Choosing the best shoes for your young athlete is one of the most important decisions you will make when prepping for sports season – and in today’s case, soccer season. From the shin guards to the training sneakers to cleats, there are some necessities and details to take notice of when deciding on the best piece of equipment for your player.
Before you start the search, take a stroll through our list of tips for shopping. Here’s what every soccer parent needs to know about running shoes:
Durability is Key
Did you know that soccer players run an average of 8 miles per game? Knowing that, you must realize immediately the importance of having a running shoe that can outlast the many steps it takes to play.
And it’s okay to invest in a high-quality shoe, if not absolutely necessary because the right sneaker will outlast several cheaper designs. These investments should protect and support your athlete’s feet while taking as many miles as they need to get the job – or training – done. Check out these Adidas Performance Hyperfast Running Shoes for a durable choice.
*Take note that when the shoe’s midsole is made of polyurethane, you’re getting one of the more durable materials that these types of sneakers can be made from.
Double Check For Toe Length (it’s a necessity)
Don’t allow your toes to slam into the front of your shoe during every run. During fitting, it’s imperative that you check for toe length and that there’s enough room for your toes to move.
When you try the prospective running shoe on, stand up to check the toe length. You’ll want to ensure that you have a thumbnail’s width of space between the top of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. You also want to maintain no pressure being felt on your pinky toe. No one wants sore toes after a long training session!
Width is Essential (but so is volume)
Learn what the difference between width and volume is – both are essential. According to Runner’s World, volume is the measurement of the space inside your shoe – and most people tend to ask for a wider shoe when they actually just need more volume.
Once you have tied up your sneakers, you should feel a snugness that creates a secure gait. If you can fit two fingers between the eyelets of your shoe, then you’ve got the “just right” fit.
Look For No Seams
Go with a seamless design. Those seams in the sneakers we see on the shelves at our favorite shopping spots, those are what end up causing blisters or red spots on our feet. So, instead of dealing with all that – find a show that nixes the seams all together.
Be on the lookout for a seamless upper half that won’t hurt, but instead comfortably support your feet.
No Size Assumptions, Please
Every brand is different. And every foot is different. It’s essential that you never assume your size. Never blindly buy. Instead, have your foot measured at every store to ensure you are buying the correct size that works for the needs of the runner who will be wearing them.
Just because you have been wearing a size 9 in Underarmour doesn’t mean that you will take that same size in Adidas or in Nike. Each design holds a different shape, arch, and different support. Test at the aisle. This is especially important in growing athletes whose size will frequently change as their feet continue to take new shape and develop.
Prep The Flex
When you are getting your feet sized and you begin trying on different prospects, make sure you prep the flex. This means that you sample the shoe’s flex point (its crease). The general rule of thumb is that the crease should be at the same spot that your foot naturally bends when you walk/run/jog.
Replace Every 500 Miles
Yes, your shoes have an odometer and you should keep check on it. On average, your sneakers should be replaced around every 500 miles walked or ran. This will keep your support, well….supportive and the traction where you need it to be for safety reasons.
Specialty Shops Are Great (we promise)
We promise not all specialty shops are filled with overpriced pieces that you could get for a better price at a big-box store. Instead, they’re usually really knowledgeable and can direct you to the shoe that fits your specific needs and wants.
Some specialty shops have software that will scan your feet to give you a 3D picture. This image then leads you to a shoe that fits your unique shape in the best ways; giving you the best support for your activity.
Ensure A Supportive Arch
This is something that should happen when you have your foot sized, especially if you are lucky enough to go to a specialty shop that has the availability of 3D imagery. Your arch should be supportive in all the right ways for a successful running shoe purchase.
You cannot continue to run up to 500 miles with a design that does not fit your particular shape in the best ways. It’s necessary for the arch of the sneaker to mold to that space perfectly – even if an insert is necessary to make it happen.
Firmness Makes A Difference
A gut instinct may be to go with the softest of feelings, but it won’t actually work out for you in the long run. Instead, firmness will make one of the biggest differences in buying a successful running shoe.
This is important if you want to ensure durability in the design you’ve chosen and to support weaker joints or a recovering injury.