Soccer isn’t always played on the same field. As a result, soccer cleat manufacturers create soleplates with a different stud pattern and construction depending on the pitch style on which soccer is played. Soccer cleats are classified into the following categories:
- Cleats for Firm Ground (FG)
- Cleats for Soft Ground (SG)
- Pro Cleats for Soft Ground (SG-Pro)
- Cleats for Artificial Ground (AG)
- Cleats for flexible ground or multi-ground(FxG, MG, FG/AG)
- Turf Boots (TF)
- Shoes for indoor use (IN)
The primary function of each sole is to offer optimum traction on each surface. So, before you choose the right pair for you, you must first determine the type of pitch you are playing.
Firm Ground Cleats (FG)
This is the most common style and is also known as a sculpted cleat. This is the traditional soccer cleat worn by the vast majority of soccer players globally. Firm-ground cleats are intended to offer stability and durability on the majority of soccer fields.
The FG boot is completely moulded with a set of non-removable plastic studs that are either conical, bladed, or a combination of the two.
Look for this type when shopping for soccer apparel online.
Soft Ground Cleats (SG)
Soft ground cleats are intended to provide improved traction on wet and slippery fields. They use longer metal studs that can be removed by unscrewing them.
In order to provide more traction when twisting on wet fields, the metal studs are less and much longer than on FG cleats. In certain instances, there are only 6 of them (4 in the forefoot and 2 in the heel area). Some cleats can also have lengthy conical plastic studs.
The SG cleats are typically heavier than the other varieties, owing to the way the soleplate is built around with those metal studs.
Soft Ground Pro Cleats (SG-Pro)
This is a more refined version of the SG soleplate launched by Nike.
They have the classic metal screw-in studs used in SG cleats, and they also have some shaped blade plastic studs. These boots, like the first soft ground cleats, are used on wet and soft soccer fields and therefore should be avoided on other textures.
Artificial Ground Cleats (AG)
Artificial field cleats have a greater number of shorter studs spread around the soleplate. When playing on tougher artificial terrains, this helps to relieve some of the strain on your body and joints. In addition, the shorter studs do not get as stuck to the pitch as standard firm ground cleats, minimizing the risk of injury and providing more traction when playing.
AG boots are mostly conical in shape to allow for good rotational movement.
Flexible Ground or Multi Ground Cleats (FxG, MG, FG/AG)
Soccer players are often in doubt about which soccer cleats to wear due to the various types of soccer fields. Soccer cleat manufacturers have responded by combining artificial turf and firm ground outsoles into one. These boots are suitable for use on both FG and AG surfaces. Adidas refers to them as FxG, although Nike refers to them as MG and Puma refers to them as FG/AG.
They usually employ a mix of bladed and conical studs to provide the best grip on both firm and artificial ground surfaces. The studs are built to uniformly spread pressure around the soleplate.