My Youth Soccer Guide

Selecting Soccer Cleats
Factors to Consider

What part of soccer equipment is the most important for a soccer player?
That’s right. Soccer Cleats. It was easy. No argument here.

Now, what kind should we buy?…
…Exactly. There is no simple answer to this question. How to buy proper soccer cleats - that could be very challenging.
There are so many choices. And all this marketing nonsense out there.
That’s why my sons and I created this page. To help you make a right decision.

Just use this Free Review Guide and I can guarantee you will be very comfortable buying a new pair of soccer shoes.

Adidas Nike Puma Diadora Umbro
Adidas Predator Pulse Nike Total 90 Puma Cellerator Zero Diadora Attiva Umbro X 600
Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more

Also visit Pat’s (my older son) Tips Section on how to break-in your new soccer cleats and how to take care of them.

Free Soccer Footwear Overview booklet for subscribers of Soccer Net Alerts
Soccer Cleats for Men Soccer Cleats for Men - an illustrated guide of all most popular soccer cleats currently on the market. A brief description of each model includes the most important information needed while searching for the right soccer footwear. It provides an easy way to compare different models and versions within the same, as well as within different brands.
Get Your Free Booklet Right Now!


Note: Don't worry - your e-mail address is totally secure. I promise not to share it with anyone. I hate spam too.

What should you look for while buying soccer cleats?
Besides the price, you want to make sure they are comfortable.
But how would you know if they give you enough comfort, before you play in them at least few times?

Factors to Consider

  1. Manufacturer  Click here to learn more.
  2. True Leather or Synthetic   Click here to learn more.
  3. Studs Type   Click here to learn more.
  4. Size  Click here to learn more.
  5. Where to buy Click here to learn more.


Adidas and Nike are the 2 most popular. For a good reason. They are probably the best on the market.

While Adidas has manufactured soccer shoes “forever”, Nike has made great strides over the last few years. Both companies make equally good quality soccer shoes.

I personally never played in Nike's shoes, so I can’t tell you about this brand from my experience. My sons played soccer using both brands. After trying them for a while, the younger son sticks to Nike while Pat(older) uses Adidas shoes only. They both are very happy with their selections.

Do you know why?

Their feet are build differently. Pat has a much wider foot than his brother. Adidas makes its cleats bigger in width than Nike.

Basically if you have:

It wouldn’t be fair not to mention 3 other brands, almost as good as the above two:

Diadora         Puma   and   Umbro

Other brands like: Kelme, Mitre, Lotto - only if you really can’t afford the brands mentioned above or if you just simply like these brands.

Back to Factors to Consider

True or Synthetic Leather

Upper portion of every soccer shoe is made out of either true or synthetic leather.What is better?

True leather, of course.

And I recommend it to everybody who is serious about playing soccer.
True leather gives you an uncompromising feel of the ball. It molds to your feet producing great comfort. It also lasts longer than synthetic materials. And it is healthier for your feet.

Synthetic materials don’t let the feet “breathe” building up of sweat, potential blisters and feet problem in the near future.

But…(of course there is a “but”)
...True leather cleats cost more.

There are few different types of leather used to manufacture soccer cleats.
The least expensive is full grain. Sometimes full grain leather soccer shoes could cost only slightly more than “artificial”. Spending $10-20 more on much better shoes would be really worth it.
The best leather out on the market is K-Leather (Kangaroo). Though more expensive but it is softer, lighter and still durable.

If your feet are not growing like the speed of sound and your budget is not too tight, definitely consider buying soccer cleats made from K-Leather.
If only possible, avoid all non-leather soccer shoes.

New! (2006) Nike makes their top quality cleats from super lightweight synthetic material called KNG-100 (Air Zoom Total 90) and Nike-Skin (Mercurial Vapor). These soccer cleats are very expensive (actually cost more than Kangaroo leather shoes) but I guess we can treat them as an Exception to our “non-synthetic shoes” rule.

Update! - August 2008
Since the 21st century technologies are changing the world around us, it's hard not to notice the changes in soccer cleats industry. Thanks to new ways of manufacturing synthetic materials, so hated (at least by me) synthetic uppers of soccer shoes became strong 'competitors' to those made out of true leather.

Few years back almost all Nike’s leading models were constructed with synthetic material (besides Air Legend). Every other brand had a totally opposite ratio of synthetic to true leather shoes. Adidas, Puma, Diadora, Umbro had produced mostly the lower-priced models with cheap synthetic materials. The rest were leather shoes.

Now it all balanced out. Nike added more top models with leather uppers, while its competitors started manufacturing more shoes using top-graded synthetics.

Why these synthetic soccer cleats are so good, used by many professional players and…so expensive?

They are manufactured with special microfiber technology that upgrades synthetic material, usually a PU (polyurethane). It makes the PU very soft, and strong, giving it similar feel to a natural material.

