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Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, is usually played on outdoor grass fields. That is why firm ground (FG) soccer cleats are the top-selling variation in the market. But in the advent of artificial grass pitches, soccer cleat manufacturers also came up with artificial grass soccer cleats to cater to the needs of users who play on this type of playing surface.
As the popularity of artificial grass pitches rises, players are faced with the challenge of getting multiple pairs of soccer cleats, which consequently may not be economically sensible, especially for beginners. Fortunately, Adidas, Nike, Puma, and other shoe manufacturers have added flexible ground soccer cleats to their silos.
What are flexible ground soccer cleats?
As the name suggests, flexible ground soccer cleats are versatile and can be used on different kinds of playing surfaces. Adidas calls their flexible ground soccer cleats FxG, Nike calls theirs as Multi-ground (MG), Puma names it as FG/AG and Under Armour has their Hard Ground (HG) soccer cleats.
Not only are flexible ground soccer cleats engineered to provide optimum traction on natural and synthetic pitches, but they are also designed to lessen the stress on the feet while playing on different grounds. Their studs are strategically positioned so that pressure is well distributed across the soleplate.
Noteworthy features of flexible soccer cleats
Flexible soccer cleats, like other variations, are fitted with a variety of different elements from the upper to the soleplate in order to meet the various needs of players. Below are some of the notable features found in flexible soccer cleats.
A game-changing feature found in top-tier Puma soccer cleats is the Netfit technology. It offers a unique lacing system that can be customized and adapts to the user’s foot width, performance, and style. The Netfit system replaces the traditional eyelet with a form-fitting net covering the upper of the shoe.
It is highly recognizable with its grid-like pattern which allows the user to thread the laces through the net openings. Because of this, the shoe provides enhanced fit and support. There are five standard lacing options namely Standard, Narrow Foot, Wide, Heel Support, and Stability.
The Netfit technology was launched in Speed IGNITE NETFIT in May 2017. This innovation later expanded to the Puma soccer cleat line, including the Puma Future 18.2 Netfit Multi-ground.
The Evoknit is a collar sleeve that is made of lightweight and stretchable knit. The woven material hugs the ankle for a comfortable yet supportive fit while at the same time providing good temperature regulation and breathability. Likewise, it also offers a smooth transition from the shoe to the lower leg.
The geniuses from Puma worked with highly technical machinery to create an innovation like no other. The Evoknit material closest to the skin rapidly removes the sweat from the surface while the top layer of yarn pushes the moisture away.
This technology is found in several flexible soccer cleats from Puma. Some of which include the Puma Future 18.1 Netfit FG/AG and Puma One Illuminate 1 Synthetic FG/AG. Evoknit is also present in some Puma sneakers and running shoes as well.
One of the most sought-after upper materials not just in flexible ground soccer cleats but in other variations as well is kangaroo leather. This soft and supple material is usually found in high-end heritage soccer cleats. It is famous not only for the comfortable fit it provides but also for its flexibility, durability, and padded ball feel.
Kangaroo leather soccer cleats stretch and adapt to the natural curves of the foot. Therefore, they offer a somewhat customized fit. Also, kangaroo leather provides more protection than its synthetic counterparts. Because of these, better ball feel is achieved when wearing a soccer cleat with K-leather upper.
An example of a flexible ground soccer cleat with a high-quality kangaroo leather upper is the Mizuno Morelia II Made in Japan.
Ghost Lacing System
The Ghost Lacing System is an innovative feature that was first launched in the 2018 Nike Phantom Vision series. It works in tandem with another technology, the Quadfit Mesh, to provide unparalleled fit right out of the box.
This technology has six strategically positioned lace loops that require only one pull to tighten. This creates equal tension distribution across the foot and customized fit without constricting the foot.
It is present in the Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit Multi-ground.
Dynamic Fit collar
Considered as one of the coolest advancements in soccer cleat history, the Dynamic Fit collar is featured in several Nike high top soccer cleats. This technology was designed with an intention to create an “as one” connection between the foot and the shoe. It is made of Flyknit, another great innovation from Nike, which offers a tight fit and support without making the shoe heavy.
Nike’s key silos, the Magista, Superfly and Hypervenom, each has its own distinct collar cut. For the Nike Magista series, the Dynamic Fit collar has an anatomical cut, which is designed to accommodate the ankle’s round shape. With the Hypervenom soccer cleats, the DF collar is sliced at a 45-degree angle and tailored to provide more stretch along the ridged area. The original style of the Dynamic Fit collar is found on soccer cleats in the Superfly silo.
A good soccer cleat with a flexible ground outsole and Dynamic Fit collar is the Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Club Multi-ground.
The HG10mm technology is a unique structure found in several Asics soccer cleats. It has a sole that is higher than the toe part by 10 millimeters. By raising the heel, the weight is shifted forward thereby lessening the load on the leg as well as the impact on the knee. As a result, the user can transition from standing to running faster.
It is found in the popular Asics flexible ground soccer cleat, the Lethal Speed RS.
Ignite is a proprietary midsole technology from Puma. It is useful in providing responsive cushioning, superb comfort, and optimal energy return. Additionally, it also lessens the strain on the lower leg.
