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Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Football?

Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Football?

Most times, you must have thought of the fact that football cleats and soccer cleats look similar with few differences. And that might have led you to think about the possibility of playing football with soccer cleats.

Both instances are common when you own a soccer cleat and not a football cleat.

You might have also wondered how great is the difference between cleats. In the course of this article, we will provide valuable answers and information to your questions.

A simple answer to the above question is that soccer cleats can be used for football. This is because, during a football game, referees usually allow players to wear soccer cleats.

The reason for this is that soccer cleats also abide by the rules and regulations of football. However, players using football cleats to play soccer are not allowed by the referee.

An interesting aspect of cleats is that cleats provide foot stability, as the athlete runs on soft grounds or through the rain.

However, there are significant differences between soccer cleats and football cleats, just like there are differences between soccer cleats and baseball cleats.

Can you use soccer cleats for football?

Football is a shorter game compared to soccer played on a smaller field. Though both games have the same aim, soccer and football are different in the way each team achieves its goals.

Now, quickly for the sake of clarity and before we start, when you see the word “football” in this article, we refer to the sport known as American Football and not the common term used worldwide as an alternative for soccer.

To answer the question of whether soccer cleats can be used for football, we have to first know what the rules of the National Football League (NFL) entail.

As a football player, you have to understand the rules and regulations of football.

National Football League rules of soccer cleats talk about shoes in Article 3, item 7, and it states that shoes must be of standard football design, including sneaker types of shoes such as cross-training shoes, basketball shoes, and more.

football players wearing cleats

Article 3, item 5 talks about improper cleats. This paragraph states that the following are prohibited; shoes made of aluminum or any material that might develop a cutting edge, fracture, or chip.

Conical cleats with concave points or sides that measure less than ⅜-inch in diameter at the tips, or cleats having oblong ends that lease less than ¾ by ¼ inch at the end of the tip.

It also states that nylon cleats having flat steel tips are permitted. Therefore, the above rule answers the question of using soccer cleats for football.

Football rules allow for a player to make use of soccer cleats. And the rule does not restrict a player to wearing only a single type of cleat against others. Instead, as long as the cleat complies with the rules, the player can wear the cleat.

Soccer cleats comply with football rules. Therefore, it is right for a football player to wear soccer cleats. There have been various instances where football players wore soccer cleats.

We can conclude from the above that, yes, even with the similarities, players can use soccer cleats for football.

Though there are few differences between soccer cleats and football cleats, we can be sure that football players are safe when they wear soccer cleats on the pitch.

From matches in football, kickers and punters make use of soccer cleats because of the shape of their cleats; it helps them kick the ball well.

Other instances have been seen of wide receivers strictly wearing soccer cleats. However, wearing soccer cleats in football has not in any way impeded the game of football.

You might wonder if there is a good position in football for a player to wear soccer cleats. For football kickers, soccer cleats are perfect.

football player kicks the football

Soccer usually involves regularly using the feet to kick the ball since they are designed to help a player’s ability to kick the ball. This will help the kicker with an advantage over when he wears football cleats.

However, for linesmen of any kind, wearing football boots is the norm. This is so because football cleats protect the player’s toes, ensuring the toes cannot be broken by the foot.

Though most soccer cleats have narrow cleats, some experts still recommend that quarterbacks wear them. However, the choice to wear them ultimately comes down to personal preferences.

Some quarterbacks do usually find out that the position is better played with football cleats than soccer cleats.

Such cleats usually give great stability and more traction as the feet are planted, or the player cuts to change the direction.

For corners or wide receivers, soccer cleats are not bad, and equally, football cleats would still get the job done.

Therefore, soccer cleats are not bad for football players to wear, but soccer cleats do not apply to every position.

Soccer cleats do not offer enough traction for quarterbacks and also do not provide enough protection for the linebacker.

Are soccer cleats the same as football cleats?

Most people wonder if soccer cleats are the same as football cleats, or what are the differences between soccer cleats and football cleats. Keep reading as these questions will be answered shortly.

Soccer and football are two completely different sports though the same name sometimes refers to them.

The style of the game, and how great the stop and start force is put into the cleat changes between the two sports.

Soccer cleats and football cleats are the same because of the difference in ankle stability and spike position.

football cleats vs soccer cleats

From unbelievable catches to split-second decisions and big tackles to long runs, football players have to be ready for anything when they are out on the field and also their cleats.

There are distinctive features of football cleats that sets them apart from other types of sports.

An important difference between soccer cleats and football cleats is that football cleats usually have a toe spike.

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The spike, which is close to the big toe, gives extra traction when pushing or blocking a tackler. This is why it is very valuable for a football player.

In soccer, the spike is close to the front toe, and therefore it can affect the handling of the ball. Based on the nature of the sport, the toe spike should be left off. 

The toe-feel and striking response usually do not matter to a football player unless he is a kicker or punter.

Manufacturers of soccer cleats have put a great deal of effort into engineering striking areas and toes that feel responsive and natural.

Apart from the comfortable fit and traction players get, they also get a consistent touch response when a pass is lobbed, dribbling the ball, or shooting a shot.

