Soccer is one of the most physically challenging sports in all of athletics. Through 90 minutes of nearly continuous gameplay and almost no moment to rest, you’ll need to bring your A-game if you’re hoping to be a success on the field.
But what about when that field is in your local YMCA or gymnasium?
While many people prefer to play soccer on large, regulation fields, in some locations, this just isn’t going to be possible. You’ll need to find an indoor court or gymnasium that allows you to play the game just as fluidly as you would outside—and, you’ll need the right shoes for the job as well.
Regular soccer cleats will only damage smooth flooring and cause injury after injury. At the same time, you won’t be able to get away with your regular tennis shoes for too long without tearing them apart due to the hard use. You need a shoe designed for indoor soccer.
To help you pick out the best pair of indoor soccer shoes, we’ve put together a list the five best options that you can find on the market today. These shoes run the gauntlet in price, design, and build, so we’ll also be going over what you need to look for in indoor soccer shoes, as well as how we made our picks and much more in our Buyer’s Guide.
What to Look For In Indoor Soccer Shoes
Like we’ve said, indoor soccer shoes are going to come with a completely different design than standard soccer cleats and even regular tennis shoes. Soccer tends to involve fast starts and quick turns—which puts a significant amount of stress on the shoe itself, as well as the shoe’s grip to the floor.
For quick reference, here are some of the most important aspects of a soccer shoe that you should consider:
The first consideration is relatively straightforward—as an endurance sport, you’ll be doing a whole lot of walking, jogging, and running in the game of soccer. You’ll need a shoe that gives you as much contact with the ground as possible and allows you to get the best grip on the floor’s surface at all times.
This is where regular tennis shoes so often fail. Instead of allowing for great grip on the ground, the thick soles of regular tennis shoes can make it easier to roll an ankle or lose grip when making quick turns.
This is also crucial to the second consideration you’ll need to make—whether or not your prospective shoe has a gum rubber sole.
Gum rubber is a specific type of rubber often used for grip by indoor soccer players. You’ll find that the bottoms of these shoes are often covered in complex tread patterns that maximize the gum rubber’s ability to grip onto linoleum, polished wood, or any other flat, smooth surface you may be playing on.
Otherwise, you’ll also want to consider what the body of the shoe is made out of. Many shoe manufacturers opt for an almost sock-like design, which clings to the foot as tightly as possible while still maintaining its integrity.
The best material for this type of design is synthetic leather, so we recommend keeping a lookout for the material in our overview of products and throughout your shopping experience.
Finally, water resistance is going to be crucial. Not only will your feet break a sweat while playing soccer, but just because indoor soccer is played indoors doesn’t mean that the elements won’t play a factor. Likewise, some of our shoe picks can double as a standard street shoe—making it all the more helpful to have a shoe that won’t unravel at first sight of rain.
How We’ve Chosen Our Shoes
We’ve sorted through some of the best and most popular indoor running shoes on the market today—making sure to pay special attention when those who metrics collide. We’re careful to pick out up-to-date products to make sure that you’re getting the best version of each of our shoe picks.
All too often, shoe manufacturers will tweak and adjust their shoe designs yearly; sometimes even more often than that. That’s why it’s crucial that you ensure the shoe you’ve picked out for yourself is the best version available.
It’s also important to note that every soccer player is different. It may be more valuable to you to focus on a shoe that can double as a street shoe, and needs a sense of style to it. Others might be more interested in performance above all and aren’t too fussed about the aesthetic of their choice. Many people will fall in the middle.
We think any one of the shoes may be perfect for you given your budget, goals, needs, and desires, but likewise, not all of them are going to work for everyone. That’s why it’s crucial you keep in mind exactly what you want out of your next indoor options, and make sure you’ve made all of the considerations necessary in our Buyer’s Guide.
Top 5 Best Indoor Soccer Shoes
Need to rule the field or court? Try out any one of these five shoes to keep your feet firmly on the ground and ready for whatever the game throws at you:
It’s hard to talk about soccer shoes or soccer gear in general without recognizing the influence that adidas has on the sport.
Everything for their slick shoes and simple designs right down to the formatting of their name, adidas has always been about keeping a low profile and working hard to improve their products. Their flagship indoor shoe design, the Samba Classic, marries the quality of a good indoor shoe with the style of a good street pair.
