Have you ever tried to purchase a soccer cleat online and find that it did not fit properly? Wear them for a month and have them fall apart? What about just hating your purchase and not wanting to deal with the hassle of returning them? Well we found a great resource for finding the right soccer cleats for you. It’s called soccercleats101.com, and it was founded by Bryan Byrne, co-captaining of the 2006 National Champion UCSB Gauchos. He was drafted in the MLS superdraft in the third round back in 2007 and since then has seen time in the MLS and the PDL. He is able to call upon his abundance of soccer resources and his extensive knowledge from his personal experiences in order to determine what works. This in turn enables him to deliver the most in depth analysis and reviews of the latest soccer cleats.
Soccercleats101 uses 10 different categories or attributes in their evaluation of each individual cleat; Style, Performance, Comfort, Technology, Responsiveness, Durability, Accuracy, Innovation, Support and Value. Collectively they determine the overall score of each cleat based upon their evaluation process. So we wanted to learn a little more about the evaluation process and some of their findings and we were lucky enough to have Byrne answer a few questions for us:
First, how many reviews or opinions do you take in order to put together each review of each cleat?
I normally try to take a boot from scratch, without reading anybody else’s opinion. This leaves me completely unbiased from the beginning. From there, I spend some time breaking a pair in, jotting down some notes as I go, until I feel like they are ready for some game time! It usually takes 2-3 jogging sessions to get the soleplate loosened up and ready for a game where there is a lot more twisting and turning involved. Once I play a few games in them I will write up a draft review, and then ask a few friends about their experiences or what they actually think of the boot. And from that information I finalize the review! Testing and reviewing can often be challenging, especially when a boot is more difficult to break in than others, so the time spent reviewing each pair can be dramatically different!
Who comprises of your team of evaluators? Club teams? Adult leagues? College players, youth players etc?
To produce the most accurate information, I review each pair myself. This allows me to be consistent in comparing different boots. I currently play for a few different teams in LA, as well as jumping into scrimmages and exhibition games where I can. I will frequently ask players who I see wearing new boots about their experience breaking them in and performance. There are a lot of soccer players that contact me looking for information on boots (sizing/shape/comparison) so I try to garner as much information as possible to be able to share with others.
Has there been any cleat that surprised you this year that you have reviewed? Has there been one that has disappointed you?
Yes, there are many boots that fall into both categories! In terms of surprise, I have to say the Adidas F50 adizero, primarily because of the fact that Adidas have managed to create a comfortable boot that weighs 5.8oz. I was totally expecting to blister up and suffer throughout testing them, but the opposite occurs and I love wearing them. And I think the adizero has taken a large chunk out of the credibility of the Nike Mercurial Superfly. The Superfly was a huge disappointment, and its price tag only added to the pain. Nike will have to go back to the drawing board with that one.
Obviously today the uppers on cleats are predominantly comprised of some type of artificial material, how have these new cleats compared to the older more traditional kangaroo skin uppers?
They offer something completely different for a player. The biggest difference lies in the fact that the synthetic uppers are much lighter, allowing companies to develop and perfect “speed” boots. In past year the craze has been developing the lightest boot on the market. First it was Nike, and then Adidas and now Puma have released the V1.10 SL, which is officially the lightest of them all. Safety is a concern at the moment, with many young players looking to wear the same boots as their idols. But these lighter materials can lead to an increase in the opportunity for injury. Personally, I prefer K-leather uppers as they offer great comfort and durability, and lets be honest who doesn’t enjoy spending a half hour cleaning their boots and applying some leather food! The Copa Mundial, which is probably one of the best selling cleats of all time, is still a popular choice for many players, so there is no doubt that K-Leather will be around for a while longer.
Here at Scoutme.com we find resources like this to be enormously useful because having the right cleat can make a world of a difference. Hopefully the next time you go buy a cleat you stop by soccercleats101.com to find out what is the right cleat for you.