I’ve often wondered about playing lacrosse, but I was a bit apprehensive after finding out how much the equipment costs.
However, I had noticed that the lacrosse cleats looked remarkably similar to my soccer cleats. So after spending some time investigating whether I could use soccer cleats for lacrosse, I wanted to share my research with other people in the same situation.
So, are soccer cleats good for lacrosse?
Soccer cleats are a great option of footwear when playing lacrosse for casual players, semi-casual players, or school students. However, they are not ideal when playing at a high level because they offer less ankle protection than lacrosse cleats and are missing a stud at the front of the shoe.
So, while you can use soccer cleats can be a great option for playing lacrosse, there are several important factors to consider before you do.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about soccer cleats and lacrosse cleats to help you make a better decision as to what footwear you should choose.
So read on to find out whether you should play lacrosse in soccer cleats.
Can Soccer Cleats Be Worn for Lacrosse?
Presumably, you’re here reading this article because you want to play both sports, and you want to know if you can double up in terms of footwear.
Maybe you already have a pair of soccer cleats and want to know if you need to buy a pair of lacrosse cleats also, or you don’t have any cleats and want to know if you need to buy two pairs at the same time.
Well, here’s what you need to know:
Soccer cleats can be worn for lacrosse. Although they offer less ankle protection and don’t have a toe stud at the front, they are still a great footwear option. Soccer cleats will provide multiple benefits to the player wearing them.
But remember, while you can play lacrosse in soccer cleats, you cannot play soccer in lacrosse cleats.
To help you choose the best soccer cleats for you, I’ve created a step-by-step guide to simplify the process. Check it out here – How to Choose the Perfect Soccer Cleats (In 4 Simple Steps)
The Difference Between Soccer Cleats and Lacrosse Cleats
Besides the differing ankle length, the main difference between soccer and lacrosse cleats is the studs on the respective shoes.
Lacrosse cleats contain a stud at the front, which helps players dig into the ground a bit better with the point of their foot.
Soccer cleats do not have this stud, but this will not prevent you from being able to participate in a game of lacrosse effectively.
The table below provides a better summary of the differences and similarities between the two types of cleats.
|10-12, with nothing at the tip.
|11-13, including a single one at
|12-16mm / 0.5 inches.
|12-16mm / 0.5 inches.
|Lighter than lacrosse cleats due to more lightweight materials.
|Typically heavier than soccer cleats.
|Little to no ankle support provided.
|Proper ankle support with a heavier material.
As you can see in the table above, the studs are mostly similar on both soccer and lacrosse cleats.
However, the significant difference is the single cleat at the tip of the foot that is present on lacrosse cleats.
Similar to baseball cleats, this single cleat is what makes it illegal to play soccer in lacrosse cleats.
Conversely, the absence of this stud on soccer cleats does not mean that you cannot play lacrosse in them. And this is also the reason that soccer cleats can be a great option for playing lacrosse.
Having the extra stud will definitely help at a high level of lacrosse, where every little advantage can make a significant difference.
But at a casual level, or at youth levels, where the level of the game is not at a high standard, it is not necessary. Those little differences do not have the same effect as they do at an elite level.
Therefore, if you are looking at buying cleats to play soccer and lacrosse, you should go for soccer cleats.
Otherwise, you’ll need to buy cleats for both sports.
As a side note, you can wear soccer cleats in baseball, football, and even flag football. In contrast, you won’t be able to use baseball or football cleats for any other sports.
If you’re interested, check out my article “Why soccer cleats are GREAT for flag football” to find out how they can actually give you an advantage over the other players on the field.
Lacrosse Cleats Offer More Ankle Protection Than Soccer Cleats
Another difference between soccer cleats and lacrosse cleats is that lacrosse shoes are generally cut higher than soccer cleats. This means they offer your ankles more protection.
However, there are several things to consider with this.
