When it comes to performance on the football field, the cleats you choose can make a big difference. Having the right equipment during football season is crucial and it starts from the ground up.  Ideally, a football cleat will offer traction, support, and comfort with a lightweight feel. When choosing football cleats, you should start by considering the amount of ankle support needed.

Uppers of football cleats:

  • Low cut cleats: The lightest weight of football cleats are worn primarily by skill position players such as wide receivers and cornerbacks.  The lower top allows the ankle to move freely for quicker acceleration and multi-directional movements.
  • Mid cut cleats: More supportive of the ankle than low cut cleats but allow for slightly less maneuverability. They are still considered light weight and are often worn by other skill position players such as tight ends, running backs, linebackers, and quarterbacks.
  • High top cleats: Typically, the best cleats for lineman because they provide the most ankle support. High top cleats are heavier, but linemen need the extra stability and protection they offer.

The next thing to consider when buying football cleats is cleat type. You can buy either molded cleats or detachable cleats.

  • Molded cleats:  The cleats are permanently attached to the shoe which provide traction and more versatility on different football field surfaces.
  • Detachable cleats: These have studs that can be changed or replaced. This gives you the option of changing the studs for different weather conditions. Shorter studs are best for playing on dry ground. Longer studs are used on wet ground where they can dig into the ground and give the athlete better traction.

Determining the proper football cleat size is essential to performance and lowering the risk of foot and ankle injuries. A poorly fitting cleat will lead to developing sores and possibly to lingering injuries.  Make sure that your child is properly sized and fitted by a sales associate at the shoe store before you buy the cleat. It is also important to never assume that your child’s cleat size is the same as in their other shoes. Shoes will often fit differently by style and brand. Here are a few tips when being fit for football cleats.  

  • Always try your cleats on later in the day and bring your football socks. Since your feet swell throughout the day, it’s best to avoid trying on football cleats first thing in the morning.
  • When you are wearing the cleat, feel towards the front toe of the shoe to make sure your longest toe is about half an inch from the end. You will want the forefoot and the heel to fit comfortably snug. 
  • Take a good amount of time walking around to make sure the football cleats are both comfortable and flexible. If you notice any pressure or discomfort, try on a different pair of football cleats.

Now that you know what to look for in football cleats your child will be able to maximize their on-field performance while minimizing the risk of injury and unnecessary discomfort. 

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