Soccer is played around the globe and crosses all cultural and language barriers. The regulations and rules are the same around the world. This means a team from Uganda can take a plane to Italy and play a match without complication.
The sport is so widespread that there are professional teams on every continent.
In the United States, soccer’s popularity started to rise during the 1970s and 1980s. Many high school and athletic departments started adding soccer to their list of team sports.
There were also many sanctioned leagues popping up so kids could develop skills at a young age.
Soccer is a tactical sport yet little investment is needed to play. The typical soccer uniform consists of a team jersey, soccer shorts, knee-high socks, shin guards, gloves for goalies, and cleats (sometimes referred to as boots).
Since soccer can be played on many different types of pitches (fields), it is important to have the right cleat. If you are playing on a field you will want some form of a spike.
If you are playing on a court or asphalt you will want a flatter sole but with good traction. It is also important to think about what position you will be playing.
A goalie will need cleats with great traction whereas a winger will want a light shoe for speed and agility.
Youth Soccer Cleats Buyer’s Guide
Walking into an athletic store can be a bit overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for. It is best to do your research beforehand. There are 5 important variables when looking for the right soccer cleat.
Each position demands a different playing style. Players usually play one position the majority of the time and only rarely fill in other positions.
- Forward – the rock stars of soccer. They are looking to score the goals, they need a clean strike zone and lightweight so they have better agility and ball control.
- Winger – play the midfield and offensive. They need cleats that offer great control for accuracy in passing.
- Midfielder – like guard dogs, they attack. They run up and down the full length of the field and need comfortable traction.
- Defense – take a beating. The defenders need shoes that will add some protection as well as control.
- Goalkeeper – playing in bursts, goalkeepers need cleats that will remain comfortable if standing around yet give great traction for the ability to leap after balls. They also need a clean strike zone for returning the ball to play.
Field Type and Conditions
When you have the appropriate cleats for the pitch type and condition you are playing in, you will be able to showcase your performance.
As a player, there is nothing worse than going to kick the ball and losing traction causing you to end up on your behind. So when talking about different pitches we will also consider the weather conditions in some cases.
- Muddy Fields, soft – these shoes will have longer studs for gripping the soft ground. Some shoes offer replaceable aluminum studs for different amounts of moisture. They are only good for soft and muddy conditions but they will save your game in messy conditions.
- Natural Grass, firm – these are classic cleats. They usually have a fixed sole without removable cleats. The cleats can either be conical, bladed or a combination of those.
- Artificial Turf, consistent – these are also good for use on the hard sun-baked There are usually a large number of shorter conical studs throughout the sole.
- Indoor Court, hard and dry – these are similar to basketball shoes with their gummy soles. They differ in their uppers. Where basketball shoes have high tops, indoor soccer cleats will have lower profiles.
- Street, firm but an opportunity for loose debris – these are a must-have for every soccer player. So often soccer players will meet up for a pick-up game or just killing time and kick around with the neighborhood. They will have a flat surface but it is important that they have grooves in many different directions so they can grab on to many different types of surfaces.
The uppers to soccer cleats are made of 4 materials, leather, synthetic leather, mesh and knit. Each material has different benefits. The material used in the upper can affect the price, durability, fit, and weight of the shoe.
- Leather – known for softness and moldability. Leather shoes can be very comfortable but are a bit heavier. There are 3 different types of leather used in soccer cleats.
- Kangaroo – this is the top of the line leather. Soccer players love the softness and a great fit for a better feel of the ball. It is important when buying kangaroo leather cleats to remember that they stretch after a few years. For the best fitting cleat, it is best to buy one that is a little snug when first purchased. The fact that kangaroo is also a very light leather this makes it an ideal leather upper for soccer cleats. With all these great benefits, there are just a couple of drawbacks to kangaroo leather. First, it is not waterproof. They are best worn in dry conditions. Also, kangaroo leather is not as durable as some of the other leathers used in soccer cleats.
- Calf–skin – is slightly heavier than kangaroo leather but just as soft. Calf-skin tends to hold its shape better and has a minimal “break-in” time needed. Calf-skin leather gives a unique feel to the ball as kangaroo leather does.
