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What shoes to buy?

Unread postby BlueEyedBuddhist » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:52:38 am

Most Pub Leaguers are new to playing soccer, or haven't played in a long, long time. In another thread I posted this, but I think a shoe discussion deserves its own thread because let's face it- we're playing FOOTball, and that surface-foot-ball connection is a pretty big deal.

Soo... here goes:


I'll throw this out there... for outdoor turf, I have a pair of the newer "AG" shoes, and I love them.

When you're shopping for soccer shoes, you'll often see two-letter codes. The most commonly used codes are:

TF- turf
AT- Artificial turf
AG- Artificial ground (or artificial grass)
SG- Soft ground
FG- Firm ground
HG- Hard ground

TF or AT shoes are sometimes flat on the bottom, with no studs at all. A subset of them are "indoor" shoes, and they're almost like a basketball shoe, like this one:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... ct_Id=1907

Most have a bunch of the small, softer, rubberized studs- the classic "turf shoe". That'd be more like this:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... ct_Id=2603

A newer type of artificial surface shoe has come out just in the past few years. They're "AG" shoes, and they have a lot more studs than a traditional cleat, but not as many as the older-school artificial turf shoe. Something like this:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=9032871

Then you move into a more traditional cleat, for use outdoors on natural grass surfaces.

SG, FG, and HG shoes are what they sound like.

SG are going to have very few studs- usually no more than four in the heel, and sometimes only two, with another 3 to 7ish studs in the ball of the foot and toes. You'll see these in really soft grass fields, with maybe some mud; they have few studs because the mud won't clog up between the studs and thus the shoes will continue to sink in and give traction.

SG studs are usually round, a bit longer, and sometimes they're actually replaceable- they screw in and out, so you can replace the stud if it wears down. (Sometimes these studs are made with metal, and many recreational leagues do not allow them as they can get little burrs and edges in the stud, which can cut opposing players.) Two versions:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=4261428
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=5168519


FG shoes are for use on the "average" dry, firm grass field. They'll have studs that are often a bladed type of shape, and there's sometimes (but not always) more of them on the bottom of the shoe than on an SG shoe. You'll actually see a lot of guys wearing FG cleats on artificial turf fields- many Sounders play in these at RBP. An example:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=8647889


Finally, HG shoes are for surfaces that are just that- really hard. Lots of times they're just artificial turf shoes- true "firm ground" shoes for natural surfaces have pretty much disappeared, because the same design needs of artificial turf apply to these shoes, so people don't buy outdoor versions anymore.


What to buy?

If you're new to soccer, a couple of things. First, buy something that FITS. You're looking for a shoe that fits closely- you don't really want extra room, but don't buy too tight because that'll kill your feet and often cost you a toenail. The more expensive shoes will sometimes be made of a slightly softer leather (kangeroo hide used to be common) that might stretch and form-fit a wee bit, but you're best to NOT count on a shoe stretching out.

Second, don't pay over a hundred bucks unless you have money to blow. You don't need those shoes.

Third, you gotta decide if you're going to have multiple pairs of shoes. The main reason you might do this is if you play on multiple surfaces OR personal preference. Odds are you won't; around here, every indoor field and pretty much every outdoor field you're going to play on is going to be a newer-style artificial turf, like the Sounders have in the stadium.

So for a first-time buyer, to get the most bang for your buck, I'd say go for a decent artificial turf shoe. Don't get an AG shoe- stick with one that's got the many small studs. You can get a decent shoe for under $50, like these:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=8647942
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=8911457

If your budget is "under a hundred", then you can get something like these:
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... Id=7952170
http://www.soccer.com/IWCatProductPage. ... ct_Id=2603


The reason I say you should get these types of shoes is that the AG shoes usually have a harder stud (even though there's a lot more of them than an FG or SG shoe) and some of the indoor soccer centers won't let you play in them. The softer turf shoes are just fine outdoors, even if the artificial turf is a bit wet (if it's really slick then you'll see people breaking out their SG cleats when outdoors) and they'll even work on natural grass. I've played in mine on dry grass and they still hold just fine.

