Difference Between a Football Cleat & a Lacrosse Cleat

Football official standing next to football image by Pezography from Fotolia.com

Little difference exists between lacrosse cleats and football cleats in a good-fitting shoe.

Cleats are needed in both sports to help a player dig into the ground, especially to make sharp cuts and turns at a moment's notice. Lightweight cleats also are needed in both sports to maintain a player's agility.

Both football and lacrosse are high-impact sports. Players need to wear cleats with good support to protect their feet and legs from injury. Both types of shoes have important toe cleats, which aids players in making cuts.

About Lacrosse Cleats

The cleats on lacrosse shoes are often found around the outside of the sole to give players stability while moving from side to side.

Their construction relies on a stiff midsole--found between the outsole and the upper--to better absorb impact.

About Football Cleats

Football shoes also cluster the cleats around the outside of the sole, as well as at the ball of the foot to maintain a player's stability.

Key to these shoes is a stiff outsole--the part of the sole that touches the ground--that gives them durability and traction.

Which Type Do You Need?

Experts in both sports agree that you should choose your style of cleat based on the type of field on which you'll be playing--grass or synthetic--and the field's condition: dry or muddy.

Molded cleats work best for dry conditions on any type of field. Removable or screw-in cleats are ideal for muddy conditions because shorter lengths can be easily swapped out for longer ones to get more traction in sloppier conditions.

Ultimately, the key to either sport and to preventing injury is to be sure your shoe fits properly.

Where to Buy Football and Lacrosse Cleats

Cleats for both sports are made by all the major sneaker companies.

Football cleats are available at most sporting goods stores and online.

Lacrosse cleats can be harder to find in stocked stores. Online retailers may be your best option. You can use football cleats to gauge how each branch of shoe will fit.

What Cleats Will Cost

You can buy a good pair of either football or lacrosse cleats for less than $100 (2010 prices). Focus on getting a pair that fits well and is comfortable on your feet.