Can you play soccer with football cleats?

Recently I was asked if I wanted to play soccer (or football for those using British English). My last pair of soccer cleats were the ones I had from 8th grade which I used through college (university) and graduate school. I threw them away several months ago when I moved because the plastic was shattering off.

However, I do have a pair of [American] football cleats. Can you play soccer with football cleats?

To find out, I took my Nike football cleats and my new Adidas soccer cleats to the test at the soccer field.

I decided to put on the football cleats first. Nobody could tell I was wearing football cleats because they were low tops. They felt tight and secure with the added gloves. I really felt my feet and ankles were well protected.

However, I found the upper to be very hard and lack flexibility. I could run on the field without slipping or losing any grip but they felt heavy and somewhat restrictive. When I tried to kick a simple ground pass, the pass was of the ground but in the right direction.

I also felt my feet were a little above the grass and I wasn’t very confident in moving side to side quickly, I felt that if I cut quickly to either side I might topple over.

Moreover, my left foot was starting to hurt from the hard carbon fiber sole and the tight fit against the hard recycled plastic the boot is made of. My left foot is bigger than my right.

During that a break, I switched into my new Adidas X soccer cleats and I was in a whole other world.

My ankles were liberated with freedom of movements. My feet felt much lighter. My feet were low to the ground. I felt like I transformed from an SUV into a sport car with AWD. The material of the upper is soft synthetic leather like a thin layer of skin on top of my feet. I ran and cut without any worries. I could feel the ball so much better than in the isolating and rock hard football cleats. My ball control and passes came back improve significantly as a result.

In conclusion, you want to play soccer in soccer cleats.