While soccer, or football as it is known around the world, is the most popular sport on the planet, it is only within the last few decades that women have been able to compete on a professional and semi-professional level.
In the United States, Title IX legislation that was passed in 1972 decreed that all federally-funded institutions of education can no longer discriminate against men and women. While Title IX refers to every aspect of education, one of the most important gains that resulted from this landmark legislation was the opening up of sports programs to girls and women, including soccer.
Today, universities across the United States and the world now have women competing on a professional or semi-professional basis in the game of soccer. FIFA, the governing body of worldwide soccer, has a separate division for women, and the World Cup also features a female-only championship.
For today’s up and coming soccer players, it is essential to have the right kind of equipment. Soccer is one of humanity’s most enduring sports precisely because not much equipment is needed, but to gain the most competitive edge, important pieces of gear such as cleats add a distinct tactical advantage.
Cleats, or customized shoes made with a series of spikes on the sole, allow players to gain better traction on slippery and sometimes muddy fields. Available in all sizes, female players perform better when they’re wearing the best soccer cleats for women.
A good pair of cleats should feel comfortable just like an ordinary pair of shoes. They must lace up securely, provide the right amount of space for the toes to expand and grip the surface of the field, and be durable enough to handle all of the quick movements that come when playing such a highly athletic sport as soccer.
Even more importantly, a good pair of cleats should provide an improved grip on the field’s surface without sinking too far into the ground and thus becoming stuck. Many soccer leagues have strict rules on the length, diameter, and style of cleats that are acceptable, so be sure to choose a pair of cleats that won’t violate any guidelines or rules.
For playing soccer on natural grass surfaces that are not too muddy or soft, the style of cleats that you want to look for are called “firm ground” cleats. These include longer cleats that grip the field’s surface very firmly. “Soft ground” cleats are better suited to natural ground surfaces that are either slick, muddy, or soft from frequent rain. These kinds of cleats only barely penetrate the field’s surface.
Soccer is also, increasingly, being played indoors, and cleats manufacturers have responded with customized shoes perfect for these unique playing surfaces. For instance, soccer cleat manufacturers have special cleats that are designed to grip and pivot on artificial grass, sometimes known as AstroTurf. There are also cleats known as “turf shoes” that use small rubber cones on the bottom instead of the more piercing style of cleats.
There are even cleats ideal for hard ground surfaces such as clay, concrete, or packed dirt. These use precisely balanced cones on the bottom to allow you to pivot, stop, and sprint from a stopped position with ease. Lastly, there are even specially made indoor style soccer cleats that are designed to add extra traction and grip on hard, unyielding yet occasionally slick indoor surfaces like those found in a gym.
Last, but definitely not least, a good pair of cleats should be made from good materials. The non-cleat portion of the shoe is called the “upper” and should be both strong and yet allow the foot to “breathe” even during active gameplay.