Soccer socks are meant to protect our kids’ feet against irritation and infection. Did you know that the type and size of socks that you get for your child has equal importance as getting him the right shoe size? Some people believe that the main purpose of soccer socks is to hold the shin guards in place. That is not entirely true, since the primary role of soccer socks is to protect the foot from the cleat itself, without compromising the fit of the cleat.
The importance of wearing soccer socks is clear, since they play a key role in keeping our kids’ feet healthy. Fabric content and fit are essential for comfort inside the shoe. I will describe the best soccer socks for kids’, and how to make sure you are providing them with the correct sock size.
Why Is It Important To Wear The Right Type Of Soccer Socks?
Reason#1: Moisture on the skin can create a myriad of problems, such as blisters, the growth of odor-causing bacteria, and fungus, such as Athlete’s Foot.
Reason#2: If socks are fitted too snug, they restrict circulation in the foot; if they are fitted too big, they increase friction which leads to blisters.
Reason#3: The right type of sock will provide targeted cushioning on the foot-bed for shock absorption and it will reduce the friction between the foot and the cleat.
I have been playing soccer my whole life, and I have dealt with calluses and blisters for several years. I don’t know whether it was the wrong sized cleat or the wrong type of socks that caused the friction between my feet and the cleats, giving me calluses. Once I started working at a children’s shoe store ( I have been working there for almost 6 years now), I started to realize the importance of well fitting shoes and socks.
I realized that the type of socks I wore during soccer made a HUGE difference in how my feet felt. Keep in mind that calluses or blisters make soccer, or for that matter any sport, much less enjoyable. The thicker socks I began to wear acted as a barrier between my feet and the cleats, which allowed me to run and play more comfortably.
Blisters are common in children who engage in soccer no matter the level they are playing. You will notice them on the back of the heel and bottom of the foot. The repeated friction that occurs when playing soccer causes the layers of skin to separate from each other. A blister forms when fluid then fills in the area.
If you want to learn more about what problems can occur when your child doesn’t wear the right type of shoes and socks, I wrote a post where I describe these problems and how to get rid of them. The post is called:
These facts make it clear that wearing the right type of soccer sock is critical if your child wants to enjoy playing soccer. Every movement in soccer creates different stress points on the body, and in order to prevent injury or unnecessary stress on the feet, vulnerable spots must be protected. The appearance of blisters and other foot problems can be reduced greatly by wearing socks that fit properly and that wick moisture away.
Making Sure You Get The Right Soccer Sock Size For Your Child
Soccer socks, just like soccer cleats, should fit the length and width of the foot perfectly. They are not supposed to feel either too tight, or too lose, since the two will have negative impacts on your child’s feet:
- A sock that is too short will make your kids toes overlap over each other, which will create friction between the toes.
- A sock that is too long will end up bunching up in the shoes, causing a great amount of discomfort.
Let’s make sure your child get’s the correct sock size. I want you to STOP buying socks for your child going by the labels: “age of the child” or the “sock size”. At a given age, every child has a uniquely sized foot, and I never understood what “sock size” means. You MUST always look at the guidelines that say “shoe size” instead.
This will guarantee that you are getting the correct sock size for your child. Take a look at the picture below for clarification, see how the first picture only displays the “age” and “sock size” guidelines? Turn the package around and in the second picture you will notice the label “shoe size”.
The first thing I want you to pay attention to when putting the socks on your child’s feet is for the socks to fit smoothly against the skin without any bulkiness. This is important because you don’t want to crowd the toes. Toes need room to spread out comfortably, but not so much room that there’s constant rubbing against the sock or shoe causing blisters.
Each child will be comfortable with a different sock length. However, if we are going by rules of thumb, your child should keep the socks at least above their shin guard.
I wrote a post where I describe the best everyday socks for children, and I further explain how to make sure your child is wearing the correct sock size. The post is called:
What Are The Best Pair Of Soccer Socks For Kids?
Because there are so many soccer sock choices for kids’, it is hard to find which one is the most appropriate for your child to wear. Finding the right pair of soccer socks will make all the difference in comfort and foot health for your child. I have seen in many cases, where the shoe gets replaced or blamed for not “feeling right” when in all actuality, it was the type of sock that the child was wearing.
Below I describe the different type of materials in socks and those that are MOST appropriate for soccer:
- Cotton socks are durable, but they lack elasticity and they might be one of the worst at wicking moisture. Cotton will absorb the moisture, but the moisture remains against the foot, softening the skin and making it more prone to blisters. The other reason why I do not recommend them for soccer is that it will fail to hold its shape and offer poor friction control. Even though they are the easiest and most affordable socks to find, cotton socks should be avoided.
- Wool is the best material for absorption with the ability to repel moisture. It definitely manages moisture better than cotton, but the the main disadvantage of wool is that it shrinks. In order to keep your kids’ foot dry while retaining the sock’s shape, any synthetic fiber will serve you better.
- Acrylic provides great cushioning, excellent friction and moisture management. It is also among the softer synthetics. This material is an excellent choice for kids’ that are playing soccer!
Many of the new athletic socks are worth the investment. Remember that the synthetic materials will wick moisture away from the skin, the double layers will reduce friction, and the seams will avoid pressure points.
Now that you know which are the best soccer socks for children, keep his feet healthy and allow him to play soccer without any foot pain or discomfort!I want to finish the post by explaining the importance that shin guards play when playing soccer.
Below you can find a selection of the best kids’ soccer socks!
The Importance Of Wearing Shin Guards- Avoid Damaging Your Child’s Legs!
Shin guards plays an important role in keeping your child’s leg protected. The main purpose of the shin guards is to protect your child’s tibia, fibula and ankle. Please don’t put your children’s foot and leg health in jeopardy by failing to get the proper protective soccer gear. The average shin guard reduces force by 11% to 17% and strain by 45% to 51% on the guarded leg compared with the unguarded leg.
When Should My Child Start Wearing Shin Guards?
Your coach will most likely be able to answer this question, but most children start wearing shin guards between the ages of 4 and 6. At this stage you will be looking for foam front shin guards, or integrated foam and plastic (tri-safe guards) will make a good selection too. These types will be much softer, more flexible and less intrusive than the full plastic shin guards.
As your child gets older and the game gets more competitive, you should invest in full front plastic shin guards, fiberglass or carbon fiber will be the right choice. Even though these will be more expensive, they will provide additional protection that meets the demand and pace of the game.
How Can I Tell If The Shin Guards Fit?
Occasionally I will meet an over-protective mom at the store who insists that the shin guard should cover the whole child’s leg. Picturing how a child issuppose to move around with such a big shin guard is quite intriguing to me. Shin guards should end below the fold in the kneecap in order to allow the knee to bend comfortably.
What Size Ball Should My Child Be Using?
Soccer balls used in youth leagues come in sizes 3, 4, and 5. If you don’t know what size to get for your child follow the guideline below:
Now that you have read all this information, I believe your child is ready to conquer the soccer field. Before you leave, I want to let you know that if your child has a wide or extra wide foot, there are soccer cleats that come in those widths. You can find soccer cleats for children with wide or extra wide feet here:
Is your child planning on starting playing soccer soon? Did you know about the importance of soccer socks? Do you have a child that developed blisters or calluses after he or she did not wear the correct soccer/cleat size? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!