- Full–Grain – the thickest and heaviest of the natural leathers. Full-grain leather is water-resistant and durable, making them great for all types of weather. Like kangaroo and calf-skin leather, full-grain leather will mold to a players foot and give great ball feel. The main drawback of weight.
- Synthetic Leathers – are becoming most popular because of their waterproofing trait. Synthetic leather is designed to mimic the best qualities of natural leathers while being extremely durable. A drawback to synthetic leather is that you lose some of the balls feel you get with natural leathers.
- Synthetic – extremely durable and a completely different ball experience. They are much thinner and will be a true fit right out of the box.
- Mesh – extremely lightweight and breathable. The mesh is not a good option for games with any moisture. Progress is being made in making mesh waterproof but for now, this material is best for indoor use or dry conditions.
- Knit – the latest upper material to hit the market. To ensure durability, and to make them waterproof, knit uppers are fully lined with a protective layer. Knit uppers give a unique ball feel for the player.
Athletes are very loyal to brands. There is no best brand. There are so many brands out there; a brand match is sure for every athlete. Brands pride themselves on being known for certain features.
A good pair of soccer cleats is worth the investment for the soccer player that is looking to play competitively. High-end cleats are priced high ($150 +) and designed for pro players.
They are not extremely durable because they expect that pro players will opt for peak performance over durability and can buy new cleats as needed.
If you are a serious player and your foot is not still growing, investing in mid-range cleats are worth the investment. The price range for mid-level cleats is around $80-$100.
Most people buying cleats for their child will want to opt for the lower-priced cleat, less than $80.
They will probably only fit in it for a season, not experienced enough to know a high-performance cleat, and the slight differential in weight is not important to these smaller players.
Best Youth Soccer Cleats Reviews
1. Adidas Performance Conquisto Firm-Ground J Soccer Cleat – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Your Money $
Adidas is a leader in soccer cleats. The Conquisto Firm-Ground J soccer cleats will stand up to anything your young soccer player can dish out and not hurt your wallet.
The strong synthetic uppers have little to no “break-in” time. Players can go straight from the box to the field and have a great game without the “break-in” pain.
The Conquisto is great for firm natural pitches with aggressive studs. The fact that they are synthetic, will keep your player’s feet dry in wet conditions.
They are lightweight without compromising durability and will allow your young player to continue throughout the game without exhaustion.
- Little to no “Break-in” time
- Durable under hard play
- Great price yet high quality
- Not good for wide feet
- Ball feel is a bit low
- Reports of the tongue being a bit short
2. Diadora Capitqano MD JR Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Wider Feet $
Diadora has been in the athletic shoe business since its inception in 1948. This Italian shoemaker is a large sponsor of professional teams and athletes.
The Capitqano MD JR soccer shoe’s solid polyurethane upper and rubber sole will have your young player sure-footed and safe as well as keeping their feet dry in wet conditions.
The Capitqano is great for natural turf pitches and the soft inner sole will have your player on their feet comfortably for the whole game or even whole-day soccer camps.
- Comfortable enough for all-day wear
- Accommodates a wider foot
- Great colors
- Sizing issues – reports of running small but mostly running large
- Laces are too long
- Quality control in the cleat studs
3. Vizari Striker FG Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Comfort Right Out of the Box $
Vizari Sports USA was founded in 1998 and is a proud manufacturer of soccer products for all ages and abilities. Vizari’s Striker cleats are lightweight and water-resistant.
The synthetic leather uppers are stitched and riveted to the outsole. The synthetic uppers are soft enough for wear all day. The rubber outsoles give added traction in all conditions.
- Right out of the box ready
- Accommodates a wider foot
- Super comfortable
- Reports of heel weaknesses
- Too wide for narrow feet
- Don’t stand up to aggressive players
4. Diadora Forza MD Soccer Cleat – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Narrow Feet $
Diadora comes makes our list with their Forza MD soccer cleats with extra padding in the ankle and shock-absorbing soles. The synthetic uppers are water-resistant making these great cleats for all weather conditions.
The Velcro fold-over tongue will give better ball feel and keep your young player’s laces from escaping for accidental tripping. The rubber soles have multiple extra-wide studs for added stability and pressure reduction.
