How to Choose the Best Nike Football Boots for Kids

Buying Guide

Find the boots that will best fit their taste, comfort and style of play.

Last updated: 1 March 2023
5 min read
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A pair of football boots optimised for comfort and playing style can help the child in your life get the most out of the sport while performing at their best. When finding a new pair of football boots for kids, there are some important factors to consider, such as the type of surface they'll be playing on, their future performance goals and the boot materials they find most comfortable.

Use this guide to find the best kids' football boots by Nike.

(Related: The Best Nike Football Boots to Match Your Playing Style)

Quick Tips

  • Consider the child's playing level: for a beginner, consider a simple style, such as the Nike Jr. Tiempo boots. More experienced youth players may benefit from boots that maximise performance, such as the Nike Jr. Phantom or Mercurial boots.
  • Prioritise comfort and fit: football boots should feel snug but not too tight. There should be no movement in the heel and a space about the width of a thumb between the big toe and the edge of the boot. A football boot will generally fit true to regular shoe size. Picking a boot with Nike Zoom Air cushioning will provide a more comfortable fit as well.
  • Know the playing surface: most boots are made for a specific surface, whether that be firm ground (FG), turf (TF) or indoor courts (IC). If the little footballer in your life will most likely play on a variety of surfaces, opt for a multi-ground (MG) boot.

(Related: How To Pick the Right Indoor Football Shoes for You)

The Best Football Boots for Kids, Based on Playing Style

1. For Comfort and Speed: Nike Jr. Mercurial

Mercurial boots are made for young players who prioritise support and comfort while dribbling, passing and kicking.

The Mercurial features a synthetic upper that moulds to a kid's foot and provides a snug fit and responsive touch. These boots are flexible and breathable, making them ideal for intense bursts of speed on the pitch while maintaining control of the ball.

Some Mercurial boots come with Nike Zoom technology, which helps absorb impact and adds cushioning to quick movements. Nike Jr. Mercurial Vapor boots have a low-profile design, while the Nike Jr. Mercurial Superfly boots feature a sock-like lining that wraps the ankle for a natural, close-fitting feel.

Find these football shoes for firm ground, turf, indoor courts and multi-ground surfaces.

2. For Precision and Control: Nike Jr. Phantom

The Phantom boot is designed with extra grip for young players who are building their footwork skills like fast turns, accelerated moves and precision for kicking the ball to the back of the net.

Synthetic leather and asymmetric lacing gives a clean touch zone on the inner arch of the boot, while a blend of conical and tri-star studs underfoot enables quick directional changes. Meanwhile, a supportive mesh collar gives comfort and breathability.

Some models, like the Nike Jr. Phantom Academy, don't have laces at all but rather a pull tab and adjustable tongue to get young players on the pitch even more quickly. These boots also feature an agility plate designed for swerves and sprints.

Like the Mercurial boots, Phantom boots feature either a sock-like fit at the ankles or a low-profile style. Find them for turf, indoor courts and multi-ground surfaces.

3. For Reliability and Durability: Nike Jr. Tiempo

The Nike Jr. Tiempo boots favour comfort and consistency above all else. This style embodies traditional Nike designs and its reliability makes this boot work well for all players—from beginner to expert.

These football shoes are best suited for defenders, centre backs or players who want more protection. The upper on these boots has raised textures backed by soft foam pods to give padding and precision to dribbling, passing and shooting.

Soft, synthetic leather adds to the shoe's durability without sacrificing comfort. These boots feel comfortable from the start, meaning the young player in your life can go straight to the pitch without a painful break-in period. Find them for turf, indoor courts and multi-ground surfaces.

(Related: How to Clean Football Boots)

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of boots should I choose for a child just beginning football?

Look for simple boots with a rubber or plastic sole for good traction on the pitch. The Nike Jr. Tiempo boot provides a comfortable fit and reliable traction that works well for beginners and experts alike.

How should boots properly fit a child's foot?

Football boots should feel snug but not tight. The child should be able to freely move their toes but their heel should stay put. Avoid buying boots that are too big as this can make it harder for a player to control the ball and potentially cause blisters.

What type of boot is best for different types of playing surfaces?

Boots are made for specific surfaces, such as firm ground, artificial turf or indoor courts. Football shoes worn indoors will have a grippy, rubber sole, while boots worn on multi-ground surfaces will have studs on the bottom for traction and quick movements.

How often should I replace a child's football boots?

Replace football boots every six to eight months or when the child outgrows them. Boots may need to be replaced sooner if they show signs of wear and tear, such as worn-out soles or holes in the uppers.

Words by Claire Tak

Originally published: 21 February 2023

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