Nike Shin Sock Fitting Guide
Hey parents, tired of dealing with the hassle and cost of soccer socks, shin guard sleeves, and shin guards. Grab a pair of these sweet Nike Shin Socks for you’re kid. They’re washable, and slip right on without any fuss or complicated components. For me, they’re a god send as my little one is always losing his shin guard straps and to be honest, even the guards smell like wet grass and feet. This video gives you a pretty neat overview of them, and how to fit them for your child.
Posted by: Christie, futbol fashionista, soccerprose.com
Six Easy Steps to Buying the Best Shoe for a Youth Soccer Player
It used to be that soccer shoes were black and you picked the size you needed and off you go. Times have changed. You can now choose from a variety of colors, brands, prices and styles for soccer players of every age. For new players and parents of new players it can be overwhelming. This guide tries to help breakdown the most important issues you need to consider when purchasing soccer shoes.
NOTE: This guide is best for players that fit between 10K and size 6 youth soccer shoes. If you need a size smaller than 10K we suggest you visit soccerpro.com and use the Just Show Me filter in our Soccer Shoes section. Select Kids and the brand and size you need to view what is available.
1). STYLE v FUNCTION
If a soccer shoe doesn’t fit well or if it doesn’t work on the playing surface you will be very disappointed in your purchase. Try to minimize the number of styles to choose from on the basic ‘functional’ characteristics of a shoe before worrying about color and brand. We know this can be difficult for a fashion-sensitive soccer player but it’s very important and should be your first step. You will be able to trim down from the dozens of options to a much more manageable selection that will still offer several brands and colors.
> Go to the SoccerPro.com Youth Soccer page to start your search.
2). THE FIELD – GRASS, FIELD TURF, CARPET, GYM
Where you play determines the first major decision you’ll make. If you’re playing outside most of the time you’ll be on a grass field. Some indoor facilities have a turf field that plays like grass – commonly known as Field Turf. You will see a lot of little black specs on the field. That’s the ground up rubber tires used to allow the synthetic grass blades to move and flex with the players running on top of it. Other indoor places will use the flat carpet or a gym floor to play on.
Grass and artificial turf fields **
- Firm Ground Cleats – the typical cleat you see with most soccer shoes.
- Turf Shoes – lots of little nubs on the bottom of the shoe to grip hard, dry ground and artificial turf fields.
** For lil’ soccer players younger than 7 or 8 it’s also okay to use indoor soccer shoes. The player is so light at that age that cleats don’t sink in to the surface of the field and don’t provide any benefit. An indoor shoe is a great solution because it can also be used for everyday wear.
Gym and carpet:
- Indoor Shoes – these a flat soled and perfect for hard, flat surfaces. And as an added bonus you can use these shoes at school, work or just for walking around.
The price of youth soccer shoes ranges from $20 to $120. With soccer shoes, like many things, you get what you pay for. They will improve in quality, comfort and durability as you spend more on them. That doesn’t mean you get a bad shoe for $20. Quite the contrary, you get a very good entry level shoe but the $35 and $50 shoe will be easier on your foot. The $120 shoe will provide the ultimate in soccer shoe experience.
Try to have a budget before shopping for soccer shoes. For every additional $10-$15 you spend you will see a difference in the quality of shoe.
This can be a quick way to pare down the list of options to purchase. Not every shoe is made in sizes less than youth size 1. By using SoccerPro.com “Just Show Me” filter you can select the shoe size you need and it will only return styles that are available.
If you don’t know what size to purchase try a ½ size larger than your tennis shoe size. That way it won’t be too small and you can wear a second pair of socks (little booty socks work well) to fill in the space until you grow into the shoe.
5). MATERIALS – IT’S MADE OF WHAT?
Soccer shoes are primarily made of two different types of material – synthetics or leather.
Most youth size shoes are synthetic until you get to $45 or $50. The synthetics have come a long way and are definitely more comfortable than the ‘plastic’ shoes of days gone by. Synthetic material doesn’t retain water and they will loosen up after playing in them for a couple practices.
So why is leather more expensive? Leather is a durable, natural material that actually conforms to your foot instead of just loosening up with a couple practices. That helps the player feel comfortable, slip less in the shoe and reduce the chance of blisters. Leather is also softer and will stretch to allow for more growth which helps them last longer.
6). COLOR AND BRAND
Now you have a great selection of shoes that will work for you. It’s time to think about your favorite color and whether it matters if the brand of shoe needs to match your uniform. Choosing the right color and brand can be fun. Your soccer shoe needs to match your personality and it almost never literally has to match your team jersey (check with your coach first).
If you don’t see the color or style that works you might consider revisiting some of your earlier decisions. Maybe you can adjust what you want to spend or go with leather instead of synthetic. The right shoe is definitely out there.
