One of the key pieces of equipment if you are a soccer player (football if you are in Europe) are the cleats. You need to have the right designed sole and the right pattern of studs and it still needs to be comfortable. When choosing the best football cleats, it is very important you actually try a few on before you settle on anything. Sometimes the more expensive ones will be a little more comfortable than the cheaper because of the better materials they use and the extra style features they include, but if you are on a lower budget this does not mean you have to settle for cleats that do not fit well. Also it is worth noting that while the top makers likes Puma, Adidas, Nike, Umbro or Reebok do have expensive options they also have options in the lower cost ranges too. When you do buy your chosen cleats remember to keep them on in the house for a while before you play in them so that you can break them in. Avoid hard surfaces though like concrete which can cause wear on the studs.
Choosing football cleats involves more than just finding ones that are the right size. There are different turf types and conditions that affect the type of soccer shoe you should be looking at. What you would wear on an artificial turf is not the same as what you require for natural turf. You need different football cleats for indoors and outdoors, for soft ground and hard ground. Choosing football cleats will be a lot easier if you understand the different types that are out there. You may realize in fact that you need more than one pair.
Choosing The Best Football Cleats
Molded cleats – Permanent and Firm for Outdoor Play
From beginner players to advanced, everyone will need a pair of soccer cleats for outdoors. Wearing these means you have more control over how you move and that there is enough traction to ensure you also have control over the ball. There are various patterns you can get and ideally you should get either hard plastic or rubber. While each brand will have their own styles the two brands that dominate are Adidas and Nike. The top cleat for Adidas is the Predator shoes and for Nike it is the Vapor, which also happen to be the lightest you can get. These shoes are good because they are suitable for wet or dry conditions, synthetic turf or grass.
Flat surfaced cleats – For Indoor Play
When you play indoors you need to have a good level of support from your shoes with enough traction and grip. Flat surfaced cleats offer this and will let you be quick still while maintaining ball control. They are light shoes to allow for better movement which is also important as indoor soccer often has more side to side movement. They can have uppers made from synthetic leather or genuine leather but you should check that the stitching is very strong. The sole is made from rubber. Leather is a good option as it is durable so your shoes will last longer. In most indoor soccer cleats you will find the midsole and upper are the same but the outsole is different. Make sure you check the quality or condition of that outsole especially.
Turf and Plain are the two types of indoor soccer cleats you can get. Turf can be identified by the sole patterns put there to stop slipping, especially suited for play on artificial turf. Plain indoor cleats have a sole that is flat, hard rubber made to offer more support on gym floors. They offer more stabilization while still letting you be flexible in your movement. It can be difficult to know when choosing football cleats which to buy, turf or plain. Plain let you stay closer to the ball offering more control. Turf gives more traction and is effective on any surface apart from grass.
Rubber sole cleats – For Artificial Turf
For play on artificial turf you cannot use soccer shoes that have studs, it has to be ones that have rubber soles. These are the ones mentioned above that can also be used for indoor play. On the sole is a raised pattern to ensure the shoe gives the player enough support. These shoes are great for training purposes too. Another benefit if this shoe is that if a player has an injury to the ankle, back or knee these offer pain relief as the pressure is dispersed over the whole foot. They are not good for wet conditions though as grass will get stuck to the cleats leading to no traction and increasing the chance of injury to the player. The leading turf cleats are from Nike who designed them with sole plates that have three sizes of studs that have been made hollow. To lead to the cleats digging in deeper to the artificial surface than other shoes do the rubber infill goes into the hollows. This allows the player to have more stability and be more balanced as they move. Only Nike offer this feature at the moment though you can be sure that other manufacturers will come out with their own versions soon.
Detachable Cleats – Soft Removable for Soft Surfaces
For more skillful players in the intermediate to advanced range these cleats can be used for playing on soft surfaces. With experience a player can tailor their shoes to the weather and the filed style they are playing on. Also if the weather is wet the field can become slippery and that requires a specific type of studs. When you are playing on muddy fields the studs can be adjusted by screwing them on or off. Replacing them is easy and you can get either plastic or metal studs. Most are wide to help with the mud and usually there are four in the mid and two at the heel. That is one of the reason these should not be used for hard grounds as 6 studs is not enough to give the player support on hard surfaces and an injury could happen. In terms of cost these are the more expensive ones you can get so if this is the type of cleat you are considering it would be a good idea to just go for a high quality one and consider it an investment. Read review of the best soft ground soccer cleats to find the right cleat.
Understanding the types of football cleats there are will help you choose the best shoes for your needs. Whatever level you play at having the right support is key to avoiding injury as well as having the kind of stability, flexibility and movement you need. Your ball control can be affected by quite a bit if you do not have the right soccer shoes.