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There comes a time when one pair of soccer shoes just won’t do anymore. Deciding when that time is can be an important decision. For most youth players, one pair of firm ground cleats will be all they need during their developmental careers. With young feet constantly growing and the amount of strain put on a shoe not yet at its peak, one set of cleats will do. But when a players ambitions turn serious and their level of play, and frequency of play, picks up it will be time to consider expanding one’s shoe collection. While this is a decision one needs to make on one’s own, my recommendation would be to start thinking about this in junior high or at the beginning of high school. At this time players are almost playing year round (for high school and club teams) and are playing in a multitude of conditions and on a variety of surfaces.

The first place to expand the shoe collection should be with soft ground cleats. These are cleats designed for unstable and usually slippery pitches. They are longer cleats that must be screwed in. They have fewer cleats than a firm ground shoe, but dig into the ground to make sure players don’t end up on the ground. Soft ground cleats are similar in price to firm ground cleats, but be careful to tighten the cleats before each use, because cleats do fall out and replacing them is a pain. And because they are only used in special situations, these cleats should last you longer than your everyday shoe.

The next place to look at expanding is turf or hard ground shoes. With more and more synthetic fields popping up, these are great for that surface. Also, they can be used on extremely dry fields. The strain on one’s foot and body is considerably less when wearing these on a dried out field. While firm ground cleats are fine for FieldTurf type fields, there are now specific shoes made just for a synthetic playing surface.

If you want to knock the whole process out in one fell swoop, look into Adidas TUNIT premium shoe sets. Here you get three upper soles, interchangeable chassis and all three sets of cleats for all playing surfaces and conditions.

With a collection of firm, soft and turf shoes you should be ready to attack any surface you come in contact with and feel completely comfortable in your ability to perform on it. If you get into futsal or indoor training on a hard surface don’t forget to think about specific indoor soccer shoes. But remember all of these shoe decisions should be made when you’re ready to make the commitment to the game.


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  1. Your feet take a beating during a soccer game. The average player runs 7 miles per game. I can express how important quality soccer shoes are. Great Post!!