Whilst there is no doubt that men's soccer still dominates the sport, women's soccer has made huge progress in terms of its popularity and participants in recent years. It is played professionally in many countries and the number of women playing soccer every week around the world is now estimated at over 50 million.
As with any sport, women's soccer players need to wear a kit and there's no doubt the soccer cleats worn on the feet are the most important. Wearing the best top, shorts or socks will make no difference to your game if the soccer cleats you kick the ball with aren't up to scratch so it's important that you choose wisely.
Things to Consider When Buying Soccer Cleats for Women
When choosing women's soccer cleats the things to consider are almost identical as they would be for men. In fact, there are many female soccer players who wear men's soccer cleats instead of a pair designed specifically for women. If you opt for men's cleats then you should choose a size and a half down from your normal shoe size.
Women's soccer cleats have a narrower design which fit better on female feet and mold better to the shape of a woman's foot. In most other respects though, the features to consider are very much the same as a man would think about when buying his soccer cleats.
Here is our guide to the most important things to think about when choosing a pair of women's soccer cleats.
Correct Grip for the Playing Surface
Soccer is played on many different surface types and just as many different weather conditions. Ensuring your soccer cleats can grip on these surfaces plays a huge role in both your ability to play and your safety. Safety is often overlooked when choosing soccer cleats but making sure you can keep your feet could be the difference between staying fit and suffering a serious muscle or ligament injury.
Obviously, you won't be able to pick soccer cleats with a grip that covers every eventuality in terms of the surface, so pick a pair that is suitable for the surface you most often experience where you play. For example, do you play on an artificial surface or grass? If on grass is it dry, hard and dusty or soft underfoot?
To help you choose the correct grip, soccer cleat manufacturers have a system which identifies different surfaces and the grip for that surface is identified by letters.
HG - Hard Ground: Used on worn or very dry surfaces
FG - Firm Ground: Dry grass surfaces that have had little or no moisture
AG - Artificial Ground: A newer grip for artificial and turf surfaces
SG - Soft Ground: For grass pitches which are softer so studs can penetrate the surface
AT - Turf: For use primarily on artificial surfaces
IN - Indoor: This identifies footwear for playing indoor soccer
Materials Can Make Ball Control Easier
Just as there are many different grip options the choice of materials for soccer cleats is wide too. Leather is still used by most manufacturers and modern soccer cleats also use much lighter materials than those in years gone by. The advantage of this is less resistance when running and increased agility, but the price paid for these is they are thinner, so offer less protection to the foot.
One such material is mesh, which offers a similar weight of footwear to that an Olympic runner might use. This offers faster running speeds and improved agility. especially in dry conditions. In wet weather, they are not so lightweight due to the mesh allowing the ingress of water, which means your wet socks slow you down.
Uppers made from synthetic materials are very popular. These materials are thin and light and the flexibility in synthetic uppers means they tend to be more comfortable. Ball control is deemed to be compromised slightly by synthetic materials as they do not have the same natural feel when controlling the ball that leather has.
Leather soccer cleats have been around for as long as soccer itself although you'd struggle to run 100 yards in the huge chunky boots of yesteryear. The leather used in modern soccer cleats is soft, durable and very comfortable and for the purists, there's nothing to beat running on the field in a pair of black, leather soccer cleats.
Different Positions Need Different Soccer Cleats
If you play regularly for a team and have a preferred position, then this should be taken account of when choosing your soccer cleats. For forwards and wingers, you should look for lightweight cleats which will allow good control and a clean strike of the ball.
At the other end of the pitch, goalkeepers need to think more about grip than ball control as they have to run to clear or catch the ball. The last thing they want is to be slipping just as the ball arrives!
Defenders also want to choose cleats with good grip but they also need a strong or thicker upper so when they tackle an opponent their foot has maximum protection.
Finally, we have midfielders or the engine of the team as they are known. Statistics show that midfielders do more running than any other position so a lightweight and comfortable soccer cleat is required.
Recommended Women Soccer Cleats
Adidas are a brand who have been producing highly popular soccer equipment for decades and women's soccer cleats are no exception. Their Adidas Performance Women's X 15.4 FXG W Soccer Cleats have a sharp, clean design so you should feel a better player just by wearing them. But we all know it's the performance of soccer cleats that is the most important so let's check them out.
The sole of the Adidas Performance Women's X 15.4 FXG W Soccer Cleats is rubber with synthetic cleats providing the grip. All the cleats are the same rounded triangular shape which Adidas calls 'X-Claw'. These should provide excellent traction for quick turns, twists and fast acceleration. The advantage of these cleats is they are suitable for both artificial surfaces and also firm or hard ground.
The upper is made from Adidas 'Bravo' which is their in-house soft, lightweight synthetic material. This material is designed for maximum durability so your cleats won't need replacing before their time.
The upper also seeks to provide a snug comfortable fit and also has a fine texture across its surface. This combination should allow you to have a better touch on the ball as well as improved control when you need it.
The downside with synthetic uppers is that they lack breathability so feet tend to sweat more. However, as the inner mesh lining is breathable this should compensate allowing your feet to stay cool throughout any soccer match.
