Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Lacrosse?

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Everybody loves team sports, players and spectators alike. Soccer is a kind of game you play without knowing the rules: you take an empty bottle, a friend, that’s it.

Lacrosse, not to be outdone, is a contact sport started by the Indians in North America, where you could have up to 1,000 friends on the field. Wow! What both games share is an appreciation for nature, especially when it’s on the sharp end of their cleats. 

Field lacrosse, just like soccer, should be played in the best conditions – on a soft and lush green lawn. Since they both require cleats, the cleats look somewhat similar. So, can you use soccer cleats for lacrosse? Well, that depends, as you’ll find out below. 

But beware, It would be a big risk to use soccer cleats for lacrosse because you might get an ankle sprain. Nevertheless, on some rare occasions, it may be alright to use soccer cleats. To find out when, let’s check out the differences between these two sports and, not surprisingly, their cleats.

Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Lacrosse?

Yes, you can because the international, mega-official rules of lacrosse say so. Don’t forget to check the national ones, too. They concur, no arguing.

You see, there are many versions of lacrosse, and it can get a bit dizzying. Some are played outdoors, and others indoors. It’s the outdoor varieties that permit cleats. 

It can seem like a teenage drama. They permit guys’ games and girls’ games, but no mixing. Please don’t look at me. Those are the official rules. The great thing about lacrosse is that anyone can play as long as it is by the rules. 

Why would you want to play lacrosse? Well, for one, it’s fun to play, it’s good for aerobic activity, and you feel part of a group of people having a good time. 

So, we now get it.  Only the outdoor games allow cleats, and they’re the only ones that really need cleats.

What Are Cleats Anyway?

Cleats are shoes with spikes on the soles. That’s pretty simple. Just to make things easier to remember, both the shoes and the spikes are called cleats. For team sports, the spikes are usually not sharp and are made out of rubber to prevent injury.

Whenever people need good traction, like running on a lawn in a garden and having fun, cleats are a good choice. They’re even called football boots sometimes. But that’s not referring to soccer or modern football but about the game of yore.

Today, cleats are used mostly by sports pros, amateurs, and wannabes, especially the latter. Cliff climbing and super-fast running call for metal spikes, which are sharp and nasty things. These are made for grip by cold and calculating engineers of sport and sharp metal things. 

However, team sports require players not only to have cunning and whim but also good traction in their feet. No traction, and you’re going to fall on your behind and who knows what.

So, cleats are used in all forms of football and rugby, as well as baseball, cricket, and the like. The important thing to remember is that cleats for each sport differ.

What Are the Benefits of Using Lacrosse Cleats?

Lacrosse cleats have ankle support and a wider base than soccer cleats. They are designed to protect the ankles during active play in lacrosse. How is that different than in soccer? Apparently, lacrosse involves more rapidly changing the direction of movement versus running, as in soccer.

Lacrosse has very strong offside rules, so the game is not that hard, running-wise. What it’s about is the change of direction. Left-right, you jump, and you can end up with a really nasty ankle sprain if your foot slips.

If you ever had one of those, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the horror and probably the biggest reason not to be cheap regarding cleats. It could happen in any game, not just the serious ones. So, it’s traction and stability that lacrosse cleats specialize in.

In comparison to lacrosse players, soccer pros are some of the fastest sprinters in the world. So that means they have really developed calves, which helps support the entire lower foot.  Why is that?

It has to do with all the nearby muscles developing together. And developed calves mean the entire lower leg is well developed, too. So it’s always in shape and strong enough to prevent twisting of the leg when the players lose their footing. 

Drawbacks of Using Soccer Cleats for Lacrosse

Soccer cleats don’t have ankle support, so if you use them for lacrosse, watch out. Did you know that soccer players wear shinguards above their cleats, and thankfully, these things provide additional ankle protection? Above that, soccer pros have very strongly developed calves, which protect the lower leg from sprains.

