Making sure your child is equipped with the right shoes – shoes that have been specifically designed for optimal performance on the rubber-based pitch.
The soccer shoe industry has responded in full force to the new wave of artificial turf playing fields, which has made what used to be a rather simple choice a much more nuanced and complex decision. Per an in-depth analysis of the soccer shoe landscape by Soccer.com, there are four primary types of shoes –
- Firm Ground: the ‘traditional’ type of soccer shoe, these are what you likely grew up playing with. This design is meant for standard outdoor natural grass fields.
- FG / AG Hybrid: Compared to the artificial grass / hard ground shoes (see #3 below), the FG / AG hybrids skew more toward the traditional soccer cleat (see #1 above) and should feel more natural for your child if that’s the design he / she is more accustomed to playing in. To avoid spending hundreds of dollars on two pairs of shoes – one for artificial turf and one for natural grass – it may be wise into invest in the FG / AG hybrids, a cleat designed for playing on both natural grass and artificial turf.
- Artificial Grass / Hard Ground: the specialized artificial turf shoe, these are specifically meant for hard ground surfaces, such as artificial turf or dried up grass / dirt surfaces.
- Soft Ground & Pro Soft Ground: extended cleats on these shoes are suited for muddy and damp playing surfaces, most commonly used during or right after heavy rainfall on natural grass surfaces.