Synthetic pitches can be divided into two: Artificial Ground (AG) that simulates the depth, density, and length of natural grass surface and Turf (TF), a shallow version used more on 5-a-side football. You can get our top TF boots here if you’re more into small-sided football matches. Otherwise, continue to read on to find out the best AG boots today.
It can be really beautiful to be able to play football in a natural grass environment with its firm soil structure. However, given the limited availability of such space outdoors and the costs to main an FG football pitch, many have created alternative football courts and employed an artificial grass surface. While intended to simulate a natural ground, an AG pitch is different in terms of firmness and texture given the synthetic nature of the grass and the surface bed. And the growth in the number of AG courts has, in turn, resulted in football boots manufacturers creating versions suitable for artificial grasses.
Top 10 Artificial Boots
The Phantom GX AG is the boot that you want on artificial pitches if you want a soccer cleat that feels sock-like and has a relaxed fit. If you’re also the type of player that likes to always drag the ball for dribbling purposes, you’ll welcome the additional grip provided by the upper’s Gripknit technology. Nike’s AG studs are hollowed out in the middle to diffuse the heat and abrasiveness of the synthetic surface, making them last longer than the average AG boot.
Aside from giving you optimal traction on AG courts, the Tiempo Legend AG delivers the same comfort and touch of the FG variation thanks to the soft synthetic leather upper. A Tiempo Legend player is someone that prioritises first touch above everything else because of the dampened sensation produced by the foam liner when receiving and striking the ball.
Ball grip at its grippiest with the High-Definition rubber grip blocks, sitting on top of a comfortable Hybridtouch upper; quite aggressive with those bladed triangular studs
Places comfort at its core with a padded meshed forefoot and a multidirectional-twisting soleplate; also falls on the clingy side of AG soleplates in this list
The iconic Nike silo that is represented by the timeless CR7 and prolific Kylian Mbappe has a dedicated AG variation. What’s good about the AG Mercurial this time is that it also includes the FG’s Zoom Air technology for that smooth, effortless steps toward acceleration on all generations of synthetic pitches
Rivals the mercurials in term’s of upper thinness and soleplate responsiveness
Same as number 5, without the collar
Lightweight and skin-tight fitting pair of AG speed boots; traction might be too much for some
A great budget boot to include in the list; versatile outsole can be played on both artificial and natural, with the typical Mercurial fit and Nikeskin upper making it more premium than its price point suggests
With more lockdown than the number 3 because of the laces
What is an MG sole on a boot?
Nike and adidas have started offering boots with an MG sole-plate option, but what does MG mean? Well in short Multi-Ground, what that means is they are designed to be worn on both Artificial and Firm Ground pitches, giving you a pair of boots that works on both.
Both Nike and Adidas have manufactured multi-grounded versions of their silos, with MG variations available to the Academy Vapors, Phantoms and Tiempos, and to the .3s of the Predator Edge, Copa Sense, and X Speedportal. Nike’s MG leans more on the FG side because of the presence of blades while the adidas MG is more on AG as they share the same stud configuration. Certainly, other manufacturers will follow suit to producing all-rounder soleplates as more and more AGs (and to a certain extent, Hybrids) become available compared to natural grasses.
Puma, on the other hand, creates a single FG/AG soleplate which is the default outsole of a Puma top-end model. Puma includes Turf pitches in their approach to MG soleplates, and as such, the studs are as numerous as that of Turf studs, but with the height of AG studs and with some narrowness to get some bite on pitches with a bit of depth.
Deep Dive into Artificial Grounds
AG grounds and Turf are 100% made of synthetic grass and based on the increasing grass height and infill requirement could be classified into 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and 6G. The sand-based Turf (2G) is usually just for recreational football and has a grass height of no more than 24mm, while the AG (3G) with its rubber crumbs infill and 35-65mm pile height is used by football associations and other sports. The 4G, 5G and 6G pitches no longer require any infill but these pitches are not all yet be recognized by football governing bodies for playing on.
The turf surface is more like a grass carpet. It is more flat and super abrasive, encouraging more ball action and less physical contact. AG simulates the feel of a natural grass, though its synthetic nature means it is still a bit abrasive and too grippy for an FG soleplate.