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Are Soccer Cleats Metal | 13 Shocking Answers

Are Soccer Cleats Metal ~ Cleats with Metal Studs in front of a metal surface
Soccer Cleat with Metal Studs in front of a metal surface

Are Soccer Cleats Metal

A common question in the soccer world is are soccer cleats metal?

Well, the answer is yes; but not all soccer cleats are made of metal. Metal soccer cleats do exist and have their own advantages and considerations.

Metal soccer cleats are designed with studs made from metal materials such as steel or aluminum. These studs are typically longer and sharper compared to their rubber or plastic counterparts.

What Are Metal Soccer Cleats?

Soccer Cleats Metal Cleat Chrome Studs in a row from smallest to largest going left to right.

Metal soccer cleats, also known as metal studs, are a type of footwear specifically designed for soccer players.

Unlike traditional cleats, which have studs made of plastic or rubber, metal soccer cleats feature studs made of metal.

These metal studs are strategically placed on the sole of the shoe to provide traction and grip on different playing surfaces.

Difference Between Metal And Other Soccer Cleat Studs

Soccer Cleats Metal Cleat Studs vs Plastic

Metal cleat studs differ from other types, such as rubber or plastic, in a few significant ways. If you’d like to learn more about that in depth read our Best Soccer Cleats of 2023 article here >>>

Metal cleats are often preferred by players who compete on soft ground surfaces like natural grass fields.

Metal studs have sharp edges that can dig into the ground and provide excellent grip.

This enhanced traction allows players to make quick turns, accelerate swiftly, and maintain balance during intense gameplay.

One notable advantage of metal cleats over their rubber or plastic counterparts is their durability.

While rubber and plastic studs tend to wear down quickly with continuous use on hard surfaces like artificial turf or concrete, metal studs can withstand such conditions more efficiently.

This durability makes them suitable for players who participate in multiple soccer games throughout a season.

Why Do Players Wear Metal Soccer Cleats?

Players wear metal cleats for a variety of reasons.

One of the main reasons is to get better traction on firm ground surfaces.

When playing on natural grass fields, especially after rain or in wet conditions, the ground can become soft and slippery.

That’s when metal spikes come into play.

Unlike softer spikes found in other types of soccer cleats, the metal spikes provide a grip that is unmatched on these soft surfaces.

Professional soccer players wear metal cleats for their sharp edges and ability to bite into the ground.

This gives them an advantage when it comes to changing direction quickly or making sudden stops during a match.

Premier League players, for example, often wear metal cleats to ensure they have maximum control over their movements on the field.

Can You Wear Metal Soccer Cleats On Turf?

No! Wearing metal cleats to play on turf is not recommended.

Turf fields are artificial surfaces made of synthetic materials like rubber or plastic, designed to mimic the feel of natural grass fields.

Unlike natural grass, turf has a firmer and harder surface which can be detrimental to metal cleats.

The spikes on metal cleats are typically longer and sharper than those found on rubber or plastic cleats, making them more likely to get stuck in the turf or cause damage to the field.

Additionally, wearing metal cleats on turf can pose a safety risk to players.

The combination of the hard surface and long spikes can lead to greater impact forces when running or making quick movements, increasing the chances of injuries such as twisted ankles or knee strains.

What are metal soccer cleats best for?

Metal soccer cleats are best known for providing excellent traction and grip on soft surfaces.

When playing on wet or muddy fields, metal studs can penetrate the ground and provide stability that other types of cleats may struggle to offer.

This is especially advantageous for players who frequently play in areas with heavy rainfall or damp conditions.

In modern football, where agility and quick movements are crucial, metal soccer cleats can be particularly beneficial for certain positions.

For example, forwards and wingers often rely on their speed and agility to outmaneuver defenders, making the extra grip provided by metal studs invaluable.

Are Metal Soccer Cleats Allowed In Every Match?

The use of metal cleats is not universally allowed in every soccer match, as the rules and regulations differ depending on the league or organization.

While some leagues permit the use of metal cleats, others have specific restrictions or even outright bans on their usage.

The decision often depends on factors like player safety and the condition of the playing surface.

In amateur soccer, such as local leagues or recreational games, there may not be strict regulations regarding footwear.

However, even in these settings, players are encouraged to prioritize safety and consider the playing conditions before wearing metal cleats.

This is because metal studs can potentially cause injuries to both the wearer and other players during tackles or accidental collisions.

On the other hand, in organized competitions like professional leagues or collegiate soccer, specific rules govern footwear choices.

