Here we are going to take a look at the boots to wear on these surfaces, which are becoming increasingly common.
What you SHOULD wear
Artificial Turf or ‘AG’ Football Boots
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Artificial Ground – or AG – football boots are specifically designed to offer great performance on 3G and ‘long pile’ artificial turf.
You’ll notice that all the studs are conical, and the forefoot studs are hollow. This means the boot will freely rotate when your feet put force on it, and won’t tear the surface itself.
A lot of savvy football boot brands also add a little bit more reinforcement around the soleplate and toes, too, to help improve durability on these high-friction surfaces.
Boots with conical studs
Perhaps you want a football boot that can be used in games on grass and training on artificial turf. The best choice for this is a firm ground release with conical studs.
Working like the AG plate, firm ground releases with conical studs greatly reduce the stress on the knees by allowing free rotation.
Of course, this means classics like the Copa Mundial, PUMA King, Nike Tiempo and Hummel Old School DK are exceptional choices, but more modern football boots can be found with mostly conical soleplates now, including the Nike Magista Obra and Opus, adidas 11pro, Umbro Velocita and PUMA evoSPEED for those who still want to stand out.
Not Recommended: Firm Ground Blades
Once a staple of just about every statement football boot on the market, blades have become a less popular choice of late – partially due to their lack of versatility.
You’ll still find them on a lot of ‘speed’ football boots, thanks to the aggressive traction that only bladed studs can provide – however, considering they were once on everything from ‘power’ to ‘control’ to ‘heritage’ boots, they’re a lot less popular with brands now.
Using bladed football boots on artificial turf generally falls into the ‘not recommended’ category; most players may never have a problem with them, even after decades of use, but there’s always a chance that they could cause some serious damage from something as innocuous as shifting your weight the wrong way.
Stay Away From: Metal Studs
oft groud ‘SG’ soleplates are designed for wet, muddy pitches, where the metal studs will penetrate the top layer and prevent slipping.
However, when the ground is too hard – or simply completely immovable, as with artificial turf and 3G – the studs simply sit on top of the surface, which means your centre of gravity has shifted a centimetre or so higher than it should be.
So, with that in mind, players risking metal studs on artificial grass or 3G risk a rolled ankle at best or a season-ending injury at worst.
Oh, and you’re more likely to damage the surface itself, too – so if your summer pick-up games are cancelled and the rates go up because they’re having to re-lay new artificial turf, you’d best start practising your best ‘fake outrage’ expression.
All in all, the message on what the best football boots for artificial turf / 3G are, is: rounded FG studs or a for-purpose AG soleplate reduce your risk of injury AND prolong the life of the surface.