Made with leather and featuring a gum rubber sole, this shoe is going to cover the major bases required for excellent performance on the gymnasium floor. Also included is a removable sock liner, an overlay to keep the suede elements from disintegrating over time, and a design that’s as simple as it is bold.
We’ll be covering other adidas products on our list, but it’s important to open with one of the most popular and versatile indoor soccer options in the game. If you’re unsure of some of our other picks, you should have no problems sticking with this classic option.
We’re giving this pair five out of five stars.
Moving over to yet another giant in the sports industry, Nike’s attempt at a similar shoe to the Samba Classic yields different, yet interesting results.
Nike is quick to distinguish their shoe offering as an indoor soccer cleat—focusing on the feel of the shoe as well as the design of the sole. And while you won’t find any studs or metal cleats here, the tighter design can result in some sharper turns than you may get even from an adidas pair.
Otherwise, the Davinho cleat rounds out its features with a sock liner, rubber sole, leather and mesh construction, and an overall aesthetic that’s uniquely Nike.
While we have to recognize that—much like with the adidas shoe—it’s likely that people will seek out this product simply due to the brand name, we also must admit that the brand has certainly earned its reputation. The Davinho cleat is a great shoe for indoor play and streetwear and should serve you well in matches to come.
We’re giving this pair five out of five stars.
If you’re looking for an adidas product with less of a focus on street aesthetics and more on indoor soccer, this sock-like product is going to serve you well and certainly attract a few wandering eyes along the way.
Featuring a bright, yellow design (with an optional neon green variant), this shoe is made from 100% synthetic rubber and a rugged rubber sole. The thin and flexible design of the shoe means that you’ll get more grip on the ground and feel nearly barefoot as you traverse the indoor field, and with a molded foam insole, your grip won’t get much better.
The thin, sock-like design is going to appease many who enjoy the feel, but for some, street shoe versatility and personal preference are going to get in the way of purchasing this shoe. Still, we think this is one of the best options for performance overall, and another great adidas product to consider.
We’re giving this one four and a half out of five stars.
Marrying the standard design with a bit of flair so often seen in thinner shoes like the Ace 15.3, this option from Nike is going to give you an unassuming design and some serious grip.
Utilizing a synthetic design and a fabric sole, this is one of the few indoor shoes that changes up the typical indoor shoe design. You’ll also notice that this shoe comes with a dynamic collar—designed to give extra grip on the shoe to the lower leg and provide a more snug fit overall.
We’re appreciative of the unique mesh design that features some of the best styles out of any of the products on our list, but a lack of focus on gum rubber is one of the few detriments keeping us from awarding a perfect score.
Nevertheless, we have to admit that this sleek design may be worth it to own for street wear, if not on the field itself.
We’re giving this pair four out of five stars.
Our final pick is another great adidas option that seems to marry the design stylings of two of the other great adidas picks on our list.
The adidas Men’s X Tango 18.3 follows in the footsteps of the Ace 15.3 and opts for a bold, neon design that extends both on the outside of the shoe as well as within the inside.
The shoe uses a thicker design that allows for excellent grip on the heel without irritating the ankle, and the dual-layer mesh will help keep your feet as cool as possible even during the final minutes of a match.
Featuring a rubber sole and a unique silhouette, this shoe comes out with some great options for anyone looking for a more durable option of the Ace 15.3 and aren’t fussed about street options.
The top portion of the shoe specifically will certainly rub you the wrong way without the right pair of socks, but otherwise, you can count on this pair to get your through matches for years to come.
We’re giving this pair four out of five stars.
Still not sure which pair to opt for? Here are some important considerations we think you need to keep in mind:
While some indoor running shoes can double as a street pair, we recommend treating this purchase as an investment in your sport. If purchasing some of the higher-end indoor options, take care to wear your shoes only in matches and in practices, and never on crude surfaces that could damage your shoe.
We also recommend picking up a few pairs of great socks and making sure that the rest of your indoor soccer outfit is set and ready for play. Don’t underestimate the power a well-put-together uniform can have on performance.
Finally, ensure that fit is not going to be a problem. If possible, try on your prospective pick at your local sports outlet or shoe store. Make sure that your pick fits snug without crushing your toes or the sides of your feet, but doesn’t leave too much room as to allow for slippage within the shoe.
Provided you’re careful to do your research and pick out the right shoe for you; we’re confident that you’ll be able to dominate the gym floor heading out in one of these great pairs of shoes. As always, play smart, play safe, and play to win.
Featured Image Source: Unsplash