How to Choose the Right Soccer Cleats
PARTS OF YOUR SOCCER CLEATS
Understanding the different parts of the shoe will help you find the best fit for your foot and playing style. Here are the essentials…
Heel Cup → For women's soccer boots a proper fitting heel is vital for a well-fitting boot overall. When you put your foot into the shoe and lace it up, the first thing to check is the heel. Does is slip around when you bend your foot? Can you pull it up and down with your hands? If there’s more than a few mm of slippage then the heel cup is probably too big.
Upper (length) → If you have more than 1 thumb nail’s worth of space from your toe to the end of the boot, then the it is definitely too big. If your toe is squished against then, then it’s too small. The space in the toebox ultimately comes down to personal preference, but you should generally have enough space for your toes to expand as you run but not enough for the end of the shoe to trip over. In some sports, such as futsal, players like to wear their shoes a little tighter to get a better feel on the ball.
Upper (width)→ Look at the widest part of your foot, where the little toe and joint touch the side of the boot. Pull your thumb across this seam. If it’s super tight you’ll be able to feel it there. Some materials, such as kangaroo leather, are meant to mould to your feet so a little tightness is ok, as the material will stretch very slightly. Some materials don’t move as much so you want to make sure you get it right first time. As you pull your thumb across this seam, check the volume of the space in the shoe. If you have flatter feet the volume of the shoe might be large. If everything else fits, then you might want to consider a particular insole from a podiatrist to help make this fit even better.
Related Article: What's the Difference Between Men's and Women's Feet?
Insole → Some insoles are fixed and some come with removable insoles. All Ida shoes have removable insoles so you can replace them with your own orthotics if you have them. Insoles can make a big difference to the feel of the boot so it’s worth investigating new insoles if your boot fits at the heel and the toe but something isn’t quite right.
Outsole → This is the bottom of the shoe where different forms of traction exist - some boots have fewer studs and some more. Go for a little jog, bend and flex the outsole. When you place the boots on the surface intended then you should feel as though the boots are working with you.
Studs → Women's soccer studs spikes provide traction and will vary depending on what surface you’re playing on. Some cleats even have detachable studs for you to change depending on the surface.
Foot Plate → The footplate is what’s inside the outsole.
Midsole → On women’s runners and women’s astro turf soccer shoes, there is also a midsole. This provides cushioning on harder surfaces.
Ultimately it’s going to come down to what feels more comfortable for you in a shoe. If you feel comfortable, you’re going to perform better, recover quicker and be ready to play.
You will likely find yourself selecting between synthetic and leather soccer cleats, with some variations within each category. There are advantages for each style so find what works for you!
Synthetic soccer cleats
- Pros → Vegan soccer boots, lightweight, waterproof, durability.
- Cons → Varying quality of different types of synthetic materials used, often sustainable soccer boots.
- Pros → Depending on the leather, often more sustainable football boots, durability, comfort, and will mold to your foot.
- Cons → May take longer to break in, depending on fit of the outsole.
Soccer cleats with laces → Ensure that your cleats are snug, secure, and comfortable.
Soccer cleats with concealed Laces → Some brands suggest in order to create a smooth surface to strike the ball.
Laceless soccer cleats → Lace free soccer boots are the best adaptive shoe option for players with fine motor skill difficulties, autism or disability.
Fit is the most important part to enjoying and elevating your game! If your cleats don’t feel right or worse, they hurt, your game on the field will suffer. It’s important to look for a snug, form-fitting shoe that gives you a natural feel of the ball.
Common misfits to avoid:
- Your heel shifting left-to-right or up-and-down in the heel cup
- Your toes pressed against the front of the shoe.
- The outsides of your foot being squeezed too tightly in a narrow boot.
You can watch our Co-Founder Laura break it down further on IGTV!
Like any sporting equipment, there is a range in quality and cost. But typically you will find…
- High End → anywhere from $200 - $350
- Low End → anywhere from $50 - $150
While it may be tempting to buy a pair of soccer cleats purely based on color and aesthetic, it is super important to find the right fit for your foot, playing style, field type, and budget.