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An excerpt from Soccercleats101.com: Complete Guide to Picking The Right Pair of Soccer Cleats
If they are too big….If they are too small….
This is where the rule of thumb comes in – if you have a thumb space between your toes and the top of the boot, they are too big. If you have no space then they are too small. The right distance to look for is about a baby finger width between your toe and the top if the boot. If you feel your toe pressing against the upper they are definitely too tight.
One of the most common mistakes players make is continuing to wear a pair that isn’t the right size – don’t fall into this trap. Let’s be honest, we have all purchased a pair, opened and tried them on at home, found them too long and decided to try them out “just in case they fit”. Well, they probably won’t and now you are left with a used pair of boots. Be sure you have some additional space toward the front of the boot, your toes are not pressed heavily against the forefoot of the boot and your ankle isn’t completely restricted against the heel when you wear them for the first time. If you can find a fit that doesn’t constrict any part of your feet, you are headed in the right direction of playing without having your feet blister.
Just a quick tip for players who find they can’t find a boot that offers enough width in the forefoot. This is a tough and I regularly have readers who look for advice on where to get the right fit. First, you can try the brands personalized service, where they normally allow you to create a boot with a wider last. miadidas and NikeID are prime examples to check out. If that is not an economical option for you, look at boots that have a natural leather upper, Kangaroo is the most preferable. Using a boot with K-Leather will allow for some stretch room. A quick tip for players who have a pair that are too tight, try soaking them in hot water for 15 minutes while wearing them, it will loosen up the stitching and allow for some extra stretch.
Sizing for younger players
Many parents face a tough decision when buying players for younger players based around sizing. Many parents find it difficult to decide if there is enough room in a boot and how much is needed to allow the player to perform at their best level without growing out of the boots too quickly. For kids under the age of 12, my advice is to apply the above rule except insert baby finger instead of thumb. So, a baby finger width will be too much space. Look for about a half a finger space or somewhere in between. Of course, this will vary according to the child’s size and it also means they will grow out of the boots quickly.
For many, finances will be a factor but a baby finger width should give you enough room to allow your player to grow into the boot and mold the boot to their shape without affecting performance. Any sort of a boot with a leather upper is also an ideal option, as the leather will stretch slightly over time and provide a longer lifespan for the boot. Search children’s soccer cleats
Lightweight means less durability
Just a note here, the current trend on the market is lightweight boots and we are seeing companies drift toward lighter an lighter. This means there is less materials being used in the boots and as a result, durability is compromised. In the past, a good boot could easily provide a player with a solid two seasons, but we are now at the stage where a single season seems to be an achievement. If you are looking for a more durable option, consider boots that weigh in above 9oz and feature a leather upper rather than synthetic.
Ordering Online – Get it right
First off, we recommend checking out boots at a soccer store before buying – it offers you the ideal opportunity to really understand what the boots are about and store employees can be a very useful and knowledgeable resource (for the most part!)
If you decide to order online, do yourself a huge favor and don’t buy from an unknown source. We regularly get contacted from readers who have purchased from what looks like a legitimate source only to have a fake pair of boots show up, or in some cases no boots at all. Basically, stick to the well known US sites and don’t go trying to get an amazing deal through a site in China.
They have arrived – breaking in your boots
You now have your new pair of boots and are ready to wear them. Not so fast – don’t rush things. Taking time to break in new boots can prove invaluable for your feet and the life of the boots. Look to wear them for one or two jogging sessions at first to loosen up any stitching and allow the soleplate to flex into a more natural position with your feet. This will also decrease the potential of blisters. Having your tried and trusted boots on hand is extremely important as you wear your new boots. If you feel any sort of pressure or tight spot, switch out immediately. Don’t risk the potential of having your feet damaged and decreasing your performance. Take the opportunity to jog in them several times more and they should then be ready for game time. If after several wears you are still feeling some discomfort, the boots are probably not the right option for you.
Enjoy and treat them with respect!
Finally, maintenance is key to ensuring your boots live a solid life and perform with you through the good and bad days. The sign of a passionate player is the person who takes them out of there bag when they get home and offers them some personal care. You don’t have to buy the best cleaning products or spend hours nursing them.
All you need to do is take them out of their boot bag and let them air dry in a nice cool area, out of direct sunlight or heat. Once they have dried out, stuff them with some newspaper and put them back in your bag for the next game. If you have some leather food, I’m sure you boots wouldn’t mind if you paid them some extra attention!