Youth Football Cleats Purchase Tips
The one thing all athletes, young and old, big and small, pads or no pads have in common is that they normally end up purchasing footwear. Many a parent has found themselves shopping for youth football cleats the weekend before the first practice.
You have to be very careful if you are a parent of a young and new youth football player. This means you too, flag football moms and dads. There are a lot of options out there and this can often be the first time you have bought football cleats for your youngster.
It is an important piece of equipment though. The old adage goes that what you have on your feet ranks only second to what you have in your belly. There are many military generals who will explain that the stomach and feet are at the top of the list for keeping the troops ready. It makes sense right? If a young athlete is hungry or can’t move around comfortably, the rest is probably in vain.
This is why we want to take today to talk about a few things to look for as you are buying youth football cleats. Like we always do here at FirstDown PlayBook we will be straightforward. We do not sell youth football cleats but we have been around football for a long time.
What should a parent look for when buying cleats? Think about these things.
1. Your Child Will Grow (Probably a 1 Year Purchase)
We do not know how many years your son or daughter will play football, but we do know that they will grow. So will their feet. You are probably making a 3-4 month purchase. You should be looking for the most comfortable football cleat you can put on your athlete’s feet. Odds are that next year you will be doing it again.
2. A Molded Rubber Bottom Cleat Is Likely Your Choice
Here is where you have to be your own guide. These days most youth football players have rubber bottom cleats on their feet. This will suit your young athlete regardless of if they play on grass or turf. There are still screw in cleats to be purchased but they are often uncomfortable for a young athlete and quite frankly overkill for a player that age. As your athlete grows older (13-14 years old) you may eventually evolve to screw in cleats. Once again, that is a personal choice.
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Can your young athlete totally avoid the football cleat and wear a flat bottom shoe or tennis shoes? Likely not, but it depends on their age and the speed that they are playing. If your child is going to be playing exclusively on turf then you have to just see how their footing holds up. Slipping and sliding around is not going to permit a good experience for your young athlete. At the same time if we are talking about a 6 year old flag football player, our guess is the good ole tennis shoe is going to work out just fine.
3. Should I Purchase High Top Or Low Top Youth Football Cleats?
When considering this you are factoring in mobility vs stability. While high top youth football cleats will provide more ankle stability, there will be a degree of mobility lost. Just as low cut youth football cleats will not provide quite as much stability.
Most youth football players can wear low top cleats and be perfectly fine. If your youngster is larger and is playing offensive or defensive line, then this could be an instance where high top cleats make sense. These positions are played in a more confined area and the mobility loss will not hurt them as much. This is why you see offensive linemen wearing knee braces as a protective measure as they mature.
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As we were doing some research on this we came across some useful advice that we want to pass along. It’s important to understand that youth football cleats will fit a little differently from say, a tennis shoe. They will often be more snug and less flexible initially. AKA uncomfortable at first. They may take a practice or two to actually stretch out and to get broken in.
When you go to purchase youth football cleats, don’t go alone! Be sure to take your young footballer with you. Also remember to take the actual practice or game socks they will be wearing. Have your youngster put these socks on as they are trying on the cleats.
Always have an extra pair of shoe laces if your son or daughter have a pair of cleats that use laces. Trying to play a game with a half tied up cleat. Not to mention that laces are pretty universal and rarely don’t get used for one thing or another.
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To end up where we started with this article, youth football cleats are an important purchase. I can’t tell you the number of times our players came to the sideline in our NFL game and changed out cleats due to how the field conditions were. Your youth football player or flag player probably won’t depend on their youth football cleats that much but they will enjoy the game a lot more with the right cleats on their feet.