Gridiron Guide: How to Buy the Right Football Cleats
Buying new football cleats means football season is right around the corner. Choose the best pair with these three important tips.
When it comes to your performance on the field, the cleats you choose can make a big difference. Football cleats should offer lockdown traction, support and comfort, all with a lightweight feel. Learn more about cleat styles, constructions and materials before suiting up for game day.
Football cleats come in mid-cut and low-cut designs. Always think about your desired level of ankle support when making your selection.
- Mid-cut cleats support the ankle without restricting the player’s movements. These cleats come in a variety of different heights, so consult production information for details.
- Low-cut cleats are lightweight and typically worn by skill position players. Without the extended top, these cleats allow for maximum maneuverability.
- Molded cleats are permanently attached to the shoe. Players usually wear molded cleats for the traction the cleats provide, and their versatility on different playing surfaces.
- Detachable cleats have studs that can be easily changed or replaced. The ability to change the studs is an advantage when playing in uncertain weather conditions. Shorter studs are best for playing on dry ground, while longer studs allow a player to dig into wet, uncertain surfaces.
Please note that cleats are available in a variety of sizes and can be made of plastic, rubber or metal. Always consult league requirements before purchasing football cleats.
The following materials are commonly found in football cleats:
- Pebax® is a thermoplastic elastomer that is resistant to impact, harsh weather conditions and flex fatigue. While this material is very light, it also offers great support and does not stiffen or weaken in cold weather.
- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a lightweight, water-resistant material that can withstand extreme temperatures. This durable elastomer stands up to high impact and is more dent resistant than metal.
- Polyurethane (PU) is a durable material that has the elasticity of rubber. This material withstands harsh weather conditions.
- Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a flexible yet durable material that withstands extreme cold and heat and will not crack from stress or age. EVA is also extremely water-resistant.
- PORON® Urethane is a breathable material that forms permeable layers to keep water and perspiration away from your feet. This material withstands and absorbs high impact and will not shrink or weaken with age.
Size is critical for youth football cleats. Never buy a football cleat that’s too large for your child to grow into. Cleats that are too big can pose an injury risk to the player.
- It is a good idea to buy extra shoe laces, in case one breaks in the middle of a game or practice. Having a broken lace could pose tripping hazards.
- If you have detachable football cleats, replacement studs are good to have. Make sure you buy the correct stud size so that the new stud does not change the balance or feel of the cleat.
- Shoe protection, including oils and conditioners, help protect your footwear from harsh weather conditions. Using shoe oils may help make your cleats more durable.