After nine years of research and development, the innovation was first launched in a running shoe from the German brand. The Ignite midsole is made of a polyurethane material that is stable in both hot and cold weather conditions. It is more flexible and lightweight than the usual EVA insoles.
Commonly seen in indoor Puma soccer cleats, the Ignite midsole is also present in the Puma 365.18 Ignite ST, a flexible ground soccer cleat for artificial turf, dirt pitches, indoor gyms, and concrete yards.
Rapidagility is a lightweight soleplate that is made of reactive Pebax material. It comes with a combination of smartly placed bladed and conical studs. They offer excellent traction on both firm ground and artificial grass studs.
The Puma Future 2.1 Netfit FG/AG is a flexible ground soccer cleat that has a Rapidagility soleplate.
Famous flexible ground soccer cleats
Below are some of the most sought-after soccer cleats with flexible ground stud configuration.
Nike Mercurial Superfly Academy VI Multi-ground
Famous for its one-piece upper construction and Dynamic Fit collar, the Mercurial Superfly Academy VI Multi-ground is one of the latest releases from Nike. The micro-textured surface of this soccer cleat provides excellent ball touch even at top speed.
The split-sole design of this flexible ground soccer cleat is consistent with the elite and pro models in the Mercurial Superfly VI lineup. However, its stud configuration makes all the difference. Unlike its top-tier counterparts, the Nike Mercurial Superfly Academy VI Multi-ground has a combination of conical and chevron-shaped studs that are strategically positioned to provide maximum traction on natural and artificial grass pitches.
A version of this soccer cleat is also available in the CR7 collection.
Puma One 1 Illuminate Leather FG/AG
With a good combination of leather and synthetic material on the upper, the Puma One 1 Illuminate Leather FG/AG is a flexible ground soccer cleat that provides the best of both worlds. It is also considered as a high top soccer cleat given its upgraded Evoknit sock. Another plus for comfort from this tech-heavy soccer cleat is the addition of the Ignite midsole.
The lightweight Pebax outsole of this soccer cleat features several rounded and elongated studs that offer the finest grip on firm ground and artificial grass playing environments.
For players who are not fond of wearing leather soccer cleats, an all-synthetic Puma One 1 Illuminate is also available in FG/AG variation as well.
Adidas Ace 17.4 FxG
The Adidas Ace lineup is a flexible ground soccer cleat engineered for control comes in the form of the Adidas Ace 17.4 FxG. The synthetic leather upper of this soccer cleat, known as Control Feel, provides a soft natural feel on the ball.
An interesting feature about this soccer cleat is its stud configuration. The layout is biodynamically tested to provide the best possible grip on firm grounds, hard grounds, and artificial grass surfaces.
Flexible ground soccer cleat pros and cons
There is no perfect soccer cleat, but choosing the right pair is dependent on your needs as a player. Below is a list of pros and cons of wearing flexible ground soccer cleats that may help in getting the pair that is perfect for you.
- Flexible ground soccer cleats are cost-efficient. By providing optimum traction on a variety of playing surfaces, you do not need to buy separate soccer cleats for specific playing grounds.
- Flexible ground soccer cleats are engineered to lessen the discomfort on the player’s feet. Its stud pattern is specially configured in such a way that pressure is evenly distributed across the foot.
- Flexible ground soccer cleat outsoles are specially designed to aid in accelerating and making quick cuts in different types of playing surfaces.
- Flexible ground soccer cleat studs are shorter than firm ground soccer cleat studs. As a result, they may not provide the most aggressive traction on dry, natural grass surfaces.
- Flexible ground soccer cleats cannot be used on soft, muddy grounds. Because they do not have removable studs, they do not offer the best grip on wet grounds.
Frequently asked questions
Which playing surfaces can I use my flexible ground soccer cleat on?
Flexible ground soccer cleats are almost always used on firm ground and artificial grass surfaces. However, there are also flexible ground soccer cleats that are worn on indoor courts, concrete, artificial grass, and dirt pitches. An example of this soccer cleat is the Puma 365.18 Ignite ST.
Can I wear my flexible ground soccer cleat on soft ground pitches?
What makes soft ground soccer cleats suitable for muddy fields are the removable studs. They allow the user to adjust the grip depending on the softness of the ground. Unfortunately, there is no available flexible ground soccer cleat with removable studs yet.
15 best flexible ground soccer cleats
- Puma Future 2.1 Netfit FG/AG
- Puma Future 18.2 Netfit FG/AG
- Adidas X 17.4 FxG
- Nike Vapor 12 Academy Multi-Ground
- Asics Lethal Speed RS
- Nike Mercurial Superfly VI Academy Multi-ground
- Adidas Predator 18.4 Flexible Grounds
- Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit MG
- Adidas Nemeziz Messi 17.4 FxG
- Puma Future 2.2 Netfit FG/AG
- Puma Future 2.3 Netfit FG/AG
- Mizuno Morelia II Made in Japan
- Puma Future 18.4 hyFG
- Puma One 1 Illuminate Leather FG/AG
- Puma Future 18.3 FG/AG
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