Women’s Soccer Cleats: Here’s What You Need!

I’ve got a number of cleats that I wear but I’ve worn the same line of cleats for the last 10 years, including the exact same model for 7 of those years. 

Since the brand stopped making that model in 2014, I’ve gone on countless eBay, Amazon, and used-marketplace hunts for the exact pair. I went as far as to order some from Italy!

Not all players are so attached to their cleats, but many do form strong preferences, and for good reasons. 

When selecting your soccer cleats you should consider that;

Ultimately, there are many great cleat options for female soccer players. Players should consider their position, foot shape, and comfort when selecting their cleats. 

Women’s soccer cleats are made differently from men’s cleats, but some players (like myself) benefit from men’s cleats.

The top players use a wide variety of cleats that suit their unique preferences.

Let’s dive into some of the best cleat options for women. 

USA vs England Match during the 2020 SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020
USA vs England Match during the 2020 SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium in Orlando Florida on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Is there a difference between men’s and women’s soccer cleats?

Many female soccer players historically wore men’s cleats. While many still do, the rise of women’s cleats has caused many female players to switch to women’s cleats.

The reason why some women prefer men’s cleats and some prefer women’s cleats is because there is a difference between the two. 

The top differences between women’s and men’s cleats according to Ida Sports are:

  • Size. Women’s cleats correspond to women’s shoe sizes, whereas men’s cleats correspond to men’s shoe sizes. Women can typically wear cleats that are the same (or very close) to their shoe size when they select women’s cleats. 
  • Shape. Women tend to have a different foot shape than men as well. Women’s cleats are designed to support arches and toes while gripping heels. 
  • Pressure loads. The pressure load on women’s feet is different due to their different body shapes and sizes. Some women’s cleats are designed to align with the pressure loads for women.
  • Traction. Women’s cleats are created to support the feet for multidirectional movement. 
  • Color waves. As you might imagine, one big difference between women’s and men’s cleats tends to be the colors. Women’s cleats are much more likely to come in colors like pink and purple. 

Should I buy soccer cleats a size bigger?

According to Soccer Pro, soccer players should “choose cleats that feel ultra-snug around your foot and allow for a little wiggle room in your toes.”

Shoe size may not translate exactly to soccer cleat size for this reason. Oftentimes, professional players size down for their cleats. 

However, cleat fit and sizing are unique for every player. While you want your cleats to be fairly snug, you also want them to be comfortable.

What size you need depends on your foot shape, arch style, and inserts. 

For some players, sizing up by a half size is the right move. Even wearing men’s cleats, I wear a half-size up from my shoe size.

In shoes, I am a women’s 7.5, but for cleats, I wear a women’s 8 or men’s 6.5. Anything smaller than this is unbearable. 

HARRISON NJ - MAY 26, 2019 U.S. Women's World Cup Team Send-Off Celebration for 2019 Womens World Cup on Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (1)
HARRISON NJ – MAY 26, 2019 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team Send-Off Celebration for 2019 Women’s World Cup on Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (1)

What cleats do women’s soccer players wear?

The top women’s soccer players wear a wide variety of soccer cleats. Here are the current cleat selections of some of the top female players from the USWNT:

Women’s Leather Soccer Cleats

Many women’s soccer cleats have a leather option. For cleats, the most common type of leather is kangaroo leather, because this kind of leather is relatively thin and light.

There are many benefits to leather cleats including:

  • They stretch and mold to your unique foot shape. 
  • The thickness provides extra protection for your foot. 
  • Provide a great feel for the ball. 

However, leather cleats still have drawbacks including:

  • They can overstretch to the point where they are too loose. 
  • Smaller color selection. 
  • Higher-priced than synthetic cleats. 
  • Absorbency makes them heavy when wet and harder to clean. 
  • Leather is made from animals, which can be a huge downfall for some people. 

As mentioned, there are many leather cleats available. Some women’s leather soccer cleat options include:

Best Women’s Soccer Cleats for Defenders

Defenders are involved in a lot of tackles and close combat. They need cleats that are sturdy and protective. They also need cleats that provide a good touch for receiving and passing the ball. 

