As soccer gets more competitive, and more expensive, just what are the best youth soccer cleats on the market today?
If you are the parent, or parents, of the next generation of Pelés, Maradonnas and Ronaldos, you want to give your kids the best cleats available in order to improve their all-round game as well as providing the best protection for junior’s ankles and legs. So what are the options when looking for the best youth soccer cleats?
Firstly, you need cleats that are comfortable to wear but also fit snugly without restricting movement of the foot. Although some of the more expensive boots are made from leather, there are many alternatives which use synthetic leather, polyurethane (PU) or molded plastic which serve just as well in the formative years of soccer players. As younger bodies mature and grow, the life expectancy of any soccer cleat is limited and it makes good financial sense to shop around for quality PU or plastic boots which provide the same touch and protection as the more expensive leather option.
Top Six Soccer Cleats for Younger Players
|Picture||Name||Upper/ Sole||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|Picture||Name||Upper/ Sole||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Nike Kids Jr Mercurial Victory V FG Soccer Cleat 2.5 Kids US||Synthetic Leather/ Rubber||$$$$||4.9|
|2. adidas Performance Conquisto Firm-Ground J Soccer Cleat||Synthetic Leather/ Synthetic||$||4.4|
|3. PUMA Evospeed 5.2 FG Soccer Cleat||Synthetic Leather/ Polyurethane||$$$||4.4|
|4. Vizari Infinity FG Soccer Cleat||Synthetic Leather/ Rubber||$||4.4|
|5. Diadora Capitano MD JR Soccer Shoe||Polyurethane/ Rubber||$$$||4.3|
|6. Diadora Forza MD Soccer Cleat||Synthetic Leather/ Synthetic||$$||4.2|
The Different Types of Soccer Cleats
There are three basic kinds of soccer cleats for playing on grass and which one will be required depends on the condition of the ground on which the cleats will be used.
- Round Studs. Usually made of rubber or plastic, the studs (or cleats) are generally replaceable and are ideal for grass in normal or slightly wet conditions.
- Hard Ground Studs. Very similar to indoor shoes, hard-ground cleats are shorter for better grip on a hard surface and to prevent sliding.
- Bladed Studs. These kinds of cleats are becoming more popular as the blades are angled to not only give a good grip on grass but also to provide surer footing when twisting or changing direction
As is the case with cleats for more senior players, most youths’ soccer boots have rubber soles although there is a growing tendency nowadays towards plastic studs and soles and, sometimes, the entire boot is made from a single molded unit. Any of these options are perfectly fine for a player who is still finding his feet, so to speak!
3 Best Youth Soccer Cleats Reviews
The NIKE Jr Mercurial Victory shoes are probably the most popular and best youth soccer cleats on the market today. The uppers are made with synthetic leather which is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing and provides a nice soft touch on the ball as well as fitting very comfortably. These cleats also feature firm-ground rubber studs which are perfect for almost all outdoor conditions.
Although these cleats look very modern, there is a nice feel of the old-style boots about them. Old-fashioned laces are a nice touch and, in my opinion, far better than Velcro or similar methods of securing the boots. Junior soccer players I have talked to rave about the Mercurial and it is not hard to understand just why they are so popular with younger players as they not only look great but are also high-quality and very durable.
For the younger soccer player, up to twelve years old, the Adidas Performance Conquisto is one of the best soccer cleats around. Although the upper boot and sole are synthetic, they look and feel great and are ideal training shoes as well as being suitable for use on grass pitches.
The wide lace-up area on the top of the shoe provides a bigger surface for striking the ball while also giving excellent shock absorption. The cleats are also lined with removable, padded insoles which ensure a snug but comfortable fit and the synthetic soles are specially designed for extra-grip on natural grass.
Kids quickly outgrow their soccer cleats but the Adidas Performance Conquistos are reasonably priced and excellent value for money. Not only are they comfortable but they look good and are also well designed with younger soccer players in mind. The range should probably be extended to take older players into account but, for the early-age bracket, the Performance Conquistos are in a league of their own.
The Puma Evospeed 5.2 soccer cleats are another range of boots designed primarily with younger players up to twelve years old in mind although they are also available for older players. Lightweight synthetic leather uppers give an excellent fit and the Evospeeds also feature old style front laces for extra security. The polyurethane soles and cleats, although lightweight, are solid and the configuration of studs around the outer edge and center of the sole provide excellent grip on grass while allowing for a swift change in direction or sudden acceleration.
While most junior players like the Puma Evospeed, I personally prefer a multi-directional cleated sole but that is a matter of personal opinion. All in all, the Evospeed soccer cleats are reasonably-priced and are suitable for younger players just starting out as well as more senior teenaged players.