Firm ground surfaces can be grass or turf. Artificial turf has a bunch of rubber pellets or concrete under the turf field. The firm ground makes it difficult for your cleats to cling to the surface to gain traction.

Grass fields can be like that too depending on where you play. If it’s a dry climate and the field has dirt on it, or it feels really firm, odds are your cleats are not going to stick to that ground. When you try to get traction on the ground or you try to rotate, your cleats may get stuck on that surface. Rather than digging into the ground.

Soft Ground

Soft ground is grass fields with a little bit of dampness to them. They may be wet or have mud underneath. Your cleats dig into the ground and give you traction. You can rotate your feet easily because those cleats will chew up the ground.

How To Choose the Right Boots

Identifying the best boots depends on the playing surface. Is it a firm ground surface or a soft ground surface? There are three common types of cleats, and we will discuss which surfaces need which kind of boot.

Plastic Bottom Cleats

First, the most common type you see is the ones with plastic cleats on the bottom. This boot is great specifically for that more firm or hard ground surface. The cleats are a little bit shorter. This helps them not dig in as far into the ground to help you rotate and lift your foot more easily.

Metal Bottom Cleats

A soft ground cleat is going to have metal studs on the bottom of it. They also have fewer studs on the bottom so that there are fewer spots for your feet to stick to the ground. This helps you rotate and get your foot off the ground.

Metal cleats will have longer studs that will give you more traction and dig more when you are stepping to change directions. They will not slide out as easily as they might do on a wet surface.

Ridges on the Bottom

This last type of cleat people wear specifically for hard or firm ground. You should never wear these on soft ground because you will not have any traction. These are great for turf because you do not want to dig super far into the ground, or your foot will get stuck and you might seriously injure yourself.

It looks similar to an indoor shoe with little ridges along the bottom. It will prevent your feet from sliding and will not dig into the surface so you can lift your feet faster.

Concluding Thoughts

The best time to try different cleats is in training. Do not wait for game day to try on different boots because you are going to end up slowing your team down. Experiment with the boots in training or on your own.

Go out to different fields and try on the different styles of cleats for yourself. See if any hurt your feet and what gives you the best mobility on that type of surface.

Find what works best for you!

Learn More With Blayze!

The secret to mastering any skill is practice! Are you looking to become a stronger player? Could you use direct feedback from a professional coach on how to improve your passing skills, communication, or vision on the field?

At Blayze we give you personalized video analysis coaching sessions and individual training programs, plus mentorship from professional coaches.

Our Blayze+ program breaks down the barriers to finding elite-level training by making top-tier coaches available for ALL athletes. Custom-developed coaching sessions can help you improve your on-field skills, so you are performing at your very best in every game. For a truly unique and personalized feedback experience, click HERE to learn more about the Blayze+ program!

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Blayze Coach Mike Semenza

Mike Semenza

6+ years of professional coaching with LA Galaxy, EXOS and COPA STC


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