What Type of Football Boots should I Use for 3G, 4G, Artificial Turf?

football boots 3g astro turf

Football players today don’t know how good they’ve got it. In simpler times, you played matches on grass and trained on astroturf.

Astroturf, in days gone by, was a skin-shredding abomination of a sandy playing surface.

Now, players have synthetic playing surfaces that actually look like grass – whether it’s ‘long pile’ or ‘rubber crumb’ 2g, 3g or 4G – allowing the ground to ‘take’ a stud and allowing players to wear their match-day boots to training or casual games.

But that gets players asking;

What are the best kind of football boots for artificial grass?

We’re going to take a look at what your options are, and hopefully dispel a few myths along the way.

If you’re looking for a quick list, here are 5 boots Luca picked as his favourite artificial grass boots, they are not in priority order:

Top Artificial Grass (AG) Football Boots

  1. Adidas Mundial Team – £100 – Shop >>

  2. Nike Tiempo Legend VI AG-Pro – Shop >>

  3. Puma EvoPower 1.3 AG – Shop >>

  4. New Balance Visaro Pro AG – Shop >>

  5. Adidas X 16.1 CG – £85 Shop >>

Before we jump in, there are many terms for artificial grass;

Artificial Grass Surfaces

3G / 4G – The artificial surfaces known as ‘3G’ and ‘4G’ stand for 3rd / 4th Generation. 3G is a surface that uses synthetic fibres and rubbers, and is made to look like grass. Unlike previous artificial surfaces, the pitch has a longer pile of carpet and contains sand and rubber infill, it usually has some shock absorbing underlay.

4G is still an unofficial term, meaning that there is no official standard for 4G yet. Many class it as a surface that does not contain any rubber or sand infill.

As well as 3G and 4G synthetic grass for football is also known as astro turf, artificial turf and artificial grass pitches.

What Football Boots Should I Wear on Astro Turf?

Best Football Boots for Artificial Grass / 3G

 

 

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Artificial Ground – or AG – football boots are specifically designed to offer great performance on 3G and ‘long pile’ artificial turf.

You’ll notice that all the studs are conical, allowing the boot to freely rotate when your feet put force on it, and they won’t tear the surface.

A lot of savvy football boot brands also add a little bit more reinforcement around the soleplate and toes, too, to help improve durability on these high-friction surfaces.

Round-Studded FG Football Boots

White Copa Mundial Football Boot

Perhaps you want a football boot that can be used in games on grass and training on artificial turf. The best choice for this is a firm ground release with conical studs.

Working like the AG plate, firm ground releases with conical studs greatly reduce the stress on the knees by allowing free rotation.

Of course, this means classics like the Copa Mundial, PUMA King and Nike Tiempo are exceptional choices, but more modern football boots can be found with mostly conical soleplates now, including the Nike Magista, adidas ACE and X, Umbro Velocita and PUMA evoSPEED for those who still want to stand out.

Not Recommended: Firm Ground Blades

Mizuno Wave Ignitus III - Diva Blue / White - Soleplate

Once a staple of just about every statement football boot on the market, blades have become a less popular choice of late – partially due to their lack of versatility.

You’ll still find them on a lot of ‘speed’ football boots, thanks to the aggressive traction that only bladed studs can provide – however, considering they were once on everything from ‘power’ to ‘control’ to ‘heritage’ boots, they’re a lot less popular with brands now.


Using bladed football boots on artificial turf generally falls into the ‘not recommended’ category; most players may never have a problem with them, even after decades of use, but there’s always a chance that they could cause some serious damage from something as innocuous as shifting your weight the wrong way.

Stay Away From: Metal Studs

Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7 Pure Gold - Soleplate

Soft ground ‘SG’ soleplates are designed for wet, muddy pitches, where the metal studs will penetrate the top layer and prevent slipping.

However, when the ground is too hard – or simply completely immovable, as with artificial turf and 3G – the studs simply sit on top of the surface, which means your centre of gravity has shifted a centimetre or so higher than it should be.

