Buying Tips for Soccer Cleats
The most important equipment in soccer besides the ball are your soccer cleats. Your feet do most of the work, so it's important you have good footwear. Your cleats help you move around on the field, they protect your feet if you get kicked or stepped on and they help you power the ball through the other team's goal. Here's a look at some of the things you need to think about when you buy a new pair of soccer cleats.
Soccer Shoes - Go Light
You want to buy a cleat that is as light as possible. Lighter soccer cleats allow you to run faster and tire out less than if you're wearing heavier shoes. If you're a forward and are going to be doing a lot of attacking, you definitely want a light shoe. If you're a defender and are more likely to get stepped on, it's a good idea to get a cleat that's a bit heavier and has more protection.
Soccer Shoes - Make Sure It Fits
Always make sure your shoes fit and have good support. Try both shoes on in the store and even ask the manager if you can kick a ball around for a bit to get a feel for the cleats. There shouldn't be more than about half an inch between your big toe and the end of the shoe - otherwise, you're gonna get blisters.
Soccer Shoes - Playing Field
If most of your games are played on a wet field, it's best to get shoes that have synthetic uppers. (That means the top part of the shoe is made out of man-made fibres). Synthetic uppers soak up a lot less water than leather ones do. You can also get cleats that are made especially for ground, turf or indoor fields. But if you can only afford one pair of soccer shoes - get a good pair of ground cleats.
Soccer Shoes - Cleats Don't Make the Player
Remember that an expensive pair of soccer shoes with all the latest high-tech features isn't going to make you the next David Beckham or Freddy Adu. That only comes from natural talent, practice and hard work. Some of the world's greatest players from places like Brazil or Chile started playing soccer on the beach or in the streets in just their barefeet. A better pair of cleats can give you a bit of an edge but your team will do even better if you play smarter, work harder and your Dad's the ref.