Best Kids' Soccer Cleats

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
286 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kids’ soccer cleats

Last Updated December 2019

Is your child the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Ada Hegerberg? When it comes to playing soccer, kids can start as young as toddlers, so it’s best to get them the right gear they need to enjoy the game and become a great player. It all starts with finding comfortable and functional kids’ soccer cleats.

Kids’ soccer cleats fit players ages 2 through 12 and are designed to be every bit as durable as adult cleats. Cleats are designed for performance and provide arch support, interior cushioning, and shock absorption to keep young players on their toes safely and painlessly. If your child wants to make a statement with their cleats, they can choose from bold colorways and vibrant designs to set themselves apart from other players on the pitch.

Our detailed buying guide can help you find the right pair of kids’ soccer cleats for your young player. Read on to know what to look for when it comes to sizing, details, and fit, and check out our favorites, too.

Have your child break in their soccer cleats at home before using them at practice or in a game. They’ll need to get used to the fit first, and the feel of brand-new cleats could be distracting during a game.

Key considerations

Size

Sizing for kids’ soccer cleats is divided into three groups: Toddler, Little Kid, and Big Kid. While there are boys’ and girls’ styles, cleats are generally unisex for these ages.

If your child is between sizes, which isn’t unusual, you’ll need to consider the largest and smallest sizes of the adjoining size groups to find the right fit. As you’ll discover, just because your child is a certain age, it doesn’t mean that their shoe size fits within the corresponding size group. When choosing kids’ soccer cleats, it’s most important to choose a pair based on fit and not size.

  • Toddler: These sizes cover kids ages 1 to 4. Unfortunately, this size group has the smallest selection because only a few companies manufacture them.

  • Little Kid: These sizes are geared toward kids ages 4 to 8. You’ll find a greater selection in this group. In addition to more brands to consider, there are more colors and materials available, too.

  • Big Kid: These sizes are for kids ages 8 to 12. The selection is comparable to that in the Little Kid sizes.

Components

  • Toe box: This is the front of the shoe. When your child’s foot is inside, press the toe box with your fingers to locate the toes. Your child should be able to feel the big toe and wiggle the others slightly, though there shouldn’t be too much room there. The fit should be snug yet comfortable.

  • Arch: Look at the arch of the shoe to see how it’s shaped. A defined, curved arch will provide the most support. If the arch isn’t well defined, there’s a good chance your child’s foot won’t be completely secure inside the shoe and will slide around, which can cause blisters. Undefined arches in shoes also cause poor foot and ankle alignment, which can lead to further orthopedic issues.

  • Instep: The instep is made up of the tongue and laces that cover it. For the most part, these areas are low profile and create a smooth line from the toe box to the ankle joint. If your child needs more padding around this area, opt for cleats that have a cushioned tongue.

  • Cleats: The cleats should be rock-hard and well secured to the sole. They shouldn’t move at all if you try to wiggle or twist them. Cleats should also be distributed throughout the sole in a way that follows the anatomy of your child’s foot. If the cleats look sparse or appear to be placed in strange locations, they won’t provide enough traction or support.

  • Sock liner: This makes up the interior of the shoe and is made of breathable and sometimes wick-away materials. Quality cleats have moderate padding around the heel area as well as the sides. If the sock liner appears or feels unusually thin, it probably is, and it won’t encase your child’s foot as well as it should.

Outdoor vs. indoor cleats

It’s relatively easy to identify the difference between outdoor and indoor cleats. Outdoor cleats have pronounced nubs on the sole. Indoor cleats either have rubber bottoms for gymnasium floors or micro cleats for indoor turf. There are some styles that are listed as hybrids, though the cleats aren’t defined enough to be effective on a soccer pitch. If your child plays outdoor and indoor soccer, it’s best to get a different pair of cleats for each.

Double-knot the laces on kids’ soccer cleats to make sure they don’t come undone on the pitch. It’s dangerous to bend down and tie shoes in the middle of a game.

Staff
BestReviews

Kids’ soccer cleat features

Materials

For the most part, leather or synthetic blends are the main materials used for kids’ soccer cleats. Leather cleats tend to be the most expensive, which is why most kids’ soccer cleats are made of a combination of vinyl, pleather, microfiber, and mesh. There are also styles that combine leather and synthetic materials in strategic areas to improve fit and keep the cleats budget-friendly.

