Gearing Up: Your Guide to Women’s Soccer Equipment

Whether you’re a soccer rookie or a seasoned veteran, having the right gear tailored for the female athlete is key to your success and safety on the pitch. I’ve played soccer competitively for over 15 years, from rec leagues to college varsity, so I’ve tested my fair share of cleats, shin guards, bras, and more. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t when it comes to women’s soccer equipment.

So lace up and get ready – we’re diving into the best gear for the female player. I’ll share my top picks for soccer cleats, apparel, goalkeeper equipment, and accessories. You’ll also learn tips for selecting the right equipment as a woman, from proper sizing and fit to features that provide the protection, performance, and comfort you need out on the field. Let’s kick things off!

Dominate the Pitch with the Best Women’s Soccer Cleats

Your cleats are your foundation on the field, so finding the right pair tailored for the female foot is crucial. The key is locking down a snug, anatomical fit in a lightweight shoe with traction to spare. Here are my top cleat contenders for women:

Nike Mercurial Superfly VII Elite FG

Nike’s Mercurial lineup is renowned for speed, and the Superfly VII are no exception. These cleats feature a minimalist, sock-like upper design with Flyknit material that molds tightly to your foot. This creates a supple yet responsive feel when dribbling or making quick cuts.

The outsole uses a finely tuned stud pattern with blades at the toe for nimble traction and control. At just 6.6 oz, the Superflys are ultra light without sacrificing stability. Pros love the locked-down fit, while some may find it takes time to break in the narrow shape.

Adidas X Ghosted

Adidas is giving Nike a run for their money with the X Ghosted. Inspired by the ghost orchid flower, the translucent upper is stretchy and thin, providing a barefoot, second-skin fit. An exoskeleton structure at the arch offers supportive stability so you can accelerate with confidence.

The SOFTSTUDZ on the outsole cut weight while gripping grass and turf effortlessly. While a bit less durable than other cleats, the Ghosted deliver superb touch and speed bursting out of cuts – ideal for forwards and wingers.

Puma Ultra Ultimate

If you crave a cleat with cushioning, Puma’s Ultra Ultimate brings it. At the midsole is a thick layer of ultra-soft foam surrounded by a stiffer carrier for plush underfoot comfort. The adaptive upper features netfit lacing for a dialed fit, while the external heel counter improves stability.

The rubber outsole with conical and bladed studs provides solid traction for quick maneuvers and crosses. A great choice for midfielders who need comfort for long runs up and down the pitch. It may run a bit heavy for some speedsters.

Under Armour Magnetico Select Pro FG

Serious stability seekers, look no further – Under Armour’s Magnetico Pro brings excellent lockdown and support by integrating a compression sleeve sock into the upper. This creates a seamless fit with your foot nearly slipping into the sock liner.

The compression sleeve connects to an internal midfoot arch band, securing the foot over the top of the shoe. This innovative design removes pressure from the laces, reducing irritation on the top of your foot. The Magnestico’s stud alignment allows for quick cuts in any direction while resisting roll-over.

New Balance Furon v6+

For wider-footed players in search of a comfortable fit, New Balance hits the spot with the Furon v6+. It features a roomy toe box and Kinetic Stitch exoskeleton that provides adaptable stretch and structure for a foot-hugging feel.

The padded mesh lining cushions your foot, while a carbon fiber insert and textured TPU outsole give excellent pop on shots. The Furon perhaps lacks the featherlight speed of other cleats but makes up with a solid planted feel for striking balls. Ideal for players who prioritize power.

Factors in Finding Your Perfect Cleat Fit

When selecting your ideal cleat, consider your usual position on the field, the primary playing surface (grass vs turf), and your foot shape and size. Strikers and wingers may prefer a super light shoe like the Nike Mercurial for speed, while defenders need stability in cuts like the Under Armour Magnetico.

Know your foot type too – narrow styles like the Adidas X Ghosted won’t work if you have wide feet. Be sure to correctly size by trying on in-store, and break in gradually to avoid blisters down the road. Most players need new cleats yearly as the materials break down. Invest wisely and you’ll dominate the pitch!

Essential Apparel & Accessories to Round Out Your Soccer Kit

Your soccer footwear may take center stage, but dialing in the rest of your gear helps maximize performance. Here’s what female players need to look and feel their best on the field:

Sports Bras

A compression sports bra is a must for controlling bounce and discomfort as you run the field. Encapsulation style bras with molded cups provide shaping and lift for larger busts. Look for:

  • Compression fit for high impact support
  • Moisture-wicking fabric to keep cool
  • Wide straps that don’t dig in
  • Racerback design that stays put

Nike, Under Armour, and Brooks make excellent sports bras for soccer. I’m currently loving the Brooks Dare Crossback Run Bra for its breathable compression fit with four-way stretch.

Soccer Socks

The right socks make all the difference in comfort, fit, and protection. Look for socks that hug your calves without slipping or bunching:

  • Mid-calf vs crew length based on your preference
  • Snug fit but not too tight
  • Cushioned footbed or thin tactical style
  • Moisture-wicking, breathable fabric
  • Material like nylon/polyester or cotton/wool blends

My go-tos are the Nike Golf Dri-FIT crew socks – the left/right foot design means no bunching in your cleats.

