There isn’t too much gear needed for soccer, but one of the most important requirements—besides a soccer ball and a soccer field to play on—are soccer shoes (or boots/cleats). Cleats are important for athletes, including for soccer players, as they help you gain more grip. This creates more traction, allowing you to push yourself further and improve your performance.
There are many different choices out there for soccer cleats, from physical, budgetary, and even brand differences. Sometimes, particularly for someone new to soccer, all of these choices can be overwhelming. To help make buying soccer shoes easier, we have compiled a list of five tips to help you end up with quality soccer cleats. When you make your trip to the store, consider each tip in your decision.
The first thing you need to consider when buying soccer shoes is your budget. You can find cleats for quite cheap, but the prices quickly go up as you look at higher end shoes. Decide on a range you are comfortable with and stay within that. This range will eliminate some of the cleats from your radar right away. Even if the shoe would work well, too expensive and you would not be able to buy it anyways!
The next tip to buying the perfect pair of soccer shoes is to consider the terrain you will be playing on. Is it firm or soft? Is the grass real or is it artificial terrain? Will you be playing indoors or outdoors? Perhaps your games will be inside a Farley Group dome! There are different cleats for the different terrains players will perform on. The studs vary in sharpness, stiffness, hardness, et cetera. The material and shape of your cleats will also vary based on the ground they are designed for.
Purchasing the cleats most appropriate for the terrain you will be playing on will help your overall performance!
If you will be playing on a variety of surfaces, firm ground cleats are the best option for you. They are the most common and many report that they work better on a range of terrains.
The fit of your shoes is incredibly important. While you can get away with shoes that do not fit quite right for day-to-day shoes, such as if you are purchasing a pair for a child, this will not work for soccer cleats. People wear soccer cleats during active practices and games, and ill-fitting shoes (even by the smallest amount) can compromise the performance quality during the game. In addition, ill-fitting shoes may result in injuries like blisters.
When trying on the soccer shoes, bring in the equipment you or your child will wear during practices and games. This will help mimic the circumstances and ensure you get the correct fit in the end!
You may also want to consider the material of the cleats prior to purchasing them. For the most part, these shoes are either made of leather or synthetic materials. Many choose leather as it is flexible and does not chafe too much.
Synthetic materials, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more durable and do not stretch in damp conditions. In addition, some synthetic materials are quite water-resistant, breathable, and lighter than their leather counterparts.
Consider your preferences when looking at the material. In addition, remember the previous tip on terrain, as this will factor into the material most appropriate for your cleats.
The final tip we have to share with you today is to consider the position you or your child will be playing. While marketing plays a big role in this, the weight of the cleats is big for speed-oriented players. The shoes themselves will not make you run faster, that is down to training, but lightweight cleats can help you start better by giving you a barefoot feeling. They will not weigh you down! Shoes with thicker, leather bottoms are said to help goalies and defensive players, as they can aid in you “planting” yourself and assuming a strong stance. There can also be other benefits to buying a position-specific cleat, so be sure to check out your options and how the companies market them.
Whether you’re playing soccer this summer or over the winter in a soccer dome, wearing the right shoes can really tie your game together!