While the lacrosse shoes are cut higher, both lacrosse and soccer cleats will vary in height depending on the individual shoe.
And while lacrosse shoes offer more ankle protection, the trade-off is ankle mobility. A shoe with a higher ankle may slightly hinder fast changes of direction for the player wearing them.
It’s also worth knowing that some soccer cleats do actually provide some degree of ankle protection.
There are soccer cleats that are cut slightly higher than your traditional ones that just cover your heel.
The most well-known version of these is the Nike Mercurial Superfly which has been popularized by five-time Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
They offer more ankle protection than your traditional cleats while still allowing for ankle mobility.
However, due to the material’s thinner nature, the ankle support will not be as great as that provided by lacrosse shoes.
Furthermore, if you already have low-cut soccer boots and want to play lacrosse in them but are worried about ankle support, there is a way around it.
You can purchase ankle support braces that are like thick socks that can be worn under or on top of a regular sock.
These are light and allow for mobility while still providing a decent degree of support for your ankles. These support braces can also be used for other sports.
I like this pair here on Amazon.
All this is to say that, although there are some potential benefits to wearing lacrosse cleats for lacrosse, there are soccer cleats that offer similar benefits and would be great to use for lacrosse.
Ideal Soccer Cleats for Both Soccer and Lacrosse
Due to soccer being the most popular sport in the world, your options are almost endless in terms of what soccer cleats you can buy.
They are produced not only by popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma but also by many other smaller companies.
However, if you are going to be playing lacrosse in your soccer cleats, there are some factors that you should consider to get a shoe that best suits both needs.
Because you will be wearing the shoes for both sports, they will be used a lot.
Because of this, it is probably worth spending a bit more money on them to get a pair that will last you a long time and don’t give up on you halfway through the season.
The price aspect will also apply if you want to buy soccer cleats with good ankle support.
Soccer cleats with higher ankles will be more expensive than lower-cut ones but will provide your ankles with better protection, and these are most similar to lacrosse cleats.
You need to be aware that some sports teams may have restrictions on what color cleats their players can wear.
You do not want to spend some extra money on one pair of cleats, only for your coach to tell you that you can’t wear them for one of the sports because they’re the wrong color.
Therefore, you should look at buying black or navy blue cleats, as they are very simple and should get around any restrictions.
But feel free to check with the team you are playing for before purchasing any footwear.
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What Are the Best Cleats to Use for Lacrosse?
Having spent years looking at and buying cleats, here are my recommendations for cleats that could be best for lacrosse.
Nike Soccer Mercurial Superfly 7 Club MG Cleats:
At around 50-80 dollars (depending on what size you choose), these cleats will be perfect for both sports. They are not prohibitively expensive but should last for a reasonable length of time. They’re also black, so you won’t be restricted by any rules regarding
color, and they provide your ankles with proper support without entirely restricting movement.
Adidas Nemeziz 19.3 Firm Ground Boots Soccer Shoe:
With prices ranging from 20-133 dollars (depending on shoe size), these could be a cheaper alternative to the Nikes.
However, they are mostly similar and offer the same ankle protection. The recommended color would be black, but there are white and blue or white and orange options available if you prefer other options.
You can purchase either of these options from Amazon.com.
Playing lacrosse can often leave your cleats muddy. To help you know how to clean them after a game, check out my article – How to Clean (And Dry) Your Cleats: Without Damaging Them.
You can play lacrosse in soccer cleats. So if you have a pair of soccer cleats and want to take up lacrosse, then you’re safe.
And if you’re going to play both sports and you don’t have footwear for either but want one versatile pair, you’ll be fine, as long as you don’t buy lacrosse cleats.
While you will lose out on some ankle support if you go for soccer cleats, you will improve your ankle mobility. If you feel like it is necessary, there are also some options available to protect your ankles.
Just remember, all soccer cleats can be used for lacrosse, but a player cannot wear lacrosse cleats for soccer.
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