You might wonder, don’t soccer players get ankle sprains? They probably do, but that’s not the problem. The problem is lacrosse players would be getting them much more often if they used soccer cleats. As we know, soccer players have incredibly developed calves.

How could it be different if the whole game is about running? Let’s compare soccer to lacrosse. Well, basically, the defenders and attackers stay on their halves of the field according to the rules. So, definitely not as much running as in soccer.

In soccer, however, most wingers, that’s the defenders who play near the sides of the field, run all the time. For them, it’s a job description. We are looking for someone who likes to kick a football and run for 90 minutes straight.

Lacrosse is kind of the direct opposite of all that powerful running. It’s about having the power in the legs to change position quickly. And if you lose traction, that’s it for you, with days in pain, weeks in bed, and months of problems.

Lacrosse Cleats Are like Soccer Cleats and Shinguards Combined

Lacrosse cleats are like soccer cleats but with high ankle collars. They are designed to protect the ankle from sprains.

Soccer cleats have very low ankle collars, but it’s only because soccer pros are required by the rules to wear shinguards. These things attach at the ankle and wrap it around, providing additional protection from sprains.

Besides the difference between the sports, movement-wise, there’s another difference in equipment. Soccer players are required by the rules to wear shinguards. 

Most of them attach to your leg through a very tight and thick elastic around your ankle. There may also be a strap around the calves, but sometimes, they’re just held together with socks.

So, basically, it’s all nonsense that soccer players don’t need ankle protection. Because, actually, they have double protection.

First, they have some of the most developed lower leg muscles in all sports. Plus, there are the thick elastics from shinguards wrapping their ankles.

So that’s it: if you want to use soccer cleats for lacrosse, it’s easy. Buy soccer shinguards and cut the actual shinguard. And just use the remaining elastic to protect your ankle. Come to think of it, isn’t it like lacrosse cleats anyway?

When Is It Appropriate to Wear Soccer Cleats for Lacrosse?

For a very slow or friendly game, or even for a lazy training session, it’s OK to wear them. Or any time, it’s not necessary to actually change the direction of movement like in a live game.

As far as grip goes, there may be little difference, sure. But the wider base and the ankle protection are there for a reason in lacrosse cleats.

Soccer cleats might be lighter and smaller and, therefore, cheaper. But the players also wear shinguards and socks, as well as overtraining their legs.

So, if a lacrosse player has well-developed calves, it’s good. Shinguards on, and off you go. Otherwise, if you slip, you’re in trouble.

Other situations where soccer cleats wouldn’t work are the other types of lacrosse. Box lacrosse is one example. It’s played indoors on artificial turf, so no cleats would work.

Just like other indoor sports shoes with a flat surface would be better. Just make sure to have a nice logo on the soles.

The bottom line is very straightforward. All types of sports shoes are designed to prevent injuries common to their respective sport.

So, there must be a reason why lacrosse shoes would have a very wide base and high ankle support. And if you don’t agree, painkillers are available on standby for you.

Isn’t It Dangerous to Have Spikes on Your Boots?

Both soccer and field lacrosse don’t allow spikes, and thus, they focus on safety. There’s enough contact and hurting each other in these sports, apparently. That’s why they decided against spikes, to their loss.

So, what do they use instead? Rubber or plastic cleats are the cleats of choice in both sports.  Both types of cleats have very similar soles because it’s all dictated by the rules for the sports.

And both rules say, “As long as you make sure the cleats are safe for everybody,” it’s party time.  So, it is no to spikes and yes to rubber or plastic cleats.


Can you use soccer cleats for lacrosse? You can, but you really shouldn’t. Soccer cleats don’t have ankle protection; that’s the reason. But soccer pros actually have double ankle protection. 

It’s due to their physique and the shinguards that wrap around their ankles. Proper lacrosse shoes have a wide base and provide ankle protection. Without the protection, the player risks getting an ankle sprain. 

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