Whether you’re playing in the Football World Cup or a Saturday morning social match, every player knows that when you’re out on the field a good pair of boots can make or break your game.

Choosing soccer boots (also known as “cleats”) that fit well and are suited to the conditions you play in will improve your game and help you avoid injury.

Studs and Surface

The condition of the surface you play on will determine the number, type and configuration of the studs on the sole of your boot.

Typically, softer, wetter surfaces will require boots with fewer, longer studs, while firmer surfaces will need a greater number of smaller studs.

Studs on soccer cleats may be either conical or bladed. Some conical studs can be removed with a specially designed wrench, while other conical studs are moulded to the base of the boot and cannot be removed.

Most studs are made from hard plastic. Metal studs are also available, but are sometimes prohibited in recreational sport due to the possibility of competitor injury.

If you play indoors on an artificial surface you may need boots with small rubber “nubs” rather than full studs. In fact, some indoor cleats simply have pronounced rubber tread patterns on their soles.

The ideal situation for the serious football player is to own a pair of boots for every condition. This, however, can be a pricey business and the general player should buy a single pair of boots that that will suit the surface he or she most often plays on.

Boot Materials

Football boot uppers are made from either synthetic materials or some form of leather. Basic cow leather is a good choice for a sturdy, durable recreational cleat.

More experienced players, or those with larger bank accounts, may opt for kangaroo leather. Kangaroo leather has a high level of durability and can be used in finer gauges than cow leather, providing enhanced ball-touch.

While cheap synthetic boots may have poor feel and a limited lifespan, higher-end synthetic boots are now made with advanced materials that rival the qualities of leather.

Fitting

Badly fitting boots are a recipe for poor performance and injury. A boot that is too big will allow the foot to move within it, ruining any chance of fine ball control, quick acceleration or manoeuvrability. A soccer boot that is too small will be uncomfortable to play in and may result in foot damage.

A soccer boot should fit the foot more snugly than a normal shoe, while still maintaining a high degree of comfort. Snug fit is essential for adequate ball-feel.

Length – choose boots which fit as close to the toes as possible without touching – a ¼ inch gap is ideal.

Width – this is where the snugness comes in – your foot should not move around inside the boot. If you are buying high-end leather boots remember that the leather will stretch a little and then mould to your foot. Allow for this stretching when choosing your cleats.

Different manufacturers create boots with different foot shapes. Try on a selection of brands and models to find the one that best fits your foot.

A Worthy Expense

As good football boots can have such a profound effect on your game it is worth spending as much as you can afford. Just remember, suit the sole and studs to the surface you most play on, look for an upper made from quality materials and, perhaps most importantly, spend as much time as you need to find a pair of soccer boots that fit perfectly.

To see a selection of various football boots check out this video.

How to Choose Soccer Boots, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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Comments

  1. oscar says:

    hey guys i am a eleven year old football frantic and i am a goal keeper looking for the most power boots and the grippest gloves can you help me

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