Tips on Buying Kids Soccer Cleats
Tips on Buying Kids Soccer Cleats
You’ve done the hard part: signing up your kid for soccer practice.
Next thing on the list: Finding the perfect soccer shoes. I say shoes here instead of cleats because there is a possibility that you will have to find indoor shoes, rather than outdoor soccer cleats—or both!
Picking the perfect soccer cleats not only will equip your child in style, it will also give them the support and protection they need to play, as injury-free as possible. Cleats are designed to support through the quickest of movements, react to the sharpest of direction changes, and form to whatever part of the foot you're kicking with.
Before I get into deciding which soccer shoe to choose, you should realize that there are different types of material.
Real vs. Synthetic Leather
Real leather is designed to mold to the foot and is usually much more expensive since the quality of the shoe tends to last longer and you can feel more of what’s going on outside of your feet.
Synthetic leather is generally found at a better price and is more waterproof than leather material. They also require much less up-keep.
Moving on to finding the perfect soccer shoe for your child. First and foremost, you need to find the perfect fit. The feel of a soccer shoe will feel different than a regular running shoe but make sure that it still fits your child’s foot well. Although there can a little wiggle room at the toes, it shouldn't be that loose, since it has to move where your child moves.
To easily measure out the perfect fit, get your child’s input and then feel: if the toes are touching the inside of the tip of the shoe, you need to go bigger. If you can press down in the space between the toes and the tip, you need to choose a smaller size.
Even though you're buying a shoe for a child and are tempted to buy larger, leaving them room to grow, this can actually broaden the chance of them getting injured.
When choosing a soccer shoe, you should also look into regulations for the league your child is playing in when it comes to the type of soccer cleat that’s allowed.
Types of Soccer Cleats
This is where I mentioned before when I said shoes instead of cleats. There are various options of shoes out there and most of them are determined from the playing surface.
Molded: The studs of the cleats here (the pegs on the bottom) are molded onto the cleats and cannot be removed. They are generally recommended for beginning players and usually required since they are the safest.
Detachable: As your child gets more advanced, they can opt for detachable cleats—where the studs can come off. The purpose of swapping is that you can change them out based on weather conditions or playing grounds.
Turf shoes: The turf shoe is generally used on, well, turf, but can be used on indoor fields, as well. On the bottom of these shoes, instead of studs, there are raised rubber patterns.
Indoor soccer shoes: If your child is playing indoor on a hard floor, you need to look into soccer shoes that look like sneakers with a low cut and a flat rubber sole.
When in doubt, check the size and fit for your child and opt for the pair of molded soccer cleats. They will feel comfortable, get the job done and will probably meet league requirements.
Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.