Football is the world’s most popular game for many reasons. Aside from the fun and competition it provides, football’s appeal also stems from the fact that only a single piece of equipment is needed in order to play, and that is the football ball. However, if you want to be serious about the game, and you want to maximise your potential as well as protect your ever-important feet, then it is imperative that you invest in a pair of quality football cleats that will suit your skills and abilities.
In fact, most youth football programs and organised leagues require that appropriate football cleats be purchased before you will be allowed to compete. In order to purchase the appropriate football cleats you must make an assessment of both your needs and means. There are really three variables in play when making a decision on football cleats: your skill level, the surface on which you will be playing, and the amount of money you are willing to spend. Those factors will help you narrow the field of choices, allowing you to make a purchase that will suit your needs.
There are four basic types of football cleats: molded cleats, detachable cleats, turf shoes, and indoor shoes. Molded cleats are the most basic and inexpensive kind of football shoe, so they are an ideal choice for beginning and intermediately skilled players. Molded cleats get their name from the fact that the cleats themselves are part of the sole of the shoe, i.e. they are molded as one piece. The actual cleat is built in a size and shape that will allow it to perform well on nearly any kind of outdoor playing surface. The cleats cannot be removed, and when they wear out the entire shoe must be replaced. However, the low initial cost of molded cleats makes them easy to replace, and also makes them the ideal entry level shoe for most players.
Detachable cleats are the preferred choice of advanced and highly skilled players. The cleats are studs on the bottom of the shoe and they can be unscrewed and removed quite easily. This allows the player to not only replace cleats that have become worn over time, but more importantly, the player can tailor their shoes to perform best on different kinds of playing surfaces and in different conditions. By changing the length and type of cleat they use, a player can use the same shoe to play on firm turf or soft grass, dry and fast or wet and soggy. It is this versatility that makes detachable football cleats a must-have shoe for the serious player.
Rounding out the types in football footwear are indoor shoes and turf shoes, however, neither of these shoes are truly cleats in the literal sense. Lacking the peg-like cleats of the molded and detachable models, these football shoes are more like sneakers in appearance and are designed for indoor surfaces, or outdoor Astroturf.
When you are ready to purchase your football cleats make sure to have your foot properly measured in order to give you the best possible fit. Remember that the materials used to construct the boot portion of the shoe are important and factors greatly into the price. Real leather is expensive and comfortable, but can be easily damaged and becomes heavy when playing in wet conditions. Synthetic leather is less expensive and less durable, but it is the preferred material if you are playing on wet fields. No matter what you choose the important thing is that you are arming yourself with footwear that will allow you to enjoy your time playing football to the fullest.