When you want to buy soccer equipment, the choices can be overwhelming. How do you know what you really need? Here are some tips for how to narrow down the selections so you get soccer gear that works for you.
Soccer is one of the world's most popular sports, so you have to be ready for lots of options when you are shopping for equipment. How do you choose what's right for you? Here are a few factors that will help you decide.
Soccer Shoes - What surface are you playing on?
Outdoor Soccer on Grass: Firm Ground Cleats
Generally known as the classic soccer cleat used by the majority of soccer players worldwide, firm-ground cleats are designed to provide traction and stability on most natural grass soccer fields. The studs on cleats are designed to dig into and actually penetrate the ground on impact in order to provide traction and help players avoid slipping. By having fewer studs that are spaced out, players get better mobility and speed because the cleats don't accumulate mud and grass.
Outdoor or Indoor Soccer on Turf: Turf Shoes
Whether you're playing soccer on turf that's inside or outside, turf shoes are specifically designed for its synthetic surface. The bottoms of turf shoes are covered with dozens of shorter studs placed close together that provide traction for players on turf. Turf shoes also have harder outsoles than traditional soccer cleats to better withstand the impact on turf.
Futsal - Indoor Soccer Shoes
Futsal is FIFA's official indoor soccer game and it's played on a hard floor about the size of a basketball court. Games are intense and fast-paced, with more opportunities for scoring. Indoor soccer shoes, designed specifically for indoor surfaces, offer the best traction and support for quick movements and sudden stops. These shoes usually have a non-marking rubber sole and a durable upper to withstand the wear and tear of indoor play.
What Level of Competition - Are you playing rec, travel, or coaching?
Rec Soccer - Look for Comfort and Affordability.
Also known as in-house soccer, recreational soccer is where most kids are introduced to the sport. Rec soccer is all about participation and having fun. In choosing equipment, the emphasis should be on comfort, durability, and affordability. Rec players don't need to pay top dollar for high-end technical gear. The good news is that you'll still have a plenty of options in terms of fit, style and color.
Travel soccer - Emphasis is on High Performance.
Also referred to as club soccer, travel soccer is a competitive program for young players who want to develop a higher degree of skill and athleticism. Equipment for players on club teams gets used harder and more often, so durability and performance are important. For younger club players, look for equipment that's rated as intermediate or advanced. If your player is in middle or high school, high-end gear will deliver better quality which can make a noticeable difference at that level of play.
Try It Out in Person
Whenever you buy gear, keep the following in mind: different brands fit differently, whether it's jerseys, footwear, or shin guards, and we all have our personal preferences. Some players like tight-fitting jerseys and other prefer loose. Some players like traditional, strap on shin guards, while others opt for slip-ins that fit underneath your sock. How about soccer shoes - do you like ties or laceless
There are a lot of choices and sometimes you won't know what you like until you try it, so whenever possible, try your gear on in person. The last thing you want to be thinking about when you're playing a game is gear that doesn't fit right or that you're not comfortable with.
At European Sports, we love soccer, so we strive to make playing fun and affordable for your family. We can answer all your questions about equipment, including when it's worth spending a little extra on something and when it's not. Stop by one of our soccer specialty stores located in Schaumburg, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. We have everything you need to get your family ready for the next soccer season.