Finding the right pair of soccer cleats is just as important for the budding youth player as it is for the seasoned professional. By knowing which type of boot best suits your child, you’ll be able to help them develop their game and skills further, and potentially see a boost in performance. We have some tips on how to identify the best cleat, and you can find all of our kids’ soccer cleats at SOCCER.COM.
Match the cleat to their playing style
The first thing to consider is what position your child plays and their style. A pacey winger is naturally going to have different needs from their boot than a central defender. If they are still developing their style or play in multiple positions, then you’ll want a soccer cleat that offers versatility. Here’s a broad overview of what to look for based on position:
- Goalkeepers require a cleat that offers good traction for quick movements, as well as a strong strike zone for powerful, accurate kicks. Example – PUMA evoPOWER Vigor.
- Defenders look for a cleat that offers added protection; full backs may also look for a soccer shoe that assists with crisp passing and crossing of the ball. Example – adidas ACE 16.1 Primeknit.
- Midfielders get through a lot of work during a game, so need a cleat that offers maximum comfort and control. Example – Nike Magistra Obra II.
- Wingers need a lightweight cleat made for acceleration and pace, as well as the ability to change direction quickly. Example – Nike Mercurial Superfly V.
- Forwards are aided by a lightweight soccer cleat for quick movements, and a large strike zone to maximize shooting. Example – adidas X 16.1.
Cleat size and room to grow
Buying cleats for children can be tricky because you need to find the balance between a boot that fits and feels comfortable, but also one that has room for growth and won’t need to be replaced too soon. Ideally, you’ll want a little extra space in the cleat and you can always add an extra insole layer if it’s a little loose.
The Under Armour CF Force 3.0 soccer cleat is one option for consideration. The lightweight synthetic upper is designed for a comfortable fit, while the Yellow/Black colorway means they’ll stand out on the field.
Choose cleats based on field type
Whether your child plays on grass, artificial turf or indoors, you’ll need to find a kids soccer shoe designed for that surface.
- Firm ground soccer cleats are best suited for most grass surfaces – for surfaces that experience regular rain or are very dry, you may want to consider other options. Firm ground boots come with studs to allow for improved traction on the field. The adidas Junior Nemeziz 17.1 is one of the latest cleats from adidas and a fantastic option for firm ground soccer players.
- Artificial ground is becoming so popular now that many firm ground cleats work just as well on this surface, and many are designed with this in mind. For example, the adidas Messi 15.1 Junior. There are still plenty of soccer shoes designed specifically for artificial turf, especially those harder surfaces. Cleats such as the Nike Junior Mercurial X Victory VI are equipped with rubber studs so that traction is still available to the player.
- Indoor soccer shoes are great for use in the gym or on hard surfaces like the street. The PUMA evoPOWER Vigor 4 has a flat rubber outsole which grips the floor, allowing the player to make quick changes of direction.
Speak with parents, teammates and coaches
Personal recommendations are always a great way to help you narrow down your search for a new cleat. Chances are that your child’s teammates have gone through the exact same process when shopping, so speak to them or their parents and find out what cleats they like. Coaches are also a very useful resource and are sure to have some good insight on suitable shoes for different types of players.
Emulate their heroes
You might do your research, browse the selection of soccer shoes and it just so happens that the perfect cleat is the one worn by one of the greats! Wearing the adidas Nemeziz Messi 17+ 360Agility or the Nike Junior Mercurial Superfly V CR7 might not automatically elevate your child to their levels, but lacing up in their favorite player’s footwear is something all kids love to do.