By Kylie Hopper – Throughout my soccer career I have been asked by players of all ages, fans, friends, and teammates, the same question when it comes to soccer cleats… “What are the best cleats to wear?”

This is a very difficult question to answer for any one person.  Today there are so many companies putting out quality cleats which makes it nearly impossible to narrow it down to one individual pair.  At the peak of my career, I preferred to wear the Nike Tiempo cleats.  I found them to be extremely comfortable and could make it through a 6 month season.

To help soccer players of all ages in their search to purchase new cleats, there are 3 important factors I like to keep in mind that help me select the “best soccer cleats to wear”: Comfort, Appearance, and Durability.

Comfort – The most important factor in purchasing a new pair of cleats is finding a pair that are comfortable on “your” feet.  Depending on the age of the athlete, a soccer player can average up to 8 miles a game.  With 2 to 3 practices a week and the occasional soccer tournament that may entail up to 5 games in one weekend that is a lot of mileage for one soccer season.  Therefore it is important to take care of your feet and select a pair of cleats that provide the most comfort and reduce your chances of overall injury.


Kylie Bivens Hopper passes around long-time U.S. WNT'er Kristine Lilly

Kylie Bivens Hopper passes around long-time U.S. WNT’er Kristine Lilly

Appearance – This is probably the easiest decision to make when it comes to shopping for a new pair of soccer cleats.  In most cases, when I look at a pair of cleats I can instantly tell whether I like the way they look, their color, and design.  Once I have narrowed my search I then start to think about whether I could actually see myself wearing the cleats.  What I mean by that is do they match my personality as a player.  With the abundance of sleek style of cleats now available to all players, not just the pros, that makes it difficult to narrow it down to one pair of cleats based on appearance.  It really comes down to personal preference.

Durability – There is nothing worse than having to break in a new pair of cleats half way through a soccer season.  Having 2 pair of cleats for one soccer season is ideal but not always in the budget.  It is then essential to have cleats that are made to last the duration of a soccer season.  In my experience, durability can be closely related to the material of the cleats.  I would highly recommend for consumers to read the online product reviews that provide players personal accounts with the cleat of interest.

Kylie Bivens Hopper has played soccer her entire life.  The California native attended Santa Clara University, was drafted and moved across country to play for the Atlanta Beat of the WUSA, and travelled around the world with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

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