Indoor Soccer Shoes: Athletic Footwear Terminology
Fashion Terms   Types of Shoes

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What shoes shouild be worn for indoor soccer?

An indoor soccer shoe usually has a gum rubber flat outsole. They are created for playing indoor soccer or futsal in a gym or rec facility, but will also work for leisure and street wear. Indoor soccer shoes have a lower profile fit and look like a lightweight sneaker.

Another form of indoor soccer is futsal.  Shoes are designed for the fast, five-a-side play, futsal shoes are usually extremely lightweight. Futsal shoes have low profile rubber outsoles for traction on flat indoor courts and turf surfaces.

Indoor soccer or arena soccer is a game derived from association football adapted for play in a walled indoor arena.  Indoor soccer, as it is most often known in the United States and Canada, was originally developed in these two countries as a way to play football during the winter months, when snow would make outdoor play difficult.  In those countries, areas such as hockey rinks or basketball courts are adapted for indoor soccer play.  In other countries the game is played in either indoor or outdoor arenas surrounded by walls, and is referred to by different names (such as fast football (futbol rapido) in Mexico, showbol in South America, and indoor football (futbol indoor) in Spain).  Indoor soccer has different regulations from other versions of association football designed for indoor play, such as futsal and five-a-side football. Unlike futsal, which is played on ceramic surfaces, indoor soccer is played on synthetic turf.  Indoor soccer courts are delimited by walls instead of lines, and there are no player throw-ins.

Indoor soccer is most popular in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with several amateur, collegiate and professional leagues functioning. While internationally less popular than futsal, indoor soccer is also played at the league level in many countries outside North America. The World Minifootball Federation (WMF) is the governing body of indoor soccer at the international level, having replaced the International Fast Football Federation (FIFRA).

FIFA, the international body that oversees international association football competitions, does not sanction the synthetic turf version of indoor soccer, having developed its own code of indoor football (which they refer to as futsal).

Futsal is a variant of association football played on a smaller field and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.  Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football due to the surface of the field.  The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.

Here is an example of a classic indoor soccer shoe.

Adidas Men's Samba Indoor Soccer Shoe SoleAdidas Men's Samba Indoor Soccer Shoe

adidas Performance Men's Samba Classic Indoor Soccer Shoe (year 2016): Originally made for frozen pitches, the men’s Samba shoes dig into the archives for inspiration. They feature a sleek suede upper with contrasting suede overlays, contrasting 3-Stripes and a pivot-point rubber outsole for grip. There's a reason this legendary indoor shoe still sells like mad. Perfection never goes out of style. Its soft leather upper and low-profile gum rubber outsole give the elite player ultimate control.

Top-end indoor soccer shoes also feature the same design innovations found in soccer cleats. These can give you more control and an increased overall feel for the ball. Manufacturers also design the flat-surfaced outsoles specifically for indoor soccer surfaces, providing greater grip and traction than regular sneakers would allow.

You may also want to learn about cleats & turf shoes.


Learn about indoor sports from the US Indoor Sports Association.

What is the difference between indoor soccer shoes and turf shoes?