For example, NCAA rules state that only “soft” or “hard” ground studs are allowed in their matches.

Is It Safe To Wear Metal Soccer Cleats?

Yes it is 100% safe to wear metal soccer cleats as long as the field condition is right for this type of stud and the player wearing them plays responsibly.

When it comes to the safety of wearing metal cleats in soccer, those are the two main factors to consider.

Where them on wet or muddy natural grass fields because metal cleats offer excellent traction on soft ground surfaces.

They can dig into the ground and provide stability during quick changes of direction and sudden stops.

Don’t slide with your studs up or step on another player’s foot.

That second part is easier said than done.

Drawbacks of Wearing Metal Soccer Cleats

There are some drawbacks to wearing metal cleats in soccer.

  • One of the main concerns is related to player safety. While metal studs offer excellent traction on certain surfaces, they can be hazardous on others.
  • When playing on artificial turf or hard ground, metal studs can dig in too deeply and cause unnecessary strain on the joints. This can increase the risk of knee injuries and other potential mishaps.
  • Metal studs have been known to cause harm during tackles or collisions as they can be sharp and potentially injure other players unintentionally. Another drawback is the potential damage that metal studs can cause to playing surfaces.
  • On softer grass fields, metal studs can tear up the soggy grass more easily than their rubber counterparts.

Safety concerns, potential damage to playing surfaces, and restrictions imposed by leagues or tournaments are all factors that should be taken into account when deciding whether to wear metal cleats on the soccer field.

It’s important for players to choose appropriate and safe equipment that suits their individual needs.

Is It Worth Buying Metal Soccer Cleats?

In my opinion yes it is worth buying metal studs for rainy wet conditions. The traction you get from this style of cleat stud is unmatched.

The decision of whether it’s worth buying metal soccer cleats boils down to your specific needs as a player and the conditions of the playing surface where you spend most of your time on the field.

It might be helpful to try out both types of cleats before making a final decision or consult with experienced players and coaches to gather insights and advice.

Metal Soccer Cleats Rules and Regulations

Soccer Cleats Regulations vary depending on the league or organization governing the game.

We’ve put together a full list of soccer cleat rules and guidelines within soccer governing bodies ~

We’ll cover the basics quickly here.

In many cases, metal studs are not allowed on the field.

Youth Soccer Leagues

🚫 Not Allowed 🚫

Youth soccer leagues often have strict rules against metal cleats due to safety concerns.

The potential for serious injury is higher when sharp edges of metal studs pose a risk to other players during tackles or collisions.

Additionally, wet surfaces can make metal studs more slippery than plastic ones, increasing the likelihood of slips and falls.

High School Soccer

✅︎ Allowed ✅︎

High school soccer rules and regulations can vary based on the governing body for each region or state. In the United States, high school soccer typically follows the rules set by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

According to NFHS rules, soccer cleats must conform to the following:

  1. Shoe Design: The shoe must be made of leather, canvas, or synthetic material and it is to be worn on one foot. It must be designed in such a way that it does not offer an advantage or create a danger for another player.
  2. Studs: The shoe can have a maximum of 14 cleat bottoms (studs). The cleats can be of metal, plastic, leather or rubber, and must be attached to the sole. The cleats should not be longer than ¾ inches.
  3. Safety: All cleats, regardless of the material, must not have any sharp edges and should not be deemed dangerous to other players.

That said, while metal cleats are technically allowed according to NFHS rules, some individual leagues, schools, or coaches might have their own restrictions based on concerns about field maintenance or player safety.

National Collegiate Athletic Association

✅︎ Allowed ✅︎

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has specific rules and guidelines for various sports, including soccer. The rules concerning soccer cleats can be found in the NCAA soccer rulebook.

Generally, according to the NCAA soccer rules:

  1. Footwear: Players are allowed to wear shoes made of leather or synthetic material. These shoes can be equipped with cleats, bars, or other forms of traction devices.
  2. Studs/Cleats: The cleats or studs on the shoe must not pose a danger to other players. This means that regardless of the cleat material, it should not have sharp edges or points.

While the NCAA rulebook does not explicitly ban metal cleats, it emphasizes safety. This means that as long as metal studs or cleats do not present a risk to other players, they can be used. However, the practical application of this rule can vary. Some fields, especially those with artificial turf, might have restrictions on metal cleats due to concerns about surface wear and damage.

The NCAA and high school soccer also prohibit the use of metal cleats for similar reasons.

