When to Buy Firm, Soft, or Artificial Ground Soccer Cleats (And the ONE Style Every Player Needs First)

“What do all those codes mean on the soccer cleats?”

It’s a question I know confuses a lot of people, especially those who are looking for a really nice pair of soccer cleats for the first time.

And I understand why. When you first go to an online store, you realize there are as many as eight different styles of shoes, each with its own code (FG, SG, AG, AT, HG, IS, IN, and Futsal). It can be a little overwhelming. But fear not. By the end of this article, you’ll know what the best soccer cleats are for your situation, and why.

Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Firm Ground Soccer Cleats

Firm Ground (FG) (aka “Molded”)

At their core, firm ground soccer cleats are designed to grip firm, natural surfaces, the kind you’d find on most natural grass fields. Firm ground cleats are the most important pair of cleats for most players.

In addition to firm natural surfaces, firm ground shoes also perform well on hard ground and artificial grass surfaces (more on artificial surfaces below). They do ok on soft ground, but don’t be surprised if you slide a little when you try to make quick changes of direction. Even so, you have to get to a really wet field – something bordering on mud – before the firm ground shoes become totally ineffective. And in that case, even soft ground shoes usually won’t keep you from slipping.

Firm ground shoes are not a good option for an old-fashioned flat green carpet, in which case indoor shoes (IS or IN) – also known as ‘flats” – or futsal shoes are the ideal choice. And of course, if you’re playing futsal on a basketball court, you’ll need special shoes for that. Check Best soccer shin guards

So, if you want to make an investment in one really nice pair of soccer cleats, put your money into the best firm ground shoes you can find.