Which soccer cleats performed best at the World Cup?

A recent study by Penn State University’s Center for Sports Surface Research, entitled ‘2014 World Cup Shoes – Traction Comparison’, has provided more data on the similarity of FieldTurf Revolution and Kentucky Bluegrass rotational traction performance with soccer footwear used by the world’s elite.

Each surface, Kentucky Bluegrass (natural) and FieldTurf Revolution (artificial), was tested in combination with 7 different shoe types, all used in the 2014 World Cup.

The results show that rotational traction levels on the tested soccer shoes are similar on FieldTurf Revolution and Kentucky Bluegrass. The range in rotational traction values for shoes on FieldTurf Revolution was 56.6 to 63.5 Nm. On Kentucky bluegrass, traction levels ranged from 55.9 to 61.0 Nm. These traction values are slightly below the average traction level of 30 shoes also recently tested at Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research on these surfaces.




To see how some of the most popular World Cup footwear performed on FieldTurf and Natural Grass – download the full report on the Penn State University Center for Sports Surface Research traction database webpage.

In the July 2014 report, the Pennfoot apparatus was used to measure the rotational traction levels. Traction was measured by rotating the shoe in a forefoot stance with the weight distributed onto the forefoot as required by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) for most sports including football and soccer (ASTM F2333-04). The Pennfoot apparatus used to conduct the testing closely compares to the ASTM method for measuring traction.

“Through various studies and reports we have strived to understand what contributes to proper footing on artificial turf and natural grass surfaces”, said Dr. Andrew S. McNitt, Associate Professor of Soil Science, Pennsylvania State University. “The key to this is ensuring that the footwear is positioned on the surface in a forefoot stance in order to gain more realistic rotational traction data. The results in this latest report are consistent with previous findings indicating that the type of shoe worn on these surfaces is a very important variable in understanding traction on natural and artificial surfaces.”

When athletes quickly change direction, force is transferred to the lower extremities. The movement between the athlete’s shoe and the surface they are playing on has been shown to be a factor for injury risks. Testing the rotational traction can show how much force an athlete is taking at the lower extremities.

The evaluation of how the preferred soccer footwear among the world’s elite performs on an artificial FieldTurf Revolution surface compared to Kentucky Bluegrass continues to indicate the importance of proper footwear and turf system design in striving to achieve grass-like levels of traction.

To see the full 2014 World Cup Shoes – Traction Comparison, please click here.


About the Penn State Center for Sports Surface Research

Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research is an intercollege program managed within the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Department of Plant Science. The center is dedicated to the improvement of all sports surfaces. Through cooperative scientific inquiry, the center strives to improve safety and performance on all sports surfaces.



'Which soccer cleats performed best at the World Cup?' has 1 comment

  1. March 29, 2016 @ 2:10 am Putri Zachira

    great post


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