Soccer Cleats Comparison
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Soccer Cleats Buying Guide
Every soccer player, regardless of age, has their own playing style. It is important to understand your playing style so you can choose a pair of cleats that will bring out your best speed and maneuverability. Another factor to consider is the position you play. Each position needs a specific need from their cleats. We provided the answers to these questions below so you can understand what each position requires from their cleats.
Choosing a Shoe by Position
- Goalkeeper – A goalkeeper needs cleats that provide plenty of great traction as well as the ability to move sideways quickly and efficiently. They also need to be able to kick the ball quickly.
- Defenders – Defenders come in contact with the opposing players more than any other position so the cleats they purchase need to offer more protection and support as well as allow the player to make a clean pass on the ball.
- Midfield – Midfielders do the most running so comfort is a key factor in cleats for this position. Look for cleats that offer plenty of control as well as the comfort needed to run up and down the field for up to 90 minutes.
- Wingers – These players often have to change positions quickly and need to be able to accelerate at a moment’s notice. Look for cleats that are lightweight and that enhance your ability to make changes on the fly.
- Forwards – Look for lightweight cleats that improve the ability to have a clean strike zone. Forwards also have to run a lot and need a pair of cleats that dig in and enhance fast and sudden accelerations.
Choosing Shoes by Pitch
Another determining factor in choosing cleats could be the pitches you will be regularly playing on. The pitch is another word that means the same as the surface. Certain pitches require certain types of cleats. We’ve listed the most common pitches below along with the type of cleats that typically work the best for that type of surface.
- Firm Ground – FG – Cleats that are designed for firm ground are best worn when playing on natural grass surfaces in areas where it doesn’t rain much. Many places are now turning towards artificial grass as a playing surface so these FG cleats are being designed to work on natural and artificial surfaces.
- Soft Ground – SG – If you are playing on surfaces where the points of your cleats can penetrate the ground, you will want to choose SG cleats instead. These are good for areas where it rains a lot and the surface is wet and soft. SG cleats often have replaceable studs.
- Artificial Ground – AG – This is the new kid on the block in terms of cleat configuration. This type of cleat works well on the newer style of artificial turf surfaces. This type of cleat should NOT be worn on FG surfaces.
- Hard Ground – HG – This type of cleat is being replaced on the market lately as they are not used often. If you play on dry surfaces where there is a lot of hard dirt you will want to choose HG cleats. They have conical studs on the bottom to help the player stay balanced. You can use HG cleats on FG surfaces as well.
- Turf – AT – If you play a lot of artificial surfaces, choose a good quality AT cleat. They have an extremely low profile with a grouping of small rubber studs in a conical form.
- Indoor – IN – If you play soccer on an indoor court you will want to choose IN soccer shoes that are flat and do not have cleats on the outsole.
Soccer Cleat Materials
Soccer cleats are made from a variety of materials. The type of material you choose is largely up to personal preference. Some companies only have one type of material that they prefer but other companies will offer a variety of materials to choose from. We’ve listed the most commonly used materials in soccer cleat construction below.
- Natural Leather – Calf and goat leather is used on many top-quality cleats. These seem to be the only types of leathers that cleat companies are using these days. Leather cleats can give you a good feel when kicking and handling the ball.
- K-Leather – In the past, companies have used kangaroo leather when making soccer cleats. This, however, is undergoing a change and the use of K-leather is becoming a thing of the past. There are a few cleat styles that still use K-leather but it is much more expensive and becoming difficult to find.
- Synthetic Leather – Most companies are headed toward using synthetic leather. The top names in sports shoes are working hard to produce synthetic leathers that are high end and are as close to the feel and performance of natural leather as possible. Because they are made of synthetic materials, manufacturers can add additional features such as waterproofing which can provide an excellent performance match to natural leathers.
- Mesh – One of the newest trends on the scene is mesh on the cleats’ uppers. One of the benefits to a mesh cleat is that it results in a super-lightweight shoe. A downside to mesh is that it allows water into the shoe which can increase the weight of the shoe and leave your feet wet which can be extremely uncomfortable.
- Synthetic – Synthetic uppers are much thinner than other types of materials and provide very little stretch. For this reason it is important to choose the proper size as there will not be much change from the way they feel when you first put them on.
With the many different brand names and types of soccer cleats, it can be a challenge to find the right pair for your needs. The information in this guide is designed to help you understand the different types of shoes on the market as well as how you can pair up a type of shoe with the surface you play on as well as your position.
Having the right soccer cleats will help you play your best every time you step foot on the field. Cleats that are too tight, that don’t provide the kind of quality and weight that you are looking for or aren’t designed for your position are not a good choice. Soccer involves a lot of running and quick movement changes, so finding the shoes that will enhance these abilities will make playing even more enjoyable.
With so many colors, materials, and styles to choose from, you can apply the information you learned about in this guide to make an informed decision on the proper pair of cleats for you and your game.
- Nike – http://www.nike.com/us/en_us
- Puma – http://us.puma.com/en_US/home
- Asics – http://www.asics.com/us/en-us/