Can you wear baseball cleats for soccer?
Soccer shoes and baseball cleats look very much alike, but can you wear your baseball cleats for soccer? And what are the differences between them?
Official rules for soccer shoes
In the rulebook “Laws of the Game 2018/2019” of the IFAB (The International Football Association Board) there’s no mention or regulation about the type of footwear you can or cannot wear. But there are some general regulations about the player’s equipment including the shoes.
“A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.”
Before the start of the game the referee inspects the starting 11 players. And all substitutes are checked before they enter the field. The referees look for unauthorised/dangerous equipment or jewellery, and check the shin guards and shoes. The fact that you cannot wear any equipment to harm other people, is an obvious statement.
Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.
On June first 2014, a few weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil, the IFAB tightened the rule regarding the statements and images on clothing and equipment. Since then it’s no longer allowed to show personal slogans.
The bottom of the cleats
For the most part both cleats are very much the same at the bottom: two or four studs at the heel and four or more at the top. Of course it all depends on the type of field you are playing on and the shoe brand.
The main difference is the front of the shoe. Because baseball players need an explosive start, they put a lot of pressure on the front of the shoe. An extra stud on the front of the shoe helps them prevent losing grip and gain extra traction on the field.
In soccer however this stud can be dangerous in some situations. There’s a lot of contact as players tackle to gain possession of the ball. This stud could possibly cause a serious injury, therefor most referees will not allow baseball shoes on the field.
Football players tend to use their soles a lot when controlling, holding or even passing the ball. The front stud would make the player lose his feeling with the ball.
Handling the ball
Another big difference is the surface of the shoes. Soccer shoes tend to have a smoother surface for a clean contact when touching the ball. A player has to be able to hit the ball on the perfect spot, any rough edge can prevent that from happening.
Although the rules do not state you cannot wear baseball cleats for a soccer game, most referees will not allow you to play with them.