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No other sport in the world is more popular than soccer. It is so widespread that it can be played on natural grass fields, artificial grass pitches, indoor courts, and even on streetside parking lots. Over the last couple of years, street and indoor soccer have grown in popularity as seen in several ads of some popular soccer cleat brands.
Several street soccer organizations already exist as of the moment. They are the International Street Soccer Association, Streetfootballworld, Street Soccer USA, SISM Street Soccer, and WhizzKids United to name a few. In fact, the first international World Street Soccer Championship, the World Street 3s, took place in Manchester on September 25, 2016.
Street soccer vs association soccer
In order not to confuse yourself with street soccer and soccer, or formally known as association soccer, below is a short discussion of the differences between the two types of ball games. Knowing these can be of significant help when it comes to choosing which soccer cleat to wear during the game.
Playing surface - Street soccer is often played on the streetsides; thus the name. The playing surface is mostly concrete or asphalt. whereas association soccer is played on a variety of playing surfaces, namely firm ground, soft ground, artificial grass, turf fields, and indoor courts.
Number of players - Association soccer requires two teams with 11 players each. On the other hand, street soccer has two teams with a maximum of four players each.
Game duration - Each game of association soccer lasts 90 minutes divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. Street soccer has two halves of seven minutes plus one minute interval between each half.
In general, street soccer is more informal compared to the other association soccer varieties. Players are given total control over how the game is played. They can be as natural as they can be.
Despite its informality, street soccer has been credited by many professional soccerers as their stepping stone to success. Although street soccer does not follow most of the rules of the association soccer, players still need a variety of skills to win the game. Street soccer entails minimal contact among players. Instead, the game shows off more ball tricks such as the ones listed below.
Fundamental street soccer skills
The player begins by doing the Marseille roulette and before touching the ground uses the same foot to performs the Akka behind the leg immediately. This entails a lot of skills but will definitely be a showstopper once done properly.
The player taps the ball with the inside of his strong foot and bends over at the same time. He then takes a step with his weak foot and makes the opponent think that he is heading in that direction but is actually going to sprint the other way.
Double sole roll
The player starts by dragging the ball back with his strong foot and draws the ball back to its origin quickly. This looks like the player is about to make a full turn but actually sprints the other way.
The player makes an inside step over with his weak foot and then taps the ball to the same direction using his strong foot. He then quickly brings his strong foot back in front and tap the ball to the opposite direction.
Popular street soccer cleats
Informal as it is, street soccer does not require vast stretches of grass, field markings, corner flags, nor goal apparatuses. They only need a ball, a wall or a fence to act as the goal, and, of course, a good pair of street soccer cleats.
Street soccer cleats usually copy the upper of their FG counterparts. However, in order to live up to street standards in terms of comfort and style, street soccer cleats use a different kind of outsole. These outsoles are made of materials that are more durable and suitable for hard areas.
Even though there are plenty of soccer-inspired sneakers from Nike, the street soccer cleat market has been dominated by Adidas for some time. Just recently, Puma has also released their own street soccer cleat version. Below are some of the popular street soccer cleats available in the market today.
Adidas Nemeziz Tango 17.1 Trainers
Bringing the Nemeziz swag to the streets, the Adidas Nemeziz Tango 17.1 Trainers features the same upper as the Adidas Nemeziz 17.1 FG sans the Solar Yellow stripes. It has the Agility Bandage and Torsion Tapes on the upper which are trademark elements of the Adidas Nemeziz silo.
Taking inspiration from the ancient ritual of wrapping the ankles and wrists, the Torsion Tapes and Agility Bandage of the upper are just as effective in keeping the foot locked in place. The semi-transparent outsole gives this street soccer cleat a radical look without compromising comfort. Stylish as it is, this street soccer cleat comes in eight eye-catching colors.
