Soccer boots, only correctly called cleats when they have the ground gripping teeth on the bottom of the shoe, have always been fodder for debate, among those who believe the screw in stud to be better than the molded teeth for traction or reliability. Many of the modern changes to soccer boots has come more from concerned parents, demanding the safest footwear for their young players, than it has from professional players, as might be believed.
There are basically three different types of soccer boots available, those being molded cleats, screw in studs, and these called ‘astros’ which are designed especially for use on astro turf. A good molded cleat is probably the best beginner boot, if play is to be on grass. They are easy to care for, and hitting them against each other or a wall will knock off most muddy, grassy build-up. Other than that, a rinse with warm water, and allowing them to thoroughly dry before wearing again will provide for about all the care these durable cleats will need.
If finances allow, it is wise to have two pairs of these soccer cleats for your young player, to insure one is thoroughly dry before re-wearing it. In the case of tournaments, where 3 or more games are played in a singe weekend, it is a great relief for those hard working feet to have fresh boots to put on. It is wise to note here that soccer slides, or sandals, are a very important item in the soccer bag. If the cleats are worn on hard surfaces for any length, the cleats will wear or break off much quicker than normal field use would cause.
When your player is ready to try screw in studs make certain they are fully prepared for the additional maintaince these boots will typically require. The simple cleaning of them is much the same as other molded boots, however, the screw in studs, or cleats, is where the care of these soccer boots makes a real difference in the performance they will afford the player.
The studs are available in plastic or metal, and it may be wise to determine which is allowed on your field, particularly if it is for youth play, prior to making your choice. It is possible that the sanctioning body at your playing fields may not allow screw in studs at all.
After you have made the decision to purchase soccer cleats with screw in studs, and have determined that the playing fields in your area do allow them, go to a sporting goods store that knows soccer, and has sales associates who will take the time to ensure your player gets a good, snug fit. This would be true even in the molded cleats, of course. Make certain the studs are screwed in tightly, and always carry extra studs in the soccer bag.
Inspecting the studs as the cleats are cleaned and put away after a match will prove wise, and help prevent a lost stud during a game. Never continue to play with a missing stud, it is harmful to the overall stability of the player, and can easily distort the hole so a new stud may not fit properly when replacing it is finally attempted. At first break in the game, replace the missing stud.
Astros are easy to care for, and can be used on grassy or hard surfaces. Basic cleaning is similar to the molded cleats.