Here are the qualities to look for in cleats as a defender:

  • Good grip for quickly changing direction. 
  • Stability for lateral movements. 
  • Durable, protective material (commonly leather). 

Some great boot options for defenders include:

Best Women’s Soccer Cleats for Attackers

Attackers must be nimble on their feet and maintain excellent ball control for weaving through opponents. Additionally, many attacking players need to have a great feel for the ball for shooting. 

Some of the top qualities to look for in cleats as an attackers:

  • Lightweight materials 
  • Good grip 
  • Traction 
  • Upper designed for striking 

Some great  boot options for forwards include:

USWNT - Avaya Stadium, San Jose, United States - 2016
USWNT – Avaya Stadium, San Jose, United States – 2016

Women’s Soccer Turf Cleats

According to Artificial Greens, “traditional soccer cleats are made to penetrate the surface of the ground. When it comes to playing on artificial turf, traditional soccer cleats aren’t the best option.”

Turf soccer cleats are ideal for turf (hence the name). Most “regular” soccer cleats are actually Firm Ground cleats, which are made for average grass field conditions.

It’s always important to choose the proper cleats for the surface, as this enhances comfort while reducing the chances of injury. 

Turf shoes are specifically designed for the artificial surface. Instead of a cleated bottom, they have raised treads that are much shorter.

The turf shoes are made to grip onto the turf, not try to penetrate the surface. Because of their design, turf shoes are more effective and comfortable to wear on artificial grass. 

If you’ve already got a pair of firm ground cleats that you like from Nike or Adidas, there’s a good chance you can find them in turf version.

However, there are overall fewer “women’s” turf shoe options. Some women’s turf shoes to consider include:

Women’s Soccer Cleats for Wide Feet

Foot shape is incredibly important for finding cleats that are the right fit. The right size cannot make up for a cleat that just isn’t shaped will for your foot. 

Some female soccer players have wider feet. Many of those players do find men’s cleats to be more comfortable and well-suited, but there are some women’s cleats that may be good options as well. 

A few qualitied to look for in cleats if you have wider feet include:

  • Stretchy, giving material, like leather. 
  • Wider toe box. 
  • Overall shape of the shoe. 

Here are some men’s and women’s cleat options to consider if you are a female player with wide feet:

Women’s Soccer Cleats for Flat Feet

Soccer cleats can be pretty uncomfortable for those with flat feet. In general, they do not have much support and the soles are hard.

Players with flat feet must look for cleats that best fit their feet. 

Here are qualities players with flat feet should look for in cleats:

  • Moldable material that offers maximum comfort, i.e. kangaroo leather. 
  • The correct cleats for the type of pitch you play on. 
  • Support. 
  • Sole comfort. 
  • Room for inserts if needed. 

Some of the best women’s soccer cleats for flat feet are:

Women’s Soccer Cleats for Narrow Feet

Soccer players with very narrow feet may often feel like their cleats are not snug enough. Having cleats that slip and slide off is hazardous and certainly impacts your play. 

Players with narrow feet should look for cleats with the following:

  • Narrow/slim shape 
  • Less giving material (so they do not overstretch)
  • Quality laces

Some great soccer cleats for women with narrow feet are:

Women’s Soccer Cleats for High Arches

Players with high arches can struggle to find supportive cleats that fit well.

The high arch places more pressure on your heel and the ball of your feet, which can easily lead to pain in those areas.

However, many top cleat brands create specialized cleats for players with high arches 

Here are important qualities players with high arches should look for in cleats:

  • Padding
  • Arch support
  • Good fit around the rest of the foot 
  • Room for orthotics if necessary 

Great soccer cleats for players with high arches:

Women’s Soccer Cleats with Ankle Support

Ankle support is critical for soccer players, but few cleats provide adequate ankle support. This is especially important for players who have dealt with ankle injuries in the past.

Choosing the right cleat can ensure ankle support which increases comfort and stability. 

Here are some of the top cleats with ankle support:

Women’s Soccer Cleats without Laces

Laces can sometimes get in the way when playing soccer. Fortunately, there are now many laceless soccer cleats on the market. 

