What You Should Know Before Buying Your Cleats

Are you going to start playing (or already playing) soccer and in need of high quality cleats? Or, are you perhaps a more experienced player and having a hard time choosing the cleats that will help you step up your game.

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Either way, a good pair of cleats can make a huge difference. Here is an easy list of factors to consider when buying your cleats. By considering each of these factors, you can easily narrow the huge range of cleats down to the pair (or two) that are right for you.

Price range

Cleats come in a variety of price ranges, from the very cheapest discount store cleats to the highest quality ones worn by the pros.

The first step in selecting the right cleats should be to look at the range of cleats and prices in your area and settle on a reasonable budget for your needs and ability to pay.

While price should not be your only consideration, you should be reasonable about what you are able to comfortably spend.

Brand

Do you have a brand preference? Many people do. Different brands have different features, so if you want a particular feature you will likely be limited in brand.

If you are selective about brand, it will significantly narrow your range of choices, so make sure this is truly that important to you.

Type of store

The internet has a wide range of cleats in every type, size, and budget imaginable. However, this is not always the preferred place to buy cleats.

A local sporting goods store is often the better choice. These will have several brands over a range of prices and allow you to try on the cleats to find the pair that best fits you.

Many even have a staff member trained to help players select the right cleat for them.

Discount stores often have cleats for a very low price, but these tend to be of a lower quality that is appropriate only for beginners and the most casual players.

While price is certainly a factor, don't let it be the only factor.

Molded vs. Detachable

There are two basic types of cleats: molded and detachable. The molded variety is the most recognizable to American soccer players, with rubber or plastic soles that are attached to or a part of an actual show.

These cannot be taken off the shoe, so it is very important that you make sure they fit properly the way you might with any other shoe. As the name suggests, detachable cleats have removable studs.

This allows the player to find the studs that are right for them and the shoe that is right for them, instead of finding one that meets both requirements.

It also allows the player to change between metal tipped, rubber, and plastic studs for different types of field.

Hardness of the ground

Cleats come in three basic types: soft ground, firm ground, and hard ground. It's important to know which type of field you will be playing on most of the time and to buy the correct type of cleat.

The difference is in the material that the cleat is made of and how they are shaped. Firm ground cleats are the most common and can be used for most ground types if you plan to play on a variety of surfaces.

Material

Cleats can be made of leather or synthetic materials. Leather is the favorite material because it is flexible and non-chafing. Synthetic leather is more durable and won't stretch out in damp conditions.

Some players prefer to wear synthetic cleats if they often play on wet grass. Cleats also come in a variety of materials, but which you choose will be determined by the type of ground you play on, as discussed above.

Comfort

Different cleats have different fits, so you may have to try on several different pairs before you find the one that is exactly right for you. Because these cleats will be worn for more than an hour at a time during intensely physical activity, it is important that you find the pair that best matches your foot size and shape. Even a slight chafe can become a problem in ninety minutes of game play.

Fit

If you are buying cleats for a child, you will probably be tempted to buy them a little big. However, this is not always a good idea.

Unlike everyday shoes, your cleats are going to be worn in some of the player's most active moments, times when a show not fitting properly may compromise the quality of the game and even increase the chance of injury.

Even high quality cleats will likely be worn out before they are outgrown. However, remember that you will be wearing them with shin guards and thick socks. Try them on with all of your equipment.

Summary

The perfect pair of cleats can be difficult to find, so once you find them, you will want to learn to maintain your cleats. First, they should only be worn on the soccer field during games and practice sessions.

Wearing them on sidewalks or normal home flooring can wear them down and cause them to be uneven, throwing you off balance and putting you at a high risk of injuries from falls.

After each wearing, brush the dirt off the bottom and sides and wipe them with a damp cloth, then rub shoe oil into them. Last, loosen the laces and let the shoes air out and dry.

These simple steps will give your cleats a long life and keep them in good working condition.

No one piece of equipment will affect your game as much as your cleats. You depend on cleats to protect your feet, give you traction on slippery grass, facilitate your running and give you extra leverage while shooting and passing.

Whether you are a beginning player or a seasoned professional, choosing the right pair of cleats and taking care of them is an investment in your career as a soccer player.

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