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Turf Shoes Explained for the Footwear Industry

What are turf shoes?

Turf Shoes

First of all, what is turf.

Sod or turf is grass and the part of the soil beneath it held together by the roots, or a piece of thin material. In British English such material is more usually known as turf, and the word "sod" is limited mainly to agricultural senses. 

Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well. The main reason is maintenance—artificial turf stands up to heavy use, such as in sports, and requires no irrigation or trimming. Domed, covered, and partially covered stadiums may require artificial turf because of the difficulty of getting grass enough sunlight to stay healthy. But artificial turf does have its downside: limited life, periodic cleaning requirements, petroleum use, toxic chemicals from infill, and heightened health and safety concerns. Artificial turf first gained substantial attention in the 1960s, when it was used in the newly constructed Astrodome.

The inventor of synthetic turf, AstroTurf® is one of the most iconic brands in American sports — as legendary as the athletes who’ve battled on it. The brand that created the category is once again the leading innovator in synthetic turf. American-owned and operated, AstroTurf is the only synthetic turf brand with true vertical asset integration, ensuring that every inch of product meets and exceeds the highest standards of performance, quality and durability. With over 40 years of experience and 160,000,000 square feet of turf in use worldwide, AstroTurf brings more technological expertise and real world know-how to the game than any other brand. AstroTurf is backed by Textile Management Associates, Inc. (TMA), one of the leading suppliers to the synthetic turf industry. Textile Management Associates, Inc. is part of a 35-year-old, family owned manufacturing group based in Dalton, Georgia. The company has owned the AstroTurf brand, including all assets and intellectual property, since 2004.

OK, now we have a better understanding of turf, synthetic grass, and Astroturf. 

Now let's learn about the types of shoes that are appropriate for playing sports on turf.

The primary goal of turf shoes is for an athlete to keep their footing on turf fields.  Some people say that they are specifically designed for play on artificial turf surfaces.  However, they can also be used on real grass under certain conditions.

Turf shoes or turf boots (outside the USA) usually have an extremely durable, rubber outsole.  Artificial turf shoes have small rubber studs or patterns on the outsole to improve traction on hard, natural fields and artificial turf.  Turf shoes are also great for soccer training and can be used as a back-up pair of shoes for play on hard surfaces.

Turf shoes can be considered cleats and are designed with maximum mobility in mind.   Most turf shoes  are designed to offer very little stiffness on the sole of the shoe.  The height of turf shoes is mostly low-top, and the underside of the shoe features dozens of small rubber studs with very little spacing between each stud.  The small rubber studs grip the turf surface and assist in pushing off on a foot with minimal slippage.  Again, the primary goal of this type of footwear is to help gain traction on artificial grass surfaces.

Turf shoes help players reduce the possibility of slipping.  Turf shoes can have cleats (studs) or fine-grained stud like patterns.

Cleats and turf shoes are a bit different even though some turf shoes have cleats on the sole.   The studs under cleat shoes are generally smaller on a turf shoe design.  The blades or cones on the bottom of sports shoes that are there to improve traction are called studs or cleats.  The size of these studs help determine which shoes can be categorized as turf shoes.

The word “turf shoe" often gets intermingled when discussing the sport of indoor soccer.  Indoor soccer can be played on turf fields (artificial grass) or on hard wood floors.  When playing on hardwood floors, the proper shoe is actually an “indoor soccer shoe" not a turf shoe.  The indoor soccer shoes have a relatively flat bottom (not studs).  They have groves for traction, but not actual studs.

If you are a consumer, you should consult your local shoe stores to make sure you are purchasing the proper shoes for the surface that you plan to play on.  Also, make sure to ask your coach regarding the appropriate footwear style.  It would also be a good idea to consult with specific league rules.

For more information about soccer shoes, we suggest you visit the Soccer.com site to view the soccer shoe guide.

Below are a few examples of turf shoes.  It is important to note that we have categorized them by sport but this does NOT mean that all turf shoes for that particular sport look the exact same or that the shoes can't be used for other sports.  The shoes and soles of the shoes vary by brand, style, manufacturer etc.  These are simply a few examples of various turf shoes.  They are not the only options or neccessarily the absolute best design for a specific sport.

