When buying boots for kids, first find out what type of surface they will be playing on – soft ground (SG), firm ground (FG) or turf, as each one requires a different kind of stud and boot. 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. You’ll also need to consider lacing – asymmetrical is currently popular, but there are plenty of other options, which your child may prefer the feel of. Think about weight too – it usually stands that the more lightweight a boot is, the easier it'll be to play in.
1. Adidas Messi 15.3 Turf: £31.50, Adidas
Rare is the little footballer who doesn’t idolise Lionel Messi, and our testers loved these boots named after the Barcelona star. Designed for use indoors and on astroturf, they never slip when being worn, thanks to the moulded midfoot and heel piece. You can also get customisation with their name or number for a fiver.
2. Clarks Award Leap: £32, Clarks
Our 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, 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.
3. Nike Mercurial Vapor X FG CR7: £90, Nike
Part of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Nike collection, these are great-looking, exceptionally light boots, with synthetic uppers that give excellent control in all but the wettest weather. The cushioning underfoot is outstanding and it stays that way after a lot of wear.
4. Asics Junior Lethal Tigeror: £32.99, Sports Shoes
Designed for hard ground use, this mini version of the adult Lethal Tigeror boots feel light and are true to size, as well as offering good support and protection. They’re also durable, which means they make good hand-me-downs.
5. Nike Junior Hypervenom Phantom II FG: £120, Nike
These eye-catching boots have a glove-like fit around the ankles, giving excellent support. The super-thin upper feels light on the foot, which helps with fancy footwork. And, thanks to the stud placement, kids won’t slip on soggy pitches.
6. Puma EvoPower 1.3 FG: £56, Puma
The microfibre upper on these boots feels soft and light, so children won’t be hindered by clunky footwear (although opposing defenders might get distracted by the colour scheme). The brand’s “AccuFoam” in the lining helps with cushioning, as well as helping kids to strike the ball smoothly.
7. Hi-Tec Black and White: £14.99, Shoezone
This decent pair of lace-up boots offers great value for money and is ideal for kids who play more occasional football. The comfort and looks are far superior to other boots we tried in this price range and they come with a stud spanner.
8. New Balance Visaro Control SG: £38, New Balance
New Balance might not be the biggest name in the market, but it makes good value, lasting boots that give kids real control of the ball. Available in various colours, these ones have a synthetic PU upper and soft ground soleplate. We found them effective in most weather conditions.
9. Adidas Ace 15.1 Firm/Artificial Ground Boots: £56, Adidas
These are comfortable straight out of the box. What’s more, our testers found these gave better ball control, both on artificial and firm ground, than most of the main competitors in this price bracket.
10. Puma EvoSpeed 4.4 FG: £31, Puma
These boots are all about speed. Their minimal outsole doesn’t weigh feet down as the flexible material improves players’ manoeuvrability and the ability to react faster. They’re very comfortable, too.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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