The Guide to What to Wear to Soccer Practice

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Dressing appropriately for soccer practice is important because it can dictate the level of success for the team.

This is especially true for young players who are still developing their skills and learning how to play the game. If they don’t learn what to wear to soccer practice, this can lead to distractions and affect their confidence.

What to Wear to Soccer Practice

Compared to other sports, you don’t need much gear to play soccer. This is good since you don’t have to break the bank to buy gear and equipment as you might in other sports

That being said, there are still some essentials to consider. As with any competitive sport, you’ll need specific types of preparation, equipment, and gear that will help you perform at your best.

Soccer player dribbling ball

Athletic Clothing

While it may seem obvious, you most certainly don’t want to find yourself on the soccer field wearing heavy clothing that wasn’t designed to play sports. Yet, that doesn’t mean that you should wear just any athleticwear, like sweatpants.

Unlike sweatpants, soccer shorts are lighter so you can move faster and more comfortable since they’re not as restrictive, so they don’t limit your range of movement. You’ll find that it’s easier to jog, sprint, do quick cuts and control the ball wearing soccer shorts than in baggy clothes.

  • Length: Soccer shoes go above the knee, so it’s easier to run with them, yet not as short as running shorts. They must be long enough to protect your legs against the field if you slide or fall on the court.
  • Material: Soccer shoes are made with thicker materials than running shorts for the same reason (protection), yet they also need to be breathable and moisture-wicking to keep your legs and groin free from bad smells and sweat, which can feel uncomfortable while you play.


There isn’t anything particularly special that you need in a soccer shirt. Other than they need to be aligned with their specific teams. It’s best if you use a moisture-wicking shirt so you stay dry the entire practice session. Consider a shirt with a classic crewneck and a regular fit so you can move freely and comfortable.


While you don’t necessarily have to wear sliders they are a nice and welcomed addition to wear. Soccer players slide a lot, leaving their legs scratched and injured.

In addition, many soccer fields have uneven grass and dirt patches, increasing the risk of injury during sliding or falling.

Sliders are basically thick shorts that go under your soccer shorts, and they have padding on the backside of your legs to protect them as you slide on the field.

Sliders are especially valuable when you’re playing soccer indoors. Because indoor soccer fields aren’t natural, without sliders, you risk sliding or falling and incurring a “burn” mark on your skin from the hard surface.

Soccer Specific Apparel

There are several things that you need to wear that are specific to soccer, such as shin guards, soccer-specified socks, and soccer cleats. While these are not a dealbreaker for casual games, they’re crucial to professional games.

Shin Guards

Soccer is one of the few sports with a lot of contact below the waist. This makes your legs susceptible to injuries. Although you are almost certain to get a good workout session every training and game, your shins are the most susceptible to injury and need protection.

Man on grass field stepping on a soccer ball

Shin guards protect your legs against unexpected kicks and fast-moving soccer balls. It’s best if you wear shin guards every time you play, and not just for practices and tournament games. Yet, you can play soccer even without them.

While shin guards vary in size and thickness, they’re usually made of rubber or plastic. Anything that provides ample protection is good for practice.

For good measure, they should fit tightly enough to your shins that you can over them with soccer socks. Regular socks won’t do. Shin guards should cover most of the shin, starting just above the ankle and going up to the base of the knee (without touching the knee).

Soccer Socks

Soccer socks are longer than regular socks, as they need to cover your shin guards. Don’t be alarmed when buying your first pair, chances are they will go well above the knees when pulled all the way up.

The best soccer socks keep the shin guards in place as the player runs all over the field. Most soccer players fold their socks down over their shin guards, creating a double layer. This further helps to keep them in place.

Soccer socks should be made of a thicker material. Because soccer players get kicked often and even take the occasional cleat to the ankle, the sock’s material needs to be thick enough to not rip when this happens.

Soccer player jogging across the field

Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats (not to be substituted by baseball or football cleats) are the specific type of shoes players and athletes wear. These shoes are identified by the cone-like “studs” on the bottom of the sole. These studs give you more control when you’re running in grassy fields, especially when the ground is wet.

These shoes are usually made with rubber, plastic, or metal. However, rubber provides more support and resistance, especially when you’re running and passing the ball around. If the shoes include any metal, make sure they’re allowed by the coach as these are banned in some leagues.

In youth leagues, especially for children under 8 years old, they don’t have to wear these shoes yet and resort to turf shoes first. However, they’re important if you’re considering soccer to be a long-term investment..

