So many options...
You can have the most
expensive shoe on the market, but, if the shoe doesn't fit and it isn't
appropriate for the sport, don't wear it. Soccer shoes that fit properly
help to improve your performance and help you to avoid injuries. Soccer
shoes that are worn out or designed for the wrong type of field can lead
to poor performance and possible injury.
How do you select the
right soccer shoe?
Soccer shoes come in a
variety of styles and cleat patterns. Each cleat pattern is designed to
perform under certain field conditions. Cleats can be screw-ins or the
indoor type and they can be molded or have blades. The screw-ins can
accommodate as many as 12 studded cleats or as few as 6. The indoor
cleat generally has a multi-cleat surface or an overall tennis shoe
The cleats are also
divided into soft ground (SG) and hard ground (HG) styles (Fig. 1).
There is a design for particularly muddy fields, and there are also a
few styles that are made specifically for women.
Are you confused yet?
Then visit your local soccer specialty store. During a short visit, you
can learn about the different types of soccer shoes and what design is
best for you.
What shoe should you
It would be great if you
could have several pairs of soccer shoes and wear them based on the
condition of the field that day. Unfortunately, most people cannot
afford to buy more than one pair of soccer shoes at a time. If you had
to choose one shoe to buy as an overall, multipurpose shoe, what would
it be? It should be a molded or bladed 12-cleat shoe. This cleat has
been shown to be the most versatile shoe for all field conditions. You
want good traction to reach a high level of performance and to also help
you avoid the injuries caused by slipping, sliding, and abrupt stops.
How to fit a pair of
Several things should be
considered when purchasing a new pair of soccer shoes.
When trying on your new shoes, always wear the same socks and shin
guards that you will be playing in.
Remember that sizing is always different from other shoes. You must
try on each shoe to be sure it fits.
If you wear an ankle brace for injury prevention or protection, you
must have it on when trying on the new shoes.
Take your shin guards with you to be sure they will fit with your
new shoes. Shin guards are required equipment and they come in a variety
slide into the socks. All soccer socks have to be high enough to
totally cover the shin guard. This style should not interfere with
shoe selection at all.
offer the ease of
application of the regular slip in, but they are moldable to the
individual. They offer more comfort and protection because of the
close fit. There should be no problem with shoe selection with this
have a padded feature that extend from the
bottom of the shin guard to the bottom of the heel (Fig. 2). This
padding covers the ankle bones and offers increased protection from
kicks from other players. This style is especially recommended for
players who are just learning to play soccer.
Shop for shoes in the
afternoon when your feet are naturally swollen from walking and standing
all day. Have the size of both feet measured. It is best to stand when
measuring your shoe size. You will need assistance to do this properly.
Do not assume that your feet are the same exact size. If there is a size
difference, choose the larger size.
Lace the shoes as
tightly as you will when you are playing. Walk around the store in them
for several minutes. You should be able to wiggle your toes freely while
sitting or standing and you should not feel any inner seams, which could
cause blisters. For children especially, make sure there is a one-finger
distance between the toes and the end of the shoe.
Taking care of your
Soccer shoes will last
for about one year, which can include a fall and spring season. Remember
that cleats are designed to be worn on soft surfaces. Concrete is the
biggest enemy to soccer cleats. The concrete acts like sandpaper. It
slowly, but surely, wears away the surface and reduces the size of the
cleat faster than the shoe is actually wearing out. All soccer players
should have a pair of tennis shoes or slides (shower shoes, "flip
flops," etc) in their bag for walking across the parking lot or down the
sidewalk. Wear other shoes until you reach the grassy field, then change
into the soccer cleats. Change out of your cleats when the game is over.
The less time the soccer cleat is on concrete, the longer it will last.
Soccer shoes should be
treated like regular shoes. A little care will extend the life of the
shoe dramatically. Here are a few more tips to help you care for your
Carry a whiskbroom or stiff brush to clean the outside of the shoe
Wash the outside of the shoe with warm, soapy water because
chemicals used on the field can breakdown the shoe material.
When you take them off, stuff the shoes with crumpled newspaper to
absorb moisture from the inside of the shoe and to maintain normal
The price of the shoe
will not make it last longer. The care you provide will.
Visit a soccer specialty
store when purchasing soccer shoes. They will know what kind of shoes
are available and can give you the individual attention you need and
of: Bruce Getz, ATC and Rick Brannan