Soccer Wear

Cleats:

Soccer is a game of speed and skill, so finding a good pair of cleats is essential.When it comes to cleats, you will have two choices to choose from: Molded cleats or detachable cleats. Both cleats have certain advantages depending on the surface being played on.

Different Types of Soccer Cleats

Molded Cleats:

Molded cleats have studs on the bottom of the shoe that are permanently attached to the shoe. These kind of cleats are used mainly for the traction they provide.  Molded cleats have a greater number of smaller studs on the bottom of the shoe which will help provide traction on many different types of ground. They are used mainly for their versatility on different surfaces types.These cleats tend to be more durable, and you won’t have to worry about the studs falling out of your shoe. Once the studs on your cleats begin to wear down or the shoe begins tearing apart, the cleats should be replaced to avoid injury. Check out the picture above to see the different types of soccer cleats (feel free to click the image to make it bigger). 

Detachable cleats:

Detachable cleats have studs on the bottom of the shoe that can be changed or replaced. This is great for players who are playing in uncertain weather conditions. Shorter studs are best for playing on dry ground, while longer studs allow a player to run more easily through wet or muddy surfaces. As soon as the studs begin to wear out, the studs should be replaced. However, if the entire shoe is worn out or tearing, the shoe should be replaced.

When shopping for cleats, it’s best to go to a store and try them on rather than purchasing a pair online. Finding the correct stoe size is very important if you want to play to the best of your ability. Some cleat sizes run big, and others run small. Keep in mind that during a game, you will be playing in soccer socks, which are thicker than most everyday socks. Taking a pair of soccer socks with you when you’re cleat shopping is a great idea and will ensure a good fit. The most important part of finding a good pair of cleats is the comfort they provide. While it’s true that most cleats will loosen as you wear them more often, the cleat should always be comfortable from the start. The right pair of cleats will fit snugly around your foot, but it should not be too tight. I’ve found that leather cleats are a lot more comfortable than plastic cleats because they mold to your foot and provide more cushion for your feet.  If you have sensitive feet, owning a pair of leather cleats are a great idea. Rubber insets for the arches of your feet are also useful if you need extra arch support. These inserts are found fairly easily in any sports or soccer store and are easy to use. Another thing to look for in cleats is the weight of the shoe. The shoe should be as light as possible to help you move more quickly.  One red flag you should look for when shopping for cleats is if you feel any “hot spots” at the bottom of the cleat. If you feel a point where one of the studs is putting extra pressure on that part of the foot, you may want to try another size or brand.

 

Shin Guards:

The legs are the most valuable thing to you as a soccer player, so protecting them from serious injury while on the field is vital. To protect your shins from being hurt or damaged, shin guards are used. They are worn under soccer socks. There are a few different types of shin guards, and they are worn in different ways. One type of shin guards are slip-in shin guards. They have no elastic or Velcro to secure the shin guard to the shin, and they usually don’t provide ankle protection. To secure the shin guard, a shin guard sleeve is used. The sleeves are put on like socks and cover the shin. After putting on the sleeves, slip the shin guards into it. Sleeves can also be worn underneath the shin guards if your skin is sensitive to some materials or get rashes caused by the shin guards. Many players have found that shin guards without ankle protection lets them move more freely, instead of keeping the ankle locked in place.  Other shin guards have elastic or Velcro straps that help to hold the shin guard in place. These usually have ankle protection. When buying shin guards, keep in mind that the guard should cover the front of your leg from about 2-3 inches above your foot to the top of your calf. The guard should mold to the shape of your leg, which is important for comfort.  Select shin guards that have water resistance, because certain shin guards tend to get heavy if they get wet. Pick a guard that allows ventilation to keep the legs cool and dry. Shin guards that deliver a high performance are light weight, meaning less than five ounces, and should provide comfort as well as protection.

 

What to Wear:

All players on the field (aside from the goalie) should come to soccer practices in loosely fitting shorts (or soccer pants depending on weather conditions) and a loose-fitting shirt. Sweatshirts are great for practices and tend to a a lot more comfortable than jackets with zippers on them. You should wear shin guards to protect their legs from injury. Socks are required to be worn over your shin guards and are typically knee length or a bit longer. During games, team jerseys will be worn, as well as shorts and socks to match the jersey. No sweatshirts can be worn over the jersey by any of the players during games. Hair that falls beneath she shoulders should be pulled up into a ponytail so that you can see what tyou’re doing. If you have braces, mouth guards are a great idea (gel mouth guards are great).

 

Goalie Wear:

In soccer games, goalies may need to dive for the ball or get on their hands and knees to make a save. Because of this, goalies are allowed to wear goalie pants. These are special pants with lots of padding on them  that allow them to slide and dive without injuring themselves. Since goalies also need to catch the ball, goalie gloves are needed. When shopping for a pair of goalie gloves, it is best to try on the glove rather than just buying it or purchasing a pair online to ensure a good fit. If a player is torn between sizes while looking for a pair, it’s best to go with the bigger size.Some players prefer the glove to be a bit larger than their hands, while others prefer a snug fit.  Some goalies also prefer to have extra padding in the back of the hand to prevent injury that could occur if their hands got stepped on. It’s really up to the player to decide what they want in a glove. In soccer games, the goalie should also wear a different colored shirt than their team and the opposing team’s colors to avoid confusion.