Ready to Buy a New Pair of Cleats?
Buying soccer cleats can be overwhelming because there are so many choices and things to consider. It is even harder if you are not a soccer player and you are looking for soccer shoes for your child. What you don’t want to do is show up at a sporting goods store and pick the first pair of spikes you find.
I’ve created a summary below that includes the most important things to think about when buying new cleats.
So, dig in and get ready to buy that next pair of cleats!
It’s based on what I learned and underwent while looking for the right cleats for my child that this buying guide was compiled. It’s basically a summary of whatever was mentioned earlier, with some other important points.
Decide on the playing style
Different players have different roles in a game of soccer, with individual playing styles and approaches.
So choose based on the position most played on the field.
This is important because goalkeepers need shoes with the best traction, that helps them move quickly laterally. Defensive players need shoes that give more protection, go give a clean pass while midfielders need cleats with better control so that they easily run around the pitch for 90 minutes. Wingers need something lightweight so that they can accelerate and quickly change direction while forwards is more comfortable with lightweight boots offering a clean strike zone with occasional explosive movements.
There is an increase in the number of lightweight cleats in the market. Thanks to improving materials and technologies used in its manufacture.
While the average weight of cleats was 10 ounces a few years back, and there are also cleats weighing as light as 5 ounces now, it’s better to invest in 8-9 ounce shoes which are quite well balanced.
Soccer cleats are divided into these categories:
- Heritage – these cleats are comfortably and durably designed with minimal technology and more leather.
- Power – these boots come with added technology in the strike zone for added oomph while hitting shots.
- Control – these cleats are designed with elements around the pass and control zone so that players have quick control and solid passes.
- Speed – these shoes are obviously lightweight, usually having a synthetic upper and minimally designed.
- Hybrid – these soccer boots are a hybrid of various styles. It may have speed and control or be lightweight with pass zone technology.
One very important thing I’ve learned while shopping for cleats is to set a budget before going hunting.
There are so many brands and types of cleats in so many price ranges, you can end up spending much more than you can afford on them!
Besides, setting a budget also helps you find two pairs of the best shoes at discounts, if you are patient enough and know where to look!
I found out that soccer boots basically come in four price ranges:
- Above $150
These are elite shoes, designed for professional players.
- Pro players are offered numerous pairs a season, and they keep changing. These shoes do perform well, but with a compromise in durability.
- Between $80 and $150
These are mid-tier boots, and most of the best quality boots fall in this price range.
Most players buy these boots which outperform the elite-level shoes in performance and are also more durable than them.
- Between $40 and $80
These are mostly the lower-tier cleats. These may resemble the more expensive versions but lack in performance.
They lack added technology but make an ideal choice for new players and for those playing for fun or at non-competitive levels.
- Between $10 to $40
I really don’t feel these shoes are worth buying…
…because you will most probably end up buying cleats with a logo.
The only time I’d suggest buying cleats in this range is if there’s a great sale and some of the more expensive shoes are available for below $40.
Talking about sales, I realized that as long as you know where to look, you may get a great deal somewhere. In most cases, it’s when a new version is released that the older style model of the boot goes on sale.
Don’t miss out on these sales.
If you are lucky, you may end up buying older model shoes that perform as well as, or better than the new ones! Stores sometimes focus on getting rid of their old stock to make room for the new models through these sales.
Have you ever wondered that different cleats fit in different ways?
It was interesting to learn that manufacturers intentionally size each boot they manufacture in a different manner to suit different player types – for example wide footed players. You will realize this only if you go to stores to try out shoes.
But if you opt, or have to buy online, then I suggest reading review sites to find out details about the different sizing and fit for different cleats.
It’s also worth asking friends or your kid’s friends to let them try their shoes to find out how they fit.
Lastly, even the soccer coach can help because they see so many kids wearing so many different types of boots. They will definitely have some suggestions.
Sizing for Kids
As mentioned earlier, you have to choose cleats that size and fit well.
…However, parents face a problem while looking for shoes for their kids like I did.
You find it difficult to determine if there’s enough room in the boots and how much space is permissible so that your kid plays best, without quickly growing out of the boots.
If you ask me, I feel that in the case of kids under 12, it’s better to follow the same method as adults but compare using the kid’s baby finger.
Generally, a baby finger’s space is too much, so look for cleats with about half a finger’s space. It gives your child enough room to grow into the boot, and mold to their shape without affecting their performance much.
It’s also better to buy leather cleats. Leather stretches over time, to prolong the boot’s lifespan.
Place the right online orders
Besides checking reviews, asking the coach, and trying out other kids’ cleats,
I also suggest checking out boots in a store before buying online.
You get an idea about the boots’ fit and comfort to help you make a better choice.
And do choose the site wisely by avoiding unknown sources.
Just stick to famous US sites, and don’t get brainwashed by mazing deals’ from China sites.
You may end up with a fake pair of boots, or even no boots at all.
Practice and Game pairs of Cleats
I suggest buying two pairs of cleats.
So that you have one as a backup in case of the other rips during a game.
You can, in fact, use the second pair of practice sessions, which will be the backup pair if and when necessary.
I cannot stress how important this is. You have to do as much research as you can about the different types of soccer cleats. You can’t take chances with impulsive shopping here. Determine the playing venue and position so that you get an idea if you want comfort or durability.
You also need to decide if weight is a factor, or if you can afford a little more padding. Just remember, ask questions if you aren’t sure about anything. You need to be perfectly sure of what you want, and what you are looking for.
Variety is a must
One more thing I’ve learned about soccer cleats.
You don’t have to be committed to only one brand. You usually find 3-4 options across numerous brands to choose from as per your playing style and venue.
There’s no rule to remain loyal to only one brand or player. You choose what’s best for you and your game, which sometimes may be cleats from one of the smaller brands.
Use only trusted retailers
I once again stress to always buy from trusted retailers, and not from unknown sellers. No matter how interesting the deal may be, or how much you think you may save buying from them, always buy your cleats from a known brand. If you find another site selling a $300 cleats for $70, which seems to be too good to be true, it’s usually too good to be true.
These sites usually sell fake boots that look like the top brands, but don’t’ perform as well. This is why I always suggest sticking to buying your soccer boots only from trusted sites with positive reputations and reviews on the net.
It’s Your Turn Now
This is how I prepare before buying a pair of soccer cleats. Now let me know which steps you are going to take first? Search for the best size and fit? Or look for the best deals online and compare those cleats?