The right football cleats are a necessity for any player. They have more support in the middle of the shoe than baseball and soccer cleats. Football cleats are also designed to provide more lateral support to keep the player's foot and ankle from moving when he is blocking or making a tackle.
High-top football cleats have a shoe that goes over the ankle to increase lateral support. This type of cleat is mostly used by linemen because they do not need to cut and change direction quickly.
Low-cut cleats provide less support for the foot but are lighter and allow the player to run faster. Low-cut football cleats are popular with the speed positions such as receiver and cornerback.
Midcut cleats are a compromise between low-cut and high-top cleats, giving more ankle stability without becoming too heavy and cumbersome. They are preferred by quarterbacks, running backs and linebackers. If you are unsure which type of cleat is best for you or your child, start with a midcut shoe and see if it is comfortable and allows you to run well enough.
Molded soles are constructed from rubber or hard plastic and include the studs as part of the sole. These are often used in youth football leagues because they are safer than metal spikes and suitable for most types of grass fields encountered in those leagues.
Some football cleats have detachable spikes that allow you to switch to different lengths depending on the field conditions. Longer spikes work better for wet fields where there is little traction. The detachable spikes are made from metal, rubber or hard plastic.
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