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A Case For Turf Boots

Diadora DD-NA 2 Turf Grip

Out of all the questions I field a vast majority of them all come back to the simple “What boots should I get for turf?”. As someone who plays pretty much specifically on turf (at least during the cold and winter months) I am quite the aficionado of what to wear on turf so I am the right guy to come to. Also as injury prevention and self care is a big thing of mine I’m also in making sure I give the safest advice for what to wear on any given surface.

I’ve had many conversations at this point on what boots are good for turf and each one goes something like this.

Them “Hey man which shoes are best for turf? I need to get a new pair.”

Me “It depends on how updated the turf is and the quality. How much do you play on turf?”

Them ” Its a little older but it has decent quality. I play on it most of the time on it.”

Me “You’ll want to go with a turf shoe, I suggest the Nike Bomba pro or Nike Bomba finale but if you have wider feet you may want to go with the adinova tf.”

Them “What about the Hypervenom or the Vapor?”

Me “Well if you want to try out the AG versions then give them a try, they should be okay.”

Them “How do the FG versions handle turf?”

Me “Well I’ve seen someone blow out their ankle while wearing the Vapor, the one person I’ve played with who wears hypervenom on turf kept complaining about how much they were hurting his feet and he ended up switching boots. I have also seen two vapors lose their back studs. It is terible for durability.”

Them “I think I’ll go with the Hypervenom, thanks.”

At this point I’m sitting there with my head in my hands wondering why they would even bother asking me for advice in the first place. This translates to conversations I have in person as well.  It happens enough that it is plainly obvious that there is some serious turf boot snubbing going on. Now as someone who tests out a lot of boots and frequently playing on turf I strongly believe that every player should have at least one pair of turf boot. The only people I run into who are seriously considering turf cleats are the ones who are getting older and the guys I play “Two and a half hour pick up” with. Here are the straight pro’s and cons of wearing turf boots vs wearing fg boots on turf.

Pros of wearing turf boots over fg

1. Far less stress on the knees. There is a notable difference of how my knees feel after playing a game in turf boots and playing in fg boots. Also you don’t run into snags which could potentially sprain a ligament.

2. Less likely to roll/sprain an ankle. Alot of turf surfaces aren’t totally uniform, runs and bunches can form in the turf and the pellets can be mounded up a but more in some areas, overall not conducive to wearing studs.

3. More durable. I have never had a turf boot that died an early death, while on the other hand if you use fg on turf they wreck the studs and the upper will scuff and wear a whole lot faster.

Cons of wearing turf boots over fg

1. Can be a bit heavier. This is a factor that has gotten a lot less noticeable. For example the nike Phelon turfs weigh in at 8 oz which isn’t bad at all and the vapor ag is a healthy 7 oz. All the weight is underfoot though so it doesn’t create much impact.

2. The rubber nub turf boots don’t supply the same underfoot control as fg blades. This is where ag boots make up the difference.

3. Not a huge variety of turf boots. there are only 98 turf/ag options on soccer.com as opposed to the 412 fg options

Pros of wearing fg over turf

1. More options, a select few are alright on turf.  Most conical studded boots or cleats such as the Puma king will do a decent job for turf. Don’t got blades for they sprain.

2. Lighter weight for the most part.

3. Studs give a little better underfoot control

Cons of wearing fg over turf

1. The risk of injury is greater.

2. They will wear much faster. Especially if you only have one pair.

3. If there is a defect with the cleats they will sooner become apparent. They aren’t made for turf so things might go wonky.

What turf boots are worth getting

Since the selection of turf boots out there are not all that wide, I have gotten my hands on a nice chunk of the market and here are the top three options. I have found that when it comes to turf, nike is king. Of course it comes down to turf quality, if it is high grade go for the Ag boots and conical fg configurations are fine. But if you find yourself playing on shoddy turf every once in a while it is always good to have a pair of $60 back up turfs to save your $200 fg boots.

1. Nike Phelon tf, Cost

Nike Phelon fresh out of the box

Having tested the Phatal AG and the Phelon tf I would surprisingly choose the low tier over the mid tier. It has much more appealing texture to the upper and it feels better balanced on the foot. Also as it goes for 74.99 and less it is perfect for someone who wants to have a boot for the turf game without much extra cost. There is at least two pairs of them floating around each group I play with so they do have the popular vote too.

