SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (2023)

SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (1)

Soccer cleats are an essential part of playing the sport, so it makes a lot of sense for people to invest in the right option. There are a few choices out there in style, but getting the right fit for a surface matters as well.

The two most common options are SG and FG soccer cleats. What are the differences between the two? Although they might seem very similar at first, it is crucial to get a pair for that specific surface.

What’s the difference between SG and FG soccer cleats? The differences between SG and FG soccer cleats mainly comes down to the stud patterns. FG soccer cleats are designed to provide traction on natural grass fields, while the stud patterns on SG soccer cleats are longer for added traction on wet and muddy fields.

Defining SG & FG Soccer Cleats

  • SG=Soft Ground
  • FG=Firm Ground

Before getting started, it is important to know the differences between SG and FG. SG stands for soft ground soccer cleats, and these are usually reserved for pretty well taken care of soccer pitches around the world. Soccer cleats will penetrate the ground a little bit more compared to firmer ground, which is why it is vital to have the style of cleat.

For FG, which stands for firm ground, players on natural grass fields with a harder base and a drier surface overall will benefit the most. Cleats do not have to penetrate the ground since it is a firm surface, so the cleats need to be placed and shaped differently.

There is no guessing game with figuring out soccer cleats. Manufacturers will make sure that everything is properly labeled for the shopper on the box. Since virtually any player at one point will play on firm ground, those who are not sure should begin with a pair of these cleats.

What Do Most Players Use?

SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (2)

The more casual option is FG soccer cleats, since that is where amateurs are likely going to play their games. It is usually a matter of money more than anything, as it is much easier to maintain a natural grass surface that is a bit firmer than a soft ground pitch.

For a soft ground field to be used consistently, people must regularly maintain the field daily. Most places simply do not have that type of budget to put that amount of work in consistently.

As a player moves up in levels, they will likely come across more and more SG playing opportunities. Professional teams play on pretty soft ground overall, and even some college teams will have very well-manicured fields. As long as teams are willing to allow for SG cleats, most players will opt for them.

The Advantages of FG Soccer Cleats

SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (3)
  • Works better on other surfaces
  • Usually cheaper

Since firm ground soccer fields are much more prevalent than soft ground soccer fields at the amateur level, most people will purchase their first cleats in FG soleplate style. They are the more versatile than two, and they will be just fine on multiple surfaces as well.

They can be used on firm ground, soft ground, and even some longer artificial grass options. If the ground is too soft, it might be putting a player at a bit of a disadvantage, but most people will still be fine for the most part.

FG cleats are also a little easier to find in shops and online, giving people an advantage when hunting for a good deal. That usually drives prices down a little bit more, which is a great thing for people to deal with as well. All the top brands have multiple options for FG cleats, so they do not have to settle for anything in particular.

Finally, since the cleats are plastic instead of metal, it is a little bit safer to play with FG soccer cleats. Both cleats are relatively safe since they are not all that sharp, but the FG options have a lower chance of breaking an opponent’s skin or causing a significant injury.

Here’s my up-to-date FG soccer cleat recommendations.

The Advantages of SG Soccer Cleats

SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (4)
  • Traction
  • Works better on wet & muddy fields

Players who end up playing a lot of soccer are probably going to invest in SG soccer cleats at some point. Not only are they great for those well-manicured fields that have a little bit of give to them, but they also come in handy in a totally different situation.

If the field is very soft and muddy after a rain, soft ground cleats give players a little bit more traction overall. They can be much more aggressive with their cuts and still feel like they are going where they want to.

It is a little bit of an expense, but having that extra pair around will undoubtedly come in handy at one point or another. The firm ground cleats will be worn more consistently, but soft ground cleats can undoubtedly bring some value to the table.

Are There Any Differences In Durability & Weight?

SG and FG soccer cleats are designed basically the same, with the only difference coming down to the actual cleats being used.

Since FG soccer cleats use a plastic for their cleats in most scenarios, and SG boots use metal studs, they will be slightly heavier. It is not going to be that noticeable at all, as even people holding both simultaneously will find it hard to notice too much of a difference.

The cleats designed for firm ground also tend to last slightly longer, simply because they are not dealing with the toughest elements. Since many people wear soft cleats when they are playing in less than ideal conditions, they can start to show their age a little bit more quickly.

Other than that, both cleats have the exact same uppers and other technology hidden within the shoe.

