As a soccer player, your cleats are an extension of your feet. While natural and synthetic materials have different benefits, natural leathers are known for their softness, excellent ball touch and ability to conform to the foot. Natural leathers are made from animal hides, while synthetic leathers are comprised on man-made materials. When you’re choosing a pair of natural leather cleats, consider how long you expect them to last, how much you are willing to spend and your style of play.

Here are the most common types of natural leathers in soccer cleats, and the benefits of each:

Kangaroo leather:
For the most comfortable and intuitive cleats you will ever own, consider investing in shoes made of kangaroo leather. Preferred by professional players worldwide, kangaroo leather is an extremely light and soft material. It is hailed for it’s thinness and ability to mold to the foot and feel like a second skin. It also requires little to no time to be broken in. Top-of-the-line leathers, especially kangaroo leathers, will generally stretch after a few uses. For the best fit out of the box, make sure that they fit snug. These top-level cleats come at a top-level price, and kangaroo leather is not waterproof or as durable as calfskin and cowhide leather. Because of their signature thinness, they also wear out more quickly.

Calfskin:
Calfskin provides players with a great blend of softness, thinness and durability. It is a soft, water-resistant material that gives players a great touch on the ball. Calfskin maintains its shape and is a bit heavier than kangaroo leather. This gives it added durability and requires some time to be broken in.

Full-Grain/Cow:
Full-grain leather is often made from more mature cattle, so it is thicker and tougher than calfskin and kangaroo. A rugged, resistant and durable material, full-grain leather can handle some serious wear and tear. Some full-grain leathers will naturally develop a protective layer that keeps shoes looking great match after match. This material is water-resistant and dries out quickly. Full-grain leather also conforms to the foot for a fit, ball fell and comfort that is comparable to calfskin and kangaroo leathers.