Use our guide to choose cleats that are appropriate to your position and playing surface.
How To Buy Football Cleats
Whatever your position on the football field, there’s a football cleat to help you get the job done. Football cleats are made both for the position you play and the type of field where you play. Keep these two important factors in mind when you purchase your football footwear.
Football cleats come in three styles–or heights–to accommodate the varying needs of players by position. High-tops, and low-cut shoes are designed for a specific purpose, so choose the style that best suits your position and needs.
- High-tops extend up the ankle to provide extra support, especially for lateral movements
- Linemen benefit from this support because of the pressure put on their ankles by the numerous lateral movements during the course of a game
- A mid-cut shoe offers more support while still allowing maneuverability
- This style best fits the game of skill players- defensive backs, running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks
- Low-cuts are preferred by some players because they are lightweight
- The lower cut provides extra maneuverability to allow you to make quick cuts on the field
You have your choice between molded and detachable cleats. Most are designed exclusively for either grass or turf fields, so consider what types of fields you most commonly play on. If your games are played on both grass and turf, you can opt for a multipurpose cleat.
- These cleats are permanently attached to the outsole on the shoe’s bottom
- Turf shoes usually use molded rubber cleats to give you spring and traction on the harder turf surface
- Molded cleats are generally less expensive than shoes with detachable cleats
- Detachable cleats use studs that can be removed and replaced to fit field conditions on all types of grass–hard and dry or wet and sloppy
- Their versatility makes detachable cleats preferable if you primarily play on grass
- With a wrench and replacement cleats, you can easily customize your shoes
- You can choose shorter studs for a hard, dry surface and longer studs when you play on a wet, sloppy field
The shoe’s upper typically is made from either a leather or synthetic material.
- Leather breathes well, which helps keep your feet more comfortable, and is generally more flexible, a big plus in both comfort and function
- Leather is very durable
- Leather shoes are generally more expensive
- Usually less expensive than leather
- Synthetics won’t give you the breathability and durability of leather
- Most shoes use synthetic materials somewhere, especially to provide reinforcement or support in the forefoot, mid-foot and ankle
There are a number of cleat accessories to consider in order to protect your investment and to ensure the best performance.
- Buy some extra laces to avoid the frustration of trying to tie a broken lace together
- Consider applying protection to your shoes, especially leather. Mink oilconditions your leather so it’s softer and more comfortable and it also protects from rain, snow, sun, and keeps water out.
- If you buy a shoe with detachable cleats, buy replacement cleats in a variety of sizes and make sure you have a cleat wrench to remove and replace cleats
- Replacement cleats generally run in 1/2-, 5/8-, 3/4- and 1-inch sizes. Having all four sizes gives you more options for different field conditions.
Determine Your Cleat Size
- Determining your proper shoe size is essential to a comfortable fit for your football cleats
- Don’t assume your shoe size is the same as it always has been. The shape of your feet changes over time.