OK – It is the start of the soccer season and you are ready to kit your son or daughter with books and shin pads.
Where do you start?
I have a confession – last year I actually purchased the wrong type of boots for my son and he had to play the season with the incorrect boot. We didn’t know the boots were the incorrect fitting until this year, the coach and another soccer parent and later the sales person pointed this out to us. Hence the motivation for writing this blog post, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.
My son wears a US size 1, we chose him a set of Adidas Predators and this year after a refit he is still wearing size 1 but in the Adidas F10 range, the fact my son has grown over the last 12months means that we purchased a boot that was far too big for him and not quite the correct fit, it also means that the original sales person sold us the incorrect boot so this is why you need have some education before making any purchases.
The questions I have asked myself – has the boots hindered his kicking technique? is he changing his body positioning to suit the fit of the boot?
So here are my top tips
- Know your son’s/daughter’s foot shape
Check out this website – http://soccerreviews.com/news/the-pep-talk-how-to-choose-the-right-football-boot-for-you/
This was the number one key in finding the correct boot type. The best way to play soccer naturally and have touch and strike the ball correctly is to be bare footed. But for practical reasons you cannot play football barefooted, the boot needs to fit like a glove and provide the correct type of support. This is why knowing the correct foot type is so important. Look at the foot guide at the end of this post.
- Know something about Soccer Boots
Check out this website http://www.soccer.com/guide/soccer-shoe-guide/
There are many variations of the soccer cleat that you should be aware of – do not be distracted by what your soccer idol wears. Because you like the way Messi plays does not mean your kids should get his brand of boot. Messi might have a different foot type so getting his brand of boots might make your kid play worse.
So these are the things that must be considered in order – 1. Fit (the outline of the boot should match the shape of the foot – narrow, wide, medium, the correct shoe box shape etc., ), 2. Function – typically forwards are better in a speed boot (lighter, made for dribbling and touch) whilst the defenders are better off in a slightly heavier boot (power), The choice might also be determined by your kids weight and build, 3. Surface – AG (Artificial Ground), FG (Firm Ground), SG (Soft Ground) and a bunch more, the main difference is cleat configuration on the sole of the boot. 4. And finally brand and design.
- Shop around
Get your kid to wear the boots and don’t be afraid to ask him to wear different boots and make a comparison for comfort at least 2-3 pairs. And for each pair that he wears, roll out a ball and get him to kick a ball with the boots on, go for a dribble. Find a spot in the store were he can take a few shots. It does feel awkward but I think it is very important step. You need proof and nothing better than having a “test drive”.
You should not get boots that are a full size too big. Kicking is about timing, touch, precision of where the ball hits the foot. So it is important to get a boot that is the correct size for a Snug fit. So after you find the “perfect” boot stick to it and increase the size by a 1/2 size when the current boot becomes too small. You might have to ask your store to get a half size for you.
Good explanation of foot types
Very good guide
Great Comprehensive Guide on shoe types