Why Soccer Cleats Are GREAT for Flag Football

image of flag football player behind post title

Playing flag football can be a lot of fun. But to really optimize your performance and enjoyment of the game, it helps to be wearing the best shoes for the job. I want to explain why it’s not only acceptable to wear soccer cleats for flag football but why you should seriously consider wearing them next time you play.

Any player can wear soccer cleats for flag football. There is nothing in the rules of flag football that restricts a player from wearing soccer cleats. Soccer cleats can give a player a significant advantage compared to wearing alternative footwear.

Keeping reading to find out why soccer cleats make such a good option for flag football compared to football cleats. I’ll also share my top recommendations for soccer cleats if you are looking to get your hands on some new ones.

But first, let’s look at why you can wear soccer cleats for flag football.

If you want to find out more about soccer cleats, I put together a guide here that will help you understand more about the different types of cleats, what they are made of, and what they look like.

You Can Wear Soccer Cleats for Flag Football

The first thing we should clarify is if it’s even OK to wear soccer cleats to play flag football.

Although there is no universally followed set of rules for flag football, the American Flag Football League (AFFL) is the leading professional flag football league in the United States, and their teams do follow specific rules.

According to the rules for the American Flag Football League (AFFL), there are no restrictions on what footwear a player wears. A flag football player is free to wear any shoes of their choice, including soccer cleats.

At amateur or recreational level, it is a decision for the specific league or competition that the flag football game is a part of.

I’ve not heard of any games or competitions where soccer cleats are restricted from being used during a game.

In fact, most competitions are reasonably relaxed about the footwear a player chooses to wear.

And in my article – Can You Wear Soccer Cleats for Football? – I explain why flag football isn’t the only other version of football you can wear soccer cleats while playing.

But if you want to be entirely sure of the rules, then it is best to check with the game officials before you play.

Soccer Cleats Are Good for Flag Football

Knowing you can do something is different than knowing if you should do something. Just because you can wear soccer cleats during a game doesn’t automatically mean that you should.

Thankfully, I can reassure you that soccer cleats are great for flag football!

If you watch this video below of some of the top plays in flag football, you’ll notice that many of the players are wearing soccer cleats rather than football cleats.

Flag Football Top Plays: Michael Vick, Ochocinco, Nate Robinson and More! | NFL
Top flag football plays including players wearing soccer cleats

The main benefit of using soccer cleats for flag football is that they are lighter and more responsive than most other cleats. This is why many of the top players wear them.

Soccer cleats are specifically designed to allow players to move quickly around the field while at the same time maintaining traction. This is a significant benefit while playing soccer but also translates to flag football, where quick movements and speed are also essential.

Understandably, many people would think that wearing football cleats would be the best option for flag football. It is only natural to assume this would be the case as flag football is so similar to tackle football.

But the reality is that there are some significant differences between soccer cleats and football cleats that make soccer cleats the much better choice.

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)

Difference between soccer and football cleats

The main difference between soccer cleats and football cleats is that football cleats have an extra stud, or toe spike, under the big toe of the shoe.

This toe spike is there to help football players keep traction and grip while blocking or pushing during a game. But flag football is much less about power than it is about speed.

While that extra toe stud can be a great asset in tackle football, in flag football, it’s far less important and can even be a hindrance.

I’ve also already mentioned that soccer cleats are far more lightweight than football cleats. Wearing lighter footwear gives the player a great range of movement. It also enables the player to move around the field much faster and decreases the amount of energy a player is using as they don’t have a large pair of cleats holding them back.

When you suggest that soccer cleats are better than football cleats for flag football, some people are concerned that soccer cleats don’t offer as much ankle support as football cleats. While this is probably true, ankle support isn’t as crucial in flag football.

On a side note, this is also a concern for many people considering wearing soccer cleats for lacrosse or baseball. Have a look at my articles – Why Soccer Cleats can be Perfect for Lacrosse or Baseball Cleats vs. Soccer Cleats – What’s the Difference? to find out more on that topic.

Many football cleats are designed to give extra padding and support to a player’s ankle during a game. But this is due to the nature of tackle football and the way it is played. In that format, it makes sense for a player to have ankle support.

But flag football is a different game. Speed is vital, and power and traction have far less influence on the game.

But if you do still want the extra ankle support alongside the benefits of soccer cleats, there is a way forward. Some soccer cleats offer more ankle support than the majority of soccer cleats. And I’ve put my favorite ones in the list of soccer cleats for you to consider below.

Soccer Cleats You Should Use for Flag Football

If you already have soccer cleats ready to use, then you may want to skip this section. But if you are looking to purchase some new cleats, then there are a few soccer cleats that I would recommend that would be great for flag football.

As you consider what cleats to buy, it’s good to be aware that, as with most things in life, if you want a better product, then you’ll have to pay a bit more. This is as true with soccer cleats as it is with anything.

There are cheap soccer cleats out there you can buy, and there are expensive ones.

In my opinion, expensive soccer cleats are worth it, and I listed the 11 reasons I think this is the case in a previous article you want to know why. (follow the link)

But when choosing cleats, I would encourage you to work out what you can afford and then get the best cleats you can for that price. You are unlikely ever to regret getting higher-quality footwear.

I want to recommend two pairs of soccer cleats for you to consider.

adidas Predator 19.1 FG Soccer Cleat

Firstly, these cleats look fantastic. If you walk out onto the field with these on, everyone is going to take notice. If psychology is half the battle, then these cleats will give you an advantage.

But they are also really comfortable to wear from day one. They fit like a sock that forms to the shape of your foot and is light enough that you may forget you’re even wearing them.

Another bonus with these cleats is that they offer ankle support.

Most soccer cleats are low-cut and are not focused on a player’s ankles. However, these are great for anyone who wants to know their ankles, as well as their feet, are taken care of.

If you want to check them out, click here to view them on soccer.com, where you will see they have almost 100 5-star reviews from players who have already tried them.

Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 Academy FG/MG Cleats

The second pair of cleats you should consider are these. Made with a soft synthetic material that even Podiatry Today recommends you should choose when playing flag football, these cleats wrap around your foot like a second skin.

The footplate on these are specifically designed to provide maximum traction for the wearer while moving around the field, and it will probably surprise you just how much grip they give.

They are comfortable to wear, just be aware that most soccer cleats run small, so I would recommend getting a size larger than you usually would.

These cleats have over 50 5-star reviews on soccer.com from people who have already bought them and love them. You can check out the cleats and the reviews on soccer.com here.

Other options

If you aren’t taken by either of these options, then click here to see the whole range of cleats available on soccer.com. They are sure to have something that will suit you and offer free shipping and 30-day returns.


Soccer cleats are a great option for footwear when playing flag football. They are lightweight, look great, and could even give you an advantage on the field.

Playing flag football can 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.

If you’re interested in other areas where soccer and football cross over, have a look at this article I wrote comparing the two sports.

Or to find out the four reasons why soccer is considered to be harder than football.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

Recent Posts