Soccer shoes, also referred to as soccer cleats and boots, are possibly the most important piece of equipment for soccer players. There are countless models from different brands in all colors and designs which makes the choice ever so harder to make. But the more important thing is to find the ones that fit nicely and provide the necessary support, protection and comfort while playing.
There are different types of soccer shoes and before you know which one to buy you need to know what makes the different:
The outsole of a shoe is the part that comes into contact with the surface. Depending on the field you play on there are three types of outsoles you can choose from:
Firm Ground – Also called molded shoes, are meant to be used on firm natural surfaces. They are equipped with molded studs which allow for proper traction and are considered to be the most versatile shoes in the world of soccer.
Soft Ground – Also called replaceable shoes, are meant to be used on soft or wet natural surfaces. They feature less studs, which are evenly spread out, longer and replaceable. Be aware, though, that there are models nowadays that don’t allow for removing the studs. Also, avoid wearing them when playing on harder surfaces because it can lead to unwanted pain and possible injuries.
Hard Ground – Also called Multi-ground shoes are meant to be used on artificial surfaces (like fake grass) or hard natural surface. They normally have a lot more studs that are not as long nor sharp as the previous two.
Turf Shoes – These are known for their rubber outsoles which are very durable. They are equipped with small studs which greatly enhance traction on hard surfaces.
Indoor Shoes – As the name implies, these are meant for playing soccer indoors. They feature no studs, but a flat rubber outsole. They are used for playing in the gym or other facilities, and some people even use them for walking.
Upper – The upper part of the soccer shoe is the part that comes into contact with the ball. The three major types are the following:
Kangaroo – Soft leather that is capable of easily stretching and molding to your foot. It is also the most expensive of the bunch. What makes the price go up is that it is high quality and very lightweight. They are considered to be the most comfortable soccer shoes, but on the cost of durability, as they are not known to last a long time.
Calfskin – It doesn’t have all the nice features of the kangaroo upper but it is a lot more durable. They are also less expensive.
Pittards Leather – Only seen in Puma shoes. It is essentially calfskin leather treated with some patented processes to make it water resistant and keep its softness.
Caring for Your Soccer Shoes
If you take proper care of your soccer shoes or cleats you will ensure that they will stay comfortable and last longer. It also preserves the performance you can get out of them. That being said, as soon as you are done training or playing you need to clean all the mud and grass from them. Also, before you get home and store them away until the next time you use them, make sure they are completely dry. Keep them in a cool, dry place where there is no sunlight.