What Is the Purpose of Soccer Shoes?

Soccer players kicking ball on field, low section

The right soccer shoes can help you be a better player by gripping the ground and helping you control the ball. Soccer shoes are lightweight and made for ease in running over different types of surfaces. A proper fit is key to helping you handle the ball and protect your feet while you play.


The main purpose of soccer shoes is to provide traction as you run. This is usually accomplished by using cleats, except with indoor soccer shoes that use textured rubber soles. Soccer cleats are usually evenly spaced across the bottom of the shoe and spaced farther apart than some other types of cleats. The spacing keeps dirt and grass from becoming trapped between the cleats and allows your feet to grip the ground without slowing you down; soccer requires light feet and quick turns.


Soccer shoes are low-profile shoes, meaning the uppers are cut low around the ankle. Soccer players need to be agile and change directions quickly. The low profile allows a full range of motion in the ankle.

Ball Control

Soccer players must be able to feel the ball with their feet so they can handle the ball without looking at it. Soccer shoes are usually made of soft leather or synthetic leather that's stitched with small seams to protect the feet from contact with other cleats while allowing the players to feel the ball with all sides of their feet.


It's imperative that your shoes fit properly and are comfortable while you play. Shoes that are too large can lead to painful blisters, and shoes that are too small can squeeze your toes. Put on thick soccer socks before you try on shoes to make sure you get the best fit. The leather upper should be tight enough to provide support for your foot and keep your foot from moving inside the shoe, but it shouldn't be so tight that it's constricting or tight on your toes.