THIS SOCCER EQUIPMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR BEGINNER PLAYERS
Soccer is a great game. It’s very simple and has a low barrier to entry. You can play using almost anything as a ball. Although having the correct equipment for serious matches is important. A lot of clubs, no matter what level they play at will not let you play without the basics. This list of basic equipment will enhance your soccer experience and help prevent injuries from occurring.
Soccer Clothing Items
Here is a list of the essential clothing items with a handful of product recommendations. I believe every product recommended is of a high quality and definitely worth considering.
Shirt – Soccer shirts aren’t required. You can wear any normal t-shirt you want to play football, as long as it’s comfortable to wear.
You are able to get 2 versions of Soccer shirts, short sleeves and long sleeves. Buying a long sleeved shirt can be good for the winter and you can roll up the sleeves during the summer too.
There’s better ways to keep warm while playing football which will be covered later on.
If you’re playing for an amateur team, chances are they will have their own matchday kit that they provide.
Shorts – The only variant to consider while buying shorts is the size.
As long as they’re comfortable and fit how you’d like them too, you’ll be able to get away with any shorts.
You can wear sweatpants if you want, goalkeepers have done this at a professional level. Though I find they’re more restrictive than shorts.
I always just wore shorts from the club I support. As the shorts supplied by my team were too small for my legs, I'd often wear them for matches too.
Depending on which level you're playing at this may not be allowed.
If you’re playing for an amateur team or better, it’s certain they’ll have their own matchday kit that they provide.
You will have to turn up to training wearing your own clothes that are suitable for soccer. I would suggest picking up a pair of soccer socks for yourself.
- Artificial Grass (AG)
- Multi Ground (MG)
- Firm Ground (FG)
Some companies will not allow you on their pitches if you aren’t wearing the right footwear. Indoor shoes will work on every surface but you may have poor traction on some shoes. Blades are the most flexible type of studded shoes but in soft ground will not allow you much traction.
This equipment is pretty much mandatory. If you get caught on the pitch without any of this gear, you put yourself at risk of getting injured.
Shin Guards (MANDATORY) – You don’t want to play soccer without shin pads. Some players will try to get away without wearing them during training but this isn’t safe.
Shin guards will protect you from getting cuts, bruises and even worse. Your lower legs are prone to injury thanks to the heavy tackles that are involved in a game of football.
It’s fine not to wear these when you’re having a kick-around with your mates. Though if you’re trying to play in any serious match, the referee and coaches will not allow you on the pitch without wearing shin pads.
Your legs are incredibly vulnerable in soccer. Make sure you do all you can to protect them.
Goalkeeper Gloves – As a keeper you’re going to be facing incredibly powerful shots. Some will be 120km/h+ depending on what kind of level you are playing at.
Keepers also have to punch and catch the ball. Goalie gloves take the sting out of shots, punches and will add extra grip that helps stop those hard shots.
There’s nothing worse than forgetting your gloves and having to play in goal on a cold day.
Soccer Equipment & Accessories
I suggest that you have 1 of everything listed below. These items are essential. It's worth keeping a water bottle & ball pump in your bag at all times.
Soccer Ball – It should not come as a surprise, To play soccer you will need a soccer ball. You can play with almost anything though you should have a ball.
Soccer balls are incredibly cheap. They can range from $4.99-$200. Spending more money does not necessarily guarantee you a great ball.
I’d stick to official replicas from the Premier League, MLS, Champions League or International competitions such as European Championships, Copa America or World Cup.
Ball Pump – If you already have a bike pump it may be as simple as getting a ball pump needle adaptor.
If you don’t already have a bike pump, a football pump is cheap. They often range between $3.99-$20.
Keep an eye on where you put it, I’m always forgetting where I placed mine. It might be a smart idea to get multiple and keep one in your sports bag.
Soccer Goal – Depending where you’re located there may be a local park which already has a goal or two. Chances are they don’t have a net though, which if you’re playing alone can be incredibly frustrating.
Buying a small goal for your back garden may be a smart financial choice that will allow you to play whenever you want.
A goal isn’t necessary however it would be great to use for shooting and passing practice.
Water Bottle – It’s incredibly important you stay hydrated.
As you play, you will sweat. This means you’re losing fluid as you play. Lack of hydration may lead to worse performance. Not only that but you may experience increased rate of exertion and even increase the stress your heart has to withstand.
Plain water is great, you don’t need to spend money on well marketed sports drinks. Here’s a great document on Fluids in Sport.
That's all the soccer equipment you will need
If you buy or already own all of this equipment, you're good to go.
You don’t need to break the bank to start playing soccer. Shoes will be the most expensive item you will have to buy but if you’re looking for a cheap pair there’s many brands that are reasonably priced.
If the weather is particularly bad it’s a good idea to have a change of clothes as well.