Unlike in other sports, a great deal of equipment is not necessary in order to play soccer. Some shin guards, a ball, and most importantly, soccer shoes, are all that is typically required to participate in a match.
Even so, the vast amounts of shoes available means that it can be daunting to choose the pair that are right for you. With that in mind, here are some tips for picking out your soccer cleats.
The most critical component of any shoe you purchase should be their fit. The fit of the shoe can change based on the layout of the cleat, the material the shoe is made out of, and even the actual brand you decide on.
For example, Leather shoes will break in better and generally mould to the foot better than synthetic shoes. From a brand standpoint, Adidas soccer shoes generally fit narrower than other brands, and may not be a good choice for those with wide feet.
In fact, brands all tend to fit in the same way so once you find a brand you feel fits best, it may be a good idea to stick with that brand.
In any case, when trying on your shoes:
· Make sure you’re wearing soccer socks. Trying the shoes with regular sport socks will not provide an accurate idea of how the shoes will fit.
· Tighten all laces, and stand up with the shoes on. Perform a light jog and simulate the act of kicking a ball so you have an idea of how this will feel with the new shoes.
· Ensure that the shoes are snug, but not uncomfortably so. Look for a half finger width or so of space between the tip of the big toe and the tip of the shoe. Remember that soccer shoes will fit tighter than regular shoes and, to someone not used to this, can be misinterpreted as uncomfortable.
· Pay special attention to the area where the heel of the foot makes contact with the back of the shoe. This area is prone to rubbing and chaffing and depending on the shoe’s construction, can be an area of major irritation.
Price is something that’s worth mentioning, as some styles of soccer shoe can run into the several hundred dollar range. The best piece of advice here? Don’t buy the marketing hype.
Advertisers spend millions of dollars a year promoting the latest and greatest. While some of these shoes are invariably good, consider asking yourself if you really need a $300 pair of shoes at your current stage of development.
Some of the most expensive shoes may also possess no real benefit over lesser priced shoes. As an example, many synthetic based shoes can be priced quite high, but many players find that inexpensively priced leather shoes provide better comfort.
Ultimately, the best advice for deciding on a shoe is to try a variety of shoes in the correct way, and purchase the pair that fits best. After all, no player will play very well if his shoes hurt his feet!