The top benefits of laceless soccer cleats are:

  • Cleaner surface for striking
  • Better contact for passing and shooting
  • Less bulkiness, provides better feel for the ball
  • Convenience. Never dealing with untied or broken laces

Some of the best laceless women’s soccer cleats are:

What are the best women’s soccer cleats?

There are many different women’s soccer cleat options available that meet all kinds of individual needs.

But a few names continue to come up over and over again. Some of the best women’s soccer cleats are:

Adidas Performance Women’s Ace

These cleats are made from a synthetic leather build with excellent interior cushioning.

Their excellent grip comes from a flexible outsole that allows players to move will on different surfaces. They are light but sturdy with a classic feel. 

Adidas Women’s Nemeziz 

These cleats provide the perfect balance between mobility and support with their tape-inspired upper.

They have a specially designed outside to aid explosive acceleration, and these cleats certainly give your feet a snug hug.

They offer excellent ankle stability as well as comfort and support. 

Diadora Women’s Marcana 

Diadora is not as well known in the U.S. but make no mistake about these quality cleats.

They are very popular with World Cup players in Italy. They’re 100% leather with a synthetic sole, constructed specifically for women’s feet.

They are excellent for all skill levels and extremely comfortable. Best yet, they are very affordable. 

Adidas Copa Mundial FG

This lightweight classic fits like a glove. With an EVA foam midsole, the Copas distribute pressure and provide excellent comfort.

These cleats have stood the test of time and remain one of the best cleat options for women with a variety of different feet. 

New Balance Tekela V3 Pro 

The New Balance Tekela v3 Pro are available in wide sizes, which is great news for player with wide feet.

They offer laceless design for incredible stability and comfort. They boast an integrated Hypoknit upper and a lightweight nylon outsole. 

Nike Tiempo Legend

Nike Tiempo Legend are all-around great cleats that work well for players with wide feet or flat arches.

They are recommended for players in several positions because of their kangaroo leather upper and comfortable design.

They provide a good, clean touch while also offering some protection and durability. 

What are the best cheap women’s soccer cleats?

Soccer cleats can get quite expensive, especially if you play often and wear them down quick.

For many players, it is normal to go through at least 2 pairs of regular FG cleats per year. The cost of buying new cleats quickly adds up. 

While many of the top cleats from brands like Nike and Adidas can be pretty expensive, there are a number of good quality affordable cleat options.

The major soccer cleat brands offer less expensive versions of their top cleats, and there are a number of lesser-known brands that make excellent quality cleats. 

Here are some of the best cheap women’s soccer cleats:

Are expensive soccer cleats worth it?

Soccer cleats vary in price based on their brand, model, materials, and year of production.

When evaluating the price of cleats, you must consider what they offer.

Expensive cleats can be worth it, but they are not always the best choice. 

Reasons cleats are more expensive:

  • They are created with better materials.
  • They are a new version.
  • They’re from a major brand, like Adidas or Nike. 
  • They are special edition/ limited edition. 

For high-level soccer players, relatively expensive soccer cleats are a smart investment.

D1 college soccer programs that provide cleats tend to offer the top version of each model available for that reason.

The top benefits of expensive cleats are:

  • Better fit 
  • Greater ball control 
  • Comfort
  • Lightweight 
  • Durability 

Buying expensive cleats does not always make sense. For kids, whose feet are still growing, it is not logical to invest a lot of money into cleats.

You still want to look for good-quality cleats, but most kids do not need the highest-end cleats. 

Likewise, many casual soccer players will not find the need for very expensive cleats. Those who do not play often or very competitively will often find mid-range cleats to be suitable. 

One of the best ways to save money on soccer cleats is to order a former version of the cleats.

For example, the Nike Tiempo Legend line releases a new cleat style basically every year. If you purchase the newest version, it will be the most expensive.

By purchasing a brand new pair of a previous model, you can save a lot of money.

Soccer cleats, style, fittings, game-play vary from woman to woman – hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down the perfect pair for you.



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