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What are the best football boots for 3G pitches?

You’re going to find the ideal football boots for playing on 3G artificial grass pitches, right here. Simple.

best football boots for 3G pitches

Everyone needs to wear the right kind of football boots, and those of you who play on 3G artificial turf pitches are no exception.

After all, wearing the wrong kind of footwear can cause damage to the playing surface, and at the risk of sounding too dramatic, damage to yourself.

What is initially a quick game at Powerleague, can quickly descend into a potentially painful nightmare for some. But to help avoid all of this drama, you need to head onto the pitch in a suitable pair of artificial ground football boots.

The advent of the 3G pitch has left many of us feeling unsure as to which boots we should don, and in some cases you may not be entirely sure of which boot is actually best for your 3G game. Don’t fret, we’re here to clear all of those worries up for you.

What are 3G artificial grass pitches?

artificial turf 3g football pitch with player
Image from Nike.

3G is now the most common type of artificial grass football pitch. This features synthetic grass rather than the tough carpet of 2G sand-based surfaces, and also happens to be much safer and softer.

In the 2020s, this is likely the type of artificial grass you’ll be playing on. More advanced 4G turf is available, but it’s much more expensive to buy, lay and maintain.

While it still uses plastic fibres, the main difference here is the use of a black rubber crumb infill, rather than sand. This is a much plusher, more weather-resistant playing surface which is far better suited to the beautiful game, with its shock-absorbing qualities seriously reducing the risk of injury.

The 3G turf feels much closer to playing on natural grass, with a more realistic bounce of the football and more cushioning underfoot.

If your boot bag is now filled with tiny rubber pellets, then the chances are you’ve been playing on a 3G football pitch.

When it comes to choosing the right type of football boot for 3G surfaces, we’re here to offer this simple advice…

You CAN wear:

Artificial grass (AG) football boots are the best option if you’re solely playing on 3G, but some players actually prefer to wear astro turf trainers. Hey, we’re not here to judge, we've even done a ranking for astro boots.

You SHOULDN’T wear:

Indoor football trainers don’t provide the traction required on 3G pitches, so we personally wouldn’t recommend them. However, if the pitch is bone dry then you should be okay. Firm ground (FG) boots should be avoided, as they can increase the risk of injury.

You should NEVER wear:

Soft ground (SG) boots with metal studs or blades. As they are with 2G surfaces, these boots are completely unsuitable for 3G pitches, risking both major damage to the pitch and yourself. Blisters galore.

Shop 3G Football Boots >

What type of football boots are suitable for 3G pitches?

Realistically, there are only two main types of football boots that should be worn on 3G artificial surfaces. These are artificial ground (AG) football boots and astro turf (TF) trainers. Before you make your next investment, you’ll need to understand the differences between each one and why they matter.

The golden rule here for 3G is to wear something with a textured rubber sole or small moulded plastic stud sole, and you should avoid metal studs or blades at all costs. It's important to know that choosing the right soleplate is pivotal to your performance on artificial turf, and you have a couple of options to choose from:

Artificial ground (AG) football boots

artificial ground football boot showing sole
Images from Unisport.

What are AG boots?

This boot type is specifically designed for the longer plastic grass of 3G and 4G pitches, digging into the turf and providing much better grip and comfort. They often feature smaller, rounded plastic moulded studs on the sole.

You’ll mainly see these labelled as “AG” in their description, but some brands also offer an “FG/AG” or “MG” (multi-ground) model, which is an artificial ground boot also suitable for firm ground surfaces.

These boots feature mixed studs, and this is the ideal choice if you tend to switch between artificial and dry grass pitches.

If you play on longer 4G artificial turf and you’re in need of a little inspiration, we also have a detailed rundown of the best football boots for 4G pitches too!

Wear them on:

3G and 4G artificial grass surfaces.

Also suitable for:

Dry natural grass, though they won’t be as effective as typical firm ground (FG) boots.

DON’T wear them on:

Concrete, indoor courts, soft grass or 2G astro turf. That is an injury waiting to happen!

Shop Artificial Ground Boots >

Astro turf (TF) football boots

astro turf football trainer showing sole
Images from Unisport.

What are TF boots?

TF boots are astro turf trainers, they feature rubber bumps on the sole which provide plenty of grip on firmer, flatter 2G sand-based surfaces.

These shoes will be labelled as “TF” when you’re browsing online, but always look out for the bumpy rubber soles if you aren’t completely sure. If you’re seeing longer studs or even blades, then you’re looking at the wrong thing.

They can be worn comfortably on most 3G artificial grass surfaces, although it’s worth pointing out that they won’t provide quite as much grip as a pair of AG boots (especially in the wet).

Astro turf trainers are undoubtedly the most versatile option here. They perform best on 2G, work well on 3G, and can even be worn indoors (when non-marking) or on dry grass surfaces. If you play on multiple surfaces, this is 100% the best option for you.

Wear them on:

2G astro turf and 3G artificial grass surfaces. You can also wear astro turf boots on concrete.

DON’T wear them on:

Indoor courts, as they’ll mark the flooring. Natural grass surfaces, especially if it’s wet, as astro turf boots won’t provide enough traction.

Shop Astro Turf Trainers >

Best football boots to buy for 3G pitches

5. Nike Phantom GT2 Elite DF AG-Pro

Image from Nike.

Shop Phantom GT2 >

4. adidas Predator Edge.1 Low AG

Image from Unisport.

Shop Predator Edge >

3. Puma Future Z 1.3 MG

Image from Unisport.

Shop Future Z >

2. Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite AG

Image from Nike.

Shop Mercurial Vapor >

1. New Balance Tekela 3.0 Pro Leather FG/AG

Image from Unisport.

Shop Tekela >

How to choose the best boots for 3G pitches

Your choice of football boots depends not only on where you’re playing, but also on your own playing style. Once you’ve figured out what kind of soleplate you should go for, you also need to consider the comfort, design and performance of the boots you need.

While comfort will always be the most important factor, the way you play will also have a major impact, since your boots should ideally complement your style. For example, those focused more on passing and control could go for something like the adidas Predator, while any speedsters out there would be more interested in the Nike Mercurial.

Whether you’re playing five-a-side or training with your club, your football boots should always be breathable and comfortable. In an ideal world, they’d also look pretty damn good, too.

Shop Boots For 3G Pitches >

You can find cheap artificial grass football boots today at FOOTY.COM, as we compare prices on everything you need for 3G and 4G surfaces. Explore discounts on adults’ and kids’ sizes today to make sure you bag a fantastic deal!


Kevan Thorpe

Quintessential grassroots journeyman. I've had more "you look like Gareth Barry" comments than I have career goals.