If you're going to get two pairs of shoes, then get an FG shoe for natural grass and a turf shoe as described above.

If you're going to get three pairs of shoes, you have a problem, and you're going to be like me and have a turf shoe for indoors, an AG shoe for outdoors on artificial grass/turf, and a FG shoe for natural grass.

If you have a REALLY big problem, you'll be like (name redacted) and have shoes for every possible condition- a turf shoe for indoors, an AG shoe for outdoor artificial turf/grass, an FG shoe for firm natural grass, an SG shoe for soft/muddy natural grass, and a giant shoe bag.
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Unread postby Skarpian » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:17:53 am

A lot of good info up there, Thanks!

One of the best coaches I had stressed that there are very few things you have control of in a game. You can't choose your opponent, the field you play on, the ball you play with, or the kit your wearing. The two things you can control are your attitude and your boots.

His point being to make sure you've got a good pair of boots that fit well and you take care of them.
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Unread postby RaveGooner » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51:36 am

This nice little discount just came out in a Sounders matchpass email. For all of you season ticket holders w/ matchpass buying new or replacing old boots for the start of pub league this should help you out...

20% off your order at adidas.com from March 1 to March 31, 2013. Use your unique promotion code: (each person should get their own code which can be used one time).

And of course, we do also get a diadora discount through ECS FC, I believe 10%, am I right Skarp? And correct me if I'm wrong but we get a 10% ECS discount at sporthaus schmetzer locations as well.

Enjoy!
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Unread postby blurrygil » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:19:43 pm

15% off at Schmetzer's
30% off at Diadora

Some require coupon codes. See here for details: ECS Partner Discounts
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Unread postby RaveGooner » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:25:36 pm

blurrygil wrote:15% off at Schmetzer's
30% off at Diadora

Some require coupon codes. See here for details: ECS Partner Discounts


Thanks Gil.
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Unread postby seadoc » Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:16:59 pm

sounds like the small-stud turf shoe is indoor/outdoor ready & allowed at starfire indoor but does the indoor shoe add much (feel?) above a turf shoe?
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Unread postby RaveGooner » Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:46:15 pm

seadoc wrote:sounds like the small-stud turf shoe is indoor/outdoor ready & allowed at starfire indoor but does the indoor shoe add much (feel?) above a turf shoe?


I've found indoor shoes can be a bit slippery. They are completely flat on the bottom, very little traction at all, but that makes them good for rolling the ball while dribbling if that's what you like to do. And yes, turf shoes (with the little rubber stubs) can be used easily for both indoor/outdoor. But I would never recommend using indoor shoes on outdoor turf.
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Unread postby seadoc » Thu Mar 7, 2013 9:14:39 am

ok, last Q: are TF shoes good to go for outdoor turf even if it gets a little wet? Could be a bit dangerous w/o enough traction?

I'm for sure getting turf shoes & hopefully they can pull double duty indoor/outdoor but I don't know.
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Unread postby Dannicus » Thu Mar 7, 2013 10:07:31 am

I wear turf shoes and have had zero issues with outdoor turf.
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Unread postby BlueEyedBuddhist » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:56:55 am

It's a "YMMV" kind of issue. Turf shoes are NOT "totally smooth" on the bottom, but compared with cleats (SG, FG, etc) they sure seem like it. Some people (like RaveGooner) find them too slick, and some people don't.

My acceleration isn't that great so maybe that's why I don't slip around in them. :)

Seriously, indoor turf and outdoor turf is identical these days. The only consideration for outdoor turf is that it can be wet. Personally, I wear the AG shoes on outdoor turf, but like I said, if someone is getting only one pair and getting into soccer around here, then they'll likely play indoors at some point- which means they'd need a TF shoe.

If they're going to mostly play outdoor and are really fast, or cut hard on the soles of their feet, then yeah, they might want to go with a FG type shoe instead. Those can slip on turf, though, too- just watch the Sounders sometime.
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