How to choose the right soccer cleat? Below are some of the most important aspects to evaluate when searching for the right cleat for you


How should soccer cleats fit?

Very common question. The short answer: Cleats need to fit comfortably. Every foot is different, and every player is different, so there is no perfect cleat for everyone. Trying the cleat on is the best way to determine if it has the proper fit for you

How tight should soccer cleats fit?

Common question to determine the best size to buy. A nice snug fit is key for proper control and to allow every part of a player’s foot to get in contact with the ball, without any air between the foot and the cleat. But how tight of a fit you want is personal preference. It’s not uncommon for players to wear cleats that are a half size smaller than their casual sneakers. Look for cleats that are no more than ¼” longer than your largest toe, because soccer cleats that are too big can put a player at risk of injury. 



Making a cleat that is comfortable and durable is more complex than many might realize. Many aspects are part of the cleats' construction. Let's start with the "parts": The Upper, the Insole, the Midsole and finally the Outsole. 


The Upper

The best regarded material for a soccer cleats' upper is leather, and in particular kangaroo leather (k-leather). However, the best material for you highly depends on your needs. Here are the best materials for different categories:

Comfort: Kangaroo Leather & Knit mold to the foot better and thus provide higher comfort. 

Durability: Kangaroo Leather & Synthetic. For leather cleats, some have a water resistant coating to increase durability, but note that leather is not waterproof like plastic (synthetic). 

Ball Touch: Kangaroo Leather & Knit are thinner materials and thus provide better ball touch. 

Weight: Synthetic & Knit are lighter than leather. If you want a leather cleat, but weight is important to you, kangaroo leather is lighter than calf leather. 

Protection: Leather (both Kangaroo and Calf) & Synthetic are all strong materials that provide good protection. We do not recommend knit cleats for protection. 

Price: Synthetic & Knit are usually more affordable than leather cleats.

The right upper material for you depends on your needs as a player. UNOZERO offers Kangaroo Leather Soccer Cleats and Calf Leather Soccer Cleats


The Insole   

Insoles provide much needed comfort in a performance shoe. You should look for an insole that provides just enough cushioning to not feel stud pressure. Too much cushioning can make for an unstable fit, which is quite dangerous. A good balance is important when it comes to insoles: not too thin, not too thick.


The Midsole 

Performance boots should be built to last, and should always protect the player. Nowadays, many shoes compromise durability and protection in order to reduce boot weight. The best boots for durability are those that have a midsole between the insole and the outsole, as this provides a better build top to bottom. Lightweight boots usually do not have midsoles so they tend to be more fragile and to offer less foot protection. Midsoles also reduce stud pressure, permitting a more comfortable fit. For most players, the weight added by a midsole is marginal, and the advantages offered by it are worth it.


The Outsole 

When it comes to the outsole, there are a couple of things to keep in mind, including the sole flexibility, the stud shape, and the surface that you will be playing on. 

What do we want in terms of flexibility?

Imagine the cleat is divided in three sections. The front part (where the toes are) is the forefoot.The back of the cleat is the heel area. The area between the forefoot and the heel area is the midfoot. A cleat should never be flexible in the midfoot or heel area, so you should not be able to bend the cleat in a “V” or “U” shape; this type of flexibility is very dangerous for playing soccer, and may result in injury due to the lack of foot support and balance. What you want in a soccer cleat, for safety reasons, is flexibility in the forefoot and stability in the midfoot and heel area.

What about stud shapes?

There are two main categories of stud shapes: Conical and Bladed. Conical studs offer great rotation, while Bladed studs offer great traction. Hybrid studs can get complicated, as nowadays brands tend to get very creative with their stud shapes; we’ve seen half-conical, arrow-shaped, and then some. Most of the Hybrid studs are designed for look, not performance. At UNOZERO, we do like a Hybrid shape called Bladed Conical, which simply means the shape stud is conical (best for rotation), but it is slightly elongated (to improve traction). This is the shape we use for our Firm Grass cleats. For our Artificial Grass cleats, we stick to the traditional conical shape, which we believe is the best shape to minimize the risk of injury in this play surface.

How does play surface affect cleat selection? 

We could write an entire article just on this topic. Many players don't realize the importance of selecting the correct outsole for the surface where they are going to be playing. 

In short, Firm Ground cleats are ideal for natural surfaces and newer generation artificial grass surfaces. Artificial Grass cleats are ideal for artificial grass surfaces that mimic natural grass (long enough for your cleats to sink into the grass). Turf shoes are for indoor and outdoor artificial short cut turf fields (very flat, carpet-style soccer fields). Finally, Futsal sneakers are ideal for hard courts.

Making sure that the outsole is appropriate for the playing surface is critical to minimize the risk of injuries. Many of the ACL injuries we see nowadays, for example, are a result of players using Firm Ground cleats for Artificial Grass surfaces. So if you play in more than one surface, it might absolutely be worth it to invest in more than one type of cleat. 

At UNOZERO, we offer cleats for every playing surface. You can check out our Firm-Ground cleatsArtificial Grass cleats, Turf Shoes, and Futsal Sneakers

No analysis about cleat construction would be complete without talking about the lacing system, the padding and the stitching. 

The Lacing System 

The goal of the lacing system is to provide a secure lockdown and custom adjustability. A deep lacing system has laces that start as close as possible to your toes, whereas a standard lacing system has laces that cover only about half of your foot. The deep lacing system allows for maximum adjustability and control of tightness on your entire foot, which is beneficial to players with all foot types, and it is crucial for those with wide feet.

Deep Lacing System


The Padding 

There is a big tradeoff between comfort and ball touch. Having a lot of padding can be very comfortable, but can affect ball touch, and vice versa, having little padding can be good for ball touch, but can affect comfort level. So the key here is to have the right amount of lightweight padding, in the right places, to ensure a comfortable fit, and good ball touch. The right balance can be very personal, so you will only be able to tell your personal preference by trying the cleats on.


The Stitching

Stitching the outsoles to the upper is critical for durability. Many cleats nowadays only glue the outsoles to the upper, resulting in quick separation of the outsole and the upper. 



Football boots come in all shapes and colors, but something much less visible is the process used to make these cleats. Are they mass-produced cleats made by a machine, or are they handmade cleats? Handmade football boots usually offer higher quality and durability, but they are usually more expensive than mass produced cleats. So the right process depends on your priorities, your needs and your budget. 



The bottom line and the common thread in this entire article is: The right cleat will depend on each player. There are many variables when it comes to selecting the right soccer cleat, and it is crucial to be able to try the cleats on and see how they feel on your feet. So make sure that your shopping experience allows you to try the cleats on and make sure they are right for you prior to committing to them. This can mean going to a store to try them on in person, or buying from a site that offers free returns and exchanges. Do keep in mind that most sites will only offer return shipping for unworn shoes. 

UNOZERO offers worry-free shopping by offering free shipping, free returns and free size exchanges in the US. We pride ourselves in offering the Most Comfortable Cleats in the Game, and we take that promise very seriously. We believe that a cleat that fits properly is what allows players to perform at their own true peak levels. Why? Because a comfortable soccer cleat allows the player to focus on the game, and that's all that matters. 

Check out UNOZERO's Cleats Here