Equipment Guide

How To Purchase Football Cleats
Whatever position a player plays on the football field, there is a football cleat to help get the job done. Football cleats are made both for the position they play and the type of field where they play. Keep these two important factors in mind when purchasing football footwear.


Shoe Style
  • High-tops
  • Mid-cut
  • Low-cut

Cleat Types

  • Molded
  • Detachable

Shoe Materials

  • Leather
  • Synthetics


Shoe Style
Football cleats come in three styles – or heights – to accommodate the varying needs of players by position. High-tops, and low-cut shoes are designed for a specific purpose, so choose the style that best suits the player’s position and needs.


High-tops extend up the ankle to provide extra support, especially for lateral movements. Defensive or offensive linemen benefit from this support because of the pressure put on their ankles by the numerous lateral movements during the course of a game.


A mid-cut shoe offers more support while still allowing maneuverability. This style at the youth football level best fits the game of defensive skill players like linebackers or players who have had previous ankle injuries.


Low-cuts are preferred for all offensive and defensive skill players: running back, wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, and safety – because they are lightweight. The lower cut provides extra maneuverability to allow the player to make quick cuts on the field.


Cleat Types
There are two cleat types: molded and detachable cleats. Most are designed exclusively for either grass or turf fields, so consider what types of fields the players most commonly play on. If the games are played on both grass and turf, you can opt for a multipurpose cleat.


These cleats are permanently attached to the outsole on the shoe’s bottom. Turf shoes usually use molded rubber cleats to give the player spring and traction on the harder turf surface. Molded cleats are generally less expensive than shoes with detachable cleats. At the youth football level, detachable cleats are not permitted.


Detachable cleats use studs that can be removed and replaced to fit field conditions on all types of grass – hard and dry or wet and sloppy. Their versatility makes detachable cleats preferable if the player primarily plays on grass. With a wrench and replacement cleats, anyone can easily customize their shoes. A player can choose shorter studs for a hard, dry surface and longer studs when they play on a wet, sloppy field. Detachable cleats are allowed at the high school football level.


Shoe Materials
The shoe’s upper typically is made from either a leather or synthetic material.


Leather breathes well, which helps keep a player’s feet more comfortable, and is generally more flexible, a big plus in both comfort and function. Leather is very durable. Leather shoes are generally more expensive.


Usually less expensive than leather. Synthetics won’t give the player the breathability and durability of leather. Most shoes use synthetic materials somewhere, especially to provide reinforcement or support in the forefoot, mid-foot and ankle.


Determine Your Cleat Size
Determining the player’s proper shoe size is essential to a comfortable fit for the player’s football cleats. Don’t assume the shoe size is the same as it always has been. The shape of the player’s feet changes over time. Unlike school shoes or everyday function shoes, football cleats are essential to maximizing performance and preventing injury. Cleats too small risk injury and discomfort. Cleats too large risk injury and are detrimental to performance. The Bears Junior All American Football Family gets significant discounts on football cleats through our vendors, so if cost is a concern, please contact a Bears Football Family staff member to order football cleats through the league or for more cost effective options.


Nike Football Size Chart

Official (Size 9) Size approved for High School, Collegiate and Pro Use
Youth (Size 8 ) Ages 12-14 – Bears Junior All American
Junior (size 7) Ages 10-12 – Bears Junior All American
Pee Wee (Size 6) Ages 9 and younger – N/A


Wilson Football Size Chart
Wilson is the official football of the NFL and NCAA.  The following is a handy football size chart to help you decide which Wilson football works best for your player. The information in this chart is from the manufacturer and is subject to change without notice.  Wilson brand footballs are available at most Sports Authority, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Sports Chalet, Wal-Mart, and Target locations.
Wilson Footballs Size Chart
Size/Pattern Description For Official Use By Approved By
Official Size, Pro Pattern Official pattern of the NFL; largest pattern, exclusive to Wilson Adult players, Professional & College NFL, NCAA, NFHS
Official Size, Collegiate Pattern Official pattern of the NCAA; built to the smallest legal specs for more accuracy and control Adult players & College NCAA, NFHS
Official Size, High School Pattern Same size and shape as Collegiate pattern, but stamped for High School play. High School players NFHS
Youth Size Designed for Youth & Intermediate Leagues Youth players, Ages 12-14 Bears Junior All American; NFHS & AYF
Junior Size Approved Junior size game ball for all major associations Junior players, Ages 5-11 Bears Junior All American; NFHS & AYF
Pee Wee Size N/A in Bears Junior All American N/A N/A