Soccer is a super popular sport and once you dive deep into playing, it is obvious to want no stone unturned in making sure your performance is your very best.
Considering the importance your feet have in the sport, it is inevitable that your main equipment, your soccer cleats, must be the ones that are suitable for you to make sure your performance is top notch.
If you are on your way to investing in your first ever soccer cleats or wish to purchase a new pair, do not worry, we’ve got you covered. It is easy to get baffled by the huge number and variety of cleats available in the market. The idea is to be smart shoppers and understand how certain factors affect the kind of soccer cleat suitable for you.
The most basic thing to understand while looking for football cleats is the fact that the ones that work best for others may not work well for you and vice versa. Your perfect cleats depend on various factors which differ from individual to individual.
The cleats to be chosen depends majorly on an individual’s playing style. The player’s field position, his/her preferences about movements are factors to be kept in mind.
- Goalkeepers require cleats allowing sudden, quick and reflexive action, lateral movement as well as good strike zone for goal kicks and back passes.
- Defensive players require cleats with more protection and ones enabling clean ball passes.
- Midfield players require cleats which allow them to run to and fro throughout the field for the 90 minutes of the game without any discomfort and also provide sufficient control over the ball.
- Wing players require cleats which are light in weight and are capable of swift change of directions and acceleration.
- Forward players require cleats with a clean strike zone and minimum weight for sudden and explosive movements for effective connect with the ball to score goals.
It is extremely important to take into consideration the surface you will be playing on and the duration for which you are expected to be on the field.
- Firm Ground cleats are suitable for a surface with natural grass and no regular rains. These also work well on artificial grass surfaces.
- Soft Ground cleats are suitable for surfaces that are soft and allow studs to penetrate the upper surface to form a grip and can also be used in cases where the surface experiences frequent rainfall.
- Artificial Ground cleats are suitable for modern turfs and provide good traction but can most definitely not be used on firm ground surfaces.
- Hard ground cleats are suitable for dry surfaces with lesser grass and more of bare ground and can also be worn on firm ground surfaces. It provides a good grip and balance.
- Turf cleats are suitable for artificial surfaces and have small rubber studs which are conical in shape and can be worn on any sort of turf surface.
- Indoor cleats are suitable for surfaces which are used in indoor soccer play and are flat.
Cleats are available in a variety of materials, some give a snug fit while others don’t and it totally depends on each player to chose his/her preference. As the shoe becomes more lightweight, its durability reduces, so a correct balance. between the two is necessary depending on the surface chosen to play on.
- K-Leather cleats use kangaroo leather and were the ones made since a long time and are super soft, molds perfectly according to the player’s foot and are durable.
- Natural Leather cleats use calfskin as well as goat and give a very different feel and connect with the ball
- Synthetic Leather cleats are replications of the natural leather quality and contain additional properties like waterproofing and help improve performance.
- Synthetic cleats are capable of offering entirely different experience as they are thinner and do not stretch on prolonged use, unlike other materials.
- Mesh cleats are extremely light, breathable and thin. On the other hand, they do not prevent moisture from entering the shoe which may increase the overall weight of the boot.
Before taking a plunge, it is always advisable to set a budget for yourself. It helps narrow down and of course prevents you from overspending unnecessarily.
- Elite level cleats are the ones which cost more than $150. The major incentive for buying shoes in this range is to wear the same shoes as your football idol. These are designed for professionals and usually, have high performance but low durability.
- Mid-level cleats are the ones ranging from $80 to $150. There is a large variety of boots which fall into this category. These shoes have better durability than elite level counterparts.
- Lower level cleats are the one in the price range of $40 to $80. These shoes usually have low performance but are still suitable for non-competitive players playing informal soccer with friends, or just for fun.
- Below Standard Level cleats are the ones costing between $10 and $40 and are not up to the mark and shouldn’t be considered as an option while buying cleats.
There are various subfactors that come under proper fitting of the football cleat. It is essential to keep in mind all these to make sure the cleat you go for is suitable for you.
- Foot Shape: Each player has a different foot shape and there are various cleats available to suit the different foot shapes. It is preferable to try on different kinds of shoes to figure out the one that best fits your foot shape.
- Size: The easiest way to figure out if the shoe is a correct fit is to use the thumb rule. If your thumb fits between the toe and the cleat’s top, then the shoe is too big, if there is no space between the toe and the top then the shoe is small. Ideally, your little finger should be able to fit between the toe and the top of the shoe. Also, your toes should not touch the front of the shoe.
- Lace Placement: Certain cleats have laces on the side to provide extra strike area while others have the laces in the center. Before purchasing the shoe, be sure to be comfortable with the placement of the laces.
- Comfort: Be sure to wear the socks you intend to wear during play while trying on the shoes. Go for natural leather to provide scope for stretching.
Our overall favorite pair of soccer cleats is Adidas Performance Men’s Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe. These Germany made soccer cleats have high customer ratings of being super comfortable and suitable for a large section of football players and enthusiasts. It is available on amazon.com.
Having gone through all the above points, you are all set to narrow down your options and figure out the soccer cleats that fit you well, suit your playing position and field surface well and bring out the best in you while staying in your decided budget.
While cleats are not the sole purpose for a good performance, the correct pair of soccer cleats will surely help you stay in form.
So go ahead, and take your pick!