Adidas Copa Tango 18.1 Trainers
The Adidas Copa Tango 18.1 Trainers is an excellent example of when a classic design meets contemporary innovations. Don’t be fooled by its black Taurus leather upper because underneath its traditional facade lies a modern X-Ray vamp cage.
Fitted with a Boost midsole and a rubber outsole, this street soccer cleat offers optimum energy return as you strut your stuff outside the pitch. Overall, with its upper and outsole elements, the Adidas Copa Tango 18.1 Trainers provide the perfect blend of comfort, fit, and stability on the streets.
Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Trainers
Created with an elastic spandex upper, the Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Trainers provides a supportive lockdown and sock-like fit that are expected from a soccer cleat. This stylish street soccer cleat also has a lightweight EVA midsole that enhances its overall comfort for all-day wear. Additionally, the moulded heel also works well with your every movement.
Puma 365.18 Ignite High ST
Released in December 2017, the Puma 365.18 Ignite High Street has an urban-inspired design that has stirred the curiosity of soccer fans. At first glance, it looks like more like a sneaker cleat than a street soccer cleat.
The Puma 365.16 Ignite High Street has a high top and a low top version. The high top version features a knitted sock and Puma band for ankle support and lockdown. The Airmesh upper allows this street soccer cleat to fit like a glove while enhancing breathability at the same time. Its Ignite foam midsole and non-marking outsole make this a great street soccer cleat option.
Adidas Paul Pogba Ace 17.1 Trainers
The Adidas Paul Pogba Ace 17.1 Trainers is a part of the second collaboration between Adidas and Paul Pogba. Featuring earth colors, this street soccer cleat is a reflection of the Manchester United star’s African roots and creativity in and out of the pitch.
The upper is a combination of Primeknit and Techfit. These elements adapt to the shape of the foot easily and provide a sock-like fit. Meanwhile, its smooth toe cap offers the perfect ball feel for precise control even at high speed.
Like other street soccer cleats from Adidas, the Paul Pogba Ace 17.1 TR also has the Boost midsole. The small polyurethane capsules allow maximum energy return with every step.
Adidas Predator Tango 18+ Ultraboost Trainers
Featuring the Adidas Predator Tango 18+ Trainers, a laceless street soccer cleat with a sleek design. It looks a lot like its on-pitch counterparts but with a twist. The knit upper and elastic collar provides supportive lockdown without the need of laces.
The Predator Tango 18+ Trainers come with a Boost midsole for responsive cushioning against the hard street surface. A black rubber outsole completes the look of this classy street soccer cleat.
Adidas X Tango 17.1 Street
An elegant all-black street soccer cleat that can double as a casual sneaker is available in the form of the Adidas X Tango 17.1 Street. With its Techfit upper, this street soccer cleat provides a supportive yet flexible fit and feel on foot. An EVA outsole that is known to provide excellent shock absorption finishes off the look of this shoe.
Adidas Nemeziz Mid Trainers
Engineered to provide the ultimate agility, the Adidas Nemeziz Mid Trainers features the same 360 Agility Bandage upper found on its on-pitch counterparts. It also has the Sockfit construction made out of Primeknit. The material is designed to follow the contours of the foot for a sock-like fit.
The EVA midsole of this street soccer cleat enhances its durability and cushioning against street surfaces. Its patterned outsole, on the other hand, offers supreme traction not just on streets but on other hard surfaces as well. With its semi-transparent aesthetic, this street soccer cleat can also double as a stylish sneaker for casual wear.
Notable features used on street soccer cleats
First seen on the Adidas Nemeziz 17+ 360 Agility FG, the Agility Bandage is also found on the upper of the Adidas Nemeziz Tango 18.1 Trainers. This technology makes up the entire upper of other high-end Adidas Nemeziz soccer cleats.
It takes inspiration from the ancient ritual of wrapping the hands and feet with a stretchable band to enhance agility. With its elastic nature, laceless soccer cleats with an Agility Bandage upper can still provide sufficient lockdown. But for the player who wants a secure tight fit even outside the pitch, the Adidas Nemeziz Tango 17.1 Trainers is the right street soccer cleat of choice.