Professional Soccer Leagues

✅︎ Allowed ✅︎

FIFA Regulations:

FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, outlines the basic equipment a player can use in its “Laws of the Game.” Specifically, Law 4 deals with the players’ equipment, including footwear.

According to FIFA’s Laws of the Game:

  1. Safety: A player’s equipment must not pose any danger to himself or others. This is the fundamental rule that applies to all equipment, including footwear. Therefore, regardless of the material (be it metal, plastic, or otherwise), studs or cleats must not have sharp edges or points that could injure another player.
  2. Footwear: While FIFA acknowledges that players can wear footwear, the regulations do not go into explicit detail about the type or material of studs that should be used. Instead, the emphasis is always on safety. Thus, metal studs (often used in “soft ground” boots) are allowed as long as they are not dangerous.

In practice:

  • Referees inspect players’ boots before the start of a match. If a referee believes that a player’s boots, whether due to metal studs or any other feature, pose a potential danger to others, they can ask the player to change them.
  • It’s also worth noting that individual leagues and tournaments might have specific regulations, especially if matches are played on artificial turf or hybrid surfaces, where metal studs might not be suitable or can cause damage to the surface.

Always refer to the most current version of FIFA’s Laws of the Game or specific tournament regulations for any updates or changes to equipment rules.

Field Type & Metal Soccer Cleat Regulations

Artificial grass fields, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, also require players to wear plastic cleats instead of metal ones.

The harder surface of artificial turf can damage or break metal studs and may pose a risk to both player safety and field maintenance.

Official Decision Making

Youth, High School, and NCAA Soccer Officials prioritize player safety when it comes to regulating cleats on the field. Plastic studs offer sufficient traction on firm ground while minimizing the risk of injury during gameplay.

While some may argue that metal cleats provide better traction on certain surfaces, regulations aim to ensure a level playing field where all participants can compete safely without compromising their well-being or that of others.

Regulations regarding soccer cleat choices revolve around:

  1. Preventing injuries
  2. Maintaining fair play standards across different leagues
  3. Playing surfaces

While there may be instances where wearing metal studs could offer better grip or traction, these benefits are outweighed by potential risks in most contexts. As such, it is advisable for players to adhere to the specific rules set forth by their respective organizations and opt for plastic cleats when playing soccer on natural grass or artificial turf fields.

Are Youth Soccer Players Allowed To Wear Metal Studs?

🚫No! 🚫 The use of metal studs in youth soccer is generally not allowed in most leagues and tournaments.

This restriction is primarily for safety reasons. Since younger players are still developing their skills and coordination, the potential risks associated with metal studs can be significant.

Those goofy random tackles and challenges can result in life long injuries if they have metal strapped to their feet.

When playing on grass or natural turf fields, youth players are typically required to wear rubber cleats or plastic cleats with molded studs.

These types of cleats provide adequate traction on the playing surface while minimizing the risk of injury to both the wearer and other players.

Are You Allowed To Wear Metal Soccer Cleats In High School Soccer?

In high school soccer, the rules regarding the use of metal soccer cleats vary depending on the league and the state.

You can find a list of high school soccer rules per state here >>>

Generally, metal cleats are allowed to be worn in high school soccer, but there are some restrictions in certain situations. Some leagues may require players to wear rubber or molded cleats to avoid potential injuries on wet surfaces or artificial grass fields.

These restrictions aim to minimize serious injuries such as ankle and knee injuries that can occur when using metal spikes on hard surfaces. The decision to allow or prohibit metal cleats is often based on player safety.

While some players prefer the traction and stability provided by metal spikes, there is a concern that they may cause harm during aggressive plays or collisions with other players.

Therefore, in certain leagues or situations where safety is a top priority, it is more common for players to be required to wear rubber cleats instead.

It’s important for young players who aspire to play at a higher level of soccer, such as college or professional leagues, to be aware of the rules governing their use of metal cleats.

The NCAA has specific guidelines stating that their athletes must wear shoes with molded soles rather than metal spikes.

This means that once high school players transition into college-level soccer, they will need to adjust their choice of footwear accordingly.

It’s crucial for players and coaches to familiarize themselves with these regulations before participating in any games or competitions. Adhering to these rules not only ensures fair play but also helps prevent unnecessary injuries that could impede a player’s progress.

Why Are Metal Cleats Not Allowed In Youth Soccer?

Metal cleats are not allowed in Youth Soccer for several reasons.

