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Soccer Equipment Guide

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SOCCER EQUIPMENT GUIDE and Required Equipment List for the Serious Athlete

PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!

Please find information below regarding required and recommended equipment for the serious soccer athlete. To some, equipment in soccer is an afterthought, something you buy on the way to practice with as little thought as a grocery purchase. But, for the serious athlete who understands that gear is where the rubber meets the road, the proper equipment allows the athlete to focus on the game, and not on the elements, or the discomfort of the gear. So, here’s the list, please be sure to read the buying advice for each item at the bottom of the page. Thank you!!

At a minimum, to participate year round, one must have; at least, the Required Equipment purchased AND BROKEN IN prior to the start of training.

*** Required Equipment***
1) Firm/Hard Ground Soccer Shoes
2) Indoor Soccer Shoes
3) Shinguards

** Very Strongly Recommended Equipment **
1) Superfeet Premium Insoles
2) Slide Sandals
3) Compression Shorts
4) 2 Liter Water Jug, labeled with player name
5) Running Shoes

* Recommended Equipment to participate year-round *

  • Athletic Bag, dedicated to holding soccer equipment
  • Deep Woods Bug Repellent
  • 30+ spf, sweatproof, Sunscreen
  • Size 5 Soccer Ball, properly inflated
  • Long-sleeve moisture-wicking shirt (Ideally, to match short-sleeve training jersey)
  • Windbreaker
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • Heavy Sweatshirt or Moisture-Wicking Fleece
  • Soccer Pants (Tight to the calf, sized to fall at the ankle)
  • Training Suit (Warm Ups)

PLEASE NOTE THAT CLOTHING MAY BE PURCHASED FROM OUR TEAM STORE! (Look for the link in the tabs above)

*** Required Equipment ***

1) FIRM/HARD GROUND SOCCER SHOES
A) Soccer Shoes (often called boots) should be snug without pinching the toes (ie soccer shoes should NOT be as ‘roomy’ as school shoes). Please be sure to try any potential new boots on with both very-thin, no-show, ankle socks as well as with ‘normal’ soccer~game socks, over the ankle socks . Please have the player run around and cut on some carpet to check that the toes do not jam the ends of the shoes. How a soccer player feels in a pair of boots directly reflects how he performs on the field!

B) Please do not wait to purchase shoes! Inventories are always depleted immediately prior to the season of use (ie indoors are low in November, outdoors are low in late winter/summer), whether you’re shopping locally (eg: Dick’s) or online (eg: Soccer.com). If you shop online, please be sure to order (3) sizes of the SAME shoe (that’s the size you think you will need as well as ½ size up and down) and then just return the ones you don’t want – – – If you use Soccer.com, they usually send a return shipping label, which if used, will only cost approximately $6, which may well be worth the trade off for inventory availability.

For shoe sizing chart (courtesy of PaylessShoes – please be sure your printer does not “scale down” the printouts, ie it should fit over 2 pages, look for the website link below this one). Please carefully print them out and tape them together per the instructions.  Put on both pairs of socks and measure carefully both feet before determining the most likely size for your player.

C) How much might you spend?  The cheap stuff will not last the season, while the super expensive ‘kangaroo’ leather is overkill, in our opinion. If you can afford it (ie >$50), real leather is a wonderful thing. The new synthetics are great for durability, but they do not mold to the foot as easily (thus, more blistering), and they also tend to hold odor like a sealed Tupperware dish. However, the synthetics are less expensive than their real leather cousins. So, looking at Soccer.com, you’re in the neighborhood of $50-$120+ for a new pair, depending on which type of leather you choose.

D) Soccer boots reflect the manufacturer’s “foot-type bias.” For example, Adidas cleats, typically, fit thinner feet best, while Puma is far better for wide feet, and Nike is more to the middle with a lean towards slim and short. And, I would strongly urge you to purchase one of those three (Adidas, Nike, or Puma) as the others do not tend to last as long. Of the three, Puma will last the longest, then Adidas, followed a ways back by Nike.

E) Finally, please be sure to take into account the effect that the Superfeet insoles will have on the feel inside the shoe (buying advice on these below). Given the ’tissue paper’ thin insoles normally provided by the manufacturers, you’ll want to be aware that the Superfeet will take up just a little more room. Of course, it can be tough to try the Superfeet in the shoes before you buy because so many ‘cheap’ inserts are glued into the soccer shoes.

2) INDOOR SOCCER SHOES
All of the same advice applies to these as for Firm/Hard Ground Boots. A good quality pair of indoors can be had from Soccer.com for between $50-100.

3) SHINGUARDS
Please look for a high-quality (ideally NOCSAE approved) shinguard WITH ankle guards. You may want to spend somewhere between $15-35 for a pair (they should last for years, please be sure to wash them occasionally). Please pay careful attention to the sizing chart found on the soccer.com website. My basic rule of thumb is that it is better to be a little short on the shin than too long. Most high quality guards have removable (ie they’re attached with Velcro) ankle guards. I like the Nike Protegga Flex.

Also, it is helpful to know that lighter is better. Pros often wear little more than tissue under their socks, as they seek not to be slowed by heavy pads. However, at the high school level, protecting the ankles is critical to performance.

** Very Strongly Recommended Equipment **

1) SUPERFEET PREMIUM INSOLES
You may purchase these inserts locally at Ragged Mountain Running, here, in Charlottesville. And, if you mention that you are from Monticello High School Boys Soccer, we have arranged for you to get 20% off! Please look below this link for the link to the coupon!

For approximately $45, you will be doing your son a great service! These inserts offer a higher level of safety for the athlete’s knees and ankles!! For research on these insoles, please visit:
http://www.superfeet.com/

Now, just a few thoughts about logistics:

First, please be sure to purchase the correct Superfeet color for soccer use, that’s usually blue or green. If you visit Ragged Mountain with soccer boots in hand, the staff, there, will take care of everything, from removing the old insoles to trimming the new Superfeet.

2) SLIDE SANDALS
Slides are a modern name for “flip-flops,” and it is very important to both rest and ventilate the feet off the field.

3) COMPRESSION SHORTS
For about $15 per pair at Walmart (also known as “stretch pants/shorts”), these are a critical component to the prevention of chafing, slide-tackling “raspberries,” and even embarrassing moments during sit-ups. During cold weather, they provide a warm layer of protection against hamstring and groin pulls. FIFA rules require that they be the same color as the “match uniform shorts;” so please be sure to, if possible, to buy (1) pair of Black, at least, and (1) pair of White, if also a good idea.

4) 2 Liter Water Jug, labeled with player name
Proper Hydration is critical to player safety and performance. Please invest in a 2 Liter Jug!!! As a supplemental necessity for proper hydration, the school trainer will provide a “common source” of water, but a player is so much better off with their own water source AND PLENTY OF IT!

5) RUNNING SHOES
Comfortable, properly-sized running shoes are critical to player’s daily comfort, as they walk the “concrete-lined” halls of school. Please note, however, that the Monticello Boys Soccer Program will do very little “long distance running,” as it does very little to prepare a soccer athlete for competition.

So that’s it, for any other equipment, please just ask, I’m sure to have an opinion!