Soccer Turf Shoes

Nike Mn's Hypervenom Phelon II Turf Shoe for Soccer Nike Turf Shoe Sole Hypervenom Phelon II

Nike Men's Hypervenom Phelon II Tf Turf Soccer Shoe: Getting to the goal is a breeze with the high performance power of the Nike Hypervenom Phelon II TF soccer turf. 

  • synthetic-and-leather
  • rubber sole
  • Agility traction pattern provides faster release and maximum responsiveness
  • Shortened, asymmetrical lace area increases the size of the vamp and strike zone
  • Full-length nonmarking rubber outsole designed for use on artificial turf

Baseball Turf Shoes - The sports of baseball & softball sometimes involve a field that consists of both artificial turf and dirt.  While turf shoes may provide excellent traction on the artificial turf in the outfield, the players may find that cleats allow for much better traction on the dirt infield. The shoe version a player selects may take into account their position on the field.  Some players may wish to change shoes when they are up to bat so they can run more effectively on the dirt infield. 

Nike Turf Shoes Sole for Baseball Men's Nike Turf Shoes for Baseball

Nike Men's Lunar Trout 2 (year 2016): Take your domination from the field to the street in the Trout II. NikeSkin technology on the quarter panels combine with a polyurethane and mesh upper to deliver a durable lightweight feel for an improved fit and added stability. The Nike® Lunar Trout 2 Turf baseball shoe has Flywire technology that wraps the midfoot and arch for a locked in supportive fit while a Lunarlon foam midsole offers superior padding for long lasting comfort.

Features:

  • Built to the exact specifications of Mike Trout
  • Polyurethane and mesh upper with NikeSkin technology offers a durable lightweight feel and added stability
  • 4-way stretch mesh inner sleeve acts as a base layer for your foot
  • Flywire technology locks down your midfoot and arch for a snug supportive fit
  • Full-length Lunarlon foam midsole ensures maximum cushioning and responsive support
  • Flex Grooves delivers an improved range of motion
  • Nubby rubber outsole provides superior traction and speed on a variety of surfaces

Football Turf Shoes

adidas Football Turf Shoe - Turf Hog LX Mid adidas football turf shoe sole

adidas Performance Men's Turf Hog LX Mid Football Cleat (year 2016): Being quick off the ball is the difference between a first down reception and a QB sack. These men's football cleats with a mid-cut construction are primed for big plays on any surface. Designed for step-in comfort from kickoff to the final play.

  • Manmade
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Breathable coated leather and textile upper
  • No-tie elastic laces
  • Designed for step-in comfort
  • EVA cushioned midsole
  • Foam lining; Multi-surface grip outsole

Lacrosse Turf Shoes

Reebok Men's Lacrosse Turf Shoe 2016

Reebok Men's Bulldodge Turf Mid Lacrosse (year 2016): Proper training is critical to success, and proper gear is critical for a successful training. If you take the game seriously, then the Reebok Bulldodge Turf Lacrosse cleats are just what you were looking for. This pair of shoes features: Performance synthetic leather upper is lightweight, breathable and requires little break in. Mid-foot support power strap for a perfect fit and amazing style. Molded padded collar for ankle comfort and protection. Breathable lining with Play Dry wick moisture away to help keep the foot cool and comfortable. Dual-density. anti- microbial footbed with ETC adds breathability, top cover helps reduce friction and heat build up. Cushioned, removable insole. Griptonite anti-slip inner heel coating adds superior heel lock down. TPU midfoot arch bridge designed for excellent midfoot stability and rigidity. Rugged rubber outsole with cleat like surface offers excellent traction. Your team is only as strong as your weakest link, so make sure that your feet aren not to blame with the Reebok Bulldodge Turf Lacrosse cleats.

  • synthetic leather
  • rubber sole
  • Proper training is critical to success, and proper gear is critical for a successful training. If you take the game seriously, then the Reebok Bulldodge Turf Lacrosse cleats are just what you were looking for.
  • Performance synthetic leather upper is lightweight, breathable and requires little break in.
  • Mid-foot support power strap for a perfect fit and amazing style.
  • Breathable lining with Play Dry wick moisture away to help keep the foot cool and comfortable.
  • Dual-density. anti- microbial footbed with ETC adds breathability, top cover helps reduce friction and heat build up.

What is the difference between turf shoes and cleats?

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