To the uninitiated, the world of children’s football boots can seem at best bewildering, and at worst completely unnavigable. Even if you know your your Lallana from your Lukaku, your Harry Arter from your Dele Alli, it can still be a bit of a minefield. But worry not, when it comes to the best football boots for kids, we’re here to help.
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When you’re looking for your child’s first or next pair of football boots, it’s just a case of asking yourself a few questions. First, what surface are they likely to be playing on? This dictates what type of sole you should look for, and some boots even offer a tip-off as to their type in the title, which is handy if you know the lingo. An SG in the name stands for soft ground, and these boots come with screw-in studs for playing on grass surfaces, giving you the option to swap for longer studs when playing on wet or muddy pitches. FG stands for (you guessed it) firm ground, featuring moulded studs that provide grip and balance on surfaces less prone to mud, good for dry-weather spring and summer play. Then, there’s turf — self-explanatory, perhaps, but it’s worth noting the particulars. They can be worn year-round on astro or sand, and sometimes indoors, and come with multi-directional studs for fast-paced play and casual kickabouts.
Then, there’s the matter of the material. Some boots come with synthetic uppers, which are lightweight and hard-wearing, and don’t absorb water; leather upper football boots, meanwhile, are also lightweight, but have the added bonus of being supple and enabling them to feel more of the ball for excellent, intuitive manoeuvrability.
After that, it’s all about the look. Bright colours, slick designs, asymmetric lacing (which is apparently a thing) — whatever their style, they’re sure to find something they like.
1. New Balance Visaro Control SG
Comfortable, colourful, and easy to control: these are the boots that #goals was made for
Best for: Control | Sole: Replaceable studs | Upper: Synthetic
These eye-catching boots boast an EVA insert for added comfort, and a stiffened heel to support their movements and protect them while they’re in the thick of the action. Plus, their ultra-bright lime shade means they’ll never lose them in the shoe cupboard or the bottom of a kit bag. Sturdy, safe, and stylish, for a very reasonable price, these get our vote as the best soft-ground football boots for kids.
2. Adidas Messi 15.3 Turf
Forget Bend It Like Beckham: watch them play like La Pulga in these nifty Turf boots
Best for: Snug fit | Sole: Astro | Upper: Synthetic
Just as cool as their namesake, and bearing the not-so-subtle branding of the man himself, these boots come in an attention-grabbing colourway so you won’t lose track of them on the pitch. The all-round cushioned collar keeps ankles comfortable and scrapes at bay, and their synthetic upper and padded sole make them light and easy to move in. With a noticeably snugger fit than some of their counterparts, these are the best kids' football boots for narrow feet.
3. Umbro Medusae II Club
A great budget buy for firm-ground players and footballing newbies
Best for: Best overall value | Sole: Moulded studs | Upper: Synthetic
These budget boots are an excellent buy if your son or daughter is just getting into football and not sure if they’ll stick with it, or for mandatory PE practice. Don’t let that put you off buying for more experienced players though. With firm-ground-friendly moulded studs, they’re great for warm-weather play, and they’re not clunky, offering decent touch and control. There’s also a choice of two colourways for strikers of all stripes: black and pale blue, or a less standard, but very good-looking, coral and purple.
4. Hi-Tec Unisex League Pro Si Ez
No gimmicks, no laces, just great value, versatile boots
Best for: Best value studded | Sole: Replaceable studs | Upper: Synthetic
Another excellent budget buy, these boots are perfect for fulfilling school kit lists, or for footballing beginners to try on for size. With their grown-up design, they’re good for boys and girls of all ages, and their velcro fastening makes them especially suited to kids with co-ordination disorders or difficulty with movement. The replaceable studs make them our best pick for versatility, as it means they’re suitable to playing in rain or shine on softer
5. Puma EvoSpeed 5.4 FG
Flexible and light as a feather, these Puma football boots are perfect for speedy play
Best for: Speed | Sole: Moulded studs | Upper: Synthetic
The clue’s in the name when it comes to these nifty boots’ appeal — with their Puma-exclusive ‘speedCELL’ technology increasing flexibility and reducing weight, and conical studs for superior grip, they’re great for quick games and speed training on firm ground. Their responsiveness isn’t just good news for their speed, but for their joints too, with the added control reducing their risk of injury. A good, slightly more nimble alternative to the Umbro Medusae for fast-paced play, and for not much more dosh.
6. Tiebao Classic Hook&Loop
Easy-on football shoes for kids who struggle with laces — and with fun designs, to boot
Best for: Astro-indoor hybrid | Sole: Astro | Upper: Synthetic
These frankly adorable boots come in a choice of four colourways, each based on the flags of famous footballing nations: nearly-Neymars can go for Brazil, Fàbregas fans for Spain, Müller-mad kids for Germany, and then there’s the States (although we guess that makes them “soccer boots”). Long-lasting to put up with a bit of rough and tumble, and especially good for indoor play, these are great all-round astro boots. Arguably their best feature is their hook-and-loop fastening: easy for kids who struggle with laces to put on and take off by themselves, and also minimises trip hazards from loose shoelaces.
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