What shoes do you wear for indoor soccer?
From casual adult leagues to competitive club soccer, the question of what shoes to wear for indoor soccer comes up a lot. Without knowing the exact facility you will be playing in, it’s hard to have enough information to give a clear cut answer!
Ultimately it comes down to 3 things…
- Studs & Outsoles
Indoor Soccer Surfaces
The main surfaces you will be playing indoor soccer on are generally artificial turf and hard courts. Many newer facilities have installed lush 3G turf with that familiar rubber crumb, while some indoor centers’ turf fields are more carpet-like (2G) and might even be removable over a concrete floor if the facility is used for more than just soccer. Have a look at your local indoor center to see how they describe their turf fields on their website, or take an intentional walk on the pitch itself to get a feel for the type of turf as well as cushioning underfoot. Keep in mind that artificial surfaces, especially 3G grass, can feel differently depending on age, wear and tear, and the level of maintenance.
Hard courts are another surface you might face if you’re playing futsal specifically, or live in a place that’s tight on field space. This may look like a literal basketball court, made of anything from hardwoods to vinyl. It may also look like synthetic (and sometimes removable) courts designed specifically for futsal, or synthetic courts designed for multi-sport use. Just like artificial turf surfaces, hard courts also have slight differences in grippiness and shock absorption… factors that may not always be measurable or even felt by all!
What to Wear for Indoor Soccer or Futsal
Once you know your surface, it’s time to think about the outsole of the shoe (fancy technical term for the bottom of the shoe). Unlike basketball for instance, soccer players are more likely to have multiple pairs of boots to accommodate different surfaces.
Hard Courts → this might be obvious, but if you’re playing on a hard court surface, you should not (and will definitely not want to) play in FG or SG cleats. Studs are a no-go on a hard court. You will have no traction. You will slip. You could injure yourself! You should be looking for indoor soccer shoes or futsal-specific shoes. Both will be effective on hard courts, and futsal-specific shoes may have a few features or details specific to the highly technical (and flair!) side of futsal. The IDA Spirit collection is a great women’s specific offering for both indoor soccer and futsal on hard courts.
Artificial Turf Fields → depending on the type of turf and the condition of the field, players will wear everything from FG cleats to AG turf shoes to indoor soccer shoes. This is where stud length, stud shape, and number of studs come into play along with personal preferences
We do not recommend that players wear soft ground (SG) cleats on an artificial turf field, no matter how lush it is. SG cleats tend to have longer studs as well as some metal studs to increase traction on muddy, slippery natural grass fields. However, on artificial turf, these cleats can provide too much traction and put you at high risk for “stick and twist injuries”.
Firm Ground (FG) cleats are the most versatile soccer cleat since they work well on both natural grass fields and 3G turf, both indoors and outdoors. Are all FG cleats created the same though? No way. Some FG cleats have longer studs with a mix of round and “bladed” shapes. On the other hand, all IDA cleats are intentionally designed to support female athletes with shorter studs and more conical than blade shapes throughout. This is intended to reduce “rotational traction” and makes it a great option for both FG and AG surfaces.
Turf Shoes (TF), sometimes referred to as “astros”, are specially designed for, you guessed it, turf. They were initially designed for 2G carpet-like artificial surfaces; however, they can also be a safe option and the preference for some players on 3G artificial turf as well. The many rubber bumps or ridges on the outsole help to provide grip on short-bladed artificial grass, and the midsole cushioning helps to absorb impact on harder surfaces. They are optimal for indoor turf fields, but be conscious of whether they work for you or not on outdoor fields when slippery conditions might be a factor. This leads us to the third factor…
Artificial Grass (AG) cleats are another option if you play indoor on 3G artificial turf (the one with the black rubber bits). These look very similar to FG cleats, but they do have slight differences in their outsole. AG cleats tend to have slightly more and slightly shorter studs. Because of these characteristics, IDA’s outdoor cleats are also recommended for use on 3G artificial turf.
If you’re fortunate enough to play in an indoor soccer center that has a nice 3G turf field, your boot outsole ultimately comes down to preference. Some players prefer to stick with their FG, or FG/AG, cleats year round, while others prefer to make the switch to turf shoes (TF), artificial grass (AG) cleats, or indoor soccer shoes (IC) during the winter months. FG/AG cleats are the most versatile and therefore budget friendly if you can’t afford to have a pair for every possible surface. However, if you do train or play on artificial surfaces that have short-bladed grass and are quite hard (like the 2G carpet like pitches), it is definitely worth investing in a pair of turf shoes (TF). As if you wear FG or AG on this type of surface, you will be much more likely to skid, go over your own ankle, as well as feel quite sore underneath due to the stud contact with the hard surface.
Preferences will develop the more you play indoor soccer. You may start to notice higher impact or improved cushion of certain surfaces compared to others. You may also “feel more grounded” in certain outsoles. Either way, it’s important to feel comfortable and supported in your boots regardless of the number of studs underneath you!
The final thing to consider that might negate your preferences altogether is the rules of the indoor soccer centers. They’re all different. Some let you play in cleats on their turf fields, and some don’t. Before you spend big on a new pair of boots for indoor season, be sure to ask the soccer center directly and understand their policy!