So, with that in mind, players risking metal studs on artificial grass or 3G risk a rolled ankle at best or a season-ending injury at worst.

Oh, and you’re more likely to damage the surface itself, too – so if your summer pickup games are cancelled and the rates go up because they’re having to re-lay new artificial turf, you’d best start practising your best ‘fake outrage’ expression.

What the Authorities Say

Here at Footy-Boots.com, we’re no expert orthopaedic surgeons or developers of artificial playing surfaces – we’ve just taken the opinions of the experts around us, add in our own personal experiences, and a dash of common sense.

So, what do the authorities on the subject say?

Well, the Football Association has this handy table in their ‘Third Generation Football Turf Guidance’ handbook:

Best Football Boots for Artificial Grass / 3G - Table

The English FA covers off the recommendations for ‘Sand-Filled Carpet’ playing surfaces, on which only the classic ‘astro turf trainer’ earn a recommended rating – which we wholeheartedly agree with.

However, we’d question them giving metal ‘screw in stud’ football boots the recommended rating for 3G and Long-Pile Artificial turf.

Backing us up on that are Seaview Enterprises, a manufacturer of artificial grass and turf for football.

They say the following in their official footwear guide:

1.0 Recommended Footwear

1.1 Moulded Circular multi-stud boots. Boots with moulded circular multi-studs are the recommended footwear for competitive training and matches on all 3G surfaces

1.2 Astro or 4G Training Shoes – Astro or 4G training shoes with a dimpled sole are also recommended

Training shoe with a completely flat sole are not preferred but can be used in emergencies.

A completely flat trainer will cause the artificial grass to flatten – this is a major issue with a 4G grass mat. A flat trainer also does not provide sufficient grip for the player on a 4G surface, particularly when it is wet – similar to grass.

1.3 Boots with Plastic Blades – Boots with plastic blades can be used. However tests have shown that players have found some restrictions in rotational movements when wearing plastic blades on 4G surfaces. As a result these types of boots are NOT recommended for use on 4G.

 2.0 Footwear not approved for use on 4G

2.1 Boots with Metal Studs or Metal Blades – Football boot studs or blades must not be metal – metal studs or metal blades will damage the 4G surface.

All in all, the message on what the best football boots for artificial turf / 3G are, is: rounded FG studs or a for-purpose AG soleplate reduce your risk of injury AND prolong the life of the surface.

We hope that helps solve some of the mystery on why some boots are better for AG/3G/4G that others – but if you have any questions or insight, give us a shout!

Here’s a recap of Luca’s favourites:

Top Artificial Grass (AG) Football Boots

  1. Adidas Mundial Team – £100 – Shop >>

  2. Nike Tiempo Legend VI AG-Pro – Shop >>

  3. Puma EvoPower 1.3 AG – Shop >>

  4. New Balance Visaro Pro AG – Shop >>

  5. Adidas X 16.1 CG – £85 Shop >>

  • This article has been updated to reflect modern football boots and surfaces.


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8 Comments

    • indeed. i very rarely see those, as well as boots labeled HG – which are for playing in dirt? at least i thought that’s what they were for while growing up in Latin America, where turf has only become widely popular in the last decade…

  • TF plates are a disgrace for 4G, the best is without any doubt AG for dry surface, when wet, my son selects FG blades for more traction. He said traction with AG in wet conditions, is not enough for a striker who base his game on explosion and pace.

  • Hi Kyle,

    Firstly, what’s the difference between 2g,3G or 4g? Here in singapore, we mostly have the ones with rubber crumbs that gets stucked inside our boots and once our boots, open up at the front, it seeps in.

    How bout those with a mixture of conical and blades? Like the evopowers? It’s very hard to get a Ag sole plate boot here

  • I have got a joma super regate. It’s a indoor football trainer made for futsal. Can i wear this on an 3g pitch. It’s an indoor pitch aswell

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