Get a grip on yourself – and your game
You shouldn't underestimate the importance of a good pair of football cleats. If you're playing on grass or some type of artificial turf, these things can be priceless as they come with small studs on the soles for traction. Not only will cleats help your performance, but they can also help to reduce injuries. There are different types of cleats available in three different heights. The type you choose may depend on your position or personal preference.
- High-top football cleats are often worn by linemen as they extend to the ankle to give you extra support for lateral movements.
- Mid-cut football cleats are designed for skilful players who need support, but don't want to sacrifice their maneuverability on the field. This style is usually worn by defensive backs, running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks.
- Low-cut football cleats offer you the most maneuverability for quick turns, but they don't give you the ankle support. This style is also the lightest.
Football cleats are also made out of different materials which are leather and synthetic fabrics. Leather cleats are usually worn by adults and teenagers as they breathe well and are flexible, durable and comfortable. Synthetic cleats cost less and are pretty good for kids who are still growing and need to buy new cleats when they've outgrown their old pair.
Make sure you take care of your cleats, especially leather ones. It's a good idea to treat them with something like mink oil to make the leather more supple and comfortable and it also helps protect the cleats from the rain, snow and sun.
Cleats come with different soles as you can get molded and detachable cleats. Molded cleats cost less because they come with the rubber studs permanently attached to the bottom of the shoes. These are usually worn on artificial turf and provide spring and traction on the harder surface.
Detachable cleats use studs that can be removed and replaced to suit the condition of the field. These are great for playing when the weather changes. If the grass is dry and hard in the first half you can use short studs, but if it becomes wet and slippery in the second stanza, you can change them to longer studs with a small wrench to suit the surface.
If you buy detachable cleats make sure you buy a variety of extra studs to suit all types of playing conditions. Replacement studs are made out of rubber, hard plastic or metal and usually come in 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and one-inch sizes. Before spending a ton of loot on your cleats, make sure you know which ones are allowed in your league, as metal studs could be banned.
As for sizing, you may want to just use your shoe size as a starting point when trying cleats on. However, only buy cleats that fit you properly and are comfortable no matter what size number is printed on them. If your studs are wearing down unevenly and become wobbly, make sure you replace the studs or buy a new pair of cleats if they're molded.
Learn more about Best Football Cleats.