At SoccerPro.com, we field all sorts of questions about our cleats. Athletes are always looking for tips on what kind of boots might work best for their position, advice on how their cleats should fit, and information on the differences between brands.

On a more general level, some people wonder what exactly makes a soccer cleat a soccer cleat. Are all cleats the same? What is the difference between soccer and football cleats?

Our experts break down the differences between these two designs and help define the attributes that make soccer cleats so unique.

Soccer Cleats are Lightweight

For starters, all soccer cleats are relatively lightweight. It’s generally understood that lighter shoes will offer better agility, better speed, and may help reduce fatigue. This is really important in a soccer match when players are jogging or running for over 45 minutes at a time.

For football, some players like receivers and defensive backs might want the most lightweight and agile cleats available, but other positions might prefer a heavier shoe with more support.

Football Cleats have a Toe Stud

One of the most important differences between football and soccer cleats is that football cleats often have a toe spike. A spike near the big toe adds extra traction for when you’re blocking or pushing forward against a tackler, which is why it’s valuable to a football player. In soccer, a spike near the front toe could interfere with ball handling. Given the nature of the sport, it’s better to leave the toe spike off.

Soccer Cleats Feature a Natural Toe Feel

Unless you’re a punter or a kicker, toe feel and striking area response doesn’t really matter to a football player. Companies who manufacture soccer cleats put a good deal of effort into engineering toes and striking areas that feel natural and responsive. In addition to traction and a comfortable fit, it’s imperative that you get a consistent touch response when you lob a pass, fire a shot, or dribble the ball. For this reason, you are going to want to choose soccer cleats that fit snugly. With football cleats, it doesn’t really matter as much, and if you’re in between sizes, it’s probably fine to select a larger cleat if it’s more comfortable.

Football Cleats Come in High-Top and Mid-Rise Designs

Since soccer players value a lightweight feel and maximum agility, all soccer cleats are low cut. This allows the athlete’s ankle to move more freely. Football cleats come in three different designs: low cut cleats that are similar to tennis shoes or standard soccer cleats, mid-rise designs, and high-tops that are similar in shape to basketball shoes. The higher ankle means the cleat is heavier, but also provides more padding and ankle support.

Now you know what makes soccer boots so unique, it’s time to choose the right pair for you. Shop a large selection of soccer cleats from today’s’ top brands at SoccerPro.com.