10 best kids' football boots
Find footwear fit for a future Premier League star
If you need a pair of football boots for your child for the new football season ahead, you’re probably already aware what a minefield it can be. What does FG or SG mean? Do you give into their pleas for ridiculously expensive branded boots? What materials should you go for? And so on.
Your first job is to consider what type of surface they will be playing on as each one requires a different kind of stud and boot – soft ground (SG) for playing on grass pitches throughout potentially wet and muddy winters; firm ground (FG) (sometimes called HG for hard ground) for harder grass surfaces in the summer months; and artificial turf (TF), which speaks for itself and requires softer studs.
Next, think about whether you want natural leathers, which normally – but not always – feel softer, or synthetic leathers, which are usually better at keeping their shape and don’t absorb water.
Think about lacing too – asymmetrical is popular, but there are plenty of other options, which your child may prefer the feel of. When they’re younger, Velcro can help with ease of tightening them and taking them off. Laceless boots were all the rage last year, but sales have taken a nose-dive this year.
Then there’s weight – it usually stands that the more lightweight a boot is, the easier it'll be to play in.
After considering all these factors when testing, here's our roundup of the best.
Umbro Medusae II Premier HG Junior: £33, Umbro
Available from size 10 right up to 5.5, including half sizes, these hard ground boots have a lightweight sole, support in all the right places to ensure comfort and agility and a knitted throat section that moulds to the foot.
There's three different colourways to choose from – all with contrasting colours so you stand out on the pitch. They are an updated version of a previous popular design and are also waterproof.
Nike Jr. Mercurial Vapor XII Academy Neymar Jr. TF: £50.97, Nike
For kicking a ball around on artificial turf, these are practical, well cushioned and lightweight.
Claiming to wrap around your foot for a second-skin fit right out of the box, we were sceptical they could live up to such bold promises but they really do.
With more than a nod to Brazil in its colour and style, they are available in 13.5 up to 5.5, including half sizes.
Adidas Predator: from £30, Amazon
When these lace-up hard ground boots were released at the end of last year, they flew off the shelves – and there’s no sign of the demand slowing up.
Both affordable and practical, they are exceptionally comfortable and they look the part too, whichever colourway you choose.
The moulded heel is a stand out point, giving young footballers a chance to have real control over the game, while the material is so snug yet malleable.
Puma Unisex Kids’ Future 2.1 Netfit Fg/Ag: from £94, Amazon
These lace-up boots for firm ground will make your child the envy of the football pitch.
They fit like a glove from the moment you put them on, helped by the knitted ankle sock, with exceptional comfort and just about the smartest aesthetics going.
Available in size 1 to 5.5, including half sizes, they are aimed at older kids and feel as light as a feather.
Nike Jr. Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite FG Just Do It: £107.97
These exceptionally light firm ground boots cost a bomb, but they have oodles of patented features and attention to detail, with years of research behind them.
Our tester couldn’t believe the fit and breathability. "It’s as if they’ve been made just for me" she said, later adding that she felt fast on the pitch, as well as liking the "kickability" factor.
The sockliner is great for cushioning and the movement is exceptionally natural. Available in sizes 3.5 to 5.5, including half sizes, they incorporate recycled materials.
Kipsta Agility 300 FG Kids’ Dry Pitch Football Boots with Rip-Tab: £6.99, Decathalon
If money is tight, or your child only plays football occasionally, these give you a lot of bang for your buck. They are made with two cushioning zones that make them surprisingly comfy for the price.
They kick well, are easy to put on and take off for little hands. And they’re available in European sizes 28 to 33 and four different colours – orange, light blue, dark blue or aqua, all with contrasting detail and different designs such as origami and bubbles.
Clarks Award Run: £38, Clarks
Our younger testers said these were among the comfiest boots they’d ever worn.
Designed for use on artificial turf, they come in whole and half sizes from infant 4 to 9, with different widths available.
They’re not as light as some, but the comfort, size range and the fact they’re machine washable makes them a smart buy. And the real laces will make your kids feel grown up.
Adidas Nemeziz 18+ FG Boots: £119.95, Adidas
For kids that don’t want to bother with laces, these are great looking, very lightweight firm ground boots that are a doddle to slip on and off.
The synthetic uppers give excellent control and they keep players nice and stable too, with great agility.
The cushioning underfoot is outstanding and it stays that way after lots of wear. But they’re only available in three sizes for older kids.
Adidas X 17.3 SG Junior Football Boots: £25, Sports Direct
If you want something to get older kids through playing football on wet and muddy pitches through the winter months, then these come in at a great price and are comfy, with good flexibility and are suitable for all playing positions.
And with the bright colouring, you’ll be able to spot them on the field a mile off. They’re easy to clean too, but it’s a shame they’re only available in sizes 3, 4 and 5.
New Balance Junior Furon 3.0 Hook and Loop TF: £45, New Balance
These astroturf boots – which are available in size 10 up to 5.5 – are like wearing a second skin.
Designed with acceleration in mind, there’s no doubt they enable fast running and great kicking.
The Velcro strap makes them quick and easy to put on when you’re running late for your match and the vibrant colours are great for visibility on the pitch.
The Verdict: Best kids football boots
The Umbro Medusae II Premier HG Junior come in at a good price and provide great value for money with lots of versatility and features that make them a great all-rounder.
We’re also giving a special mention to the Adidas Nemeziz 18+ FG Boots, which tick just about every box and look fantastic too.
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