There are no better activities to encourage your children to participate in than sport. Naturally, the first choice should be soccer (no bias here) as it’s fun, gives them exercise and allows them the experience of playing within a team environment.
Playing soccer does not require a lot of expensive equipment, but one item that should be selected carefully for child soccer players is the choice of soccer cleats for their feet. Whilst your child may want a pair the same as their favorite player, the choice of soccer cleats you buy for them must be selected with care.
The Most Important Things To Consider When Choosing Soccer Cleats For Your Children
Choosing the best soccer cleats for kids requires a different approach than if you were choosing them for an adult. Adult soccer cleats, whether for men or women, are chosen according to things like surfaces types and position. For children, although these factors can be looked at they’re are less important than such matters as size and comfort.
Size Matters… Always
For a child, choosing soccer cleats which fit them correctly has to be paramount. Apart from wrongly fitting soccer cleats being uncomfortable, there is a real danger of damaging their feet if they wear soccer footwear which is either too big or too small for them. The old saying ‘measure twice, buy once’ couldn’t be truer in this instance.
To ensure you buy the right size here are 7 handy tips to remember:
- Check both foot sizes as there can often be a difference between the two
- Get your child to wear their sports socks when checking sizes
- Measure their feet for soccer cleats at the end of the day when feet are at their largest
- Your child should be standing, not sitting when measuring
- From their longest toe to the front of the cleat allow about a thumb width of wriggle room
- Tie the cleats up to their tightest and check for any excess slippage
- If in doubt, get a professional to measure their feet
They Need To Be Comfortable
Assuming you have measured your child’s feet correctly and then choose cleats accordingly they should be comfortable, but there are other factors which can help. Firstly, get them to walk around in any pair before buying to check if they can feel any rubbing or discomfort in a particular part of their foot. If they do, then reconsider.
Other features which aid comfort are the insole, inner sock liner, and lacing type. Different materials, padding thickness and how the cleats lace up can influence how comfortable a pair of cleats feel so let your child try different variations until they find a pair that feels right.
Have They Developed A Style Of Play?
For a lot of kids, soccer is just a fun game they play with their friends in the park for others they might play for their school or local teams. For either, your child may have developed a style of play which you can factor in when helping them to choose a new pair of soccer cleats.
Unfortunately, many with parents the first thing they consider, understandably, is their child’s welfare and specifically how to stop him or her being injured. With this in mind, they select the toughest cleats with the thickest upper and maximum padding. The problem here is it can hamper the development of the child’s soccer skills and abilities. How can they run past an opponent if the soccer cleats they are wearing are not suited to the child running fast?
Kids get hurt. They all do. It’s a normal part of growing up and playing soccer is no different. Selecting the correct soccer cleats for how they play, will help them improve and be far more beneficial for their development.
Think about whether they love sprinting with the ball, tackling, shooting or even prefer playing in goal. For sprinters and goal scorers, a lightweight soccer cleat that encourages ball control and a clean strike would be more suitable. For those that love to keep their friends from scoring goals, make sure the grip from the soccer cleat is at its max.
Cleats And Studs Need To Be Appropriate
For organized children’s soccer, there may be specific guidelines on cleats and studs depending on the age group or type of soccer they are playing. For younger age groups softer rubber studs may be required and small type games such as flag soccer might also want all children to use rubber grips.
If these rules do not apply, then generally it is wiser to select soccer cleats suited for firmer surfaces especially if your child is just getting started playing soccer. These cleats are made from hard molded plastic and although best for hard ground they are suitable for a variety of playing field conditions.
Beware Of ‘Fads’
One last point to make is don’t choose soccer cleats because your child tells you ‘Everyone else has them’. We all remember as kids getting into the latest 5-minute wonder before getting bored and moving on to the next one. Children like to be part of the crowd and are easily influenced when they see others wearing a certain fashion or in this case soccer cleats. Stick to the guidelines and choose the pair that suits your child the most, not the pair all their friends are wearing.
Recommended Soccer Cleats for Kids
All kids have their sports heroes and in the world of soccer, there’s no doubt Barcelona’s Lionel Messi isn’t going to be short of fans. With the Adidas Performance Messi 15.3 J Soccer Shoe bearing the name of one of the world’s greatest ever soccer players they have a lot to live up to.
The look is certainly not understated with stunning luminous greens and orange colors as well as very distinctive lines and flashes. Even the cleats underneath are distinctive so these soccer cleats will certainly get your child noticed.
The uppers are made from a lightweight synthetic material with a combination of micro texture on the front and instep with cushioned texturing towards the rear. This combination will aid ball control on whichever part of the foot the ball arrives at. The added advantage of a synthetic upper is increased durability, which we all know is at a premium when it comes to kid’s footwear.
The cleats on the sole have a unique arrangement and utilize a configuration of various sized triangular blades. With traction being important for children’s soccer you can be confident that these cleats will provide the appropriate grip, especially on firm, dry surfaces.
The Adidas Performance Messi 15.3 J Soccer Shoes also have a larger tongue than normal to protect the front of your child’s foot when they kick the ball and when they are tackling an opponent. The inner sock is also cushioned to provide the best comfort possible during soccer matches.