Airmesh is a breathable material that is used on the upper of the Puma 365.18 Ignite High ST. Aside from enhancing comfort and breathability, it also allows the street soccer cleat to fit like a glove. Airmesh is not only found on Puma soccer cleats but on Mizuno shoes as well.
Primeknit is a revolutionary technology used in several Adidas soccer cleats, although it was first launched in Adidas running shoes. It is Adidas’ method of digitally knitting fused yarns together resulting in fine-tuned flexibility, stability, and support.
Fewer materials are used in the process of making street soccer cleats with a Primeknit upper. Thus, they are more lightweight than those that use leather or other synthetic materials. Also, because fewer materials are used in manufacturing the shoe, consequently, less waste is produced.
Dual Lock Collar
A noticeable feature of Adidas Nemeziz soccer cleats is the Dual Lock Collar. Aside from the street soccer cleat Adidas Nemeziz 17.1 Trainers, it is also found on the Adidas Nemeziz 18.1 Firm Ground. This innovation provides both medial support and lateral freedom for maximum agility. The collar secures the ankle and keeps it locked in place while also allowing enough liberty for side-to-side movements.
X-Ray Vamp Cage
An internal X-Ray Vamp Cage is used on street soccer cleats with a leather upper, such as the Adidas Copa 18.1 Trainers. This integrated cage is found underneath the leather and helps keep the material retain its shape. It eliminates another layer of material thereby bringing the ball closer to the foot. As a result, precise ball control is to be expected from the street soccer cleat with an X-ray Vamp Cage.
A material that was once used on Adidas basketball and running shoes is now found on Adidas street soccer cleats. The Torsion outsole is known for providing arch support, lateral support, and stability.
It is made of a lightweight thermoplastic material that acts as a bridge in between the forefoot and the heel. The Torsion System enables the forefoot and heel to move independently of each other. It adapts to the surface without causing too much strain on the foot.
Given that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, it is not uncommon to find fans taking their soccer cleats from the pitch to the streets.
Street soccer cleats are so stylish that they are not only used as trainers (TR) but for casual wear as well. That is why aside from firm ground (FG), soft ground (SG), artificial grass (AG), indoor (IC), and turf (TF) variations, soccer cleat silos now include a street variation on their lineup.
Ignite is a ground-breaking innovation from Puma. It is made of polyurethane that is engineered to provide the highest energy return without straining the lower leg. Moreover, it also offers responsive cushioning and stability in hot and cold weather conditions.
This innovation is found on both the high and low top versions of the Puma 365 Ignite soccer cleats.
Popular soccer-inspired sneakers
There have been several soccer-inspired sneakers releases in recent years. Some of them can easily be mistaken as street soccer cleats, but upon closer look, these sneakers only look and seem like soccer cleats, but they actually do not have any performance benefits.
Nike Footscape Magista
While Adidas currently has the lion’s share of the street soccer cleat market, Nike will not go down without a fight. With the Footscape Magista, Nike combined several features from their Footscape and Magista silos.
This sneaker has the same sock-like Flyknit material found in most of their Magista soccer cleats and the Footscape’s flexible and segmented outsole. Furthermore, it has no waterproofing element on the surface of the upper making it challenging to use during rainy seasons.
This soccer-inspired sneaker is one of the crowd favorites. It has a suede upper that comes in several colors. The Adidas Bermuda has the famous Three Stripes predominantly displayed on both sides and the distinct Trefoil logo embossed on the outstep.
Comfort-wise, this shoe is very comfortable thanks to its foam-lined tongue, padded collar, and synthetic lining. It can pass as a street soccer cleat given its low-profile rubber outsole, but its suede upper will not be able to withstand the roughness and wet conditions of the game.