  1. Player safety. Metal studs can have sharp edges that can cause serious injuries to other players on the field.
  2. Metal studs can dig into the ground more aggressively, during rainy seasons, than rubber cleats, increasing the risk of ankle and knee injuries.
  3. Metal cleats are not allowed in soccer is because they can damage the playing surface. Metal studs can leave deep imprints on the ground or even tear up chunks of turf when players make sudden movements or change directions quickly. This can lead to costly repairs for clubs or organizations managing these facilities.

Do Premier League Professional Soccer Players Wear Metal Cleats?

Yes, it is common to see players donning metal soccer cleats during the rainy humid seasons.

Usage in the Premier League: Metal studs are not uncommon in the Premier League, especially during the rainy season in England where pitches can become soft and muddy. However, on modern hybrid pitches and during drier conditions, players might opt for boots designed for firmer ground.

With various rules and regulations in place, combined with advancements in technology, hybrid stud configurations have become the preferred choice for professional soccer players in the Premier League.

Why Don’t Some Professional Soccer Players Wear Metal Cleats?

Some professional soccer players choose not to wear metal cleats for various reasons.

One reason is that modern football has evolved, and players now have various playing surfaces to contend with.

Metal cleats are primarily designed for natural grass fields with soft ground, where they can provide excellent traction and stability.

However, on artificial turf or hard surfaces, metal spikes can be dangerous.

These surfaces have different properties compared to natural grass fields, and wearing metal cleats can increase the risk of ankle and knee injuries due to the sharp edges of the spikes digging into the surface.

Personal preference also plays a role in why some professionals choose not to wear metal cleats.

Some players may feel more comfortable and confident wearing other types of cleats that suit their playing style better.

It’s about finding the right balance between performance-enhancing footwear and avoiding potentially dangerous equipment on inappropriate surfaces.

Soccer Shoes with Mixed Cleats

These are soccer shoes that have a combination of different types of studs on their sole. Why would someone opt for mixed cleats instead of just going for either rubber or metal cleats?

Well, let me explain.

Mixed cleats offer a versatile option for players who participate in games played on both soft and hard surfaces.

The combination of rubber and metal studs provides optimum traction and stability, regardless of the ground conditions.

On soft ground surfaces, where metal cleats tend to dig in and provide excellent grip, the metal studs come into play.

They allow players to maintain their balance while making quick turns and changes in direction. However, on hard surfaces like artificial turf or firm grass fields, metal cleats can be too aggressive and may cause unnecessary injuries or damage to the playing surface.

This is where the rubber cleats come in handy. With their flat design, they provide better traction without digging into the ground or posing any risk to other players.

You’ll mostly see Premier League, Bundaslega, and Ligue 1 players choose to wear soccer boots with mixed cleats because it allows them more flexibility depending on pitch conditions during different stages of a game.

It gives them an advantage when adapting swiftly between various playing surfaces without compromising safety or performance.

Overall, mixed cleats offer soccer players the best of both worlds: enhanced grip and stability on soft ground surfaces with metal studs while ensuring safety and versatility when playing on harder surfaces with rubber cleat counterparts.

So, if you’re looking for a soccer shoe that can adapt to different ground conditions and prevent injuries, mixed cleats may just be what you need.

Pro Soccer Players Who Always Wear Metal Cleats

In the world of professional soccer, there are some players who always prefer to wear metal cleats. These players believe that metal studs provide them with certain advantages on the field. One such player is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is known for his lightning-fast speed and agility.

He believes that metal cleats give him better traction and grip on the ground, allowing him to make quick turns and sudden bursts of acceleration. Lionel Messi is another top-tier player who often wears metal cleats.

Messi’s playing style relies heavily on his close ball control and quick changes in direction. He feels that metal studs enable him to have better stability, especially on wet or muddy fields, where rubber cleats might fail to provide sufficient grip.

Are Metal Cleats Actually Safe in Pro Soccer?

Yes, Metal Cleats are actually safe in pro soccer!

Metal studs are not allowed to be damaged or sharp in any way.

Referees have rules in place to check that player equipment is safe before the games are played.

So it it factual that metal studs can be dangerous in a sport as fast-paced and physical as soccer if there are sharp edges on the metal studs.

That doesn’t happen though.

Soccer metal studs are dull and safe.

Can You Wear Metal Cleats on Artificial Grass?

Wearing metal cleats on artificial grass is generally not recommended and can potentially lead to several issues..


The hard surface of synthetic turf can put extra strain on your feet and joints if you are wearing metal studs. This can increase the risk of discomfort or injury, especially if you are playing for an extended period.


Metal studs may cause damage to the artificial grass itself. The rigid nature of metal spikes can dig into the turf and create holes or tears in the material, leading to potential maintenance problems for sports facilities.

