Many athletic and sports fields now use artificial grass instead of real grass. And while both of them look virtually similar, they are made from completely different materials and have widely dissimilar properties. Therefore, you might be wondering if you can wear shoes or soccer cleats on artificial grass.
Yes. Shoes and soccer cleats can be worn on artificial turf. However, since artificial and real grass differ, so do the shoes or cleats worn on artificial and real grass do. The shoes and cleats meant to be worn on synthetic turf are designed while keeping the properties of artificial grass in mind.
Soccer shoes or cleats are perhaps the most important gear required to play on artificial grass. The guide below details the right shoes and cleats to wear on artificial turf and what to consider before buying them.
Playing on Synthetic Turf
Soccer cleats worn to play on natural grass are very hard and meant to penetrate the ground. By doing so, the cleats get inside the surface of the ground and provide much-needed traction, preventing the players from slipping on the ground. This, however, is not the case when it comes to playing on synthetic turf.
Synthetic grass is made from plastic and its blades are very tough and durable. Moreover, just because artificial turf is primarily plastic, it does not mean that it is flat – it has its depth and is quite often dense. The surface of the grass is not permeable, which means that traditional cleats which penetrate the ground to provide good grip, are essentially useless on synthetic turf.
Apart from this, if you wear normal soccer shoes on artificial turf and accidentally make a quick, wrong turn on the grass, the shoes might get grabbed.
Therefore, not only will traditional soccer cleats fail to provide any traction on synthetic grass, they wouldn’t offer any support or comfort either. And more importantly, such cleats are usually banned on synthetic turf as they can wear down its surface.
What to Wear on Artificial Turf?
So what exactly makes these cleats or shoes different from the traditional ones?
For starters, the outsoles of turf soccer shoes are harder than those of normal shoes. Moreover, the treads on these shoes are much more aggressive and dense. These are also shallower than the studs used in normal sports shoes.
Furthermore, the grip is provided by the turf shoes holding onto the dense surface of the artificial grass, as opposed to the cleats permeating the surface in real grass.
For these reasons, turf shoes will work far better on artificial grass and offer more traction, comfort, safety, and support. Moreover, they will not cause any damage to the artificial grass either which is possible if traditional sports shoes are used on it.
Turf Soccer Cleats: Things to Consider
Consider these aspects of turf soccer cleats to ensure you buy the right cleats which are worth your money.
Turf soccer cleats come in different materials but the most common are genuine and synthetic leather. While cleats made from synthetic leather are also widely used, those made from genuine leather stretch very well, allowing them to snugly fit the shape of your feet. This improves the support and the comfort given to the feet.
Also, keep in mind that as you regularly use them, they will fit you better.
Apart from this, while genuine leather almost always proves to be the superior choice for cleats on artificial turf, if you are looking to buy them for your children, you might want to consider synthetic leather. This is because children quickly outgrow shoes or cleats and in such a case, faux leather, which costs less than genuine leather, would be a smarter option.
The fit of the cleats is inarguably the most important factor. If the cleats aren’t the right fit for you, it doesn’t matter how high their quality is or how many additional features they offer.
To test if the cleats are of the right size and fit, they should snuggly fit in the heel and the toe. This will keep your feet tightly yet comfortably in place inside the shoe and prevent it from slipping.
In addition to this, keep in mind that if the cleats fit too tightly or are too narrow for your feet, they will be uncomfortable to wear. Also, smaller cleats are not very likely to get locked into.
This is one of the prime factors to consider when buying turf soccer cleats. As the artificial grass is much harder than real grass, the cleats should have rubber nubs rather than sharp spikes. The goal should be to get maximum traction on the surface instead of the shoes digging into the surface of the ground.
Turf soccer cleats come in a wide variety of prices. Many people do not have any idea of the features in turf soccer cleats so they are willing to pay any price for these cleats. Moreover, due to the general misconception of ‘higher price, higher quality’, they think the more expensive ones are the better ones.
This is not always true. Therefore, you should carefully consider all the features of the turf soccer cleats and buy those which meet your needs instead of the most expensive option affordable.
With normal soccer shoes, you might need several different types of shoes to cater for different weather conditions since real grass is impacted by rain, overuse, and puddles, etc. Synthetic grass, on the other hand, can always be relied upon to be the same all the time as it is weather-proof. This means that the turf soccer shoes or cleats you buy can be used on any type of artificial turf, anytime.
Moreover, it would ensure your feet are safe, comfortable, and have a proper grip on the ground to enhance your athletic performance.