The Debate over Soccer Cleats: Are They Safe to Wear in Lacrosse?

soccer player on field

Lacrosse is a sport that requires special equipment, from the lacrosse stick itself to the protective gear and cleats. But can you wear soccer cleats for lacrosse? It’s a debate that has been raging on for some time now: should players be permitted to use soccer cleats while playing lacrosse? Let’s explore this debate and provide some insight into whether or not it is safe to wear soccer cleats for lacrosse.

Lacrosse Cleats vs. Soccer Cleats: What’s The Main Difference?

Soccer and lacrosse cleats are primarily for sports where many people start, stop and run. The cleat has splints on the bottom which ensure players keep a consistent position while playing. Generally, soccer shoe cleavers have the same surface design as lacrosse cleats but they have different ankle cleave designs. Soccer shoes with larger studs generally provide better traction on pavement and gravel.

Meanwhile, the lacrosse cleat has a different stud configuration, with small studs on top and is ideal for a more stop-and-start playing style. Lacrosse cleats have four studs in each foot and six to eight studs screws in the rear of the sole towards the heel area. Lacrosse cleats also feature a slit on one side that allows players to get into the surface of the floor better by pointing to a finger.

Similarities Between Lacrosse Cleats vs. Other Sport Cleats

Soccer and lacrosse cleats share some similarities in their basic design and construction. Both types of cleats feature an upper made from synthetic or leather material that is designed to provide durability and comfort. The cleats on both types of shoes are typically made from rubber or a similar material, and are designed to provide traction and stability on the playing surface. In addition, both soccer cleats and lacrosse cleats can be designed with a low, mid, or high-cut design to provide varying levels of ankle support, depending on the player’s preferences and needs.

Lacrosse and football cleats also share some similarities in their design and construction. However, there are also some key differences between lacrosse cleats and football cleats, such as the specific cleat patterns and designs that are tailored to the unique demands of each sport. Football cleats, for example, are typically designed with longer studs that provide better traction on grass fields, whereas lacrosse cleats are shallower cleats that are designed to provide a better grip on turf or artifical ground surfaces. If you are thinking that you can get away with wearing football cleats instead of wearing lacrosse cleats, think again!

Risks of wearing soccer cleats while playing lacrosse

There are more than a few risks to be aware if one is to wear cleats that are meant to play soccer with while participating in a contact sport such as lacrosse. Playing soccer is certainly a different endeavor than lacrosse, so the below are just a few reasons why you should wear lacrosse cleats when you step onto the playing field.

Increased risk of injury due to lack of support

The main issue when considering wearing soccer cleats for lacrosse is the lack of support and protection that soccer cleats provide. Lacrosse has a lot of sudden stops, starts, and lateral movement which can lead to ankle injuries if wearing an improper shoe. Soccer cleats typically aren’t designed with added cushioning or stability around the heel, so the risk of injury while playing in soccer cleats is a very real possibility. It’s important to consider the risks if you are thinking about using soccer cleats for lacrosse.

Potential for slips, falls, and other accidents

In addition to the potential for injury, wearing soccer cleats can also lead to a greater risk of slipping and falling on wet ground or even on dry grass. Soccer cleats typically don’t offer as much grip on wet surfaces, so playing in soccer cleats could make you more prone to slips and falls as these can be classified as more strictly firm ground cleats.

Potential damage to soccer cleats from the rougher turf of lacrosse fields

It’s also important to consider the potential damage that soccer cleats could sustain when playing on a lacrosse field. Lacrosse fields tend to be rougher surfaces than soccer fields, and the spikes of soccer cleats can easily get caught in the turf and become bent out of shape after repeated use.

Ankle Protection

Lacrosse cleats are specifically designed to provide extra ankle support, traction, and stability on turf surfaces. They are often designed with a mid-cut or high-cut design that provides support for the entire foot and ankle, which can help prevent ankle injuries.

Furthermore, lacrosse cleats have a specific cleat pattern that is designed to provide better traction on a rougher turf surface. Soccer cleats, on the other hand, are designed for a grassy playing field and may not provide the necessary grip and support for lacrosse movements. Additionally, the smaller studs on soccer cleats can wear down quickly on a rougher turf surface, which can increase the risk of slipping and falling.

Are soccer cleats legal for lacrosse?

The short answer is that soccer cleats are not allowed in lacrosse play. Lacrosse has its own specific set of rules, which require players to wear only approved cleats designed specifically for the sport. Soccer cleats do not meet these requirements and therefore cannot be worn while playing lacrosse. Of course, your specific league may vary- regarding the legality of soccer cleats in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), the official rules do not specify the type of cleats that players must wear.

According to the PLL Equipment Rules and Regulations, “Footwear must be designed for lacrosse or soccer and must have molded cleats. Metal cleats are not allowed.” This means that soccer cleats could potentially be used in the PLL, as long as they meet the requirements for molded cleats and are designed for either lacrosse or soccer. However, this means that baseball cleats for example can definitely be ruled out.

It’s worth noting that many lacrosse players and coaches recommend using specialized lacrosse shoes for the best performance and safety on the field. These lacrosse cleats offer better traction, support, and stability on the turf surface, which can help reduce the risk of injuries and improve overall performance.

Can You Use Any Sports Cleats for Lacrosse?

So if not soccer cleats, are there any other sports where one may be able to cross-pollinate and use those cleats for lacrosse? One may think football cleats or baseball cleats could work, but the answer is no. The only cleats that are approved to be used on a lacrosse field are specifically designed for the sport. This includes metal cleats, molded plastic cleats, and turf lacrosse shoes. Metal cleats should only be worn on grass fields, as they can cause damage to artificial turf surfaces. Please do not wear your basketball shoes while playing lacrosse either! Save those for playing basketball after practice.

Lacing Things Up

In conclusion, while soccer cleats may be comfortable and provide some level of ankle support, they are not recommended for playing lacrosse due to the lesser ankle support and lack of specific design features for the sport. Lacrosse players should prioritize wearing the proper cleats designed for the specific demands of the sport to prevent injuries and improve performance on the field.

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