One of the most common mistakes young players make when choosing their first boots is not understanding what the sole marking means, why the same shoe has a different combination and shape. We will just talk about this point, as it will help beginners figure out how not to make a mistake with the choice of a sole, on which the quality of grip on different types of playing surfaces in football depends.
It is important to understand that choosing the correct labeling is only half the battle. It is also important to choose the right top material for your personal preferences and game features, a set of technologies that differs for each manufacturer, and, of course, the style, which is very individual. If you make a mistake in the choice of labeling, then this is fraught with injury and loss of efficiency, which is important to avoid. The rest is a matter of taste and personal ideas about the comfort of playing shoes.
Today we will only talk about the outsole as the main tool responsible for your grip and safety on the lawn. We will also not touch on the materials and workmanship of the sole. Just a combination of pins, their markings and what playing surface it is intended for.
Let’s start with a sole that is ideal for natural lawns. Here we have two configurations to choose from – FG or FG / AG… At the same time, FG is perfect for both natural turf and artificial, but of good quality. The highest quality grip will be provided on contact with dry grass. As a rule, you can recognize such a sole by the round spikes (now they have begun to practice other forms as well), the number of which will not exceed 12-13 pieces. This is a kind of universal option that players most often choose, but there is also a combined version – FG / AG, where round pimples coexist with flat ones. This combination guarantees excellent stability, but still only play comfortably on dry lawns.
If we talk about wet surfaces or playing in the rain, then it is better to choose a configuration SG or SG-PRO – the best option even for a swampy field. The outsole design has both round and flat angled studs. The clever arrangement of the spikes allows you to provide contact where, it would seem, it would be impossible to even imagine. SG also perform well on soft dirt or poor quality lawns, so it is recommended for amateurs who have to play on low-quality pitches without proper maintenance.
If we talk about artificial turf, then boots with small spikes are optimal here. It can be familiar to us centipedes (turfs) with markings TFand shoes with spikes like TF / TT, FxG or even AG, if you choose models with the shortest spikes. If the pile is short, then the best choice is the well-known centipedes, if it is long, then it is better to give preference to the FxG option. These outsole formats are characterized by a large number of small pimples closely spaced. However, they are also suitable for playing on dry and wet artificial turf.
It is also worth mentioning about such a sole format as IC, IT and IN… This is a futsal format that, you guessed it, is suitable for playing indoors on a parquet floor. It features a complete lack of studs, a flat sole made of non-marking rubber, and maximum grip on flat playing surfaces. Some variations of the outsole will also work great on outdoor abrasive / rubber, but always flat surfaces.
That’s all, you have already mastered the main types, but it is worth understanding that today manufacturers like to combine different configurations, as well as test new spike formats in order to achieve perfect contact with the lawn. Now you understand why every professional player has so many boots in his arsenal, seemingly with the same design, but they all have different types of cleats, which allows their owner to go out to play in any weather and on any field.