In comparison to many big sporting brands Under Armour is a new kid on the block having been founded just 21 years ago. Considering that they only started producing footwear in 2006 they seem to have made huge strides into the soccer footwear market.
Under Armour Women's UA CF Force 2.0 FG Soccer Cleats are made from synthetic material which is lightweight to help promote speed agility and ball control.
To make the cleats as comfortable as possible for the entire match Under Armour have used a die-cut sock liner with extra cushioning and padding.
Your grip underfoot should be assured with eight conically shaped studs on the front section and four bladed studs in the heel. This will help enhance quick acceleration and sure-footed turning on firm, grassy surfaces.
These soccer cleats also utilize Under Amour’s patented 'ClutchFit' technology. This should allow the cleat's materials to expand under pressure for maximum flexibility and enhanced movement.
Finally, the Under Armour Women's UA CF Force 2.0 FG Soccer Cleats come in a large range of colors so you can pick out the pair that suits your personal taste.
If the look of your soccer cleats is as important to you as performance, then Puma Women's Evospeed 4.2 FG Soccer Cleats may be what you are looking for. Their sleek design with Puma branding on the sides gives these soccer cleats a bit of a 'wow' factor before you even try them on, but as looks aren't everything, the question is, do they perform too?
PUMA Women's Evospeed 4.2 FG Soccer Cleats are manufactured with a single piece, synthetic upper which is lightweight and flexible. The flexibility is thanks to Puma's 'Duoflex' technology which allow your cleats to bend in sync with your foot so that your movement is not restricted in any way.
The outer shell also promotes a tight fit around your foot so your touch on the ball and subsequent control should be enhanced.
The inner padded collar and low-profile tongue provide the comfort you should be expecting whilst not interfering with your contact on the ball as you kick it.
For protection, the heel-brace is TPU-injected for enhanced support. TPU is a special type of plastic which is both flexible and strong, ideal for use in soccer cleats.
The sole has a mixed combination of studs with conical at the front and blades in the heel section so you should get the maximum grip when playing on both hard and soft surfaces.
We couldn't review a pair of Nike soccer cleats without mentioning that 'Nike' was the Greek goddess of victory. So with that good omen in mind let's take a look at Nike Women's Mercurial Victory V FG Soccer Cleats. When we say take a look, there is no doubting that these soccer cleats are eye catchers. They are a stunning metallic blue color and with the Nike 'tick' down the right side, they don't lack style,
But as we've said before looks don't tell us how good the soccer cleats are when it comes to match day so it's time to see if they perform as good as they look.
All the materials are synthetic as for the upper this means it is super lightweight so they shouldn't hold you back when you are looking for that burst of speed. The upper's outer surface has a micro texture which aids ball control and touch.
The sock liner is contoured to fit snuggly around your feet giving you enhanced support and improved comfort. It has a low-profile cushioned layer to take the comfort level even higher and it is perforated to help keep your feet cooler and prevent excess sweating.
The sole is manufactured from a high spec TPU plate to allow maximum flexibility and stability at the same time. The cleats on the sole are in a unique configuration at the front to provide excellent traction on firm, natural surfaces but allow faster sprinting speeds. Four cleats on the heel section add to the grip which you should experience in all directions as you turn.
Our final selection is the Puma Women's Evospeed 3 FG Soccer Cleats and they are certainly a colorful offering. With a mixture of colors called Astral Aura, Orange and Prism (which is basically luminous yellow) they definitely stand out, especially as the laces are also luminous. The glossy finish also sets these cleats apart from the mainstream which adds to their unique styling.
The cleats are constructed throughout with synthetic material in both the uppers and the soles. This keeps them lightweight but with a welcome degree of durability.
The body of the cleats is microfiber shaped to the contours of your feet with Puma's objective being that they should feel like 'a second skin'. The 'EvoAptolast design should feel light to allow you easy movement, agility, and speed whenever you need them during a soccer game.
For stability, the sole is constructed from lightweight TPU with the heel section strengthened by this material. The cleats are a combination of conical studs in the heel and blades on the front sole and should be ideal for gaining maximum traction on firm, grass pitches.
Puma uses EVA insoles which provide extra cushioning and comfort for your feet throughout any match. The finishing touches are provided by extended heel and tongue tabs to add additional protection for your feet.
When looking for the best pair of women's cleats it is difficult not to be distracted by some of the stunning colors and designs that are available. If buying purely for looks alone there are many you might be tempted to buy.
However, by staying focused on what really matters, performance, the winner is the Adidas Performance Women's X 15.4 FXG W Soccer Cleats.
With these cleats, Adidas have an offering with a synthetic, lightweight, textured upper which offers agility, speed, and enhanced ball control.
The inner mesh allows your feet to breath which is often a problem in synthetic soccer cleats. Your comfort is further increased by the snug fit when the soccer cleats are being worn.
The 'X-Claw' cleat configuration offers excellent traction in combination with the rubber sole so whether you need to sprint or turn you know the grip will be there for you. An added bonus is that Adidas Performance Women's X 15.4 FXG W Soccer Cleats are suitable for playing on both firm grass or artificial grass.
Adidas are no stranger to quality sportswear and these soccer cleats live up to their well-established reputation for being winners.