There are three main differences between soccer and football cleats.
Soccer cleats are made to be more aerodynamic and offer the wearer more speed and agility.
Football cleats, meanwhile, are sturdier and have more layers of protection, but this makes the cleats heavier and slows the player down.
There is also a toe stud in football cleats that would not be ideal for those playing soccer, as it numbs the feel of the ball on the foot.
Difference #1: Speed vs Heavy-Duty
Soccer cleats are made with soccer in mind, naturally, so they’re designed to be agile and lightweight to help increase speed and reduce fatigue.
Football is a more physical sport, so cleats are typically more heavy-duty, offering more ankle and foot support at the cost of reduced speed and agility.
If you are considering using your soccer cleats for football, I’d recommend only to do so if you play the wide receiver or cornerback positions.
If you play anything else, especially something like offensive line or defensive end, you’re going to want to get proper football cleats as your feet will simply get destroyed playing in soccer cleats.
Difference #2: Toe Studs
Football cleats have an additional layer near the toe which adds extra traction for digging into the ground, which is useful if you’re blocking or tackling someone to the ground.
In soccer? That extra spike near the toe can mess with your shot and ball skills.
Soccer players need that feeling in their toes to better control the ball and put the right touch on a through ball.
Therefore, soccer cleats are made to offer a natural feel and sensation in the toes, whereas football cleats want to minimize this in order to better protect the feet.
Difference #3: High Tops vs Low Cut
Soccer cleats are mostly low cut, as this keeps the cleat feeling light to offer the player the maximum agility.
This allows the ankle to move more freely, but it also means that soccer cleats don’t do much to protect or support the ankle.
Football, meanwhile, is a sport that requires a lot of lateral movement, like cutting on a dime or finishing a block until the play is through.
This means that football players definitely need support around the ankles, but the additional padding around the ankle means the cleats are heavier.
It’s a trade-off that’s based on the needs of the sport. Some wide receivers and cornerbacks actually play with soccer cleats because their individual positions are based on speed and agility.