Do You Need Cleats for Ultimate Frisbee?

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Most people play ultimate frisbee in the outdoor fields so it’s only natural to think that you would need to wear cleats for ultimate frisbee. If you are interested to play ultimate frisbee, you must be asking yourself “do you need cleats for ultimate frisbee?” Let’s answer that question right here. 

Do You Need Cleats for Ultimate Frisbee?

You don’t need cleats for ultimate frisbee. Certainly, they do help to improve your performance and some tournaments may require you to wear one. However, if you play ultimate frisbee casually, you don’t need to wear cleats if that bothers you. 

Players wearing cleats for ultimate frisbee game

Cleats help improve your performance for ultimate frisbee. They are great for playing on outdoor grass fields, athletes who use cleats tend to outperform athletes who don’t. Cleats are just better overall. 

There are also instances where you play ultimate frisbee on the beach and you absolutely don’t want to wear cleats on a sand surface. You are better off playing barefoot. 

Why Is It Important to Wear Cleats for Ultimate Frisbee?

Wearing cleats makes you perform better compared to wearing regular sneakers. They are particularly useful if the ground is wet or muddy. Sneakers don’t offer much traction in these types of weather conditions. 

Wearing cleats for ultimate frisbee, soccer, or other outdoor sports like disc golf will give you different performance. Some of these are important in playing ultimate frisbee. Here are some reasons why it’s important to wear cleats for ultimate frisbee: 

  • Cleats are better and better improves your performance on the field.
  • Cleats help you move smoothly. Sharp cuts or quick directional change are better done with cleats on outdoor fields. 
  • They give better protection and comfort when playing in outdoor fields. 
  • It may give you a boost in confidence. 

How Cleats Differ for Ultimate Frisbee

SoccerGreat traction, difficult to cut
LacrosseGreat for hard surfaces
FootballGreat mobility under unfavorable weather conditions

There are different types of cleats players use when they play ultimate frisbee. Most of the time they either use cleats for lacrosse, football, or soccer cleats. Each of them brings different features to the field. These are some of the notable differences between these cleats:

Player about to catch a flying frisbee
  • Football cleats contain toe studs that are designed for forwarding movement. The traction is great but you might find it difficult to cut compared to other cleats. 
  • Lacrosse and soccer cleats have molded soles. They are efficient for hard surfaces like artificial turf. 
  • The studs may consist of hard ground, round, and bladed studs. Football cleats commonly have bladed studs for better speed and traction in unfavorable weather conditions. Rounded studs are for better stability and the hard ground studs are great for artificial turf
  • Longer studs dig better into the field while shorter studs are great for quick cuts and turns. Most frisbee players prefer using shorter studs. 

What Other Things Do You Need for Ultimate Frisbee?

In order for you to play ultimate frisbee, you need to have the following equipment:

Some people are fine with just having a frisbee disk and playing with improper gear. However, if you want to get better at the game for tournaments, it’s better to get used to wearing proper ultimate frisbee gear. 

Players trying to catch a frisbee

What Do You Wear to Ultimate Frisbee Tournaments?

If you don’t know what to wear for ultimate frisbee tournaments then we’ll tell you the most important things to get and wear. For tournaments, what you wear can affect your game and your team’s gameplay. Here are some things that can help you with it.

  • Spandex: spandex is great for outdoor ultimate frisbee. It’s lightweight and keeps you warm in cool weather. Spandex acts as a protective layering from accidental scratches and cuts. It also provides protection from the sun. 
  • Braces: If you have prior injuries, then you should definitely wear braces. By braces, I mean compression joint support. It will greatly reduce the chance of injuries when you are playing. Make sure the brace is comfortable when worn so you don’t feel uncomfortable when actual games are played. 
  • Traction: the traction on your cleats should be optimal for sharp cuts and sprinting as it’s often used in ultimate frisbee. You should also observe the traction in your hands. If your hands get sweaty, you might lose grip and slip the frisbee disk. Wearing ultimate frisbee gloves solves this problem.
  • Team Uniforms: When it comes to competitive sports, psychological warfare comes to mind. Wearing matching colored uniforms can intimidate some opponents. It also helps boost your team’s confidence. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about cleats for ultimate frisbee.

What Cleats Do Top Ultimate Frisbee Players Wear?

Most professional ultimate frisbee players wear soccer Nike and Adidas shoes. Two of the most popular models among them are the Nike Vapor Carbon, and the Adidas Copa Mundial Soccer Cleats.

Can You Play Ultimate Without Cleats?

No, according to ultimate frisbee rules, you cannot play without any type of shoes or cleats. Of course, this only applies if you want to play competitively. If you only want to play with friends, you do not need to follow these rules strictly.

Can You Wear Basketball Shoes for Ultimate Frisbee?

Yes, players are allowed to wear basketball shoes for ultimate frisbee. In fact, it is considered one of the best options for this sport, along with soccer cleats. On the other hand, there are options you cannot wear, such as sandals and boots.


Cleats are overall the better footwear for ultimate frisbee. It provides better traction and mobility on outdoor fields like artificial turf. There are different types of cleats you can choose to wear and they provide a different feel for playing ultimate frisbee. 

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.