The technical name for those helpful little nubs on the bottom of soccer cleats is “studs.” However, if you just referred to them as spikes, most people would know exactly what you’re talking about. Soccer studs can be made from a variety of materials, and are often arranged differently, depending on the manufacturer. Every company has a reason why their arrangement is the best, but the truth is, pretty much all top-of-the-line cleats – including the latest state-of-the-art Nike® soccer cleats® and adidas® soccer cleats® — provide amazing traction, as long as you use them on the surface they were designed for.

Know Your Studs

Studs can be made of plastic, hard rubber, or metal. Not all leagues allow metal spikes, so it’s best to check with the rules before you make a purchase. Studs can also be different shapes, including bladed, hard ground, and round. Though most cleats are designed for play on “firm ground” (a well-kept grass pitch under normal weather conditions), others are made for softer field conditions, or artificial surfaces. Think about the type of pitch you’ll be playing on when you make your purchase. Keep in mind that firm ground soccer shoes are ideal for the most common playing surfaces.

No matter what you call the spikes at the bottom of soccer cleats – Knobby knobs? Grass snaggers? Sole pegs? Traction friends? – you can generally rely on all of the top sports footwear brands to have designed their soccer shoes with grip on the pitch as an absolute top priority. From there, experience will tell you what feels best for you on your surface of choice.