Can You Play Soccer Without Cleats? Here’s The Truth.

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Soccer is an awesome sport that can be played almost anywhere with a few friends and a ball. But one question remains, can you play soccer without cleats??

Dear friends, the answer is yes and no.

Your footwear choice should depend on the surface that you’re playing on.

Let’s talk about what type of shoe is best for different types of surfaces, what happens if you don’t wear soccer cleats, and why wearing them can be beneficial.

Can you play soccer without cleats?

If you’ve ever wondered whether soccer cleats are necessary for playing soccer, the answer is both yes and no.

Yes, if you want the ultimate soccer experience with all its thrills and spills!

No, if you plan on playing on a grassy surface or hard surfaces like concrete, as long as your footwear provides enough grip and traction to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Let’s break down what type of soccer cleat is best for each surface and why. 

Types of footwear by soccer surface.

Grass Surfaces

The most popular surface for soccer games are grass fields. When it comes to shoes for grass surfaces, the right choice is cleats with studs or blades, which help increase traction on wet grass and mud.

There are two types of soccer cleat for grass surfaces – Firm Ground and Soft Ground boots.

Firm Ground (FG) cleats are designed for hard, natural surfaces like grass and dirt, while Soft Ground (SG) boots are optimized for wet, muddy fields. Both offer good grip on grass but SG offers a better grip in wetter conditions.

They also provide stability when running around the field in all directions.

Wearing regular shoes while playing on grass can cause slipping and poor performance due to lack of grip and ankle support.

Artificial Turf Surfaces

When it comes to artificial turf surfaces, the best choice would be turf shoes as they have small rubber studs that provide better traction than regular shoes but aren’t as aggressive as cleats.

Turf shoes (TF) are designed for artificial turf rather than natural grass so they ensure superior cushioning and protection against hard surfaces like concrete or gym floors.

If you’re playing on artificial ground like a 3G or 4G pitch, you’ll need AG boots or multi ground (MG) boots. These have shorter, non-removable studs or blades that help you grip the surface better.

Hard Surfaces (Concrete/Gym Floors)

If you’re planning on playing on concrete or gym floors, flat-soled indoor soccer shoes are your best bet.

They provide excellent grip across all flat surfaces while also being lightweight enough to allow agility during the game.

Also, because concrete and gym floors tend to be harder than other surfaces, having a sole that provides some cushioning will help protect your feet against any potential injuries during gameplay.

Can you play soccer without cleats infographic: Benefits Of Wearing Soccer Cleats

Improved performance due increased traction

Decreased risk of injury due greater ankle support


Enhanced breathability

Better fit

Increased durability

Protection from hard ground impacts

Improved ball control

Lighter weight soles

Added flexibility

Plus they look cool too!

What Happens if You Don’t Wear Soccer Cleats?

Not wearing proper footwear can lead to injury due to loss of balance or lack of grip on certain surfaces.

Depending on what type of surface you’re playing on (e.g., grass), not having proper footing can affect your performance since it limits your ability to make quick turns or abrupt stops without slipping or losing balance—both key elements needed in order to succeed in soccer!

Not having appropriate footwear may cause discomfort as well as increase fatigue during longer games since regular sneakers don’t offer adequate cushioning, grip or breathability like soccer cleats do!  

Plus, that soccer ball is hard on your feet! Trainers or sneakers don’t have the protection like soccer cleats do.

Watch and learn: Running shoes vs soccer cleats

Here’s a great video that compares the difference between normal running shoes and soccer shoes over 3 challenges!

Why wear soccer cleats?

Soccer cleats are designed to provide traction on grassy fields, which is especially important when making sharp turns or sudden stops.

They also help with balance and stability so you’re less likely to slip or fall when running after the ball.

The laces and extra padding on them help keep your feet comfortable and secure in the shoe.

And soccer cleats are designed with specific studs that give you more grip on the ground which will make it easier for you to accelerate quickly and change direction quickly during a game. 

So really, why wouldn’t you wear them?

The final score.

Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out in soccer, having the right footwear will make a world of difference when it comes to performance and safety during your games!

From cleats for natural grass fields to indoor shoes for hard surfaces like concrete or gym floors – there is a specific type of shoe designed for each surface type. And gender too – did you know men’s soccer cleats are different to women’s? So always make sure you choose wisely!

Wearing soccer cleats not only helps improve your performance but can also protect your feet from any potential injuries by providing extra cushioning throughout the game! Now get out there and kick off!

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...