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So you need some new soccer shoes? Simple, or it should be, but with so much choice which ones do you go for? Remember, you can buy a great pair of cleats without spending a fortune, but it pays to do some research first. You might think that with such a huge variety of soccer cleats on the market that it’s all about fashion, and whilst that certainly plays its part, there is much more to choosing the right cleats than just going for the same make and style as your favorite player.
If you are mainly playing your soccer on soft ground you should consider shoes with screw in studs. These have the advantage of providing high levels of grip, and are longer lasting. You can easily replace the studs when they wear, and you can buy studs or blades in different lengths to suit the conditions in which you are playing. The tip of the studs is often made of metal or very durable plastic and it is actually this part which is known as the ‘cleat.’
If you are playing on harder surfaces, the preferred choice of soccer shoe is the firm ground type which generally have molded studs or cleats. Unlike traditional soccer boots, these do not have removable studs or blades. They provide great grip on medium hard surfaces (dry grass, for instance) and have become increasingly popular in recent years. Most major soccer shoe manufacturers now offer firm ground cleats in various styles.
If you play on very hard or artificial surfaces (such as astroturf) you should consider hard ground soccer shoes. These are easily identified by their closely molded studs which usually cover the entire sole of the shoe. Whilst they are great for hard surfaces or for playing on astroturf, hard ground boots should be avoided if you are play on softer surfaces as they will not generally provide sufficient grip.
The upper part of modern soccer shoes can be made from various materials. Some of the more expensive shoes have leather uppers, whilst less expensive varieties may be made of synthetic materials. Leather uppers will provide great comfort and are preferred by many players who appreciate the additional ‘feel’ on the ball that the softer surface provides. Leather soccer shoes often take some time to ‘wear in’, and many players prefer them to be a slightly tighter fit when new, knowing that they will quickly become more comfortable in use. Soccer cleats with leather uppers benefit from a little additional time spent in cleaning, but you don’t need to treat them with dubbin, which was the traditional way of looking after your boots. Nowadays there are many sports shoe cleaners and conditioners which are much easier to use and will keep your new soccer shoes waterproof and in great shape.
The two most important factors in buying the right soccer shoes are the sole design and stud pattern and, of course, comfort. It is important to try several pairs of cleats before making your final choice. More expensive soccer shoes will likely be made of finer materials with additional styling features and they may also be slightly more comfortable when new, but if you are on a tight budget do not always discount soccer shoes which are cheaper. Most major manufacturers such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Umbro and Puma produce high quality cleats to suit all pockets. Before you play or train in your new boots, try wearing them around the house for a while to speed the break in process and remember to avoid concrete or other hard surfaces to minimise the wear on the studs or blades.
Good luck in buying your new cleats!
write by hernandez