What Do Soccer Players Wear?

Soccer clothing and equipment has evolved over the years, and more and more players are emphasizing getting the right look before taking the pitch. It is not always essential to have great clothes, but some people believe that it does improve their performance. What do soccer players wear? This is a closer look at some of the essentials for casual as well as official soccer play.

Short Sleeve Top

Whether it is a jersey or just a simple T-shirt, almost every single soccer player will have a short sleeve top on. The only time this will be different is if it is a little chillier outside, as long sleeves might prove to be a little better.

In pick up options, the color does not really matter that much at all. In actual matches, a player must match the color of their jersey with any layers that are underneath. The only person who can’t match is the goalkeeper, as they need to have a separate look, so referees know who is allowed to touch the ball with their hands.


The preferred style of soccer shorts are pretty short overall. They are also very lightweight, making sure that players do not feel like they are too weighed down running up and down the field.

Soccer shorts usually do not have any pockets, as they can get caught up a bit during play if a person is not careful. Shorts make the most sense for the vast majority of players, even during cold weather. The only person who might opt for longer pants with some padding underneath are goalies.

Socks & Shin Guards

At younger levels, almost every single player has high socks and shin guards to protect themselves at all times. Not only does this help protect against the ball, but any random kicks from the opposition. It is tough for younger players to take some of those hits, so having shin guards on makes parents feel a little more secure.

Professional players have a little more freedom as far as whether or not they want to wear high socks and shin guards. Many players still opt to do so, and as long as they are too hard, they are perfectly fine to wear during competition. It can be an advantage for some players, as they do not fear the chance of being injured while challenging for a ball.

Additional Safety Gear

At the youth level, soccer players are opting for some protection for their head in some cases. This is due to the increase in concussions going on in the sport, especially when trying out headers for the first time. Some youth leagues have opted just to get rid of any headers in the first place, which reduces the need for any head or face protection.

If a professional player wants to wear headgear or a facemask, it must be approved by the governing body first. It needs to be soft enough that it does not give a player an advantage against the opposition.

Other protective gear that is a little less common includes wearing a cup, putting on padding in different areas, and more. This all usually comes down to players who are either coming back from an injury, or those susceptible to a particular injury.


Players in the field will only invest in gloves if it is a chilly match. They are lightweight and easy to throw on, and if a person gets too warm, they can take them off in the middle of the batch and go on.

Gloves are mostly associated with goalies, and they invest a lot of money and getting ones that fit them correctly. A goalie’s gloves can come very padded to get in the way of any shot. It helps protect against the ball, as well as the ground when diving.


To a lot of soccer players, the cleats are the most important part of an outfit. That is because a player not only needs to be comfortable running miles and miles during a match, but they need to get the right precision off of the cleat for shooting, passing, and dribbling.

The first thing to consider is the type of style a person wants with soccer shoes. There are very low-cut options that allow for a lot of maneuverability, but some people do not like the lack of ankle support. A higher cut is going to provide a more locked-in feel, and it can come in handy when playing surfaces are less than ideal.

Speaking of playing surfaces, cleats can differ quite a bit depending on where a match takes place. There are different cleats for dry and wet surfaces, and there is also a difference between artificial turf cleats and ones designed for grass. The common difference is that the slippery surfaces need longer cleats so a player can dig in and feel secure in doing so.

In some cases, indoor cleats are going to have very small cleats, or none at all. It really depends on the type of playing surface, as players want to make sure that they can move around well.

To help cut down on costs, there are some cleat options out there that have detachable solutions for different surfaces. This means a person can take out longer cleats and put in something a bit more friendly for the surface they are playing on. Players need to make sure that they have their kit with them at all times for quick changes.

As for what can’t work as cleats, all leagues have strict rules against any metal cleats. They prove to be a hazardous option when going up against other players. Even plastic and molded cleats are checked to make sure that they are not too sharp and capable of causing an injury risk.

An Overall Look At What Soccer Players Wear

Overall, gear for soccer and what players wear in general is pretty minimal. Most do not want to feel too weighed down because it can end up doing more harm than good. There are a few essentials that every player must invest in, but the majority will be fine with a pretty standard set up.

Connor Smith

I'm Connor, the guy behind SoccerPrime. I'm a former NCAA Div 1 college player that retired early at 21 due to injuries - which lead me into a new career as a soccer coach.

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