- Velcro lace saver
- Great traction in all weather conditions with multiple studs
- Vibrant colors
- Run about ½ size smaller
- Laces too short
5. Vizari Blaze FG Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Extra Comfort $
Vizari Blaze FG soccer cleats come in 5th on our list with this blaze design on synthetic leather uppers. The great flames on the uppers will let your little player stand out on the pitch.
The extra padding on the heel and ankle collar on the soft synthetic leather uppers will keep your young player’s feet comfortable throughout the game. The addition of a Velcro laces saver will keep laces from tripping up even the least focused player.
The rubber soles and studs will give sure footing in all conditions.
- Great graphics and look
- Great for all cleats sport
- Super soft and pliable uppers
- Run small
- Lose their sheen
- Don’t stand up to aggressive players
6. Vizari Blossom FG Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Girls $
Vizari Blossom is designed specifically for young ladies entering the sport of soccer. Your young lady will have a secure footing while looking great on the pitch.
The soft synthetic leather uppers along with a padded heel and ankle collar will give her hours of comfortable playing. The rubber outer sole gives added traction and yet soft enough to reduce injury if colliding with other players.
The uppers are stitched and riveted for additional durability.
- Great girl style on synthetic leather
- Additional padding for ankle safety
- Softer outer soles for safety
- Don’t mold to feet
- Run small
- Very warm
7. Vizari Infinity FG Soccer Cleat – Best Soccer Cleats for Bright Color Variety $$
The variety of bright colors in Vizari’s Infinity FG soccer cleats will satisfy even your pickiest young player. The anti-stretch lining will prevent the shoes from stretching over the season.
The rubber outer soles will keep your player safe with sure footing. The soft rubber studs will decrease the likeliness of injury to other players when colliding.
- Great fit that won’t stretch over time
- Wider fit
- All-day comfort
- Great color options
- Plastic-y feeling
- Wide ankle and heels
8. Diadora Soccer Avanti MD JR Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for High Visibility $$
Your young aspiring soccer player will have hours of fun in these highly visible cleats. The bright soft water-resistant polyurethane uppers have an anti-stretch lining so shoes remain true to size throughout the season.
Shock-absorbing EVA foam inner sole will keep your player’s feet feeling fresh throughout the season. These cleats have great traction for all types of play.
- High visibility color
- Box to game ready with no “break-in” time needed
- Super supportive and comfortable for long wears
- Run large
- Quality control
9. Vizari Frost Soccer Cleat – Best Soccer Cleats for Frozen Fans $
Vizari Frost may look cold but will keep your young player feeling like a hot player. Frost is not just for cold play. The great-looking synthetic uppers have a padded ankle collar and heel to keep your player’s feet feeling comfortable.
The outsole is made of soft rubber for great traction and safety during aggressive play.
- Great for hard to fit wide feet or high arches
- Cute winter or Frozen-inspired design
- Good traction for many types of pitches or ball fields
- Run large
- Not very water-resistant
- Coating and design peel rather quickly
10. Adidas Performance Messi 15.3 J Soccer Shoe – Best Youth Soccer Cleats for Agility $$$
Adidas has designed soccer cleats for serious young players who are seeking to be extra agile. The synthetic leather messitouch uppers will give superior feel and control to your young player’s foot giving stability and agility.
These cleats are great for firm or artificial pitches and the Messi center stud will allow your young player to mark his pitch with the Messi logo showing domination.
- Comfortable all-day wear
Soccer is becoming a sport of choice in the United States. It is a great sport with less chance of serious head injury so many parents are opting for soccer over American football.
Kids are starting at young ages and getting the right youth soccer cleats are so important. In order do to that knowing your child’s foot is important. As with all shoes, you will find at all price points there are different standards for widths and lengths.
Do your research before buying. Carefully read reviews for fit. You will be able to find the right youth soccer cleats for all players from those who are going to play only because you got them “cute” cleats to those who think they are the next Pele.
Once you have what you think is the best cleats for your young player it is also very important to look at where, both position and type of pitch, your player is going to be playing.
With a great fitting shoe that is designed for the right performance, you will have young players that will wear them not only for practices and matches but on the way home.