Shin Guards

Shin guards are mandatory for every player to prevent painful kicks and collisions. Look for:

  • Lightweight protection that moves with you
  • Compression sleeve style for a stay-put fit
  • Molded, anatomical shape for full coverage
  • Adjustable and removable inserts to customize fit

I like the Nike Mercurial Lite and Storelli Bodyshield G3 shin guards. The Bodyshield has saved my shins from many wayward shots!

Soccer Clothing & Outerwear

For training and games, moisture-wicking t-shirts, shorts, fleece pants, and light jackets are key. Look for:

  • Lightweight, breathable fabrics
  • Unrestrictive, athletic cut
  • Mesh ventilation zones
  • Reflective details for visibility
  • Secure zippered pockets to hold essentials

Nike Pro combat compression tops and tights handle sweat and keep muscles supported. Columbia outerwear with Omni-heat insulation keeps you toasty on the sidelines.

Soccer Bags

A quality soccer bag transports all your gear to and from the field. Consider:

  • Backpack for carrying ease
  • Roomy main compartment
  • Separate, ventilated shoe storage
  • Pockets and organizers to stash items
  • Padded shoulder straps for comfort
  • Hard-shell base for turf/outdoor use

I love the Nike Brasilia Training backpack – it fits all my gear with handy pockets to separate items.

Handy Accessories

Don’t overlook small accessories that bring function and style:

  • Headbands to tame flyaway hairs
  • Prewrap to get the perfect sock fit
  • Hair ties to keep hair secured
  • Custom bag tags to identify your bag

With the necessities covered, it’s time to get after it on the field! Let’s switch gears to key considerations for goalkeepers.

Outfit Your Goalkeeper with Specialized Protective Gear

The goalkeeper has a specialized role to play, and needs equipment tailored for top protection:

Goalkeeper Gloves

A goalie’s hands take a beating, so quality gloves are crucial. Look for:

  • Excellent grip and durability in the palm material (latex or composite)
  • Thick latex foam or dual density padding in the fingers
  • A cuff enclosure like a strap or elastic wrap for security
  • A “flat palm” or “roll finger” design based on preference

Top brands like Reusch, West Coast, and Storelli offer great goalie gloves. I’m loving Reusch’s top-end Orthophenol 01 gloves for the latex palm and snug adjustable strap closure.

Goalkeeper Jerseys

Goalie jerseys need:

  • Unique colors compared to your team
  • Athletic fit through the chest, arms, and abdomen
  • Extended body length for full coverage
  • Sweat-wicking, fast-drying materials
  • Optional padded elbows for hard landings

Check out Storelli, DashSport, and Select for goalkeeper-specific jerseys. I opt for jerseys with elbow padding for extra protection when diving.

Goalkeeper Pants

Protection is also key for goalie pants. Look for:

  • Lightweight, stretch materials that move with you
  • Padding at the hips, thighs, and knees
  • A standard or side-entry zipper for getting them on
  • Slightly flared leg opening to fit over cleats

Storelli and DashSport make goalie pants with ample padding zones to keep you covered. Side zippers are helpful for slipping them on over cleats.

Additional Keeper Gear

Round out their uniform with:

  • Goalkeeper gloves for grip and protection
  • Cleats tailored to traction and support in goal
  • Headgear like caps or helmets to block sun/shots
  • Compression shirts and shorts for layered protection

Check out keeper brands like Blok, Reusch, and Brine for stellar gloves, cleats and beyond.

Now the key is putting it all together into the perfect keeper kit. Protection is crucial but don’t overlook fit and comfort either. Next up – tips for selecting the ideal gear as a female player.

How to Select Women’s Soccer Gear for Optimal Fit and Performance

With so many choices out there, narrowing down your soccer gear can be tricky. Here are my top tips for female players shopping for equipment:

Consult Women’s-Specific Sizing Charts

Women’s feet and bodies are structured differently than men’s. Cleat brands design their shoes to fit each gender’s foot anatomy. Be sure to consult women’s-specific sizing charts from major brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance rather than relying on standard charts.

Retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods also provide guides for finding the right women’s soccer cleat fit. If buying online, carefully measure your feet and review sizing info. You can filter selections at online retailers specifically for “women’s” fits.

Know Your Foot Type

Whether you have narrow, wide, or neutral feet affects what cleats will fit comfortably. If you have wide feet, shoes like the New Balance Furon provide a roomier fit, while Puma offers multiple widths.

Narrow-footed ladies may prefer the snugness of the Mercurial or Ghosted. Don’t size up too much for a loose fit, as slipping in your shoes can cause blisters. Consider insoles or sizing up sock thickness for a better fit.

Consider Your Position & Playing Surface

Your position and playing conditions should influence your cleat choice. Defenders need stability for changing directions quickly, so stud shapes and placement to resist roll-over are key. Midfielders want cushioning for covering ground, while strikers and wingers need lightweight speed.

Know your primary playing surface too – turf shoes have many small rubber studs, while cleats for firm natural grass need longer studs for traction. Talk to coaches or sporting goods staff about the best cleat features for your position and field surface.

