A child playing soccer in Adidas cleats

A child playing soccer in Adidas cleats (Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash)

Soccer has been exploding in popularity across the United States, with young girls and boys taking the pitch. Popularity of the sport has boomed with the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team and Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players of all time, coming stateside to play for Inter Miami in MLS. Since more kids are wanting to play, that means parents are searching for the best soccer cleats for kids to wear this season. To help families out, StudyFinds put together a list of the top brands.

Keeping kids safe while they’re playing soccer is key for parents and coaches. To help reduce soccer-related injuries, a study reveals that a specialized warm-up routine cuts injuries by half. An international team of experts created the 20-minute regimen, called “11+ Kids.” The program is made up of seven warm-up exercises for young players to perform before taking the field. Three exercises focus on stability of the legs and feet, three exercises focus on the entire body and trunk stability, and one exercise revolves around falling technique. When players performed the warm-up routine before their regular soccer training sessions, the researchers found the instances of injury overall fell by 48%, with reports of serious injury falling by as much as 74 percent, in comparison to a control group that did not perform the warmups.

The biggest risk for children playing soccer is suffering a concussion while “heading” the ball. A study focusing on soccer concussions found that players who head 125 or more balls over the course of two weeks — about nine a day — were three times as likely to have a concussion than those who did less than four headers over that period. Despite convincing evidence that headers may be playing a significant role in player concussions, some have argued that player-to-player contact and collisions play a much bigger factor. For example, a previous study found that nearly 70 percent of concussions suffered by male high school soccer players came from such contact.

With safety in mind, StudyFinds has found that top five best soccer cleats for kids to wear this year on the field. Do you have a favorite one that didn’t make the list? Share it in the comments below!

Soccer ball on the grass
Soccer ball (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images)

The List: Best Soccer Cleats for Kids, According to Experts

1. Dream Pairs Soccer Football Cleats

They might not be as well known as Adidas and Nike, but Dream Pairs soccer cleats top the list. “This is a lesser-known brand but the soccer cleat is quality,” writes SoccerNovo. “Comes in many color schemes and is very comfortable with an added layer of ankle support.”

Dream Pairs Soccer Football Cleats
Dream Pairs Soccer Football Cleats

“The padded upper is ideal for young players who need to build up their confidence when making plays,” notes Child Fun. “The cleats have a comfortable feel to them thanks to the additional padding. The wide design is ideal for rapid movements or for a child who has a wide toe box. It also improves the size of the striking surface.”

Best Reviews called Dream Pairs the “best bang for the buck.” “An affordable model that boasts a unique design and an eccentric color cleat.”

2. Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9

The Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 has a fly-knit collar that wraps the child’s ankle for a secure fit. “These Zoom Mercurials are from Nike’s latest soccer cleats pack, the Blast pack. The cleats feature a brand new Zoom Air unit with a spring underfoot to help you move faster on the pitch,” writes Goal. “So, whether it’s making a pacy run past the last defender or scoring screams from the halfway line, you’ll be able to do it all with these cleats.”

Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9
Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9

“Designed for outdoor soccer, the Nike Junior Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Academy FG/MG Soccer Cleats are made from thin but strong materials, enabling players to respond quickly and move swiftly across the field,” notes Soccer.com. “Nike Junior Mercurial Superfly 9 cleats also feature wide studs at the bottom of the sole that provide more traction on natural and artificial grounds.”

Soccer Wire states that the Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 gives children another “level of spring.” “The Nike Zoom Mercurial Superfly 9 Elite FGs boast an upper made with Vaporposite+ and a speed cage structure for optimal ball control, secure foot support, and explosive acceleration. The soccer-specific Zoom Air unit in the foot plate provides an additional level of spring.”

3. Adidas Goletto VI

Adidas is most-famous for its soccer shoes and one of the more popular ones is Goletto VI. “The Goletto VI are firm ground soccer shoes and have a removable die-cut EVA foam insole that is both comfortable and supportive. The upper is lightweight but durable synthetic leather,” writes Mom Dot. “These particular Adidas shoes aren’t available in a ton of colors to choose from (only black and white with pink or green), but they are still a classic and stylish design you would expect from Adidas.”

Adidas Goletto VI
Adidas Goletto VI

“These cleats deliver an excellent mix of speed and stability with their synthetic leather upper. The lace closure maintains your child’s foot in place, and the flexible sole is ideal for playing on firm ground,” says Child Fun. “The deep studs improve traction and help your child run faster, and the textured leather upper is ideal for ball control.”

Soccer Prime called the Adidas Goletto VI cleats best for parents who want to stay on a budget. “There is nothing too crazy about the shoe in general, but they do hold up long enough for at least one season. Sizing can be a little troublesome when shopping online, but the shoe does a decent job molding to a player’s foot as well. It is one of the few cleats out there that are very accommodating for wider feet as well. This offers a more sturdy and wide fit that can make players more confident, and parents feel safer.”

4. Adidas Predator

Another favorite Adidas model is the Predator. Goal called it the best overall cleat for children. “The Predator range is one of the most reliable from adidas. They’re laceless, so there’s no messing around with laces, perfect for young kids. The PRIMEKNIT collar is breathable for superior comfort and makes slipping the cleats on and off a breeze. Finally, the control zones on the upper give you great control of the ball to wrap up a pair of cleats which are the ultimate package.”

Adidas Predator
Adidas Predator

“The adidas Predator Edge + FG Junior Firm Ground Soccer Cleat combines style and comfort. It blends various colors into an eye-pleasing product, allowing players to stand out on the playing field,” writes Soccer.com. “This soccer cleat also features a new soleplate that distributes more weight toward the front of the boot, enabling players to have good control of the ball and react faster.”

To make it easier on parents and kids, Adidas created Unisex-Child Edge.3 Predator Soccer Cleats which don’t have laces. “Tired of tying your child’s soccer cleats?” notes SoccerNovo. “These laceless versions of the Adidas Predator might be your answer!”

5. Nike Phantom

The Nike Phantom gives kids a cushioned insole which gives them superior comfort while they’re running around on the pitch. “If you’re looking for accuracy on the ball, you’re in luck with the Phantom GT2 Academy soccer cleats,” writes Goal. “An updated patterning and design on the upper are engineered to help you place your shots with perfect accuracy. Plus, an off-centre lacing system gives you a clean strike zone so you can dribble, pass and score with pinpoint precision.”

Nike Phantom Kids' Cleats
Nike Phantom Kids’ Cleats

“The Nike Junior Phantom GX Academy DF FG/MG Soccer Cleats feature a dynamic and secure fit collar, NikeSkin, and a mesh touch zone that enhance players’ movement and agility on the field,” notes Soccer.com. “The dynamic fit collar means the shoes won’t come off in training or actual games, enabling kids to focus more on playing.”

Mom Junction calls the Nike Phantom the top precision striking cleat for kids. “Nike Youth Phantom Venom Academy Soccer Cleats give young players superior control and a high level of precision to achieve powerful strikes. These synthetic soccer cleats feature mesh upper with an overlay of NIKESKIN that conforms to the natural curve of your kid’s feet and lends a comfortable fit. They have a micro-textured surface that enables advanced ball control. In addition to that, the asymmetrical lacing system and the stretchy mesh covering the lower half of the laces expands the striking area.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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