We started our review of the best soccer cleats for kids with a look at Nike Kids Jr Mercurial Victory V FG Soccer Cleats. The first thing to say about these is the vast choice of colors available to buy. There’s everything from black to luminous green, pinks, gray, yellow, white and even gold. Whether your child soccer player is a boy or a girl, there’s bound to be a color they like. Every pair of cleats also has a large and distinctive Nike tick across the front and right-hand side so nobody can mistake who the brand is.
Once you have decided on a color, it’s time to get down the real business of the day…do Nike Kids Jr Mercurial Victory V FG Soccer Cleats make the grade?
These cleats are designed mainly for use on short grass soccer pitches which have either a firm or slightly hard surface, so they may also be suitable for dry, dusty soccer fields. The cleats are rectangular blades configured with eight on the front sole and four on the heel to give the child the best possible traction for running and turning.
A synthetic leather material is used in the upper which provides a welcome combination of durability and protection. The micro-texture finish on the upper gives an advantage to child soccer players as it makes the ball easier to control than is the case with smooth or glossy uppers.
The lightweight nature of the synthetic leather means your child is not hampered by their soccer cleats when they wish to sprint or turn quickly.
The sock liner should provide adequate cushioning for the sole and added comfort throughout any soccer games as its molds to the shape of the child’s foot.
Although the Diadora Capitano MD JR Soccer Shoe comes in a choice of 5 colors, it is great to see a pair of soccer cleats available in good old-fashioned black and white with black studs underneath to complete the picture. Of course, your daughter might prefer pink trims or your son a bright luminous pair of soccer cleats, but even for kids, there’s no harm in encouraging a bit of tradition.
The other element of both the look and the performance of these soccer cleats is the amount of stitching they incorporate. This gives not only additional robustness to entire shoe but also the texturing will help your child’s ball control. The upper itself is a lightweight synthetic material called polyurethane which is known for its durability, and also the ease with which it can be cleaned.
To maintain your child’s comfort whilst they are playing soccer, the insole is made from soft, cushioned EVA which acts almost like a shock absorber for their feet. Their feet are also kept cool by the mesh lining which allows their feet to breathe instead of sweating up and getting hot.
A padded, lace-over tongue and high collar give them added protection when kicking, shooting, tackling or being tackled and also ensures when they do kick the ball they have the maximum surface area in contact with it.
The under sole and studs are made from molded rubber and are configured in a ten + four configuration giving your child plenty of traction when they are playing. This is a higher number of studs than many soccer cleats with the advantage that there are fewer pressure points on your child’s feet when they are playing.
They come in two-tone colors with black and any one of white, orange, green, pink, yellow and blue. They may not have the pizzazz of some soccer cleats we’ve looked at but their simple uncluttered style looks great when worn on the soccer field.
The synthetic uppers look and feel durable and the stitching appears strong. The surface has supple dimpling, similar to that on a golf ball which should give players extra ball control and feel when needed.
Comfort for child soccer players has certainly been the intention from Vizari when designing these soccer cleats. The insole is cushioned, the heel is padded and the tongue has thick cushioning as well to complete the set. The lining has been made from an anti-stretch material to prolong the lifetime of these soccer cleats.
The sole and studs are both made from tough, molded rubber for durability. The round studs are laid out in a ten at the front and four in the heel formation which is ideal for optimum traction on dry, grassy surfaces.
Our final review looks at a pair of cleats that have a very traditional shape. They are Dream Pairs Kids Athletic Lace Up Outdoor/Indoor Light Weight Running Soccer Shoes. You’ll note the title also mentions ‘Indoor’ use, and there are variations of this soccer cleat available for that, but this review we will be looking at the outdoor version only.
The first thing of note is the stitching employed on these soccer cleats. It runs in four double lines across the toe of the cleats intersected by four additional double line running on either side of the toe. This is to provide added texture and thus ball control. The other obvious advantage of this stitching is the additional durability it provides.
The uppers on these soccer cleats are made from a lightweight synthetic material which offers the ideal combination of flexibility and durability.
Padding around the inner shoe should ensure these soccer cleats feel comfortable when worn whilst also providing a sufficient degree of protection for your child’s foot. The tongue is also padded to protect the front of the foot when shooting, passing or tackling.
Adding to the child’s comfort and protecting the soles of their feet is a cushioned insole which will be especially welcome when playing on hard surfaces.
Dream’s soccer cleats incorporate molded rubber studs on the sole to provide the best possible traction and are especially effective when grip is needed for turning or rotating.
In choosing our top pick for the best soccer cleats for kids we looked for the pair that offered the complete package of durability, ball control, and comfort with a little bit of style as a bonus. On this basis, our winner is Adidas Performance Messi 15.3 J Soccer Shoes.
Rest assured we didn’t get all starry-eyed with the name Messi, these are simply the best kid’s soccer cleats we reviewed for the following reasons.
They are lightweight so any child wearing them will not be hampered when running whilst being assured of their grip with the unique cleat configuration underfoot.
With Lionel Messi being a master of ball control it is only right that these cleats make this skill easier for kids. They achieve this with the micro texture on the uppers and cushioned texture towards the rear of the shoe.
For protection and comfort the Adidas Performance Messi 15.3 J Soccer Shoes have an extra-large tongue with a cushioned inner sock ensuring that whenever your child wears these to play soccer, they will be comfortable for the whole game.
Finally, we couldn’t finish without mentioning the look of these soccer cleats which is sleek, eye-catching and definitely classy…just like Lionel Messi himself.