Artificial & Astro-Turf
Astro Turf boots are suitable for artificial surfaces and very hard natural ground. On artificial turf they'll give you all year round use. Below you will find our current top sellers:
Nike make their specific AG-Pro soleplate, designed specifically for use on artificial pitches, whilst most adidas top end boots have their FG/AG soleplate that makes them suitable for both grass or astro pitches. Nike also have a MG soleplate on some of their cheaper boots, that suits grass or artificial pitches, like the adidas sole, but it is just on their cheaper pro and acadmey range boots. When the pitch grass is shorter you'll need to use a turf boot, rather than one with the longer conical studs, that suit the modern 3G & 4G Astro pitches.
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.
AG grounds 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 2G is usually just for recreational football and has a grass height of no more than 24mm, while the 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 photo above from by Duke University takes a closer look of AG showing that the base is made up of Nylon with post-consumer recycled tires making up the rubber infill. The grass is polyethene, the same compound used for plastic bags. While AGs are becoming popular playing grounds, their shallow and more abrasive nature makes some players wary about possible skin, muscle and joint injuries.
The AG soleplates then can be described as follows. The studs are more conical in shape and are shorter than the standard FG versions. This is to lessen the aggressive traction of the FG studs and avoid injuries caused by FG boots getting stuck with the AG surface. AGs have more studs to distribute one’s weight evenly across the soleplates and the studs are softer than that of FGs primarily to increase the shock absorption and minimize the impact of the harder AG bed on the feet and knees. Some manufacturers also make the AG soleplates a bit thicker to withstand more battering from the harder surface.
Is There A Boot For Artificial & Natural Grass?
The difficulty of having multiple boots, both in terms of cost and maintenance, for the different ground types have led to manufacturers producing multi ground boots to appeal to the segment of the market that looks for soleplates that fit all playing surfaces, from the wet muddy surface of the soft ground and the balanced firm ground to the harsher artificial ground. Needless to say that people looking for MGs are after its flexibility to adapt to all ground types. The MG stud configuration is strategically placed to maximize support regardless of the surface, combining the look and feel of an FG boot and the conical studs of an artificial grass boot, for a boot that suits both pitches, like adidas and Puma's FG/AG's options. The MG option is available only on Nike academy boots as the higher tiered pro & Elite boots have soles specificially designed for either grass or artificial.
AstroTurf is a brand name, but is often used when talking about any type of artificial turf surface, it is made from synthetic fibres that have been made to look like natural grass. It was introduced to give an all year round surface that was not adversely affected by weather. When looking for astro trainers, you'll need a pair that have a decent compression moulded rubber outsole, that will give you durable traction and support.
Both Nike and Adidas have manufactured multi-grounded versions of their silos, with MG variations available to the Vapors, Phantoms and Tiempos, and to the X 19.3s and Nemeziz 19.3s respectively. 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.