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Soccer has seen plenty of changes since the time the sport was first played. In the olden times, soccer was played only on natural grass fields. Today, the game is played on almost anywhere, including artificial grass fields, indoor courts, and synthetic turf pitches. As the sport changes, so are the construction of soccer cleats.
Soccer cleat classifications
With a plethora of soccer cleats available in the market today, getting the right pair can be a pretty daunting task, especially for beginners in the sport. When faced with a wide variety of soccer cleats, knowing what you want can help in narrowing down your choices.
Based on outsoles
Because soccer is played on different kinds of playing surfaces, it is a must to get a pair that matches the pitch. Cleat-surface interaction is essential because it interferes not only with the player’s performance but with injury prevention as well. Getting the right outsole type for the surface proves to be useful in gaining the best possible traction necessary to play the game well.
Firm ground soccer cleat (FG) outsoles have 12 to 13 fixed plastic studs that are either conical or bladed in shape. However, there are some soccer cleats from Puma have outsoles that have a combination of conical and bladed studs. These kinds of soccer cleats are used on dry, natural grass.
Soft ground soccer cleat outsoles (SG) are used on wet, soggy grounds. They often come with six interchangeable studs that are longer than the usual for better traction on mud. Several Nike soft ground soccer cleats come with Anti-Clog soleplates, which are effective in preventing dirt and mud from sticking to the shoe.
Soccer cleats with multiple ground outsole (MG) are fairly new in the market. They have studs that are strategically positioned to provide maximum traction on both firm grounds and artificial grass pitches. The cleats are evenly distributed to prevent stud pressure.
Artificial grass soccer cleats (AG) have more studs than a typical FG soccer cleat. The larger number of studs allow for more grip and less wear and tear against the abrasive synthetic grass surface.
Indoor soccer cleats (IN) are created specifically for play on hard, polished surfaces such as that of indoor courts, arenas, and gyms. This type of soccer cleats has a non-marking gum rubber outsole.
Turf soccer cleats (TF) are characterized by multiple rubber nubs that are evenly spread across the entire outsole. The raised treads are shorter than the FG blades. They are not meant to penetrate the artificial turf mat but to hold on to the dense grass instead.
Based on collar height
Just when you thought that you have decided to get a pair of turf soccer cleats, there are the different cut lengths to choose from. Turf soccer cleats come in low top, mid top, and high top collars. While some may argue that choosing a collar length depends on preference, one cannot discount the fact that each type does provide some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to stability, comfort, and player position.
A low top turf soccer cleat is best for agile players because it is lightweight and provides a great range of motion. Because the ankle is free from restrictions, maximum mobility is achieved when making quick cuts and changes of direction. However, without a collar, the ankle is left exposed with no support and protection against external blows.
A mid top turf soccer cleat has a collar that sits around the ankle. It offers more support and protection than low top soccer cleats and does not restrict movements as much as high top soccer cleats.
High top turf soccer cleats are designed primarily for ankle stability and lateral support. The collar covers the ankle. This type of turf soccer cleat is recommended for players who make a lot of side-to-side movements.
Popular high top turf soccer cleats
The high top turf soccer cleat market is currently dominated by Adidas and Nike. Puma, Under Armour, Diadora, and Mizuno have yet to release their version of high top turf soccer cleats, but that remains to be seen. For the meantime, here are some of the most sought-after high top turf soccer cleats today.
Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Turf
A good-fitting high top turf soccer cleat comes in the form of the Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Turf. Despite the absence of high-end innovations, this high top turf soccer cleat boasts a structured Primemesh upper. It also features the Control embossed texture that is similar to the Adidas Ace 17.3 lineup.
The rubber outsole of this Adidas Predator soccer cleat has densely arranged hexagonal shaped nubs. Its stud configuration provides the optimum traction and maneuverability on turf pitches.
Nike HypervenomX Proximo II Dynamic Fit
The Nike HypervenomX Proximo II Dynamic Fit is a high top turf soccer cleat from one of the top-tier silos of Nike. As expected, its Flyknit upper provides a lightweight and comfortable fit. The Flywire cables underneath the mesh upper also do a great job in keeping the foot locked in place.
This high top turf soccer cleat features an aggressive traction pattern for exceptional speed on turf fields. Moreover, it comes with the Nike Zoom Air Unit for increased responsiveness and cushioning.
Nike MercurialX Superfly 360 Elite Turf
Another remarkable high top turf soccer cleat from Nike is the MercurialX Superfly 360 Elite Turf. It is packed with revolutionary technologies that enhance the player’s ball touch and speed on the pitch.
