Apart from the ball, there is no doubt that the most important equipment that any soccer player uses is the soccer cleats they wear on their feet. Unless you play barefoot, it is your soccer cleats that connect with the ball 90% of the time, with your thigh, chest and head accounting for the other 10%.
So, if your soccer cleats make the most contact with the ball, it makes sense to ensure that when you are wearing them, you always feel comfortable. This enables you to focus on controlling the ball, passing it accurately and when you feel like it, shooting past the goalkeeper to score an occasional goal to keep you in the good books of your soccer coach.If your soccer shoes are not comfortable then your enjoyment of the game will be very much diminished, and more importantly, all those skills which you love to display on the soccer field will be more difficult to produce. Imagine trying to control a long pass from your teammate when at the same time your mind is focusing on the crushing feeling in your toes or the rubbing at the back of your heel.
While discomfort can occur for several reasons, the most common cause is poorly fitting soccer shoes. If the soccer shoes you are wearing are either too big or too small for your feet, several issues are going to arise.
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How Should Soccer Cleats Fit
If the size you are wearing is too big, then this could mean your foot moves around inside the shoe excessively. Your foot sliding and rubbing causes friction at certain pressure points. Friction is the primary cause of blisters and we all know how painful they can be. But it is not just blisters that can arise from friction. Callouses and corns can also form, especially in the more tender areas of the skin around your foot.Wearing soccer shoes that are too large can also be a safety issue. Even though your soccer shoes have studs, your feet will find it more difficult to gain grip and traction underfoot. Without proper grip, you are more prone to slipping and if you slip in an awkward position or angle, you might injure muscles or ligaments.Wearing soccer shoes that are too small for you brings its own set of problems, although some are the same as with shoes that are too big. Tight fitting shoes also generate friction so blister, corn and callous issues arise once more.Long-term wearing of tight fitting shoes of any description can bring on ailments such as hammertoes, crossover toes and bunions. In the very worst-case scenarios, these can become so painful that you may give up playing soccer and could even require surgery to correct them.
There is also evidence to suggest that tight-fitting footwear can damage nerve endings in the feet and toes, and generate a related condition called neuroma. This can cause all sorts of symptoms such as numbness in your feet, burning sensations, and as always with these conditions, a great deal of pain. Once more, surgery might be necessary to correct these issues, and to think, they could all be prevented if the correct size of footwear had been worn.
Now that you know all the reasons why wearing the correct size of soccer cleat is important, let’s examine how you make sure the pair you are buying is going to fit.Obviously, you will know your normal shoe size, but it does no harm to pop into a shoe store and ask the assistant to double check for you. Now that you have confirmed your shoe size, you can start your search for the soccer cleats that you want. Choose the style, the brand and the type that you want, as it is almost certain your size will be produced in that range.Once you have chosen your soccer cleats and confirmed they’re available in your size, check to see if the manufacturer classes the shoe as a wide a or narrow fit. Not every brand does this, and not every soccer shoe has wide or narrow options, but it is useful if they do. This way if you have wide or narrow feet you can purchase a pair of soccer shoes that match both the size and the width of your feet.It is also very helpful if you read through the reviews of the soccer cleats you are about to buy. Previous buyers often remark on how well their soccer shoes fit and will highlight whether the shoe was bigger or smaller than the stated size. Always check the return policy just in case that when they do arrive the size isn’t 100% right for you.
Now that you have your new soccer cleats, try them on, tie up the laces, and get a sense of how they feel. Bear in mind, as they are new, they may feel a bit tight until the material has broken in. They should fit snuggly, but not feel too tight, and there should be enough room to wiggle your toes.If all feels good, then you should be able to look forward to playing your next soccer match, and the many matches to follow, in comfort.