I have not been part of it for a long time but I have affection for spring soccer season. I remember a parent telling me once that the best thing about spring soccer was that you knew the weather would only get better as the season progressed. So much better than in the fall when you knew it would get colder and colder. (Although this spring that premise is questionable.)
I have often felt that it would be funny to watch an aerial film over our town on Sundays so you could watch the cars moving from one soccer field to the other as the parents tried to catch their kid’s games.
With soccer season starting, it is time to check (or find) your child’s equipment. The equipment that might be the most important are the soccer cleats (sometimes called soccer boots) that your child wears on the field. These shoes make a big difference to your child’s feet. With that in mind, here are some tips for what to look at when buying your child cleats for soccer.
1. The first tip is to go to a store that has a sales person that knows how to fit soccer shoes for kids.
2. When fitting soccer shoes, you want some space between the toe and the end of the shoe. Some will tell you that the space should be as small as the width of your little finger. I would suggest to you that you want at least the same space you would put in a normal shoe – a thumb’s width. Soccer is a sport that involves a lot of running and kicking. With both those activities, if your shoes are too small they will cause the toes to rub or bump into the front or top of the shoe. This can lead to some toe injuries like blackened toe nail or turf toe. I realize that you might want a pair to last through both spring and fall soccer but depending on how fast your child’s foot grows, that might not be possible.
3. Leather soccer shoes were always the gold standard but it is hard to find those shoes these days. Most shoes are made with synthetic uppers. The synthetics are usually longer lasting and lighter than natural leather but they don’t always offer the same comfort as a leather upper.
4. Make sure that your child is wearing his/her soccer socks and shin guards when they try on soccer cleats. Those socks are thick. You need to make sure the shoes fit comfortably over them.
5. If you little one is enamored with soccer and follows all the players, they may think that they need a particular brand name of cleat. While I know it is hard, it is much more important that the shoe is a great fit for their foot.
If the shoe seems to fit but your child tells you that their feet hurt while they are playing, it is time to take your child to your friendly local podiatrist to have them evaluate your child’s foot and the shoe. Be sure to take the soccer socks and the shin guard to the appointment also. The doctor can evaluate the entire situation and work with you to make your child comfortable on the field. The fit of the shoe is important – it will help prevent injury and (as they claim) the shoe could help their play.
Enjoy the spring soccer games!
Enjoy the spring soccer games!