Artificial grass, also known as synthetic turf or astro turf, is a surface made of synthetic fibers that are designed to mimic the appearance and feel of natural grass.

Unlike natural grass, artificial turf has a much harder surface and does not provide the same level of traction as real grass.

When it comes to playing soccer on artificial turf, most players opt for shoes with plastic cleats or rubber studs.

These types of footwear are specifically designed to provide adequate grip and traction on the synthetic surface without causing damage.

Always check with your coach or league regulations to ensure compliance with the compulsory equipment guidelines.

As a general guideline, though, it is safer to avoid wearing metal cleats on artificial grass to reduce the risk of injury and prevent any damage to the playing field.

Why Metal Cleats Work Best on Soft Surfaces?

Soft ground surfaces, such as natural grass fields that are wet or muddy, provide the ideal conditions for metal cleats to showcase their superiority.

The main reason why metal cleats work best on soft surfaces is the enhanced traction they provide. The metal studs penetrate the ground more effectively, allowing players to grip the surface and maintain stability during quick turns, pivots, and sudden changes in direction.

Are the spikes of metal soccer cleats replaceable?

When it comes to metal soccer cleats, one important aspect that often comes up is whether the spikes of these cleats are replaceable. The answer varies depending on the specific brand and model of the cleats.

Some metal cleats do come with replaceable spikes, allowing players to easily swap them out when they become worn or damaged.

Having replaceable spikes is a valuable feature for soccer players who wear metal cleats because it allows for greater longevity and customization.

It’s worth noting that not all metal soccer cleat brands offer replaceable spikes.

Some models have fixed or molded studs that cannot be replaced once they are worn down.

In these cases, when the studs become too short or lose their grip due to excessive use, it may be necessary for players to invest in new cleats.

While not all metal soccer cleats have replaceable spikes, having this feature provides significant advantages for players.

It allows for longer-lasting footwear by simply replacing worn-out or damaged studs rather than purchasing entirely new cleats.


What are soccer cleats made of?

Soccer cleats are typically made of synthetic materials such as leather or synthetic leather, which provide durability and flexibility. The upper part of the cleat is designed to fit snugly around the foot, providing support and protection.

The sole of the cleat is usually made of rubber or a combination of rubber and plastic, with strategically placed studs or blades that offer traction on different surfaces.

Are soccer cleats plastic now?

While soccer cleats were traditionally made with a leather upper and metal studs, the use of plastic materials has become increasingly popular in recent years. Plastic cleats offer several advantages, including being lightweight, affordable, and durable.

Many professional soccer players now wear plastic cleats due to their versatility and performance-enhancing features.

Are metal cleats allowed in football?

The use of metal cleats in football varies depending on the league or association. In some leagues, such as professional soccer leagues like the English Premier League or Major League Soccer (MLS), metal studs are permitted on natural grass pitches.

However, in other leagues like high school football or indoor soccer, metal studs are often prohibited due to safety concerns. Governing bodies like FIFA or NCAA may have specific regulations regarding the type of footwear allowed during matches.

Soccer cleats have evolved over time with advancements in materials technology. While traditional leather upper and metal stud combinations are still used by some players, many now prefer synthetic materials for their durability and performance benefits.

Plastic cleats have gained popularity for their lightweight nature and affordability. The use of metal cleats in football depends on various factors such as league regulations and playing surface conditions to ensure player safety.


The decision to wear metal cleats ultimately depends on individual preferences, playing style, and the specific conditions of the playing field. Professional soccer players often have the luxury of choosing between various types of cleats and can opt for metal studs if they believe it enhances their performance.

For amateur players and those playing on hard surfaces or artificial turf, plastic studs may be a safer alternative that still provides adequate grip. It is essential to keep in mind that safety rules should always be followed to reduce the risk of ankle and knee injuries while enjoying the beautiful game of soccer.

Connor Callahan is a Youth Soccer Coach and Entrepreneur, best known for founding the highly successful Primal Keeper Academy and the soccer training program, Better Ball Control. He coaches at South Orlando Soccer Club and Boone High School. With over a decade of experience, Connor has a proven track record of leading hundreds of youth soccer players across competitive South Eastern Soccer Seasons and Tournaments like Nona Cup, Space Coast Clash, SOSC Labor Day Cup, and many more. His expert advise has been been viewed by hundreds of thousands of viewers on YouTube. Additionally, Connor’s soccer coaching strategies shared via social media platforms reach thousands of viewers annually.

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