Selecting Football Cleats
Football cleats typically come in two different heights, with each height serving a particular purpose. The following suggestions are for high-level players.
Mid-cut cleats are worn because they support the ankle without restricting the player's movements. These cleats come in a variety of different heights.
Low-cut cleats are the lightest and are typically worn by skill position players. Without the extended top, these cleats allow for maximum maneuverability. Because these cleats have a lower cut, they are lighter and are used by players who utilize their speed.
DICK'S Sporting Goods offers youth football cleats in both cut styles to provide your child with the best options to improve their game.
When buying youth football cleats, avoid choosing a cleat that is too big; do not search for a cleat with the child's growth in mind. A cleat that is too big may pose a higher risk of injury to the player.
Players have two decisions when it comes to football cleats: molded and detachable. The style a player chooses is based on the field conditions they play in, their league's regulations and preference.
Molded cleats are permanently attached to the shoe. Players usually wear molded cleats for the traction the cleats provide, and their versatility on different playing surfaces.
- Detachable cleats have studs that can be easily changed or replaced. Being able to change the studs is an advantage when playing in uncertain weather conditions. Shorter studs are best for playing on dry ground, while longer studs allow a player to dig in to wet, uncertain surfaces.
NOTE: There are a variety of replacement studs a player can buy. Studs can be made of plastic, rubber, or metal-tipped, and come in sizes of ½, 5/8, ¾, and 1-inch. Check your league's rules and regulations before buying replacement studs; metal studs are banned in some leagues.
Consider replacing your studs as they wear down. If you have molded studs, consider purchasing new cleats. Worn and uneven studs can pose a high risk for injury.
Football cleats are made of different synthetic materials, all of which serve different purposes. The following materials are the most common.
Pebax® is a thermoplastic elastomer that is resistant to impact, harsh weather conditions and flex fatigue. While this material is very light, it also offers great support, is durable, and does not stiffen or weaken in cold weather.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a lightweight, water-resistant material that can withstand extreme temperatures. This durable elastomer can withstand high impact and is more dent resistant than metal.
Polyurethane (PU) is a durable material that has the elasticity of rubber. This material is made to withstand harsh weather conditions. While polyurethane is very flexible, it is also able to withstand high-impact situations.
Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a very flexible, but durable, material that is made to withstand extreme cold and heat, and will not crack from stress or age. Also, EVA is very water-resistant.
PORON® Urethane is a breathable material that forms permeable layers to wick water and perspiration away from your feet. This material is able to withstand and absorb high impacts, and will not shrink or weaken with age.
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To find your shoe size, please refer to the cleat size charts below. For the most accurate sizing, wear your football socks while measuring.
Your cleats should fit comfortably; they should not be too tight, and they should not be loose enough to move around on the player's foot. Wearing a cleat that is too big may pose a higher risk of injury.
It is a good idea to buy extra shoe laces, in case one breaks in the middle of a game or practice. Having a broken lace could pose tripping hazards.
If you have detachable football cleats, replacement studs are good to have. Make sure you buy the correct stud size so that the new stud does not change the balance or feel of the cleat.
Shoe protection, such as oils, help protect your football cleats in bad weather conditions. Using shoe oils may help make your cleats more durable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I tell when my studs need replaced? Check your studs to see if they are uneven; worn down studs can cause balance issues and pose a higher risk of injury. Consider replacing your studs when they are worn down.
2. Does it make a difference if I choose a cleat that is not recommended for my position? The suggestions above are made for more serious and advanced football players. Even then, the cleats you choose should be based on your preference.
3. What size replacement studs should I buy? First, check your league's rules and regulations; some organizations may have certain restrictions about stud size. Also, take into consideration what types of fields and conditions you will be playing on; different sizes work more effectively in different situations.
4. Do I have to change my detachable cleats depending on weather and field conditions? No, but different cleats are more beneficial in certain situations. Longer cleats will help you dig in on a muddy field, while shorter cleats provide the best grip on dry surfaces.