Soccer and football players must wear athletic shoes that contain spikes on the bottom. The spikes are crucial for traction and safety when running on the field—especially in harsh weather conditions. Here are a few tips regarding picking out soccer and football spikes (also called cleats) for yourself or your child athlete.
The purpose of a spike is to give a player an advantage on the field. Football and soccer players often to have to play in muddy or wet conditions, so if they were to wear standard sneakers they’d spend more time sliding and falling than passing the ball. A proper spike gives a soccer or football player the traction and support needed to be successful in the sport and protect the foot from injury.
Pick Spikes Specifically Designed for Your Sports
One mistake that some athletes make is assuming that every sports spike is created the same. There are different spike shoe designs for different sports—soccer, football and running track. Track shoe spikes are often pointier. Soccer spikes and football spikes are more similar to each other in looks. Also called “mud cleats,” football spikes are commonly designed with blunter metal, rubber or plastic studs and a more angled sole. They also have studs near the top to facilitate fast forward movement as well as thicker soles.
Soccer spikes are lighter and lowcut to aid with quick, agile movements. The “spikes” are usually made of replaceable aluminum cleats. They don’t normally have spikes or studs at the front as in the case of football shoes.
Get Sports Advice from a Podiatrist
If you’re still unsure about which spikes to buy for soccer or football (especially if you’ve had foot complications in the past), consult your podiatrist in advance for any sports advice this season. Maintain regular checkup appointments throughout the year as well and be sure to replace your cleat studs when they become worn down.