Guide: What are SG, FG, AG, and TF football boots?

How to choose the pitch-perfect football boot for every playing surface

Guide: What are SG, FG, AG, and TF football boots?

Choosing the right kind of football boots can be confusing. Part 1 of our Beginners' Guide to Football Boots explains how boots differ depending on the surface you intend to play on and how to tell them apart.

What are soft ground (SG) football boots?

Best for: Muddy or wet grass pitches

Soft ground football boots are the go-to for (you guessed it) soft grass pitches. They're the boots that typically have screw-in studs, and they'll give you a lot more grip when the pitch surface is wet or muddy underfoot. One problem you can encounter with SF boots is mud getting stuck to the bottom of your boot – look out for boots with anti-clog technology (which Nike invented) to combat this problem.

Soft Ground Sole Plate

What are firm ground (FG) football boots?

Best for: Firmer grass pitches

Firm ground football boots have molded studs and are a great option when the ground is somewhere between hard and soft. We wouldn't recommend wearing these on artificial grass or in the summer when the ground is dried out and hard – you'll run the risk of turning your ankle, and you'll probably end up with some impressive blisters since all your weight and pressure will land on the studs and not transfer into the ground.

Firm Ground Sole Plate

What are artificial grass (AG) football boots?

Best for: Astro, 3G and 4G pitches

Artificial grass football boots will be your go-to if you play on astroturf, 3G, or 4G pitches. They have rounded studs, which many facilities insist on to protect the pitch. Some players try wearing FG boots on artificial grass, but these boots have longer studs that can catch on the surface, risking damage to the pitch and your ankles! You're much better sticking with AG boots, or if it's not too wet and slippy, you can wear turf boots.

Artificial Ground Sole Plate

What are turf football (TF) boots?

Best for: Hard ground and artificial pitches

Turf (or astro turf) football boots are a versatile option, especially if you're starting out and don't want to buy a boot for every occasion. They're not only a great choice for artificial surfaces but come in handy if you're playing on concrete or tarmac pitches and again in the summer when many grass pitches are rock hard. Honestly, you can't go wrong with a decent pair of turf football boots.

Turf Sole Plate

What are indoor football (IN) boots?

Best for: Indoor courts

Sometimes called indoor court (IC) shoes, indoor football boots are grippy and ideal for futsal or playing in sports halls. They have non-marking soles to keep the facility happy and give you much more support for fast-paced, stop-start, technical play.

Indoor Sole Plate

If you liked this you might find Part 2 of our Beginners Guide to Football Boots useful. It explains the difference between entry-level and elite boots, so you get the best bang for your buck.