Therefore it is imperative that a player owns a soccer cleat that fits perfectly.

On the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily matter for football cleats because it is fine to choose any size as long as it is comfortable.

A football player want to kick the ball

Soccer cleats are low cut because soccer values maximum agility and a lightweight feel.

The lightweight feature allows the player’s ankle to move freely. Football cleats are usually in three different designs: low-cut cleats, which are similar to standard soccer cleats or tennis shoes mid-rise designs, and high tops, which are similar to basketball shoes in shape.

The ankle is usually higher because the cleat is heavier, and it also gives more padding and ankle support.

Are soccer cleats lighter than football cleats?

All soccer cleats are usually lightweight because lighter shoes offer faster speed and better agility and also help in reducing fatigue.

Using a light soccer cleat is very important in a soccer match where players often run or jog for more than 45 minutes.

Soccer cleats are made with polyurethane or rubber outsoles to make them durable and lighter.

The upper part of a soccer cleat could be leather or synthetic. Also, soccer cleats do not have midsoles because soccer cleats have to keep the feet of the player and the player’s center of gravity low to the ground.

In football, players like defensive backs and recovers might make use of agile or lightweight cleats that are available, while other positions would prefer to make use of heavier shoes having more support.

Football cleats soles usually have heavier constructions or thicker outsoles.

They also come in leather or synthetic materials. A majority of soccer cleats have outsoles that are equipped with removable aluminum cleat caps, while football cleats come in molded and removable varieties.

Detachable cleats are made of metal, hard plastic, or runner. And they often come in different lengths for use on different types of playing surfaces.

Why do football players wear soccer cleats?

There are various reasons why football players wear soccer cleats. However, a major reason is that soccer cleats’ main purpose is to provide traction as the player runs.

You can only accomplish traction by using soccer cleats except with indoor soccer shoes, which make use of textured rubber soles.

football players in a match

The bottom of soccer cleats is usually evenly spaced and further spaced apart than other cleats. This spacing prevents grass and dirt from being trapped in between the cleats.

It also allows the player’s feet to grip the ground without being slowed down. Soccer requires quick turns and light feet, and some football positions, making it a significant benefit for football players.

Soccer cleats are low-profile cleats. This means that the upper part of soccer cleats is cut low around the corner because soccer players need to be able to change directions and be agile, also like some positions in football.

This low profile allows a full range of motion in the ankle. In addition, the low-cut nature of soccer cleats appeals to most footballers.

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It is very important that a player’s shoe is comfortable and fits properly while he plays. If a player’s shoes are too large, it could lead to blisters, and if the shoes are too small, the toes could be squeezed.

The player would have to put on thicker socks before trying the shoes to make sure that he gets the right fit.

The upper leather is usually tight enough, and it provides support for the foot and keeps the foot from moving inside the shoe.

Soccer shoes are not usually too tight and constricting or tight on the feet. This is another reason some football players wear soccer cleats.

Do NFL kickers wear soccer cleats?

A simple answer to this question is yes. For example, sometimes NFL kickers wear soccer cleats. In addition, some punters and kickers occasionally prefer a more stable football shoe with good ankle support for their feet.

The plant foot is the foot that the player lands before he kicks the ball.

Another reason is that sometimes the field condition would not be favorable to make use of a soccer cleat that usually has smaller spikes on the bottom.

Some punters and kickers make use of screws in football cleats for their plant shoes.

Sometimes they even wear different plant feet because of weak shins, ankle injuries, or even to compensate for a flaw in their form that puts them off balance.

a football player holds football

If a football player wants to deliver a good punt or a kick, he has to have control. The aim is to make contact with the ball consistently over as much surface area as possible.

Cleats made for soccer are usually not as effective as soft leather shoes, which fit the player’s foot.

A good kicking shoe is a soccer shoe that is made out of high-quality leather (usually kangaroo leather), and it usually has to be one or two sizes smaller than the normal shoe size.

When the shoe is too tight, movement can be hindered, and there would be no space between the player’s shoe and the toes.

The contact area of the shoe should only have leather and lace without rational folded over tongues, covers, or straps.

Football players usually have different types of shoes on hand when kicking in snow or rain, depending on the type of surface.

Natural grass usually loosens in wet weather and could cause poor footing. Therefore, most football kickers usually make use of shoes that have detachable cleats.

With such cleats, the player can change the length to suit the condition of the ground.

When kicking in the artificial turf in the rain, turf shoes can be used since they have small rubber nubs and usually look like sneakers. In addition, such shoes usually have good traction on firm-level grounds.

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When the player is to kick in the snow, shoes usually depend on the type of snow. If the snow is loose or powdery, players usually make use of shoes having the longest cleat possible.

When in frozen snow, football turf shoes also provide the traction that players need for icy surfaces.


Football is a type of sport that needs strength and doors, and football cleats are also designed to show this. However, in some specific football positions, wearing cleats can be an advantage.

Football officials usually allow football players to wear soccer cleats in football games.

However, the player needs to assess the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a soccer cleat based on the player’s position or where the player intends to play.