When looking for a new pair of football cleats one thing you’ll notice is that famous brands like Adidas and Nike have made different types to be used on different playing surfaces. If your new to the football world this will definitely confuse you.
Out of the many types of soleplates available two of the most prominent ones are Turf and Artificial Grass sole plates. Most people assume that artificial grass and turf is the same things, but they are not. There is quite a bit of difference between the two and knowing these differences can help you pick the correct pair of cleats.
Even though Artificial grass and Turf is different from each other they are both synthetic and the difference is in the way they are installed, the quality and the performance.
Turf is actually the 1st generation of artificial grass while what is commonly known as artificial grass is the 3rd generation of artificial grass. The quality differences between the two are significant.
Below is quick description of the two types of synthetic grass and the type of soleplate for each.
The 3rd generation artificial grass or AG as it is commonly known is the currently the best synthetic grass material in the market. It is as close as we can get to natural grass. You can see AG in most stadiums and fields where professional teams train.
From a distance, AG looks exactly like natural grass but quite different. It is more abrasive when compared to natural grass. This means higher chances of friction related incidents. However, this is the best quality synthetic surface currently.
When installing AG, they have to pass strict FIFA regulations so that the ball bounce will feel as natural as possible.
The best type of soleplate to use on AG is nothing other than the AG soleplate. They have rubber studs that support the exact depth of an AG field. You can also use the firm ground soleplate cleat on this type of surface.
Never ever use soft ground soleplates on an artificial surface. This can lead to serious injury.
Synthetic turf is the first-generation artificial grass. Synthetic turf still exists but however when it comes to football, they are very primitive. This not to say that Turf surfaces do not have benefits. You can read about the 8 benefits of synthetic turf here.
A professional football player will definitely feel the difference when playing in an AG ground and a turf ground.
Unlike AG which has depth, turf is a shallower carpet like surface. The cushioning is all considerably less and it more abrasive when compared to AG.
The best type of boot to use in a turf ground is one with a turf soleplate. Since the turf surface lacks cushioning, boot manufacturers make sure that turf boots have extra cushioning. They also have more studs than AG/FM boots and they are short to adapt to the shallow characteristic of the turf.
Never use soft ground or even firm ground boots on a turf surface.
Even though both of these are categorized under synthetic grass they are completely different to each other. If you’re a professional player having boots with different soleplates won’t hurt.