Colors

It used to be that cleats were only available in black, but now there are plenty of colors to choose from, and kids’ soccer cleats are no exception. Many come in vibrant colors. Your child can choose a bold pair with loud colors and designs or stick with team colors and find a pair to match the uniform.

Kids’ soccer cleat prices

Kids’ soccer cleats cost between $20 and $90. The price depends on the quality of materials and construction, though cleats from well-known sports apparel brands can be more expensive. Big Kid sizes are generally the most expensive overall, but that’s not always the case.

Inexpensive: If you’re on a budget, you can find a decent pair of cleats for between $20 and $35. These often have inexpensive synthetic materials, though the construction is generally solid. They’ll get the job done for a season or two at most.

Mid-range: If you’re willing to spend a little more, between $35 and $60, you’ll find pairs from industry-leading brands like Adidas, Diadora, and Puma. These are engineered for comfort and support and feature high-quality sock liners.

Expensive: For premium kids’ soccer cleats, you can expect to spend between $60 and $90. These are mostly made by the top brands and include the best of their fit and performance technology used in adult cleats. These cleats are also far more stylish.

EXPERT TIP

When trying on kids’ soccer cleats, ensure a good fit by bringing soccer socks, which are thicker than everyday socks.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Leave cleats on the porch or in the garage to air out and dry after games, especially if the field was wet.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Check your child’s shoe size monthly. To make sure your child always has cleats and other footwear that fit properly, monitor their shoe size by measuring it monthly.

  • Review rules regarding color and style. Check with the coach or sports organization regarding required cleat styles and, in some cases, official uniform colors.

  • Change into other footwear before leaving the grass. To avoid tearing up the cleats on pavement, have your child change into sandals or other shoes before leaving the pitch.

  • Try more than one size. Your child’s shoe size may be different than their cleats size. Aim to try half or whole sizes above the shoe size to ensure a proper fit, and know that sizes can vary from one manufacturer to another.

Other products we considered

We like the super sporty curb appeal of the Vizari Kids Bolt FG Cleats. With a lightning bolt-inspired design, these cleats offer a superior fit with a cushioned plush lining. The outsole is made from molded rubber for shock absorption and traction, so there’s no foot stuttering on the pitch. The overall silhouette is streamlined, especially around the instep area, as laces are close together for a secure, boot-like fit. These cleats are available in eight impressive colorways, so choose a pair to either stand out or match your child’s uniform. For a quality pair of cleats at a reasonable price, the Diadora Kids’ Ladro MD Jr Soccer Shoes are a sure bet. Available in Toddler sizes through sizes for middle schoolers, these cleats are ideal if your child likes the Diadora fit and wants to stay loyal to the brand as they size up. Made with water-resistant materials, these cleats prevent wet feet, even during dewy soccer seasons and provide superior traction on the pitch.

If your child likes the 360° lace wrap style, purchase longer laces to account for it. Some players like this style because it provides additional support for the arch and instep.

FAQ

Q. My child says his cleats feel a bit snug, but it’s almost the end of the season. Can I hold off on buying new cleats until next season?

A. Probably not, but it depends on how snug they are and how many games your child has left. Loosening up the laces for a couple games could tide you over. It’s always recommended to have footwear that fits properly, both for comfort as well as safety. As it’s the end of the season, it’s likely you’ll find a pair on sale, which may fit next season as well. It’s also good to have a new, well-fitting pair on hand if your child plans on attending off-season soccer clinics or intramural camps.

Q. My child outgrew her soccer cleats, so can her younger sibling wear them?

A. It’s up to your discretion, though be aware that cleats sustain a great deal of wear and tear, so you could be putting your younger child in ill-fitting cleats. After prolonged wear, especially in cleats with cushioning or memory foam, these materials become compressed and are subpar when it comes to shock absorption. That means your child’s feet will pound the pitch as they play, and it could result in foot pain or poor foot alignment that may cause other orthopedic issues.

Q. How do I clean kids’ soccer cleats?

A. It depends on the materials. If the cleats are leather, opt for a leather-cleaning kit that includes lotion to moisturize the shoes and prevent cracking. For synthetic materials, gentle dish soap or vinegar and water should suffice for surface cleaning. It’s not recommended that you put cleats in the washing machine, because full immersion in water could cause them to warp even if you air-dry them.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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