The microfiber material comes in several different qualities and price levels. The better the material, the more soft it feels and also stronger it is. Super-Microfiber (eg.Teijin) is the top grade of Microfiber, with ultimate softness and performance characteristics.

Top Super-Microfiber material can be just as expensive as some leather!

No, no. I still like true leather soccer cleats more than synthetics but it's just rather preference than reasonable argument which material is better.

Back to Factors to Consider

Molded Studs or Replaceable

There are practically two different molded soccer cleats on the market.

The traditional-contains a sole
that has round studs
(usually between ten to fifteen).

The X-Grip (or Bladed shape) - slimmer than round studs, strategically placed in different angles to offer a player a better footing.

Soccer shoes with molded round studs(traditional) are more universal. What I mean is that, this type of soccer cleats are good for hard and firm surfaces as well as for soft grounds. However, they are not really reliable for extreme circumstances like: very hard and dry fields (turf shoes will be the ultimate choice here) or very soft and wet surface (screw-ins).

The X-Grip design is manufactured for specific field conditions. In this case, with different length and angles of studs, we have to choose between soccer cleats made specifically for either hard(HG), firm(FG) or soft(SG) ground. Your choice then should be based on the type of fields you play soccer on the most.

If you play on all kinds of surfaces, I would recommend-traditional round studs.
But if you really want to stick to new style, then buy X-Grip for firm pitch(FG).

Of course, the best scenario would be to have two pairs of soccer cleats for different field conditions. But who can afford it? Not to many of us.

Replaceable (screw-ins) cleats are very optional. Most young soccer players do not need them. With the poor quality of most youth fields, screw-ins just wouldn’t get enough use to warrant purchase.
Unless, you play a lot on great, soft fields and have extra cash (screw-ins can not be the only soccer cleats you have). Also some leagues do not allow this type of equipment.

Back to Factors to Consider


It is very important that the soccer cleats you buy must fit perfectly. This means as snug as possible, tight to the foot (sorry parents, you can’t have growing room in soccer cleats). Close-fitting shoes facilitate the best touch (the feel for the ball).

Soccer shoes I usually get, for my older son (16 years old) and myself, are ½ size smaller. This is, because leather expands after a while and then molds to the foot. For my 10 year old, since his feet still grow fast, I buy his exact shoe size.

Back to Factors to Consider

Where to buy soccer cleats ?

I've been buying soccer gear online for over three years now. There are many advantages of purchasing soccer equipment (and not only) on the Internet over traditional shopping at the retail stores. It's more convenient and easier but most of's cheaper.

The following online stores are the sites I shop at for any soccer gear I need.
Well, actually, for any soccer sons need (most of the time, sometimes I am lucky to get something for my self).

All these sites are reliable, safe and secure. At least I have never had a bad experience with any of them (so far).

World World Soccer Shop
Full line soccer equipment store with one of the biggest soccer inventory on the Internet. Easy to navigate. Worldwide orders shipment.

Eurosport" Eurosport
One of the biggest and most known of all online soccer stores. It offers everything that's associated with soccer. Worldwide orders shipment. Click Here for Eurosport Clearance Sale

WeGotSoccer" WeGotSoccer
Based on retail store in Raynham Massachusetts. It offers all types of soccer equipment including huge selection of soccer shoes. Sends orders only within the US.

Paragon Paragon Sports
Sporting goods store with decent selection of soccer cleats for men, women and kids. Sends orders only within the US. Free shipment on selected items.

Ebay" Soccer Equipment on Ebay (Suggested)
Very often you can really find a great bargain at Ebay for the same product that is sold at the "regular" stores, both on and off line.

Other Sporting Goods Stores
Sports Authority MC Sports Dick's Sports FogDog Sports
Sports Authority MC Sports Dick's Sporting Goods Sports Authority

They all provide large selection of all kinds of soccer gear. Often, they offer many types of promotions, sales and discounts. Send orders only within the US.

Click here to get detailed information about all these stores.

Pat's Tips on how to take care of soccer cleats

Brand new shoes

  • After you get your new cleats, soak them in warm water for at least ½ hour
  • Pour the water out from inside the shoes
  • Put them on (make sure you have your soccer socks on); I am not kidding, put them on, really. My Dad says they mold to the shape of the feet
  • Have them on for about ½ hour; I used to take a shower with my new cleats on
  • If they still are very wet, put them aside for a little bit, if not stuff them with newspaper. Oh! Yes, take your wet socks off and dry your feet (my Dad)
  • Apply leather protector and then shoe polish (clear is the best)

  • Repeat this for about two weeks
After every practice and game
  • If there is mud stuck to the bottoms, tap them together or against hard surfaces
  • Wash them in soapy warm water
  • Stuff them with newspaper
  • Apply shoe polish
  • Try to do it after every time you play. Ya, right. At least once a week

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