Extra Soccer Apparel Options

WeatherBest Apparel
ColdLong-sleeved shirt and leggings
RainyLong-sleeved shirt and headband
HotShort-sleeved shirt and cap
SnowyGloves, leggings, and a long-sleeved shirt

Playing soccer is not the same all year round. What you wear to training changes in line with the weather as it can affect his performance.

Hot Weather

In hot weather, it’s best to wear lighter clothing that allows air circulation throughout the body. Sunscreen is also a must, as it always is. For goalies, it could also help to wear a cap to shield the eyes from the sun.

Cold Weather

In cold weather, you might want to consider base layers. Even though you’re going to sweat a lot and warm up the body, these are better to prevent viruses and other common colds. You can wear training jackets that are specifically for active sports, gloves, and head gears like a cap or appropriate hats.

Goalkeeper Gloves

Goalkeepers are the only players in the lineup that are allowed to use their hands. Goalies need to wear top-quality goalie gloves. Look for something with a good fit and grip; style and extra features are only optional factors.

Soccer Fashion and Style Options

The fashion industry has met the world of soccer, as recent trends would show. The former has taken inspiration from the latter to create new styles, and almost everyone’s been getting on the bandwagon.

If there’s something these trends tell us, it is the appeal of neon cleats, soccer jerseys in primary colors, and even the white stripes and black-and-white checkered accents that have finally caught on beyond soccer fans and players. Yet, there’s more where fashion could take notes from.

Two soccer athletes vying for the ball


For a long time, probably since their inception, headbands have been noted as a headpiece to keep women’s locks away from the face. Therefore, they’d been reserved and associated with women.

Then comes in David Beckham, one of the most popular players in the world. He started wearing one unapologetically. Vogue kept notes, for those who’ve forgotten, how the star player first donned a headband during a game in 2003 after wearing the same one casually just a year before.

Since then, more and more soccer players have started wearing headbands. They’re good to keep the hair out of your face if you have long hair, as well as to prevent any sweat from running down your face.

Colorful Soccer Jerseys

A combination of styles from the ’60s to the ’90s and sports themes inspires the current fashion scene, especially among millennials. It leaves little doubt about why soccer jerseys are on-trend right now. From jacquard patterns to primary colors, it satiates the appetite of 20- and 30-year-olds for the nostalgic trends of their youth.

Aside from the color, design features like color-blocked stripes and seams, big graphic prints of team names, and an occasional brand logo contribute to the aesthetic. This is a cool way to showcase team spirit and brand loyalty if your kid is also a big soccer fan.

Mismatched Cleats

If you’re just coming around to the mismatched shoe trend now, you’re a little late to the party. The good news is, in the world of soccer, mismatched cleats are nothing strange. It all started with Puma’s pink and blue cleats, which pros wore prominently in 2014.

To this day, it can be fun to play around with the style, as mismatched shoes remain a nice surprise in whatever setting. On the red carpet, celebs go all out with it. On the field, players can make a fashion statement with mismatched neon cleats.

Guys Clothing vs Girls Clothing

Generally, men’s and women’s soccer clothes have little to no differences in appearance as they usually look appropriate for both sexes.

The common notable differences would only go as far as the colors used. Women’s clothes tend to have more color options while men’s clothes stick to the usual neon shades of:

  • green
  • yellow
  • orange
  • and the like
Woman in white soccer jersey kicking a ball

New releases of mainstream brands like Nike and Adidas would show otherwise, though. Women’s t-shirts have lower necklines and shorter sleeves, using less fabric and showing more skin.

This opens the argument that women’s sports attires are often skimpier than men’s, yet different body types between men and women also play a part in the size and fit of their clothes.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about sports clothing in soccer.

What Happens if You Don’t Wear Shin Pads?

If you refuse to wear shin pads while playing soccer, you might get badly injured. Some of these injuries can be cuts, severe bruises, or in the worse case, a broken bone.

Can I Wear Two Pairs of Socks to Keep My Feet Warmer?

No, many people believe that stacking two socks will keep your feet away from cold in low temperatures. However, this could only reduce the blood circulation in your feet, increasing the cold feeling.

Can Soccer Players Wear Leggings?

Yes, professional soccer players are permitted to wear leggings while playing. This is useful in cold weather since they completely cover your legs. There is only one restriction: they can only wear them if they are the same color as their shorts.


Soccer is quite low-key when it comes to sports apparel. Aside from a few specific gear choices, there’s a little restriction to what players can wear. Whether you’re a beginner or are on the way to becoming a varsity player, these are standard needs for soccer.

Soccer apparel serves multiple duties: to both enable and protect the player. Following this guide ensures everyone is ready to play soccer while also being protected.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.