Can You Play Indoor Soccer With Running Shoes? (Guide)

indoor soccer shoes

Indoor soccer is a great alternative especially when weather conditions are just too bad! However, I’ve noticed several times that people get too comfortable indoors not wearing specialized cleats for that matter …

… Many of these players just use running shoes and carry on playing!

In this Post, I breakdown particularly this aspect, in addition to so many useful details.

Can you play indoor soccer with running shoes?

The short answer is yes – but they are not your best option! The beauty of soccer as a hobby is that it can be played almost anywhere with anything, and does not require a vast outlay of expenditure before you can get started. People can, and do, play soccer with all sorts of footwear and apparel, ranging from hobnail boots to ballet shoes.

But that does not mean all are equally good on the artificial surfaces typically found in an indoor arena. Those who try and play with running shoes often find that they struggle for control and grip on synthetic surfaces.

Indoor soccer is all about running forward, changing direction suddenly and balancing. Indoor soccer shoes have a lower and thicker tread pattern than running shoes which make it easier to grip the turf and pivot.

There is also the risk that running shoes will mark the surface, something that is against the rules of indoor soccer, which prohibits the use of footwear with protruding plastic or metal cleats.

The best shoes for indoor soccer

As far as I am concerned, one of the best shoes for indoor soccer are this Beautiful Pair (Check it Here on Amazon)…

… However, if you want to choose something else, then these are the key points for choosing a good pair:

The starting point is material –the choice is normally between leather, synthetic leather, mesh, and other synthetics. Leather is the most comfortable and durable, but usually comes with a price tag to match. Synthetic leather is cheaper and more water resistant, whilst those made of mesh are very lightweight.

As with any item of footwear, fit is important. Shoes need to be comfortable to wear, and not pinch the foot, so always try them on first, preferably wearing a sock. Those with broad feet should choose shoes with a wide fitting.

Another key factor is grip, with three types typically on offer – flat sole, rubber grip and solid soles. Experts argue that rubber soles are the best because they are slightly stickier, giving more traction on the artificial turf.

The design of the shoe should also be considered – it is important to make sure that the shoe you choose supports your heel and arches, because this helps guard against some of the muscles sprains and knocks that are common in indoor soccer. And the shoe’s upper should help keep the top of the foot cool and dry during a game.

Other accessories needed for indoor soccer.

Cleats are just one piece of equipment needed to play indoor soccer.

Here are some of the others.

Shirt: A shirt, either with long or short sleeves is essential! The best types are made of synthetic fabrics to keep you dry, but these can be on the pricey side.

Shorts: Again you will need shorts unless you want to be accused of indecent exposure. Anything that is comfortable will do, but basketball shorts that fall below the need can impede movement.

Socks: Whilst you can skip the socks you will soon come to regret it after you find yourself with blisters and sore feet. Soccer socks are typically made of stretchable thick fabric that reaches up to your knees.  If you find that they regularly slip down you can fasten them with garters or sock ties.

Shin-pads: They will help guard against the many kicks and knocks you will get in the course of the average game.  There are different sizes depending on where you play on the pitch. Strikers usually choose smaller, lighter types whilst those in other positions will opt for designs that offer more coverage.

Can you use sneakers for indoor soccer?

When it comes to indoor soccer they are far from ideal, because they offer less ball control and stability than specially constructed soccer shoes.

Indoor soccer shoes are typically constructed with a gum rubber flat outsole, which makes them slightly sticky to the touch. This helps provide stability and traction on the court, and means a player can change direction quickly without a fear of slipping.

At the same time, some sneakers have protruding studs or ridges that can mark the surface – something very much frowned on in indoor soccer.

Another reason that sneakers might not be the ideal choice of footwear is durability. Most types of sneakers are just not designed to withstand the frequent kicks that you get in indoor soccer, whereas bespoke indoor soccer shoes often have kangaroo and suede uppers designed for that very purpose.

Do Running Shoes Represent a Specific Risk?

Although this has already been inferred, it is worth spelling out the specific risks of using running shoes for indoor soccer …

… In the first place, it is important to understand the nature of indoor soccer. It is a fast paced, intense game, where players come into frequent contact with each other. That means frequent kicks, intentional or otherwise, which also means that the foot needs to be protected, especially around the ankle, and the toe area.

That is why indoor soccer shoes have strong and supple uppers and protected toe areas. A running shoe will not offer the same protection, thus those who wear them are more likely to spend the rest of the week hobbling through their daily activities.

And then there is the risk to the court. Indoor soccer has strict rules about not marking the pitch, which is why used shoes uses flat rubberised soles.

Are running shoes more adapted for grass or turf?

There is no simple answer to this question – it depends on the actual shoe!

Grass is softer and there is less impact as your foot sinks into it with less rebound. However, it can also be harder work, because grass can be uneven, making twists more likely to occur.

Running shoes for grass need to have good arch support to protect ligaments, and the heel. Grass can also be slippery so more traction is required than with a normal running shoe, with a deeper tread.

Generally, running shoes are more adapted to turf rather than grass. That is because the grip on a shoe intended for grass can be too much on turf, increasing the risk of injury.

Cleats designed for softer ground can catch in the turf, damaging knees and leading to torn ligaments. Running shoes also need to provide comfort and cushioning, because playing on turf can be a lot less forgiving on the legs than on grass.  And they need tough uppers to provide more stability when on the field of play.

BTW, I highly encourage you to have a look at those differences between turf and indoor soccer shoes! I think you will find that very interesting …

Are indoor soccer shoes adapted for running?

Wearing indoor soccer shoes for running is the recipe for long-term discomfort!

Those who have tried it often end up with lower back pain because they so not have the same cushioning, meaning that the body experiences more jolts on hard road surfaces.

At the same time, indoor soccer shoes typically are low sprung and intended to grip artificial turf. They are not designed to provide the spring and the bounce needed for running any sustained differences.

And whilst their rubberised soles with a slightly sticky feel may be ideal for an indoor soccer court, they do not provide anything like the same qualities for the regular runner.

There is also a question of weight. Indoor soccer shoes are lighter than running shoes and may not be as durable when running or as long lasting. There is a reason why they are called indoor soccer shoes – they are designed to be worn inside!

Final Thoughts …

Hope this article has answered all the questions you’ve got about what you can or can’t wear (especially for shoes) for indoor soccer!

To conclude, I would say that you should always opt for specialized wears and equipment for a physical sport like soccer! This is the best way, not only to ensure more safety, but also to help you perform at the maximum of your abilities.

Finally, I highly invite you to learn about these important differences between soccer and softball cleats! I think you will find them very interesting …

Claressa Cormier

Claressa Cormier has over 15 years of soccer experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest soccer teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right foot.

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