Given that soccer is a sport that relies on your feet perhaps more than any other, it is no surprise that the subject comes up in discussions around the world on a regular basic.
There is no set minimum or maximum in terms of foot sizing when it comes to being permitted to play soccer at the highest level but there are certain advantages that feet of different sizes have over others.
Today we will be taking a deeper dive into foot sizing by asking the question of: Is it better to have big or small feet for soccer? We will be looking at the reasons that both big and small feet can be helpful on the soccer field, as well as asking does it really matter what size feet you have?
Big feet are better for soccer as it allows for better control of the ball, more power in your shots, and a larger surface area of contact on the ball when tackling. Smaller feet are good for nimble players such as wingers though as they contribute to players being lightweight, making them harder to tackle.
Reasons Big Feet Can Be Helpful
As a general rule, I would suggest that having larger feet is a major advantage when it comes to most positions in soccer.
The main reason for this is that the surface area of your feet is larger than those with smaller feet, this makes the area of the field (and ball) that your feet are touching at any given moment slightly larger.
This is an advantage because it allows for more control of both the ball in possession and increased levels of grip on the field itself, making the risk of slips lower.
Another advantage of having big feet relates to power, those with larger feet tend to be bigger or taller people and this usually means that they are more powerful than their smaller opponents.
If you have ever heard a commentator refer to a player having a ‘foot like a traction engine’, then they are probably referring to a player with large feet than can generate insane levels of power in their shots and passes.
The final reason why having big feet can be helpful is that it can make tackling easier for you and reduce the risk of committing fouls.
As we mentioned earlier, big feet have a larger surface area that makes contact with the ball and while this mainly relates to grip, it can also be beneficial in terms of tackling.
The logic is simple, if you have more of your foot on the ball when committing to a tackle, the more likely you are to win it safely than those who can get very little connection.
Reasons Small Feet Can Be Helpful
There are fewer reasons why small feet can be helpful for playing soccer, although there are still some advantages for those of you with smaller-sized feet.
The main reason that small feet are helpful is pretty specific to players that play on the wing as these players need to be more agile and nimble than most of their teammates.
By having small feet, these players become harder to tackle as those defending against them struggle to wrestle possession from them, wingers also tend to be smaller people that weigh less (making them easier to foul).
Another advantage of having smaller feet for soccer is that cleats in smaller sizes are often cheaper than those in bigger sizes. Some people with especially small feet can even fit into child-sized cleats, these sizes are even cheaper than any in adult sizes.
Of course, this isn’t an on-the-field advantage, but it is always nice to save money on things, it is always worth checking your local outlet store for cleats in your size as you may get a really good deal on them.
Does It Really Matter?
In short, not really. In reality, those with bigger feet are more likely to succeed when it comes to playing soccer at a high level, although if this is something concerning your child then they shouldn’t worry.
At a young age, the impact of size is lessened somewhat as all of those playings are still relatively weak and small, of course, there will be children larger than them but dealing with them can improve a child’s overall game.
Let’s look at some of the best players in the world and their shoe sizes:
|Shoe Size (US)
|Shoe Size (EU)
One only needs to think of Neymar to prove that children that grow up with small statures (and feet) can go on to achieve greatness. The key thing for players with small feet is to hone their skills as a runner and dribblers as this can become their greatest strength.
As we discussed earlier, players that are hard to tackle are hard to play against as defenders are often too scared of committing a foul to stay close enough to the player on the ball, as such players with small feet can carve their way through an entire team on occasion.
For those with bigger feet, you do have a natural advantage over anyone with smaller feet than you, but this obviously doesn’t mean your skills are naturally perfect.
Training to use the assets you have been given is what is most important, so if you have large feet you should constantly practice your shooting, passing, and crossing in order to hone your abilities.
There we have it, our short guide on whether it is better to have big or small feet for soccer is complete. As discussed, it is naturally better for a player to have bigger feet as they are usually more strong and more powerful athletes.
Despite this, players with small feet can use them to their advantage by becoming talented dribblers that are hard to defend against.
If foot size is something you or your child is worried about, then dispel with the stress and focus on improving your game as anyone can make it if they work hard enough.
Just like all heights can succeed in soccer, your shoe size won’t determine if you’ll become a pro soccer player or not.