What is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer Cleats?

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Soccer cleats are a must-wear in soccer matches. The performance and traction they provide is beneficial to your game and helps you avoid injuries. There are different types of soccer cleats used for certain games. This article will explain the difference between indoor and outdoor soccer cleats and why you need to differentiate them to help you in your soccer games. 

Types of Soccer Cleats

Depending on what type of field you’re playing on, you need to wear the appropriate soccer cleats. This is because soccer cleats are designed to help you move around a field more comfortably. 

Soccer cleats can be classified into 3 types:

  1. Indoor Soccer Cleats: The bottom of the sole is flat with no studs. The shoes are commonly low-cut. They have a harder grip on the sole. This is different than common shoes for better movement around the field. 
  2. Outdoor Soccer Cleats: They are the most used for most soccer players. These cleats have hard rubber or plastic studs. Their purpose is to help players with their movement and prevent slipping on the field. 
  3. Turf Soccer Cleats: Have similarities with outdoor soccer cleats. They’re mainly used for harder outdoor surfaces and artificial turf fields. 
Soccer cleats over a soccer ball

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer Cleats

The main difference between indoor and outdoor soccer cleats is that indoor cleats don’t have studs on their sole. Outdoor cleats have them. 

The reason why indoor soccer cleats don’t have studs because indoor soccer or “futsal” is usually played on hardwood surfaces. Outdoor soccer plays on a grass field. Studs will only hinder your movement and might even cause slipping indoors. 

Sometimes indoor soccer has a ground or turf surface and wearing indoor soccer cleats would be a bad idea. 

Types of Shoes Worn for Indoor Soccer

Indoor soccer shoes for players are usually called with abbreviations such as IN, IC, or IT. You can also call them hard court cleats. 

Hardcourt cleats are known for their really hard traction on the soles. They also have a casual look which can make them look like great streetwear if you want. 

Naturally, you’d wear indoor soccer cleats (hard court cleats) when playing indoor soccer. However, some indoor fields also have artificial grass or turf. If this is the case, then outdoor soccer cleats or turf cleats work well for these types of fields. 

Types of Outdoor Soccer Cleats

Hard groundStuds designed to enhance traction
Firm groundSpiky studs that dig well
Soft groundDetachable studs

Outdoor fields are more prevalent and popular and are being played more. However, outdoor fields vary on their ground surface. You need outdoor soccer cleats in soccer for better traction on the field or else you might find yourself uncomfortable playing and may lead to injuries.

Depending on the field, there are appropriate types of outdoor soccer cleats you can use. These are:

  • Hard Ground (HG): They have short studs and are designed for playing on hard fields. They have hard, circular studs that are designed to help with traction on hard surface fields. 
  • Firm Ground (FG): The balance between soft and hard. Firm grounds are the most popular type of outdoor soccer cleats in the world. They usually have spiky rubber studs that dig well on firm ground surfaces.
  • Soft Ground (SG): Built for soft surface fields. They usually have detachable studs which you can change from circular or blade type of studs. 
Men playing in a soccer field

Can You Wear Outdoor Soccer Cleats Indoors?

You can wear outdoor soccer cleats only for artificial ground surface indoor fields. On the hardwood, fields are a different story. The studs on your cleats would just be in the way. They can even get slippery on hardwood fields which can cause accidents on the field. 

Some schools even ban using outdoor cleats for indoor soccer games because of the chances of accidents. You soccer cleats should be built for hard ground if you want to play indoor soccer safely. 

Your best alternative is to buy indoor soccer cleats as they offer more grip and traction on hard ground surfaces. They’re more comfortable to wear indoors too and will not affect your game. 

Can You Wear Outdoor Soccer Cleats on Turf?

You can wear outdoor soccer cleats on turf. Keep in mind some fields and stadiums ban the use of outdoor soccer cleats. Also, consider if the artificial grass is great to move around with your outdoor soccer cleats. They might feel uncomfortable once you try them on the field. 

Turfs that ban outdoor soccer cleats are:

  • Astroturf – The astroturf features a green carpet with a short pile of ground placed over concrete. Outdoor cleats are usually banned in this field because it destroys the surface and even the soles of your feet. 
  • Fieldturf – A Fieldturf is made with artificial grass which is held by a bed of sand and shredded rubber. Some soccer fields will let you play with hard-ground cleats. Even though FieldTurf allows metal and aluminum rounded molded cleats, most fields still ban them. 

The traction and grip they provide may also be a lot different compared to turf cleats. For best results, you should wear turf cleats if you have them or buy a pair if you can afford them.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about indoor and outdoor soccer cleats.

What Cleats Are Not Allowed in Soccer?

Metal-tipped cleats are not allowed in soccer. Although almost all types of cleats are allowed, these can endanger other players. After all, if someone gets hit with these, they will be seriously injured.

Do Soccer Cleats Really Matter?

Yes, these cleats are designed to allow players to have better stability and traction on a grass field. Without them, you won’t be able to move, shoot, dribble, and run comfortably.

Do Kids Need Special Shoes for Indoor Soccer?

Kids need soccer cleats to play indoor soccer. Regardless of that, they don’t need any type of special shoe to play. They just need cleats specially designed for kids.


When it comes to cleats, there are many differences between indoor and outdoor. This is due to the different types of ground that require distinct features.

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.