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Your Field Guide to Football Cleats

Foot On Soccer Ball
The right footwear can make all the difference when your child steps out onto the football field. Purchasing football cleats should be a fairly straightforward task, but many parents become overwhelmed with the brands, styles, sizes, and shapes available.
Modern football cleats are more advanced than ever before. Many of the options available (like color, shape, and brand) are simply matters of style preference. What you really need to pay attention to when purchasing new cleats for your kid is the style of the cleats themselves. These come in two primary varieties- molded cleats and detachable cleats.

Molded Cleats

The most affordable and recognizable option for football cleats is a shoe with a molded sole. These cleats feature spikes that are permanently affixed to the sole of the shoe. The cleats and the sole are molded from one continuous piece of material.
Patterns and cleat sizes can vary from one brand to the next, but all molded cleats will feature preformed spikes.
Advantages
The primary benefit of molded cleats is the competitive cost. Molded cleats are affordable to produce, and cleat manufacturers pass this affordability on to the consumers.
When you have a child whose feet may grow throughout the season, buying molded cleats that can be replaced more cheaply can help you keep pace with your child's foot growth. Molded cleats are also easy to maintain. You just have to use a damp cloth to wipe down the molded sole, and then the cleats will be ready for use.
Disadvantages
Molded cleats are not the most versatile type of football shoe available. The plastic cleats will eventually begin to wear down, compromising grip and traction on the field.
Molded cleats are not designed to perform in adverse conditions, so a muddy or wet field might pose a hazard to your child. It's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages against your child's abilities and competition level before determining whether molded cleats are the right footwear for your child.

Detachable Cleats

Just as their name might suggest, the primary feature of detachable cleats are spikes that can be removed and replaced as needed.
The stud pattern on detachable cleats can vary, but most have spots for cleats on the heel, under the ball of the foot, and beneath the toes.
Advantages
Detachable cleats can provide your child with maximum versatility. Cleats can be changed out according to the ground conditions of a particular field, with short cleats working best on hard fields and longer cleats better suited for soft or muddy fields.
Being able to utilize specialized cleats based on field conditions can increase your child's traction. This versatility reduces the likelihood that improper footing will contribute to a serious injury during gameplay.
Disadvantages
Because detachable cleats can be customized with spikes in varying lengths, you must purchase the actual shoe and several sets of cleats. The number of required items drives up the cost of your child's football footwear.
Detachable cleats can also be challenging for really young players to get used to. They are designed for older, more experienced players who want to become more competitive by customizing their footwear based on positioning and ground conditions.
Football cleats are an important investment for any parent whose child enjoys spending time on the gridiron. Both molded and detachable cleats will serve your child's basic balance and traction needs. Use your field conditions, your child's skill level, and your budget to determine which type of cleat is right for your child.
The experienced professionals at Mesquite Sports Center can help your child get fitted with the right football cleats. Come down and see our selection of molded and detachable cleats before the upcoming season.