This high top turf soccer cleat features the ingenious Flyknit upper with the Dynamic Fit collar for excellent fit and support. The 3D finish on the surface of the upper proves effective in enhancing touch and control of the ball.
The outsole of the Nike MercurialX Superfly 360 Elite Turf uses specially engineered rubber nubs. The arrowhead and linear studs grip synthetic turf surfaces excellently.
Adidas Predator Tango 18+ Turf
The Adidas Predator Tango 18+ Turf is another eye-candy high top turf soccer cleat from the German brand. Not only does it provide exceptional fit due to its knit upper but it also enhances speed on the pitch.
This high top turf soccer cleat provides a glove-like fit thanks to the Knit upper, which effectively follows the anatomical shape of the foot. Also, the Boost midsole guarantees springy feedback for excellent underfoot cushioning.
On the outsole of this high top turf soccer cleat are densely arranged diamond-shaped cleats. They aid in both traction and maneuverability on synthetic turf surfaces.
Nike MagistaX Proximo Turf
The Nike MagistaX Proximo Turf is another high top turf soccer cleat from the American brand. It has a comfortable Flyknit upper that features 3D textures on the surface. Not only does it provide a snug fit but an enhanced ball feel as well. Its Scalloped Dynamic Fit collar gives this soccer cleat an anatomically correct fit around the ankle.
This comfortable high top turf soccer cleat is engineered with the lightweight Lunarlon midsole, which provides excellent responsiveness. It also utilizes a rubber outsole with circular shaped nubs that aid in delivering traction when making quick cuts and changes of direction.
Notable technologies found in high top turf soccer cleats
Dynamic Fit collar
A feature that is found on high top turf soccer cleats from Nike is the Dynamic Fit collar. This technology has changed over time from the original cut found in Nike Superfly V soccer cleats to the angled cut collar of the Nike Hypervenom soccer cleats to the anatomically contoured collars some Nike Magista Obra soccer cleats.
The anatomically shaped Dynamic Fit collar found in the Nike MagistaX Proximo Turf soccer cleat accommodates the ankle bone for a more comfortable fit.
A technology that took four years of research and development was conceived and called the Flyknit. It is made of woven materials that are engineered to provide support in all the right areas. The geniuses at Nike used the different properties of yarn and weave structure to allow the Flyknit material to move in certain directions. This was first launched in a popular Nike sneaker, the Flyknit Racer.
The Boost is a popular innovation found not just in Adidas turf soccer cleats but in several Adidas indoor soccer cleats and Adidas street soccer cleats as well. It first appeared on the Energy Boost, a well-known running shoe from Adidas.
The Boost is a new form of TPU that has a unique structure allowing the midsole to provide the perfect energy return. Each Boost insole is made of tiny pellets that are squished together. As a result, precise reaction is achieved when the midsole is stepped on and released.
Nike has invented a lightweight and springy cushioning system in the form of Lunarlon. It is made of an ultra-plush yet resilient foam core that is encased in a supportive carrier. This technology is 30% lighter than the usual Phylon midsoles found in other indoor and turf soccer cleats.
Because Lunarlon distributes the impact evenly across the foot, pressure points are significantly reduced. As a result, wearing a high top turf soccer cleat with Lunarlon offers a more comfortable ride from start to finish.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a low top turf soccer cleat and a high top turf soccer cleat?
In a nutshell, low top turf soccer cleats do not have collars whereas, high top turf soccer cleats have collars that extend up to the ankle. Performance-wise, a low top turf soccer cleat enhances agility because it is lightweight. On the other hand, high top turf soccer cleats offer excellent ankle support and protection.
Do high top turf soccer cleats offer more performance benefits than other variations?
A high top turf soccer cleat is not better than a low top turf soccer cleat and a mid top turf soccer cleat performance-wise. Deciding on which ankle height to get depends on the player’s personal preference and position.
Can I wear my high top turf soccer cleat on surfaces other than turf?
Wearing a high top turf soccer cleat on a surface that is not turf runs the risk of slippage and injuries. Not only that, high top turf soccer cleats do not provide the necessary traction on other playing surfaces.
What playing position is recommended to use a high top turf soccer cleats?
A high top turf soccer cleat is best for defensive players because the ankle is well protected from accidental blows from the opponents. Also, players who perform a lot of side-to-side movements, such as a goalie, can benefit from the lateral support brought about by the high collar.
3 best high top turf soccer cleats
- Adidas Predator Tango 18.3 Turf
- Adidas Predator 19.3 Turf
- Nike Phantom Vision Academy Dynamic Fit Turf
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