Soccer cleats are essential gears for soccer players, from outfield players down to the goalkeeper. Since the feet are arguably the most important body part in soccer, they need adequate protection. A standard cleat design provides support, comfort, and traction while on the pitch, but can it improve performance?
Soccer cleats are designed to improve player performance. They can enhance sprinting, kick velocity, balance, and, more importantly, traction. However, soccer cleats don’t improve performance on their own. Players that don’t train enough will not perform better regardless of the cleat type.
This article explains what soccer cleats are and how they help improve player performance. Let’s get started.
What Is a Soccer Cleat?
A soccer cleat is a special kind of athletic shoe built to be sturdy and serve as a cushion to the feet while a player is in action. The design features spikes protruding from the outsoles. These spikes help the soccer player maintain balance and traction on the grass or turf.
There are many brands of soccer cleats. Thus, they come in different shapes, sizes, and textures. The manufacturers make them using various raw and synthetic materials.
Do Soccer Cleats Affect Performance?
Soccer cleats affect performance. Manufacturers design them to aid performance and also provide comfort and protection during games. Due to their importance, soccer cleats are considered mandatory accessories for a professional game of soccer.
These cleats can improve or simplify stability, mobility, traction, twists, turns, acceleration, deceleration, ball kicks, passes, and trappings on the pitch. A high-quality soccer cleat must be:
- Lightweight. For hitch-free mobility.
- Sturdy. To withstand all the rigors of the pitch and last long.
- Comfortable. With interior pads and insoles to provide a cushioning effect to the player’s feet.
- Rubberized in front. For improved contact between the feet and the ball.
- Studded in the soles. For excellent traction, stability, speed, and agility. This feature also helps players avoid slippage when the grass or turf is wet on rainy days.
With these features on soccer cleats, it’s evident that they positively affect players’ performance on the field.
However, you will need time to adapt to soccer cleats if you start using a new one. Cleats come from different brands and materials, so they will feel different when you pick a new product.
Do Soccer Cleats Make You Run Faster?
These athletic shoes with spikes in their soles help players maintain traction on the pitch and avoid slipping while sprinting.
Soccer cleats make you run faster by creating traction between the ground and the sole of your footwear. With the studs or spikes in the soles, each foot on the ground is firm and stable. The lightweight property of cleats also ensures there’s little weight added to the feet, which allows players to sprint and halt effectively.
The studs provide a bit of elevation above the ground, serving as a lever to push the player forward while sprinting.
Furthermore, comfort is also paramount while running. If there’s any discomfort on your feet, it’ll impede the sprinting process. Soccer cleats provide all the comfort needed for running with cushioned insoles, midsoles, and soft ankle pads.
Some of the factors that influence running speed include:
- Body weight
Therefore, if you aren’t fit for soccer or any sprinting activity, even the best soccer cleat won’t help you run faster. The sporting gear only gives you traction, balance, and agility, while the rest of the skill and training is up to you.
Do Soccer Cleats Make You Better?
You can’t be world-class in any sport without the right gear. Professionals know this firsthand, and that’s why they gear up adequately whenever they are on the field of play.
Soccer cleats make you better by providing the support you need in your feet to thrive on the pitch during matches and off the pitch when training. Whether you’re an aspiring soccer star or a top-flight player, a soccer cleat is an indispensable gear that you’ll need throughout your sporting career.
Regardless, you must focus on your training which is the critical factor that makes you better. Soccer footwear won’t improve your abilities if you lack the necessary training and skills or are unmotivated to train. The gear’s role is to support and improve your overall performance during games.
Choosing the Right Soccer Cleats for Performance
When choosing soccer cleats for performance, there are three main types to consider. These are:
Firm Ground Cleats
Firm ground cleats, as the name suggests, are meant for use on firm grounds. These cleats are best for players who play on natural grass and other outdoor pitches. They are built with permanent studs to provide traction and stability and are more durable.
Soft Ground Cleats
These are cleats for soft or wet grounds. They have longer spikes to bore into the ground firmly and maintain balance.
This feature is practical on soft or muddy grounds to avoid slippages when the player is in motion. It provides enhanced traction on weak soils, and the studs are removable, making them very versatile.
Artificial Turf Cleats
These are soccer cleats for artificial turfs with rubber soles for more flexibility. They are gentle on the synthetic grass, and the spikes on the soles are rubber.
Most professional players have different soccer shoes for different pitches, but that can be expensive if you’re starting. However, hybrid options are available and can be used in most fields.
A soccer cleat is necessary for a player looking to do well on the field. It provides excellent support, maximum traction, and better kick velocity. Its lightweight quality and rubber studs enhance mobility and make running easier.
Choose cleats that match your playing surface, body weight, and playing style for the best results. You should also seek guidance from coaches and other experts in the game if unsure.
However, training is more important than support. It makes you better while the cleats provide support on the pitch. The best soccer players are those that combine skill and the right type of gear.