Puma Astro Sala
The Puma Astro Sala is a classic-looking sneaker with a sporty vibe to it. It features a low-top silhouette, a suede upper with mesh accents, a rubber midsole, and a gum rubber outsole. This soccer-inspired sneaker from Puma is very comfortable given its cushioned tongue, collar, and footbed.
How to take care of your street soccer cleats?
For a sport that uses the foot more than any other parts of the body, using a good pair of soccer cleat is a must. The lifespan of a street soccer cleat does not solely depend on its materials, but also on how it is being taken cared of. Below are some ways on how to take care of street soccer cleats.
Know your shape. Caring for your street soccer cleat is not limited to cleaning your shoe after each game. Using a pair that corresponds to your foot shape will have a significant impact on the longevity of your shoe. Players with wide feet cannot wear street soccer cleats that have a narrow width. Doing so may damage the part where the sole meets the upper given the high-impact pressure when the foot strikes the ball.
Use the right soccer cleat variation. When playing street soccer, you cannot use your FG, AG, and SG soccer cleats for the apparent reason that the surface can damage the studs. Likewise, IN and TF soccer cleats are not advisable to be used on street surfaces lest you want to lessen the grip of the outsole. Street surfaces are more abrasive compared to the hard, polished floors of indoor courts and artificial turf beads.
Using the right kind of soccer cleat for a specific playing surface will not only push your performance to the optimum level, but it will also help in extending the lifespan of your shoe.
Clean and dry your street soccer cleat properly. Make sure to remove large chunks of soil and dirt after each game. Using a brush can help in removing dry dirt from your street soccer cleat. For hard-to-remove dirt, soak your soccer cleat in water with a little bit of mild detergent. It is important to note that chemicals can cause irreparable damage to the fabric used in the upper. Scrub the dirt using a soft-bristled brush.
After removing all visible dirt, rinse the shoe using clean water or a damp cloth. Let your street soccer cleats air dry in a well-ventilated room away from direct sunlight. Also, never give in to the temptation of using a blow dryer or heater as these may damage the materials of your street soccer cleat.
Stuff each pair with paper towels or newspapers to absorb the moisture inside the shoe quickly. Replace the paper towels when they are wet and keep doing this until they come out dry. Store your street soccer cleats in a cleat tree in order to keep its shape.
Have a backup pair. Having multiple pairs of street soccer cleat is a good idea if you are playing on a regular basis. This will give your shoe enough time to dry and breathe. Also, having an extra pair will prevent your shoes from getting overused.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use my street soccer cleats when playing on indoor courts?
There are some players who use their street soccer cleats when playing indoors and vice versa. However, technically speaking, street soccer cleats use a different kind of outsole from indoor soccer cleats. Street surfaces are more abrasive than indoor court. A street soccer cleat outsole may not provide the traction that indoor courts require.
Can street soccer cleats be used on firm ground (FG) pitches?
Street soccer cleats do not provide the same amount of traction of firm ground pitches for the apparent reason that they do not have cleats to grip the ground. Likewise, street soccer cleats cannot be used as an alternative for SG and AG soccer cleats.
What is the difference between street soccer cleats and soccer-inspired sneakers?
In recent years, there has been an upward trend in the popularity of soccer-inspired sneakers, particularly from Nike. Unlike soccer-inspired sneakers, street soccer cleats have performance features that are directed towards improving either the player’s touch on the ball or grip on the ground.
Street soccer cleats such as the Adidas Ace 16+ Ultraboost use upper materials that offer sufficient support and lockdown. Also, it has a special outsole that provides ample grip of the surface on both wet and dry weather conditions. In short, street soccer cleats are not only stylish but functional as well.
On the other hand, soccer-inspired sneakers are categorized as lifestyle sneakers that take the cue from the fashionable designs of modern soccer cleats.
Can turf soccer cleats be used as a substitute for street soccer cleats?
The uneven surface of street soccer can be too rough for the knubs found underneath a turf soccer cleat.