How do I know if the soccer shoes in a store are approved by USSF? The location of the lead cleat on the new styles of shoes appears dangerous.

  • 3
    In any FIFA-sanctioned match (as USSF matches are), it's generally up to the referee and any competition-specific by-laws as to whether certain footwear is approved. If a referee deems the shoes dangerous, they may not be worn for that match. Also, if a competition rule prohibits a certain type of footwear (eg. screw-in metal studs), it should be expected that referees will enforce this rule. Usually, you'll find that competition rules won't address this and it will be left up to individual referees. Sep 15, 2015 at 0:54
  • @studro, your comment by itself is a good answer, why you don't post it as an answer?
    – gdrt
    Aug 19, 2017 at 18:21
  • It would be a weak answer, as it's not supported by any references. Aug 20, 2017 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


When it comes to the cleats on the footboll (soccer) players' shoes, it's generally up to the referee to decide whether they are approved or not. You will not get any help from within the Laws of the Game.

According to IFAB (FIFA) - Laws of the Game 2019/20:

Law 04 The Players' Equipment

1) Safety
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.
2) Compulsory equipment

According to Modifications by US Youth Soccer:

Law 4: Player's Equipment
Cleats are recommended but not required.
No baseball cleats with a “toe cleat” or metal spikes are allowed.

According to an answer by USSF in Ask A Soccer Referee

USSF answer (March 26, 2008)
It is illegal to play soccer in football or baseball cleats of the traditional sort with toe cleats, even if the toe cleats are cut off. There is no documentation on this, other than the requirement that players’ equipment must be safe for them and all participants. Traditional football and baseball cleats are unsafe and not permitted in soccer games. In any event, the final decision rests on the opinion of the referee.


If you are unsure about your soccer shoes, you might want to ask your retailer or possibly contact the company of the shoes you bought. Possibly they could provide helpful information for your concern.

  • 2
    The retailer can't speak for the referees in the league you'll be playing in. It's not up to the retailer. Jul 12, 2016 at 0:30

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