Soccer shoes are perhaps the most important piece of equipment that any player will buy. To a beginner, the absolutely massive amount of different brands and styles of soccer boots can indeed be overwhelming. It can be difficult to determine what is important when choosing a soccer shoe.

Cleats can come in many different styles and materials and ultimately, which ones you like better will come down to personal preference. The position you play can also influence the type of shoe you may want to consider. Some features and style of shoe are best used by players of a certain position of manner of play.

First, it is important to discuss the primary styles of soccer shoe.

Shoes are primarily made from two different materials: leather and synthetic.

Leather Shoes

Leather shoes break in easier and are usually more comfortable. They also provide a superior touch and an improved ability to “feel” the ball. However, leather shoes can be heavier and more expensive than synthetic ones and can wear more quickly.

Synthetic Shoes

Synthetic shoes are usually extremely light and typically built to promote speed and acceleration. They are also generally more inexpensive but depending on the style can also be less comfortable as they will “give” less when being broken in and moulding to your foot.

The type of cleats affixed to the sole of the shoe is the other major difference among soccer boots. The main layouts found in soccer shoes today are traditional round moulded cleats, blades, screw-in, and turf.

Round Moulded Cleats

Round moulded cleats are directly attached to the sole of the shoe. Usually made of rubber, they are evenly distributed underneath the shoe and therefore provide good support and comfort, while minimizing injury.


Shoes with bladed cleats are a relatively recent design in soccer shoe technology. Arranged in a circular pattern, these cleats are so named because they resemble the blades of a knife. These are said to improve traction and particularly the ability to turn and pivot.

Screw-In Cleats

Screw-in cleats are the Swiss Army Knife of soccer shoes, as the cleats can be swapped out depending on the playing surface. For example, longer cleats can be affixed in wet weather, while shorter ones can be put in place on a dry pitch.


The cleats on a turf shoe resemble dozens of little pimples. These cleats are intended for use on artificial surfaces, and they provide particularly excellent traction for the type of playing that takes place in indoor soccer.

Ultimately, the style of shoe that you will choose will be a combination of the type of upper material you prefer, with the cleat layout that feels best.

With that said, are some shoes better suited to certain positions?

Strikers will generally be concerned with speed and as such, a synthetic shoe may be best in these situations. Striking the ball cleanly and accurately is also important to strikers, so offset or covered laces are also a consideration.

Midfielders will do the most running of any position on the field, so comfort is a primary concern. A leather shoe with traditional round cleats will be most comfortable for the solid 90 minutes of running a midfielder is expected to put in each match.

Defenders will put their shoes through the most abuse, so something sturdy and durable is best. Synthetics will tend to last longer than leather shoes and some, like models from Under Armour, even provide protection to the foot. Defenders will also have to turn and pivot often as part of their role, so shoes with bladed cleats would be ideal.

Ultimately, the soccer shoes you decide on will be up to personal preference. Try on as many brands and styles as you can and, after ensuring they fit properly and feel comfortable when moving around, choose the pair that feels best.

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write by Muriel