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Football Cleat Buying Guide

Football cleats were designed specifically for use on grass or artificial turf. When choosing football cleats, keep in mind the position you play and the type of field you play on.

Understanding the different kinds of football cleats?

There are two general categories of football cleats: molded or removable. Understanding the differences between them and when to use them can help you decide which ones will meet your needs.

Molded - Molded football cleats feature rubber or hard plastic spikes built into the sole. They're generally considered safer for kids, thus the only cleats allowed for the youngest leagues. However, they're available for adults too. Molded cleats are larger and bulkier than metal, and don't offer as much traction on grass and loose dirt.

Removable - Some cleats feature rubber, plastic, or metal spikes able to be removed by screwing them off and on. Removable or "interchangeable" cleats allow you to replace worn spikes, and change them out for different field conditions.

Understanding ankle differences

Like many kinds of athletic shoes, cleats come in a variety of ankle heights: low, providing the least amount of ankle support but the most flexibility, mid-top for a medium amount of ankle support, and high tops for the most stability. If you prefer a lighter, more flexible shoe that allows you to pivot and perform fancy footwork then you probably want a low-top. On the other hand, you may want high tops if you have weak ankles, or have recently sustained an ankle injury.

The kinds of cleats allowed for your league

When choosing a pair of football cleats, it's important to know what your league will allow. There are general guidelines, but to be sure, please check with your league or organization.

  • Kids typically wear molded football cleats for safety purposes
  • High school football players are allowed to use either molded or removable cleats. Molded cleats feature rubber or hard plastic spikes built into the sole, and less than 1/2 inch long. Removable cleats are most common because they allow the players to adjust or change their cleats.
  • Adult players can typically wear football cleats of their choice - but league rules may vary

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What football cleats are right for me?

Before purchasing a pair of football cleats, be aware of the rules and regulations held by the particular football league regading the types of cleats that are considered legal.


  • Wide receivers and defensive backs prefer low cut cleats because they are lighter and offer freedom of movement at great speeds
  • Quarterbacks and running backs like mid cut cleats that provide moderate ankle support and stills allows maneuverability
  • Lineman benefit from high top cleats as they offer the most ankle support because of the pressure put on their ankles by lateral movements

Field conditions

  • Molded cleats generally work best on solid surfaces
  • Removable short spikes are designed for solid, dry surfaces and longer spikes when you play on a wet, sloppy field


Football cleats can be constructed of leather or synthetic materials. Seasoned players enjoy leather cleats for their durability and comfort. Parents tend to buy synthetic cleats for their kids because they're also durable, yet moisture-resistant and easy-to-clean; best of all, they're more affordable for replacing as kids quickly grow out of them. Today's technologies have done wonders to replicate the feel and performance of real leather.

Selecting a pair of cleats

A few things to consider before purchasing your cleats:

  • Are they league-approved?
  • Are the spikes appropriate for your position and condition of the field?
  • Are they the right fit - not too loose or tight?
  • Do the ankles and arches support you well?

Trying on your cleats

Your cleats need to give you not only the right traction, but fit. They should be snug enough to allow for pivoting and performing quick moves without your feet slipping in the them, yet comfortable enough to allow your feet to breathe. Try on a few pair. Select the ones that are designed for your needs.

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How do I take care of my football cleats?

Football cleats like the rest of the team uniforms need to be cleaned just as often to keep them in great shape.

Here are a few tips to help keep the outside and inside of your cleats looking good:

  • Remove excess dirt by knocking the boottom of the cleats together
  • Brush off the remaining dirt from the bottom and sides of the cleats
  • Use a damp soapy cloth to remove the rest of the dirt from the bottom and surface of the shoe
  • Spray the insides of the cleats with an anti-odor disinfectant spray. This will kill the bacteria and improve the odor of your cleats

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Acacia Football Cleats

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