Choosing the right soccer gear can be a difficult chore. It doesn’t matter whether you are choosing youth soccer gear, or gear for adults. It doesn’t have to be painful. But with so many choices available, you need to ensure that the gear is of good quality, and will last through the soccer wars.
Buying cheap soccer gear will sometimes have you buying that same item more times. That will make it more expensive in the long run. Many times it is best to spend a little more up front and buy longer lasting gear.
With my over 30 years in soccer I have made some good choices, and some bad choices when choosing soccer gear.
I have to laugh when I look in my gear bag and see a pair of turf shoes that I have had for over 20 years. Obviously I haven’t played a lot of games on turf! But they were definitely a good choice. And I can actually still wear them!
Start at the Bottom!
- Soccer footwear!
Whatever position you play, it doesn’t matter. You could be playing as a goalie, midfielder, defender, or striker. Sneakers are not the way to go! Unless you want to continually slip around and miss the ball because you can’t get your foot planted. You will never improve your soccer game that way.
- Indoor or outdoors?
Indoor soccer shoes are flat bottomed and made of a material that is more firm than a standard sneaker.
Outdoor soccer shoes come in models made for hard fields, firm fields, or soft / wet fields. Some have removable cleats so you do not have to buy a new pair of cleats if one or two studs wear down early.
- Soccer Shin Guards!
Not only do they prevent injury, they are now a mandatory piece of soccer equipment. It only makes sense. Most of the action is in that area of your body.
- Soccer Socks!
Soccer socks are used to hold your shin guards in place and are part of a complete soccer uniform. They used to be so plain and boring. Red, blue, green, yellow. You get the picture. But with increased interest in soccer comes increased options for colors. Can you say Fuschia soccer socks?
- Soccer Shorts!
Baggy shorts are not soccer shorts. They may be in-style but that does not mean that they are good for the soccer field. The less restrictive your shorts are, the better it is for your game. They also have to fit your team’s uniform and take the beating that sliding, diving, and falling down will give them.
- Soccer Jerseys!
Your soccer jersey will express the personality of your team. And of course it should blend well with your shorts and socks. However some people want to buy replica soccer jerseys to support their favorite soccer club. Those are available for every major soccer team in the world.
- Soccer Goalkeeper Gear!
Outfitting a soccer goalkeeper is the same as any player on the field, with a few differences:
- Goalkeepers wear shorts or long pants with padding on the hips. This padding helps prevent injuries from the numerous times that they dive for a ball during a game.
- Goalkeepers wear special goalkeeper gloves to give them a better grip on the ball.
- A goalie jersey usually has padding on the elbows to reduce the impact on their bodies when they land.
With all that gear, a great choice to carry it all is a soccer backpack.
I actually still have some soccer uniforms from when I was 16. Go figure?