Ever wonder why professional soccer players tend to stick with one type of cleat for a significant amount of their careers? It’s not because the cleats are lucky or they have some special powers… It’s because professionals choose the best cleats for them based on their foot dimensions, the type of materials the cleats are made of, and also their position on the field. If the pros can do it, you also have the ability to choose the best soccer cleats for yourself!
- Step 1: Determine Foot Size and Shape
- Step 2: What Kind of Materials Are You Looking For In A Cleat?
- Step 3: What Position Are You?
- Step 4: Search For The Soccer Cleats That Are Best For You
Step 1: Determine Foot Size and Shape
All feet are different so determine what yours is like.
- What shoe size are you?
- How wide is your foot?
- Do you have a large arch?
Different shoe brands have different qualities that distinguish them from one another. For example, Nike cleats always run a half size small so if you’re a size 9 wearing regular shoes, make sure to purchase 9 1/2 Nike cleats or otherwise your foot will be too big for the cleats. Nike also tends to create cleats with a narrow width meaning those of you with wide feet will tend to feel like your feet are being squished due to the narrow width of the cleat. Adidas on the other hand is true to size meaning that if you’re a size 9 in regular shoes then purchase size 9 Adidas cleats. Adidas is also for those who tend to have wider feet.
Overall when determining size and fit your best bet is to go to a store like Dick’s Sporting Good’s and try on a couple different brands and sizes of cleats to gauge what cleats are best for you and your foot dimensions. It’s all based on your preference and what you feel fits best.
Step 2: What Kind of Materials Are You Looking For In A Cleat?
For the longest time, classic leather soccer cleats were the standard for soccer players all over the world, but within the last decade or so soccer cleats have evolved from traditional leather cleats to other materials. Even leathers have now become more evolved to offer specific types of leathers like kangaroo. For you, it shouldn’t matter what is trendy right now and whats the newest material being used for cleats. What should matter is the comfort of your foot in the material of the cleats and also the feel and touch of the ball on your foot while wearing these different materials.
- Softens over time and molds to the shape of your foot
- Thicker layer of protection around the foot
- High comfort level
- Stretches to accommodate wider feet
- More durability
- Traps water in wet conditions
- Hardens if worn in rain/mud and left to dry out
- Maintenance required
- Significantly lighter
- Tight fit to the foot that bends easily with movement
- Ability to be very customizeable and take on color dyes and advanced pattern designs
- Airs out quicker after wet conditions
- Some offer a stronger gripped feel when dribbling the ball
- Durability is lower
- Cleats tend to rip and tear more and are typically not meant to last more than one or two seasons
- Will not stretch to accommodate wider feet
- The comfort level which you feel at purchase is pretty much locked in and won’t change over time
In order to really be able to experience the difference in materials and how they effect your game you can most often ask friends or teammates to try theirs on and play in them for a bit to get a feel. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell within the first couple minutes of wearing them whether you like them or if they’re not for you. Remember, there is no right or wrong pair of cleats. Every cleat is different so you need to choose the best soccer cleats for you.
Step 3: What Position Are You?
Each position on the soccer field comes with a specific set of responsibilities. Some of these duties include stopping goals (defenders), setting up goals (midfielders), and scoring goals (strikers). Each players’ duty requires a special set of skills in order to accomplish their task. They must not only have the skills, but also have the right equipment to help them achieve their goals.
- Being a defender is a tough position, literally. Cleats that are sturdy enough to go through some abuse is a must. Having learned that leather is very durable and has a thick layer of protection around the foot, defenders tend to have leather cleats for their comfortability and stability. Overall, a defensive player’s best soccer cleats are going to mirror their style and support their way of playing.
- For midfielders, the kind of cleat you need is going to change based on whether or not you find yourself in more of a defensive or offensive mindset. As a midfielder myself I am attacking minded and look for a cleat that is in some ways a hybrid between comfortable and light. I think many other midfielders do the same as well because they are transition players who not only have to attack, but also defend at times. This being said they yearn for a cleat that is light and fast when attacking and durable and stable when defending.
- For a striker/forward, it’s really a toss up as to which cleats are favorable. The dilemma is in the type of striker you are. There are some professional players who are fast as lightning, but not much of a forceful presence when attacking, while others are not as quick, but are very strong, hold up the ball, and shoot the ball with exceptional power. A fast paced striker would go for more of a lighter synthetic material based cleat whereas a powerful striker would go for a more durable cleat that can get stepped on without tearing or ripping.
One thing to really keep in mind is the fact that you know what’s best for you. If you’re a defender, but feel most comfortable wearing a light synthetic slim cleat then so be it! There are no right or wrong pair of cleats unless you’re choosing a pair based on looks solely. Make sure to pick a pair of cleats that expresses who you are, is comfortable, and enhances your play. By following these core steps, you are now able to make a knowledgeable decision and choose the best cleats for you!
Step 4: Search For The Soccer Cleats That Are Best For You
Now that you know your foot size and dimensions, the type of material you’re looking for in a pair of cleats, and what position you are, it’s time to make an educated decision and purchase the best soccer cleats for you!
If you want some help from an actual pro and what he does in his decision making process, watch the video below!
Places to Purchase
11 best soccer cleats 2019: https://sportten.com/best-soccer-cleats/
How to buy soccer cleats: http://www.soccer365.com/how-to-buy-soccer-cleats/