Are These Cleats Capable of Being Used on Turf & Indoor?

SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? (5)

Players should avoid cleats of any kind on these flatter surfaces. Not only will places have signs that say that they are not allowed by any means, but it could also be a health risk for players.

If there is no give to the surface for the cleats to sink into, there is a chance of causing injury while moving around. It also provides no additional benefits to traction whatsoever. In fact, players would end up slipping around much more than with other options.

There are specific shoes designed to give a little bit of traction for turf while largely mimicking what a cleat should look like. They still have the design on the upper like a normal soccer cleat, but there is not nearly the same amount of length as on FG and SG cleats.

Indoor shoes largely look like shoes made for tennis or basketball in many ways, at least on the sole. Again, these indoor surfaces are much harder, and they do not allow for a cleat to sink into the ground.

The good news is that the sport’s popularity has made shopping for footwear so much easier than ever before when playing any type of soccer. There is no reason to buy shoes not made for tennis, as the top companies also have indoor, street, turf, and more options.

For turf and indoor check out one of these posts instead:

  • Best Turf Soccer Cleats
  • Best Indoor Soccer Shoes

Final Tips on Finding The Right Soccer Cleats

Figuring out what type of surface players will use the cleat is just one of the first steps to making a quality purchase. There also needs to be considerations such as brand, color, fit, durability, and more.

A lot of choices can seem overwhelming at first, but shoppers usually tend to gravitate towards something as they keep looking. Having at least a pair of dependable soccer cleats can help players move confidently around the pitch and control all aspects of the game as much as possible. Having solid, dependable footwork is the base of any great player.

Most companies do a great job of providing options at different price points so that all levels of players can find what they need.

Keep in mind that the cheapest options are almost always built for FG, simply because those are the most versatile. Most SG cleats tend to be a little more expensive in general, but they are roughly the same price as the same FG cleats styled similarly.

All in all, a great pair of cleats will do a lot for a player’s confidence on the pitch. Faster movement will lead to better overall performance.


SG vs FG Soccer Cleats: What Are The Differences? ›

If you could only choose one, we recommend going with a FG football boot, as it will give you heaps of versatility across different surfaces and pitches. You will be able to rip it and grip it all the way to a win.

Are FG or SG boots better? ›

If you could only choose one, we recommend going with a FG football boot, as it will give you heaps of versatility across different surfaces and pitches. You will be able to rip it and grip it all the way to a win.

Can you play with SG studs on FG? ›

But why can't I just play with my FG, or SG-Pro boots on artificial grass? The answer is actually fairly simple: These two stud-configurations aren't geared to perform on the material that artificial grass is made of.

What does FG mean for soccer cleats? ›

Firm Ground (natural grass)... You'll Need Firm Ground Soccer Cleats (also known as FG) You'll need what many think of as the “classic soccer cleat,” the firm ground or molded cleat. Generally, they have a series of non-removable PU/TPU/rubber studs that are either bladed or conical in shape.

Is it OK to use FG cleats on turf? ›

Firm Ground cleats have a series of non-removable studs that are either bladed or conical in shape. Firm Ground cleats should never be used on Turf because the hard TPU sole plate and longer studs can cause injury to your feet. Multi-Ground boots are designed to withstand use on both Natural Grass and Artificial Grass.

Can FG boots be used on concrete? ›

As previously touched on, wearing any form of football boots on concrete is a complete no-no. Whether it's soft ground studs, firm ground moulds or artificial ground boots, any of these choices will cause your kids major problems in the form of potential short-term and long-term injuries.

Can we use FG boots on hard ground? ›

Firm ground boots are the most common type and work best in dry, hard natural grass surfaces. They can also be played on artificial grass as long as the boots have an FG/AG rating.

Can you wear FG boots on Astroturf? ›

Can I wear FG boots on artificial grass ? Most of us have probably made this mistake without even knowing that it's actually really dangerous to do. The thing is, FG boots have too much grip to play safely on AG pitches. FG studs are longer and often have a bladed pattern which is especially risky for your body.

Can you replace SG studs for FG studs? ›

Now you finally have the opportunity to switch your SG studs for FG studs. You can do just that with this stud configuration from Uhlsport. The stud set consists of 8 x 13 mm and 4 x 16mm studs. The 13 mm studs are for the forefoot, and the 16 mm studs are for the heel area.

