There are a few essentials needed for soccer that can improve the quality of your game. Millions of people of all ages, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds world over love soccer. Soccer can transcend language, race and ethnic barriers in part because soccer can be played virtually anywhere without expensive or exclusive gear. Passionate teams battle it out in major cities around the world with the United States enjoying a growing awareness and passion for the sport.
The first, and most essential piece of gear is the soccer ball. Children in poorer countries play soccer on dirt fields and fashion balls from string or tape, but professional soccer balls feature stitched leather or plastic panels stretched around inflated rubber bladders. The hexagonal or pentagonal shapes of the panels are engineered to withstand repeated kicks and rough play.
Next, you need two soccer goals for each end of the playing field. Even informal games need some kind of goal, which you could simply mark with two upright sticks firmly placed in the ground. You can set up portable goals made from tubing and netting and them pack them up once the game is over.
You can play soccer barefoot, and some elite players, such famed soccer star Pele, eschewed footwear, but virtually all-professional players today wear cleats. Cleats can help you maintain a better grip on playing surfaces while still maintaining a feel for the ball. Usually made from leather or synthetic materials, cleats must be flexible and lightweight but sturdy. The soles of the shoes might have metal teeth, rubber nubs or none at all.
As with other soccer essentials, what you wear can be very simple or specialized gear. Generally, loose fitting and lightweight clothing is best. Shorts with elasticized waistbands and roomy sports tops come in a wide variety of designs and materials. Moisture-wicking material helps keep you drier and comfortable. Sports specialists such as Addidas carry a wide range of clothing for both male and female players. Sorts socks are also important, and should fit well, not bunch up and help keep your feet clean and dry.
Soccer doesn't require elaborate protective gear such as the extensive padding worn by American football players, but there are a few helpful pieces of equipment available for players. Shin guards help protect your lower legs from painful kicks. Male players can opt for athletic underwear with protective cups.
Team jerseys, shorts and socks are essential for formal games. If you belong to a team, you will wear your team's colors to help unify the team and identify the players on the field. Schools might have custom designed clothing or just use generic colored gear, depending on the budget of preferences of the physical education department. Soccer equipment is as diverse as the many types of people that play it. You can spend hundreds of dollars of things that seem essential, whereas other players do very well with basics. In soccer a ball, a level field and some rudimentary goals can make for wonderful games. All you need are fellow players, enthusiasm and excellent fitness.