Try Before You Buy

Don’t just order shoes online – be sure to try on cleats in-store with the socks you’ll wear for games. Walk and jog around to check the fit. Your heel and midfoot should be locked in with no slippage, and toes should have a little wiggle room.

Shin guards, goalie gloves, and other tight-fitting gear should also be tried on. Testing the fit and comfort before buying prevents disappointments once you hit the field.

Look for Compression and Encapsulation Sports Bras

Finding ample support as a female player is about selecting the right sports bra style. Compression bras with snug ribbed or mesh fabric provide all-over control for high-impact activities. Encapsulation bras have molded, separated cups to support larger busts.

Look for compression or encapsulation bras with wide bottom bands and straps that keep the girls locked in! Racerback strap designs are also great for staying put. Measure around your ribcage below the breasts for band size, and around the fullest part for cup size to get the ideal fit.

Seek Moisture-Wicking and Breathable Fabrics

The right soccer gear materials make training and competition much more comfortable. Look for moisture-wicking technical fabrics in socks, shirts, and shorts that pull sweat from the skin towards the surface. Mesh ventilation zones also allow maximum breathability.

Synthetic blends and polyester fabrics offer stretchy support while preventing overheating. Cotton socks and shirts absorb sweat rather than wicking, so avoid them for matches. Keep cool and dry on the field with technical fabrics.

Pack It Up in a Roomy Soccer Bag

Finding a soccer bag with ample room for all your gear ensures you’re prepared for every match. Backpack styles allow you to securely carry and distribute the weight. Look for bags with a roomy main compartment, a separate ventilated spot for smelly cleats, and small pockets to organize everything.

Padding on the back and straps prevents digging. And don’t forget a water-resistant bottom – turf fields can be wet! Set yourself up for success by packing all gear in a thoughtfully designed soccer bag.

Ask the Experts

Still need help narrowing down options? Consult knowledgeable sporting goods staff when shopping in stores. They can point you toward the best cleats, gloves, and equipment for your needs. Coaches also have firsthand insights on the top soccer gear by position.

And many female players review products online – you can hear directly from women on the fit and performance of items. My picks come from experience, but don’t be afraid to ask for input to find your perfect match. The right women’s soccer gear is worth the research!

Common Questions About Women’s Soccer Equipment

If this is your first time shopping for soccer gear, chances are you have plenty of questions. Here I’ll tackle some of the most frequently asked topics:

Are men’s and women’s soccer cleats the same?

For the most part, no. Cleat companies design shoes specifically contoured for a woman’s foot vs a man’s. The lasts, interior shape, and sizing scales differ to match female anatomy. Men’s cleats may be too wide or long. Check for women’s-specific fits.

How often should you replace soccer cleats?

About once a year for frequent players. The materials break down over time, reducing traction and fit. Replace sooner if heavily worn or damaged. Goalkeepers may need new gloves every few months depending on usage.

How can you soften stiff, new cleats?

Gradually break them in! Wear for short periods with thick socks, bending the upper and working the sole by hand. Stick shoe trees inside overnight to stretch them out faster. Avoid soaking cleats as this can damage materials.

Why are shin guards so important in soccer?

Shin guards protect against painful kicks, collisions and accidental cleat scrapes. They cushion blows to the lower leg bones and muscles. Soccer has fast paced action so they reduce injury risk.

How tight should soccer socks fit?

Snug around the calves but not compressive. You want socks to hug your lower leg without sliding down or constricting circulation. Having socks too loose can let them bunch in your cleats and cause blisters.

What is the best sports bra for women’s soccer?

Look for compression or encapsulation styles in performance fabrics that wick moisture. Brands like Brooks, Nike, and Under Armour make excellent high support bras tailored for running and field sports. Racerback straps stay put.

What muscles do goalkeeper gloves protect?

The padding in gloves prevents finger hyperextension and impact injuries to the hands and wrists when catching shots. This protects muscles like the lumbricals, flexors, and tendons. Features like finger saves guard fingertips.

How do you clean goalkeeper gloves properly?

Use mild detergent and cool water, gently massaging out dirt. Rinse thoroughly. Attach gloves to a towel with clothespins and let air dry out of direct sunlight. Never put gloves in the washing machine or dryer.

How can you prevent blisters from soccer cleats?

Wear proper fitting cleats with grippy synthetic socks. Break in gradually. Apply moleskin or tape on hot spots proactively. Keep feet dry and use antiperspirant to minimize friction.

How do you stop soccer cleats from smelling bad?

Air them out fully after each use rather than storing damp. Remove insoles to dry. Apply baking soda or antimicrobial sprays inside. Replace old cleats and socks regularly. Pack wet gear in separate compartments.

Gear Up and Get After It!

With the right soccer equipment selected for your body and position, you’ll be ready to play your best game yet. Remember to prioritize fit, comfort, and protection as you shop. Investing in high-quality women’s gear crafted for your foot shape, muscle support, and safety gives you the confidence and competitive edge you need on the field.

Lace up those cleats, strap on your shin guards, and get

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