2. Bomba Finale II or Elastico Finale III TF, Performance

Nike Bomba Finale II

The Bomba Finale II and  Elastico Finale III are similarly enough constructed that they won’t vary incredibly from each other, the main difference lies in the outsole. The Bomba will be more of a trump card as the different stud shapes will make it more adaptable while the Finale III may have problems gripping longer turf. But either is a good option if you are looking to feel as if you have the edge.

3. Lotto Futsal Pro, Comfort and overall

LottoWe got here a leather and suede affair with a nice cushion in the midsole and insole. The body of the upper is synthetic with the forefoot being the suede/leather which makes it breathable while keeping the touch. They even threw in a pass panel on the instep to give it some edge. While  I personally will call the Lotto Futsal Pro the more comfortable turf boot even over the Nike Legacy Turf, after break in they are lovely. The only other turf boot that comes close is the evopower 3 tt but that isn’t as readily available. It also hits a pretty decent weight at 9.6 oz which is lighter than the adidas crazy quick.

For those of you who like to sport turf cleats let us know what you have on your feet in the comments.

About Jim Gauthier

Jim is a a licensed massage therapist with a vast knowledge of anatomy and injury. When he is not healing people with his magical abilities, Jim's goal is to provide everyday players with in-depth knowledge from an amateur players perspective. Find him on his Facebook Page for any personal questions or injury help!

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16 comments

  1. Great blog with great points. Personally for 11 vs 11 on turf I will use conical studs or nike ag. As for small sided games I use my original bomba finales I have tried newer models but the bomba finale trumps all.

  2. I've been playing with a pair of the good old Nike T90's with AG configuration and while they're somewhat heavy they're durable and comfy. A great pair of cleats if you can find one by now.

  3. Any recommendations for a turf boot with good ankle support and not too heavy? I currently play in adidas predator absolados but they don't feel too stable

  4. Magista Onda TF a good compromise between turf & ag? Bottom seems similar to the Phelon.

    • I like to think of the Onda as a hybrid between Phelon and Legacy, you get the Legacy padding and the upper of the Phelon. If you want a good compromise for turf and ag the Bomba range would be a good option as it has the mix of nubs and studs. But the Onda would be more of a comfort option.

  5. I'm at a crossroads as to what boot to buy.

    Bomba Pro II or the Mercurial Veloce AG?

    • I would go with the leather option in the Pro II than the Veloce but I don't think you can go wrong with either as both are pretty good. It would come down to the quality of the turf you play on most frequently.

      • Its artificial turf with rubber pellets. There is also the Hypervenom Phatal AG. Or are all 3 boots fine? Also is there a difference between the Veloce and Veloce II?

        • The ag outsoles are basically the same for ag so it goes more with what you like. Personally I would chose either veloce as the phatal doesn't have as much texture in the upper.

  6. What boot is that at the top, the first picture showing the black sole

  7. Hello, I play some games outside in Arizona with my Puma Evospeed 1 FG and notice that the studs get pushed up and I am able to feel them as I play. Is it possible that the ground is so dry from the lack of rain that they cannot penetrate the ground? Would buying a pair of turf shoes be better or maybe going with indoor shoes?

  8. Should I try turf shoes if I am feeling the pegs of my FG Evospeed 1 as I run around in dry not so grassy fields of Arizona?

    • I would try using an HG or AG stud configuration or going for something with a more body to them like the Copa or Puma King Top. I use the Lotto Stadio Primato when I play on Hard ground (or ice) and they do well with very little stud pressure. I wouldn't recommend going turf on grass and dirt as it will choke up the outsole.

  9. Great blog. I play with Nike CTR360 Maestri III AG which have helped my ankles and knees versus playing with FG studs on turf. The Nike AG sole plate is awesome, but I would like to venture out. I'm curious if you (or you know someone) have used other sole plates for AG (like Adidas or Joma). I had some nice Adidas Predators FG but the AG option for Adidas doesn't strike me as better or same as Nike's AGs. I would appreciate all feedback on this. Thank you!

    • It is an interesting one as now adidas double their releases as FG/AG compatible, in other words the Ace and X only have one release for both surfaces. It really depends on the type of turf. newer style turfs mimic natural grass very well, and if you are lucky enough to play on a newer version, most FG boots will suit. In general, your best bet is to go low profile conical studs for best performance.

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