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There are a number of reasons for having kids wear soccer cleats. Shoes (or boots, if you're from the other side of the pond), with their integrated cleats, provide traction for accelerating and maneuvering on the field. Anyone who is running and changing speed and/or direction as constantly as a soccer player will benefit enormously from the advantage afforded by cleats. And if a kid is going to keep playing as he turns into an older kid, a highschool kid, a college kid and/or a professional soccer player, he's gonna be wearing these at every game. Might as well get used to them. Though the shoes can be a bit uncomfortable at times, especially in the beginning, a reasonably good pair will provide adequate support and become fairly easy to wear. There are some safety issues regarding the cleats. Players (and officials, but that's another story) can get hung up a bit because of them, and then they twist something or trip and fall. Ouch! But players who are wearing shoes without the cleats can slip and fall big time when trying to play the game without the traction benefits of soccer shoes. (Especially on grass, and even more so on grass that is wet!) That hurts, too. The performance advantages have generally been judged to outweigh (and by far) the extra burden of having to get the littler kids to wear them and to learn and deal with the risks the cleats impose. The hazards posed to other players by someone wearing cleats are pretty straight forward. Ask older players if they've ever had a collision where they ended up coming away with a cleat mark on a body part. Chances are good they have. But we generally play with our cleats down, and besides, the rules (Laws of the Game) require that tackles be made with the shoes (cleats) down. That's a specific burden placed on the players to minimize the possibility of injury to an opponent. If a player slides in to make a tackle and aims one of his cleats at his opponent's leg and ends up spiking him, it almost certainly will result in discipline from the referee. A caution is probably guaranteed, and it isn't hard for the official to justify a red card and the subsequent send off for that offending player who deliberately (or even inadvertently) lifts his cleats in a tackle. But little kids are not allowed to slide tackle anyway. Oh, and someone has to buy the cleats, too. Don't forget that. The good news is that a lot of soccer clubs, especially recreational ones, have shoe swaps. And there are thrift stores and second hand sports stores. There are a lot of good used shoes out there. What little kid doesn't outgrow his shoes before he wears them out? Don't forget to pick up a can of spray shoe disinfectant. It's that stuff like they use at the Bowling alley. Anyway, little kids should be wearing soccer cleats when playing soccer. The risks are minimal, and can be managed by the player, the coach and the officials. As to the benefits of cleats? No "real" soccer player, young or old, recreation or competitive, would dream of playing in a match without them. Lastly, there's this. What soccer kid is gonna wanna play the game without the proper shoes, the shin guards, the long socks and the uniform? I've never met one. Ever.

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โˆ™ 2007-11-04 09:15:02
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Q: Why soccer cleats for kids?
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