Every competitive sport is unique in its way. However, what often makes athletes stand out isn’t always their skill set or intelligence. Oftentimes, athletes perform well in the sport they practice when they adhere to basic instructions.
- It is possible to use AG soccer cleats on FG but it doesn’t offer the same grip as FG cleats
- The shape and material of the studs of soccer cleats often determines if they are suitable for a particular playing surface or not
- Using soccer cleats on surfaces they weren’t designed for is unsafe and potentially dangerous
Different gears are produced for athletes to wear based on the nature of the sport they practice. Such gears are skillfully designed not just to protect athletes from injury, but also to help them perform optimally in the playing arena.
Soccer is a global sport that is often played on multiple surfaces and arenas. It is a sport, loved and appreciated by billions of people across the globe.
The love for the game has led to its rapid expansion into other variants like beach soccer, futsal, street soccer, etc. But, with this expansion comes the need for a slightly different type of gears, especially the footwear.
There are different footwear designed by manufacturers to suit the different variants and surfaces on which soccer is played. Footwear choice is critical for every sport in the world and soccer isn’t an exception.
One question that soccer enthusiasts frequently ask is whether it is possible to use artificial ground (AG) soccer cleats for firm ground (FG). We will highlight the difference between the two and tell you if it is OK to use them interchangeably. Keep reading!
- Can You Use Indoor Soccer Shoes on Concrete?
- Can You Use Turf Soccer Shoes On Grass?
- Can You Use Soccer Cleats On Turf?
The easy answer to this question is that AG soccer cleats are built for artificial ground. They have sturdier and often hollow studs that absorb the heat genertate by the rubbing of the studs on the synthetic grass.
While it is not advisable to use FG cleats on AG, you can use AG cleats on FG fields. Their sturdier studs can take the beating of the natural grass.
On the other hand, if you use FG cleats on AG surfaces, their studs will degrade faster because they were not designed to handle the heat generated from the rubbing of the studs with the synthetic grass.
Therefore, when you use FG cleats on AG surfaces, you void their warranty. So, if your cleats get damaged in the process, you will be stuck with a broken pair of soccer cleats that cannot be returned. However, using AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces will not void their warranty.
Artificial ground cleats are created with features that make them suitable to use on AG surfaces. The first of such features you will notice is that they have more studs.
AG pitches are designed to emulate real grass pitches. However, instead of real grass, they are covered with artificial grass turf that often features rubber crumbs fillings.
Real grass pitches can’t be used all year round without demanding special care and effort—this is why AG pitches are important. Apart from being durable and supporting all-year-round usage, it can also absorb shock.
Firm ground surfaces are natural and unpredictable. With FG, you can only hope for the best while expecting the worst. Although firm ground surfaces are usually covered with grass, they can also get dry and hard due to weather changes.
AG cleats are specially designed to provide adequate grip on AstroTurf without ruining the turf. Some manufacturers create hollow studs to cushion the impact created when players run on AG surfaces.
Manufacturers now make more Multi-Ground (MG) cleats and fewer AG cleats due to the incessant demand by soccer players for a cleat that can work on both natural and artificial ground.
MG cleats can work perfectly on both FG and AG surfaces with designs looking similar to FG boots. They feature both bladed and circular studs at the same time for a unique kind of grip that enables players to switch between AG and FG fields without necessarily changing cleats.
It is possible to use AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces, but you have to deal with the reduced grip that it offer. The skillful design and layout of the molded studs on FG cleats are what makes them different from AG cleats.
While it is possible to use AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces, we shall list out and explain some of the reasons why it may not be a good idea.
Things to consider when using AG soccer cleats for FG:
The studs on the outsole of AG boots are often molded, round, and made of durable plastic. Their grip is perfect for 3G and 4G pitches but is not optimized for natural grass fields.
FG cleats are usually designed with a series of undetachable studs which can either be conical or bladed in shape so they can withstand hard FG surfaces.
AG cleats are not suitable for use on FG surfaces because they don’t have the usual hard TPU sole plate or the same length of studs as FG cleats.
The hollow studs on the outsoles of AG boots wouldn’t allow them to replicate on FG surfaces the same level of grip and lightweight feel they offer on turf. There is also the possibility that the hollow studs will be filled with soil and dirt and make your cleat heavier, especially when it rains on FG surfaces.
AG boots have more studs than FG cleats. However, their studs are usually shorter and less aggressive. Due to the reduced grip when you use AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces, there is a higher risk of slip and fall injuries.
AG soccer cleats when used on FG surfaces can’t provide stability, improve footing, or hug the ground properly. Therefore, a player may be forced to play with a higher degree of conciousness which will likely affect their performance.
Soccer players need their cleats to be as comfortable as possible so they would have other things to worry about on the pitch. FG fields aren’t as popular as AG fields which is why many soccer players aren’t familiar with playing soccer on them.
Artificial ground fields are more common in the U.S.A., from standard pitches to school grounds. This is why players might get confused about using AG cleats on FG.
The conical and hollow studs of AG cleats were designed to be less sticky than FG boots. While this will work on an AG pitch, it presents some problems on the FG pitch.
Firstly, the hollow conical studs can be filled with dirt and sand. Since there are more studs on the AG cleats, when all the studs are filled with dirt and sand, you will notice that the weight of your soccer cleat will increase significantly.
This can slow down your pace and make it harder for you to outrun your opponents. Also, that extra weight will put more pressure on your leg muscles which can increase the risk of muscle pull.
Nevertheless, the uppers of AG cleats are usually identical to FG cleats and will offer the same protection to your feet as FG cleats would.
Also, one of the issues that soccer players will encounter when they use FG cleats on the wrong surface (like concrete) is that they feel pressure points from the studs piercing under their feet, especially if the insoles are not properly padded.
It is less likely that you will feel the same type of pressure when using AG soccer cleats on the wrong surface because the pressure are more evenly distributed across the extensive studs.
Another reason why it is possible to use AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces is because they have more robust studs. Therefore, using AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces will not void their warranty unlike when you do the reverse.
The reason is that the manufacturers don’t think that using AG cleats on FG surfaces will cause any significant ruin to them. In other words, AG soccer cleats are just as durable as FG soccer cleats.
Yes, using AG soccer cleats on FG surfaces comes at a cost. It won’t take you long to realize that AG cleats don’t offer the same level of grip on the firm ground as you will get with FG cleats.
However, the risk of ruining your studs by using AG cleats on FG surfaces is really minimal. Experts suggest that if you play on both FG and AG surfaces and can only afford one pair of soccer cleats, you are safer with AG soccer cleats.
Using the right soccer cleats in playing soccer is critical for both young and mature soccer players. A player can hardly give their best on the soccer pitch if they are wearing a pair of soccer cleats that is not designed for the surface they are playing on.
The best thing about wearing the right pair of cleats is that they can hold up well without causing any complications. This allows you to dribble, tackle, run, and change directions easily on the pitch without the fear of ruining your cleats or getting injured.
Wearing the right cleats on the right surface also takes the pressure off your joints and distributes them in such a way that minimizes the risk of body pain.
Next time you go shopping for a new pair of soccer cleats, it would be nice to inspect them to know if they were designed for firm ground or artificial ground.
Using the right soccer cleats on the right surface will save you the pain of running to your physician or the sports store every now and then.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!