Soccer Notes for Parents
If you are new to the game, you might be wondering what type of equipment you should purchase for your child. Two of my children play soccer, so I asked them what I should tell other parents who ask about shoes, shinguards, stores, etc. Here are their recommendations.
My son is older and plays "harder" than my daughter. He has never been able to get more than one year out of a pair of shoes. During some years, we have had to purchase more than one pair.
How to Pick A Soccer Shoe
Rule Number One - as with all shoes, they must feel good. If not, then you will have an unhappy soccer player.
Hard and Soft Fields. The type of playing field determines the type of shoe. The studs in the shoes are designed for either a HARD or a SOFT playing field. Our experience has been that some of the older fields will have a hard surface - patches of hard sand without grass. The newer fields, or those in wealthier neighborhoods, will be a softer field with no patches of sand - just all grass. Some Hard Ground shoes will have the HG designation in their name.
Studs. The hard ground shoes generally have many small studs. The soft ground shoes will often have a few long studs. The Universal Shoe (for playing on both soft and hard grounds) will have normal studs. Some of the Soft ground or "natural" shoes have 6 replaceable studs. WARNING: Metal studs are NOT ALLOWED in some leagues.
Although we are not recommending one brand over another, the following shoes are examples of hard ground shoes: Nike Air Rio Zoom HG, and Nike Air Brasilla HG
Leather. Once my son used Kangaroo shoes, he never wanted any thing else. He believes it is much softer, lasts longer without cracking, and is easier to break-in. The basic kangaroo shoes work well for most players. The lightweight ones are often preferred by strikers.
Although we are not recommending one brand over another, the following are examples of Basic Kangaroo (general use) and Lightweight Kangaroo (most for strikers). Basic Kangaroo shoes are Diadora Brasil, Kelme Trueno, Adidas Copa Mundial, Nike Air Zurri 2, Puma King (the shoe Pelé wore). Lightweight shoes include Mike Mercurial, and Nike Mercurial II.
Indoor Soccer. Indoor soccer shoes usually have a relatively flat bottom. Not all indoor courts are the same. If your child will be playing on indoor turf, my son recommends shoes with many very small studs. Check with the coaches and staff at the indoor site to see if they have any restrictions.
Where should you purchase soccer equipment? A local store can provide you with the opportunity to try on the shoes before you purchase them. If you do not have a local store with a range of shoes, we recommend you check the on-line stores. Except for the time between order and delivery, you will find these stores provide you with information as well as reasonable prices. Check their return policy and shoe warranty information. You will be impressed.
Hope this helps you to get started. As I pull more information/tips from my kids, I will update their wisdom on these pages.
- Brian's Dad