What are FG studs for? ›

FG: Firm-Ground Football Boots

FG Boots, also know as "Firm Ground Football Boots " are used on natural grass pitches when the ground is somewhere in between hard and wet. These are the most popular choice amongst and commonly called football studs in our country.

What are SG Pro cleats for? ›

Soft Ground is used to describe natural grass surfaces that are wet and muddy and require the most aggressive traction. Cleats made for soft ground (SG) have removable, replaceable screw-in studs and typically come in a six-stud configuration (4 at the forefoot, 2 slightly longer at the heel).

What kind of soccer cleats should I get? ›

If you're primarily playing indoor soccer opt for a cleat that has a flat rubber sole. It will give you the proper traction on the floor's surface. If playing outside or on artificial turf opt for the cleats that have studs on the base of the sole to dig into the turf for appropriate traction, balance, and stability.

Can you wear turf cleats on grass? ›

While turf shoes might also work well on grass, you may want to avoid wearing them on other hard outdoor surfaces. Being mostly rubber, you'll likely wear out the small rubber spikes faster, making them not work as well when you're back playing on turf.

What happens if you use SG cleats on turf? ›

In contrast to FG cleats, this an outsole made to be used only in soft ground surfaces and can be dangerous to use in another surface as you run the risk of getting a serious injury. ABSOLUTELY BY NO MEANS USE SG CLEATS ON ARTIFICIAL GRASS.

Can you wear SG boots on astroturf? ›

Suitable for: Dry, hard or slightly wet natural grass pitches. Most modern designs can also be worn on 3G and 4G artificial grass pitches (although we don't recommend it) - just look out for “FG/AG” in the product description.

What cleats should I get if I play on turf? ›

For most artificial turf fields, a traditional pair of hard surface cleats will be acceptable to wear, but investing in a pair of synthetic field cleats is a good idea if you'll be playing on artificial turf regularly.

Is it bad to walk on pavement with cleats? ›

Work them hard, but please do not walk on concrete in your cleats. This will damage the studs and will make them less effective. Also, since they don't provide any grip on concrete, you're more likely to slip and fall. So stay safe, and change out of your cleats if you need to walk across an area of concrete.

Why do concrete guys wear white boots? ›

Speaking of safety white boots are easier to spot on the open ocean or bodies of water. Also if you hunt at night being able to distinguish where your foot ends is paramount to keeping all of your toes out of the blast area of the gun.

What boots are best for hard ground? ›

Firm-ground (FG) and Astroturf boots can also be worn, but for the best performance and stability, the most suitable option is artificial grass football boots. Boots with a plastic soleplate or moulded studs are recommended.

What does SG mean in football boots? ›

SG (Soft Ground) Natural soft terrains

This makes them to completely pierce through the terrain. This way, even though the studs get the traction, we support ourselves with the outsole. There are two types: Conical studs: It is the traditional cue, it guarantees traction in any direction the player takes.

What does HG mean in soccer? ›

HG (Hard Ground) Earth or synthetic abrasive terrains

Soles with studs for hard terrains are made with materials that are more resistant to abrasion.

What boots to wear on Astroturf? ›

Boots with moulded circular multi-studs are the recommended footwear for competitive training and matches on all 3G surfaces Astro or 4G Artificial Grass training shoes with a dimpled sole are also recommended. Training shoes with a completely flat sole are not preferred but can be used in emergencies.

Can you change FG to SG? ›

Threaded inserts are installed inside the boot on top of the holes on the sole board. With the inserts in place, the metal studs can simply be screwed-in with an aid of a stud wrench. And there you have it, your former firm ground (FG) boot is now a softground (SG) pair!

What type of studs does Messi wear? ›

So it couldn't be more apt that the player has been donning his signature X Speedportal cleats, celebrating 35 years of the GOAT and drawing inspiration from some of the most iconic adidas silhouettes Messi has worn.

What is the difference between soft ground and firm ground? ›

If you play on firm surfaces like grass, hard ground or artificial surfaces then you'll need to wear firm ground (FG) cleats. On the other hand, if you prefer playing on wet, soft or muddy grounds then soft ground (SG) cleats should be your go-to option.

Which studs are better? ›

Blade studs are larger than conical studs, and provide more surface area. The idea behind the shape of the studs is that they can more evenly distribute the weight of your body. This should also lead to more efficient power generation when accelerating. Blade studs also provide more traction than conical studs.

