As the name implies, soft ground cleats are designed for soft natural turf. If you often play on wet, muddy fields or live in an area where it rains frequently – then you should have a pair of soft ground cleats in your collection.
Soft ground cleats feature longer, more pointed studs for maximum grip. Often, soft ground boots will have 6 or more removable studs made of metal or injection molded plastic that can be swapped out for longer or shorter studs. If you enjoy the idea of customizing your stud selection, then you should own a pair of SG cleats. For more details on soft ground cleats check out my soccer cleats 101 guide.
As a general rule, soft ground soccer cleats are the most expensive soccer cleats on the market. So if you’re going to make a significant investment then you want to know the cream of the crop. I compiled data from all the major websites came up with the top soft ground cleats and four shoes stand above the rest.
Criteria for selection:
- At least 10 reviews
- Reviewed on a minimum of 3 different sites to remove website bias
The Highest-Rated Soft Ground Soccer Cleats
Nike Hypervenom Phantom Soft Ground
Although it’s a few years old – the Nike Hypervenom Phantom is one of the coolest soccer cleats on the market. A unique feature to the Hypervenom Phantom line is the waffled textured Nike skin – made up of two different layers of mesh woven in a honeycomb pattern and topped with a polyurethane layer. This results in a very unique material that is very flexible and breathable. As with all top-end Nike shoes, it includes all conditions control (ACC) to help keep the upper dry and maintain good contact with the ball.
Weighing in at 7.6oz, the Phantom soft ground is one of the lightest soft ground cleats available. Most soft ground boots are 1-2oz heavier than their firm ground versions due to their construction and metal studs, so this is a huge plus if you are looking for a lightweight SG shoe.
The bottom of the shoe offers another unique feature of a very rigid glass nylon soleplate with a separate stud plate that includes 2 molded bladed studs in the heel and 4 in the forefoot including a toe pick stud. In addition the Phantom includes 6 removable metal studs – 13mm heel studs and 11mm forefoot studs. A stud wrench is included.
With the flexible Nike skin with ACC and weighing in under 8oz, the Hypervenom Phantom SG lives up to its rating as the best soft ground soccer cleats.
Adidas World Cup Soft Ground
Yet another classic in the line of Adidas kangaroo leather soccer cleats, the Adidas World Cup has been a preferred soft ground cleat for more than twenty years. Adidas markets the World Cup SG as the high end of their Copa line. Actually, the World Cup and the Copa Mundial are almost the same shoe with the main difference being the soft ground version has six removable studs.
The metal studs are screw-in so can choose the length of your studs if you change them out. The World Cups are perfect for natural wet or very soft ground conditions.
As with its cousins the Copa, Mundial Goal, and Team Mundial Turf, the Adidas World Cup features a soft kangaroo leather upper that gives you protection while offering a responsive touch on the ball. At 10.1oz the World Cup offers a lot of protection and soft touch as a trade-off for being heavier than some of the other soft ground synthetics. A synthetic lining, EVA insert, and extended heel counter provide extra comfort and stability to this classic shoe.
Nike Tiempo Legend V SG Pro
The Tiempo Legend V Soft Ground Pro cleats were designed for comfort and optimal ball touch in wet conditions. In keeping with two decades of Nike’s Tiempo line of cleats, the upper is made of premium, soft kangaroo leather.
The Tiempo Legend V was engineered with a combination of kangaroo leather, Kanga-lite, and Nike’s ACC (all conditions control) that results in a water resistant upper. If that wasn’t enough, Nike’s hypershield technology prevents the leather from absorbing water creating an almost waterproof shoe.
The soleplate features a combination of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and metal screw in studs. The Legend V SGs come with extra studs in the box. A perforated sock liner with a Poron (an aftermarket insert company) insert make the Tiempo Legend V SG Pro’s comfortable while keeping the moisture out. At 9.6oz the Legend V is slightly lighter than the Adidas World Cup leather soft ground cleats.
PUMA King Pro Soft Ground
The soft ground version of Puma’s legendary King line. Featuring the classic black and white colorway, the upper is made of authentic k-leather. The interior lining on the heel features Puma’s griptex material which helps lock down the ankle preventing chaffing and blisters. Indeed – many players report the King as one of the most comfortable cleats available. The King SG doesn’t dissapoint in that category with many users reporting the shoe feeling broken in after the first playing session.
The sole features 6 diamond tapered studs for maximum grip and acceleration in softer ground and/or wet conditions. Puma’s duoflex technology gives the sole extra flexability.
With the release of the platinum boots in 2019 – now is a great time to get a pair of these boots at a discount. Often priced under $75…a steal for k-leather boots of this quality!
Top 4 soft ground soccer cleats at a glance
Nike Hypervenom Phantom SG
- 20+ reviews
- 7.6 oz
- Synthetic: Nike Skin
Adidas World Cup SG
- 100+ reviews
- 10.1 oz
- Kangaroo leather
Nike Tiempo Legend SG
- 20+ reviews
- 9.6 oz
- Kangaroo leather
PUMA King Pro SG
- 80 reviews
- 9.8 oz