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The Difference Between Firm Ground & Soft Ground Football Boots

The Difference Between Firm Ground & Soft Ground Football Boots

Article by: Mickey

Mon, Jun 28.21

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  • The Difference Between Firm Ground & Soft Ground Football Boots

    Whether you play for fun or are an avid football fanatic like we are, having good pair of football boots is essential for any player. They protect your feet and ankles, provide grip and strength throughout the game, and can ultimately make or break your performance. Knowing which boots are right for which type of surface is crucial to peak performance on the pitch. In this article, we are going to be discussing the difference between firm ground and soft ground football boots, how to tell between different surfaces, and ultimately which ones are going to be better overall to support you and your wins.

    When it comes to firm ground (FG) and soft ground (SG) football boots, picking the right ones for the right playing surfaces is crucial to how you perform on the field. Not only does wearing the right pair of boots prevent any slippages or potential injuries during a game, but you’ll actually perform better. You’ll have the right grip and traction to make split-second decisions that could make or break a win.

    So, how do you make sure to pick the right type of football boots?

    Types of Surfaces

    Firstly, it’s important to identify the differences between the types of surfaces you’ll encounter. This will make it easier to pick a good pair of football boots because you’ll know exactly what surfaces you’re working with. There are two pretty common surfaces that you’ll encounter when playing outside. These include: 

    • Firm Ground: Firm ground surfaces are a form of natural ground and are probably the most common playing fields. Firm ground surfaces are typically short-cut grass and drier, resulting in a much firmer feel underfoot. These types of fields are not overly maintained, which results in their harder surface. Typical firm ground surfaces could include parks and natural fields.
    • Soft Ground: Soft ground surfaces are another form of naturally occurring ground. These are less common and are particularly wetter and muddier. Soft ground surfaces are typically more cushioned as they have a base of either sand or dirt. They are also usually reserved for more professional games, which means that the grounds are well-watered, manicured, and mowed. Typical soft ground surfaces include professional fields, private pitches, and fields in more tropical or wetter environments.

    Both surfaces look pretty similar, but underfoot, they can feel completely different. 

    Soft Ground vs Firm Ground Football Boots

    Comparing Firm Ground vs Soft Ground Boots

    So now that you have an idea about the different types of surfaces you might encounter and how to tell them apart, it’s time to discuss the difference in the footwear you’ll need for these surfaces.

    Firm Ground Football Boots

    Firm ground football boots are very common when it comes to purchasing boots for the season. FG boots are categorised by their soleplate, which has shorter studs that are not interchangeable. These studs are typically made from hard plastic or rubber and are the best for sprinting across firm ground surfaces as we discussed earlier. The studs are designed to increase traction and are strategically placed on the sole of the boots to help distribute weight as you sprint for the ball.

    Their design, shape, and positioning are all dependent upon the individual brands and will vary slightly but will usually include 4 studs at the back and between 6-8 studs at the front. The most common types of studs include Conical, Bladed, and mixed, which is a combination of both. Each type of stud has advantages and disadvantages; however, it is all up to personal preference as to what will work best for you. Make sure to do your research about which boot and stud type will suit you.

    Soft Ground vs Firm Ground Football Boots

    Soft Ground Football Boots

    Soft ground football boots are another type of common boot when it comes to football season. These boots are typical for soft ground surfaces, great for wet and muddy playing fields where you need extreme traction and grip to sprint and make sudden movements during the game.

    In contrast to their FG counterparts, SG boots have much longer studs that will pierce the ground when you run. Traditional designs used a 6-stud configuration (2 studs at the back and 4 at the front). Now with more advanced technology, brands have begun to incorporate a mix of studs on the soleplate, similar to the FG mixed design.

    Another stark difference in SG boots is the use of metal studs, which are both interchangeable and can be unscrewed. This means that you have a lot more control during games to make quick and sudden movements on the soft ground, but your boots won’t clog up as much compared to FG boots on a similar field.

    Soft Ground vs Firm Ground Football Boots

    What About Multi-Ground Boots?

    So, what about multi-ground boots you might be asking. Multi ground boots are specifically designed for playing fields that have artificial grass, both indoor and outdoor. Their soleplate consists of many short studs that help with weight distribution and comfort during a game.

    Multi-ground boots are not hybrid FG and SG boots, as the name might suggest. These types of boots are not recommended for firm ground surfaces like natural grass or soft ground surfaces like manicured pitches. This is because their studs are much shorter than both FG and SG variations, which means that you won’t have enough grip or traction for these surfaces.

    What About Different Brands?

    With any kind of product, there will be many variations across different brands. When it comes to football boots in particular many brands will make both FG and SG versions of the same boot. For example, the adidas Predator Freak.1 football boots have variations for both FG and SG. This

    means that, other than the difference in studs, the boots will pretty much be identical, so this will make purchasing online much easier if you have to have both variations during the season.

    So, Which is Better?

    When it really comes down to it, which type of football boot is going to be better for you?

    For SG boots, the studs will dig into the ground when you run, which is good for wetter and muddier conditions, but not great for your harder surfaces. So, if you live in a more humid climate that is prone to excessive rain, or are playing on softer and well-maintained pitches, then SG boots would be ideal.  

    However, if you are going to predominantly be playing on firmer surfaces that won’t be exposed to excessive rain or maintenance, FG football boots are going to be the better option to go with. They provide excellent grip and traction for games as well as versatility across different playing fields.

    When it comes to either firm ground or soft ground football boots, the choice is really dependent upon the condition of the day and whether your boots can grip the ground enough while you run. Between both FG and SG, there isn’t a lot of variances apart from the difference in the studs. If you could only choose one, we recommend going with a FG football boot, as it will give you heaps of versatility across different surfaces and pitches. You will be able to rip it and grip it all the way to a win.

    Soft Ground vs Firm Ground Football Boots

    Buying the perfect pair of football boots can seem daunting, but now with the right understanding and knowledge, you’ll be able to choose the best pair for you and absolutely dominate your next game.

    For your next pair of firm ground or soft ground boots, check out our range of football boots on Ultra Football now.


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