What is the difference between cleats and studs? ›

The molded cleats tend to provide better traction on artificial surfaces, whereas detachable studs on cleats tend to be too thick for artificial turf and do not provide adequate grip on such a surface.

Can you wear studs on hard ground? ›

For starters, unless the AG surface you're playing on is of a high quality, a stud that can give you enough grip in a softer firm ground surface is going to give you too much grip on a harder AG surface which could cause injuries.

What type of cleats are better? ›

Softball Cleats

They provide the best traction on grass outfields and dirt infields. Molded plastic softball cleats can also be worn on most surfaces and are best for soft or muddy conditions. They also offer more longevity as they do not wear down like metal cleats tend to do.

What does FG SG and AG mean? ›

Firm Ground (FG), Soft Ground (SG) and Artificial Ground (AG) football boots – Know Your Sole. We discuss using the right soleplates for your playing ground.

What are the three types of cleats? ›

There are three different types of cleats that are available: Firm Ground (FG) cleats, Soft Ground (SG) cleats and Artificial Ground (AG) cleats. They differ based on the length of the cleat and the grip and traction needed for a what every surface your player is using.

Which soccer cleats are best for beginners? ›

Best Soccer Cleats for Kids
  • New Balance Kids' TEKELA v3 Magique FG Soccer Cleats.
  • PUMA Kids' Ultra 4.3 FG Soccer Cleats.
  • New Balance Kids' Furon v6+ Dispatch FG Soccer Cleats.
  • Nike Kids' Phantom GT Academy Dynamic Fit FG Soccer Cleats.
  • Nike Kids' Tiempo Legend 9 Academy FG Soccer Cleats.

What's the difference in cleats for grass or turf? ›

A cleat has long, sometimes metal studs to really dig into the surface in order to provide grip and traction. A turf shoe on the other hand, has a rubber sole with smaller studs or nubs that provide a specific amount of traction optimized for artificial grounds such as turf.

Do turf cleats make a difference? ›

The outsole of the shoe is what makes turf and grass cleats different. The purpose of the outsole is to adapt to various surface conditions. Since turf's conditions are generally consistent, turf cleats do not have significant gripping elements.

Are turf cleats worth it soccer? ›

As a result, turf soccer shoes are much more effective on artificial grass than normal soccer cleats. Also, because they are designed to interact uniformly with the turf surface, turf soccer cleats are much more comfortable to wear on surfaces that are made of artificial grass.

What are SG boots used for? ›

SG - Soft Ground Football Boots

These are metal-studded football boots that must be used on soft and wet natural grass pitches only.

Should I buy AG or FG boots? ›

Artificial grass (AG) football boots are the most suitable choice for playing on 3G pitches. Firm-ground (FG) and Astroturf boots can also be worn, but for the best performance and stability, the most suitable option is artificial grass football boots.

Can you wear FG on grass? ›

When playing on grass, firm ground boots will be absolutely fine most of the time. However, when the pitch is particularly wet or muddy, you'll need to make sure you're equipped with a pair of soft ground boots instead.

Can you wear AG cleats on grass? ›

While FG boots are not suitable for artificial grounds, AG boots can be used on the natural grass.

Can you wear FG boots on astroturf? ›

Can I wear FG boots on artificial grass ? Most of us have probably made this mistake without even knowing that it's actually really dangerous to do. The thing is, FG boots have too much grip to play safely on AG pitches. FG studs are longer and often have a bladed pattern which is especially risky for your body.

Are Astro turf boots OK on grass? ›

Don't use on:

Grass – like with artificial grass boots, astroturf trainers don't have the grip for grass. While they can be used indoors, they're not ideal as they don't quite have the grip to compete with an indoor trainer.

Is it better to wear cleats or turf shoes on turf? ›

You are perfectly capable of using either or on every surface. However, if you want to be sure to always be equipped to perform at your highest potential while being able to protect your body, we highly recommend having a pair of turf shoes for artificial surfaces and a pair of cleats for natural grass.

What's the difference between Astro turf and artificial grass? ›

What's the Difference Between Artificial Grass and Astro Turf? Put simply, Astro Turf is the name of an American subsidiary that started producing artificial turf for playing surfaces in 1960. Artificial grass, on the other hand, is an umbrella term for all kinds of fake grass or artificial turf.


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