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Can You Wear Metal Studs in Soccer? All You Need to Know

Can You Wear Metal Studs in Soccer? All You Need to Know

Are you browsing through the categories of soccer shoes to buy for your next match but can’t really make up your mind?

Happens to the best of us! Being a regular soccer player today doesn’t come free with a hefty price tag. You got the stylish design and ball control elements of indoor soccer shoes.

But they don’t really give you much of an advantage where the big games happen, the field.

Since most professional soccer matches happen around a 100 yards field of grass, it brings us to the grand question of footy. Can you wear metal studs in soccer? Simply put, yes!

Metal studded cleats are symbolic footwear for soccer and are still in use for international and league matches worldwide. However, most professional soccer players prefer plastic studs when playing soccer for their lighter and flexible frame.

But more on that later. Let’s first go over what conditions provoke a professional soccer player to wear metal studded shoes!

Can You Wear Metal Studs in Soccer?

Each field of play for soccer requires shoes with a different sole. For flat indoor surfaces, softer rubber soles with multidirectional patterns provide a solid grip. And for a synthetic turf court, plastic studded cleats with a comparatively rigid sole makes a great match.

On the contrary, metal studded cleats are best suited for soft, grassy, and wet fields (soft ground). The long metallic studs dig deeply into soft surfaces like mud, ice, and freshly watered grass to provide the grip you need when playing soccer.

And it is the same long metal studs that provide you more traction on a soft field that prove to be a danger to other players. The metal stud tips wear out with use and become sharp enough to bruise or cut another player during a tackle.

However, to make affairs safer, hybrid cleats feature a rigid plastic stud with a metal tip. Though they are lighter and more flexible than metal studs, hybrid studs still pose danger to other players as the metal tip can still cut, bruise, or graze on contact.

Coming back to the mechanics, you need traction to accelerate from zero and twist and turn in soccer. Moreso, you will often find your grounded foot in awkward positions when taking a shot.

And if you don’t have the right pair of soccer shoes for the field you’re playing on, you’ll end up with injuries from your ankle to the hip joint.

But as far as the question “Can you wear metal studs in soccer?” goes, the answer is simply yes! However, wearing metal studs in soccer is not allowed under the following two circumstances:

  • When the referee declares the metal studs on your shoes as dangerous or illegal.
  • If you cause an avoidable injury to another player from the metal studs on your shoes.

Are Metal Cleats Allowed in Soccer?

Coming over to the legal side of affairs. So far, we have settled on when you can wear metal studs in soccer and when you cannot.

Now, let’s see what the Federation International de Football Association, FIFA, has to say about it.

“The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorized or dangerous equipment or jewelry, the referee must order the player to either remove them, or leave the field of play at the next stoppage (if the player is unable or unwilling to comply). A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.”

As is evident, FIFA makes no exceptional case for metal cleats. And considering how the Laws of the Game put forward by FIFA are the soccer gospel around the world, we can say that metal cleats are allowed in soccer.

But when the metal studs on soccer shoes are pointy, sharp, or pose a threat of any sort to another player, they’re banned from the game.

And rightly so! Considering how soccer is no less than a duel where some nasty tackles are thrown by defenders, sharp and pointy studs can cause a serious injury to the tackled player.

However, most metal studs on soccer shoes are produced by renowned manufacturers of the sport like Nike, Adidas, etc. And since they’re the backbone sponsors for soccer, their products are usually up to par with the LOTG regulations by FIFA.

But if still a player manages to get his hands on a pair of illegal or dangerous metal studs, it won’t be long before the referee points it out.

1. Are You Allowed to Wear Metal Studs in Soccer in Australia?

While the rest of the world may still get to pick between flat soles or metal studs for soccer shoes, the AFL in Australia banned metal studs from playing in 2020.

The decision came after a gruesome tackle by Sam Wicks left a 20cm cut in Isaac Quaynor’s shin. The match in question, Sydney vs. Collingwood, led to the opening of a series of investigations regarding players’ safety.

Though Wicks was fortunate to dodge a match ban, he paved the way for a complete prohibition on metal stud shoes for soccer in Australia post-2020.

The 4.6th Apparel of the AFL states that no soccer shoes with “exposed metal stops,” “stops that are plastic,” or “any material that has sharp or pointed edges” shall be worn by the players.

Further assuring the safety of soccer players, the General Manager of Football Operations, Steve Hocking, says that “it is the responsibility of clubs and players” to make sure their shoes are compliant with AFL regulations.

2. Are Metal Cleats Allowed in the Premier League?

FIFA is the highest executive governing body of soccer around the world. The Laws of the Game (LOTG) put forward by the federation are welcomed and accepted in leagues globally. And the English prodigy, the Premier League, is no different.

FIFA outlines only that “a player must not use equipment or wear anything dangerous” after stating that footwear is “compulsory” equipment. These clearly portray how the soccer governing body places no ban on metal cleats.

So, metal cleats are allowed in the Premier League and can be worn by professional players.

Do Professional Soccer Players Wear Metal Cleats?

Having the right equipment means everything in a soccer match. But no equipment improves your style of play, control, sudden movement, and speed as the boots do.

Manufacturers have poured a ridiculous amount of money into producing high-performance footwear for the various pitches of soccer. But metal cleats yet have to find a competitor when it comes to soft and wet grounds.

Professional players commonly wear metal cleats in matches on soft and wet grounds. The metal studs dig in just the right amount to provide traction and are not too deep to dig in.

In turn, this gives you excessive control when accelerating from a dead stop. And not to forget the sudden turns and planting the foot when taking a shot.

The difference may not be much to a rookie, but the smallest changes bring the biggest surprises for a professional.

However, an increasing number of pro players now prefer to use plastic studs or hybrid cleats for soccer. The lighter design and slight flexibility give a player even more control over the pitch.

But where plastic and hybrid cleats make up for utility, they fall short in durability. Metal cleats are the most durable type of soccer shoes and the hall of famers that are still in play.

Despite the valued criticism, many GOATs of the game still wear metal cleats when playing in slippery conditions.

Why Are Metal Studs Banned?

Metal cleats often have a layer of sharp studs, which are also known as “blades.” One particular example of these shoes is the Nike Vapor VIII. The exaggeratingly spiked studs on these shoes attracted quite a bit of attention since Rooney’s traumatic injury in a match against Fulham in August 2012.

Fulham’s player, Rodellga’s shoes slashed a 6-inch wide cut on Wayne Rooney’s quad. And the scarring injury had Manchester’s star player sent off for weeks for recovery.

Another similar incident occurred in the Sydney vs. Collingwood match where another player was benched for weeks from an injury incurred by metal studs.

Many unfortunate others have missed some gameweeks or potentially lost their career to aggressive metal studs.

And to avoid situations like these, FIFA and smaller soccer governing bodies have banned metal studs that are sharp, point, or dangerous to other players.


Summing it all up for “can you wear metal studs in soccer” is to say, yes! You are allowed to wear metal cleats to any soccer match playing worldwide. The only exception is the Australian Football League, where a devastating tackle made room for a new rule banning metal studs.

Other than that, there is no restriction over professional players on wearing any boots they may like. As long as the safety of other players is held in regard, metal, plastic, or hybrid cleats are all part of the equipment.