5 Simple Rules for Good Soccer Parenting
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been to a youth soccer game, either as a ref or coach, and had to deal with the blistering, withering criticism heaped by a parent on a player, usually under the age of 8. I’ve tried to intervene as a ref, even told parents to be silent, but honestly the retort “Don’t you tell me how to raise my kid” sort grinds on the nerves after a while. While I’ve never lost it completely, I put together these simple tips for parents to make the game more fun for everyone.
1.) Relentless Encouragement: Your child isn’t Pele, but Treat Them Like they are Anyway
The most important thing for a youth soccer player is encouragement. Whether it’s a kind word in the car on the way to or from the game, or simply cheering them on during the game, the encouragement helps the kids stick with the sport. Simple things like getting pizza after a game whether they have a good or bad game goes along way towards helping kids have the belief and commitment to improve their game. Soccer is a team effort, its rare that one person makes an error that ruins the whole result for everyone so go easy on your player.
2.) Your Child Isn’t Pele
Your child isn’t Pele, so if he misses a tackle, or bobbles apass, lets in a goal, whatever, don’t scream at them from the stand. It doesn’t help, it only embarrasses them and yourself. The man in front of you with the clipboard, the coach, is the one who is supposed to do that.
3.) Just because you bought your Child the Most Expensive Cleats Doesn’t Mean it will make them Successful
Yes, I know, they make youth Adizeros and Mercurial Vapors, that doesn’t mean your child needs the same soccer shoes as Messi. If your playing competitively in high school, college, or an adult league that’s one thing. But under the age of 14 there is no need tospend more than $100 on soccer cleats that will be too big or beat up to use again at the end of the season. If you want to, or can afford to, spend that kinda money on your kids soccer career, get them the best shin guards or goalie gloves with fingersaves. They’ll appreciate the fact they look cool, and you can be sure they are well protected. Then, use the money that’s left over to get some new practice gear for the team, or take them all out to eat. Remember, they have to feel part of the team to want to keep playing.
4.) Don’t Yell at the Ref
The ref in your child’s game is most likely an unpaid volunteer, so please don’t read them the riot act, or curse at them until you are blue in the face. The only person who looks stupid in these encounters is you. The ref will not change his or her mind no matter how loud you yell, and it will not affect the score at the end of the game. Also, don’t come up to the ref after the game in the parking lot and start demanding he or she explain a decision, most likely, they wont remember it, and if they do, it was pretty serious so you don’t want to anger them further. If your child is sent off and there by suspended from play, you can challenge it with the league, and should feel free to so in that forum; not the car park.
I know its fun to have a nice cold beer with your buddies on a nice day, but don’t do it at your kids soccer game. Drinking is the main reason youth ice hockey refs think the glass around the rink is more to protect them than the spectators. Alcohol and kids sports don’t mix, you wouldn’t go drink at a dance recital or school play, so don’t so it in the stands.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
What to do About the Danger of Concussions in Girls Youth Soccer
We all know something about concussions, many of us have had a minor one at one point in our life. For example I fell out of the top bunk when I was 8 and wanged my head off the floor. I felt sick for awhile, went to the doctor, and was fine after a week or so of rest. Unfortunately, too many concussions, even minor ones, can have a devastating effect on the development of children and young adults.
A recent article in the New York Times tells the story of Hannah Stohler, and how she has suffered through three concussions. In a nutshell, she had a pretty typical perspective on concussions, that “they were a football injury, a boy thing.” While it’s true that most reported concussions come from high school football, girls soccer is a very surprising, close second. Hannah suffered ten months of a depression, dizziness, headaches, and couldn’t even focus on the words she was reading after the injury.
According to a study in the Journal of Athletic Training, in high school soccer, girls sustained 68% more concussions than boys did. Girls also took longer to recover from symptoms and return to school and play. Hannah talked about her difficulties in the NYTimes article: “I was the freak at school who could only do half days and had to go home all the time,” said Stohler, whose reading comprehension and memory remain slightly impaired. “I didn’t feel like myself — ever. I was miserable. It takes the life out of you.”
Most of these injuries come from falling and hitting the head off the ground, or running into another player, not heading the ball or getting kicked. one of the complications of concussions is memory loss, which can be come permanent, or lead to Alzheimer’s later in life. In Hannah’s case, they tried to take her out of soccer over her objections, to protect her long term health, but once she got the OK from her neurologist she went back to playing.
So the question is, what can parents do to protect their soccer daughters? And what does this mean for the game?
Should we start requiring padded headbands for the players like the Full90 Premier Headguard worn by Petr Cech? Or only after a major head injury?
Should we do more to make sure the girls are treated properly?
Or do we need to increase awareness among parents and coaches?
What do you think?
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com