Footwear June 17th, 2020

What To Look For When Buying Soccer Shoes For Your Kids

Of all the gear you’ll buy for your budding soccer star, footwear will undoubtedly make the most significant impact on their play and safety.

Quality soccer shoes do far more than keep kids moving quickly around the field. Such an active sport with a variety of playing surfaces relies on a pair of shoes that keep their feet safe, supported and comfortable throughout the whole season.

The first question you’re likely to face when choosing your kid’s soccer shoes is whether they require indoor or outdoor shoes. Cleats—or outdoor soccer shoes—come in five varieties:

Soft ground (SG): For muddy and wet fields
Firm ground (FG): For standard grass fields
Hard ground (HG): For dried grass and field
Artificial Grass (AG): For outdoor turf fields
Hard court (AKA “indoor” or “futsal” shoes): For indoor courts or asphalt

Most young players are advised to purchase a standard firm ground shoe and alternative for indoor play since they are the most versatile. Once you know the pair (or pairs) required for their season, you’ll want to check a few things off your soccer shoe list. This may include choosing quality material, a supportive structure, the right ankle profile, and, most importantly, a shoe that is comfortable for your favorite athlete.


What are the advantages of buying quality soccer shoes for your kids?

High-quality footwear has two clear advantages: safety and performance. The two features go hand-in-hand. The more control and support a player has in their shoes, the more they’re able to make split-second decisions on the field without holding back or worrying about injury.

Assured safety

Soccer moves quickly. So, injuries like twisted ankles, accidental bumps or kicks from other players, and overall joint health come into play. The right soccer shoe is built to properly transfer tension away from the foot no matter the surface they play on that particular day. While the rubber of an indoor soccer shoe absorbs the force of the hard court, outdoor soccer shoes encourage players to sink into the ground without losing traction. Both types of outsoles, most importantly, keep players from slipping as they quickly maneuver around the ball.

The best soccer shoes are designed with additional padding and support around the arch, ankle, sole, and heel. As your little one learns to move with more agility, this additional structure keeps the foot in a safe position. The right material should also be breathable, allowing the foot to breathe during high-energy games and therefore decreasing blisters or irritation.

On-field performance

Learning and excelling at a new sport is tricky enough without the right gear. Investing in the right shoe will make the learning process easier for them. It can provide extra support around their feet and joint as they develop the skills to handle the ball and coordinate their movements with other players. The right shoe provides control without being restrictive.

What to look for when choosing kids' soccer shoes?

Always begin by speaking with your child’s coach about the type of shoes your child will need for practice and games. You should also ask for details about your child’s position on the field. Defenders will need different support than midfielders, for example. Overall, we recommend looking for the following features in a great soccer shoe:


Everyone has a unique gait to their run, which comes into play with such a foot-focused sport like soccer. Cleats can feel new and awkward to a young player at first, but they should make your athlete feel balanced on the field. The shoe should be lightweight yet supportive. Ask them to move around the store to make sure they don’t feel any extra pressure or tilt in one area of their foot.


If your child is just starting out in soccer, you don’t necessarily need to reach for the top materials in their first shoe. Plenty of synthetic materials are incredibly supportive and lightweight without the extra-high price tag. Synthetic shoes are also ready-to-wear, unlike leather, which typically requires a period of breaking them in.


Each soccer shoe should include an insole that molds to the shape of your child’s foot. This is a crucial element in keeping the body aligned and supported during play. Also, speak to your coach about whether your child should consider high-profile ankles. Defenders typically need shoes with higher ankle support to protect against injury.

How to choose the right soccer shoe size?

Fit is the topmost quality of an athletic shoe. Since most kids’ soccer cleats are unisex, you can focus solely on the fit without splitting shoes between those built for girls or boys.

Children’s feet grow quickly, so you may be tempted to buy shoes that your child will grow into. However, soccer shoes are meant to fit tighter than a running shoe, a bit like a second skin. If you leave too much space, it could cause their feet to move around in the shoe, causing blisters or chafing. Synthetic materials are typically the way to go in this case, as they allow a little more flexibility and give as feet change.

We also recommend buying a soccer cleat that matches the natural arch of your child’s foot. The arch and width of their foot should slip perfectly into the insole. Keep in mind that each soccer cleat brand can run a little differently depending on its structure. We recommend trying on a shoe with a return policy before making the final call.

The right soccer shoes can make your child feel right at home on the field. Though you don’t have to break the bank for a high-quality pair, we recommend shopping around to find the brand that melds to your child’s unique way of playing and foot shape.

Peruse Zappos’ extensive line of kids' soccer shoes to find that perfect balance that keeps them on the field for a safe and fun experience.


Kids' Soccer Favorites


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