Help them put their best foot forward with the best kids football boots from Adidas, Nike, Puma, Sports Direct, Decathlon and more
As footie season kicks off again, many of us are on the lookout for new kit for our precious protégé. And whether your kid is a total beginner or a veritable pro, it’s likely they’ll agree on the most important part of that kit: the boots.
The best football boots for your child will depend on what sort of stage they’re at, so we’ve tested a variety of options. If they just want to try out football club but may not stick it beyond a couple of weeks, for example, you’ll want boots that will get them out on the pitch but won’t break the bank. And if they can’t yet tie their own laces, you may well want those boots to have Velcro fastenings.
If your little kicker is playing more regularly or training more seriously, it may be worth investing in a more substantial pair of boots knowing they’ll get more use out of them. And whatever stage they’re at, they’ll need something that fits well and supports their growing feet to avoid the risk of injury.
If you’re buying football boots, buy specifically for the type of ground your little kicker is likely to spend most time playing on. Firm ground (FG) boots are the most popular option – they’re ideal for mostly dry, grass pitches in summer or the depths of winter. Soft ground (SG) boots are designed for the wetter, muddier outdoor pitches of autumn and spring, with longer and rounder studs to give a better grip.
If your pint-sized player trains on a 3G or 4G artificial grass pitch, meanwhile, you’ll need AG boots with plastic studs. And if they play on astroturf – sometimes referred to as a 2G pitch – it’s TF boots with short, rubber studs. If you’re lucky, you’ll find some boots that function across multiple surfaces.
How we tested
We tested boots on various pitches in all weathers – often trying the same boot with alternative soles – to compare factors like fit, comfort, durability, and price. We’ve also sought out boots across a range of price points, and these are our top picks – most of which are available for all pitch types.
The best football boots for kids for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Adidas predator freak .1 children’s FG football boots: £70, Sportsdirect.com
- Best for affordability – Adidas red predator P3 kids turf football boots: £50, Next.co.uk
- Best for wider feet – Nike tiempo legend academy junior FG football boots: £38, Sportsdirect.com
- Best for occasional players – Kipsta hard ground agility 100 FG football boots: £9.99, Decathlon.co.uk
- Best for lightweight boots – Nike tiempo legend 9 pro FG football boots: £114.95, Nike.com
- Best for speed – Puma ultra 4.2 children’s astro turf trainers: £27.99, Sportsdirect.com
- Best for younger players – Nike mercurial vapor club children’s astro turf trainer: £21, Sportsdirect.com
- Best laceless boots – Adidas predator freak .3 laceless children’s astro turf trainer: £45, Adidas.co.uk
Adidas predator freak .1 children’s FG football boots
As far as football boots go, the predator is up there with the best of them. First launched in the Nineties, the classic boot has been a favourite ever since, and the latest incarnation – the predator freak – is a worthy winner of our top spot.
An update of last year’s mutator 20, these boots have “demonskin 2.0” spikes across the upper to give you a great level of grip on the ball – and a brilliantly menacing appearance on the pitch. We tested the FG versions, although there are soles available for every pitch. We particularly liked the mid-cut design, which gave a great level of support around the ankle, and found these to be incredibly lightweight.
What really set them apart though was the ease of getting them on and off, thanks to the design of the collar – which totally cut down the amount of time we spent faffing at the side of the pitch. Famously worn by Man U’s Paul Pogba, this is one fine footie boot.
Adidas red predator P3 kids turf football boots
Best: For affordability
If you’re looking for the same classic predator style but don’t want to spend £70, consider the predator P3. We found these boots ticked many of the same boxes as the newer ones, but at a slightly more affordable price for growing feet, and we were as impressed with the turf versions as we were the firm ground versions we tried.
The fit came up brilliantly and these mid-cut boots offered great support for our narrow-footed tester, particularly as the laces allow you to adjust the fit. The main difference we noticed was the upper, which has a more subtle layer of textured small studs rather than the full-on rubber spikes of the freaks. Yes, they received less of a fanfare on the pitch, but they’re a brilliant boot all the same.
Nike tiempo legend academy junior FG football boots
Best: For wider feet
If your football fanatic prefers a low-profile boot without the moulded sock-style collar of the Adidas predators, these are a great option. Laced like a normal pair of trainers, they’ve got a soft calf leather upper with embossed ridges or textured panels, depending on the colour and style you choose. Our tester preferred the white/volt versions, mostly because of the bold Nike swoosh branding.
We found even when we pulled the laces in quite tightly, these were a better fit on a wider foot. That said, they have a good amount of arch support and a padded ankle that allowed our tester to play in them for long periods without any complaints. These start from a size 1, so they’re great for younger players.
Kipsta hard ground agility 100 FG football boots
Best: For occasional players
Coming in at under a tenner, these budget-friendly boots are an ideal first pair. Designed for occasional play on a dry pitch, they’re aimed towards younger children just starting out at a once-a-week football club. As such, sizes start from 7.5 junior and go up to an adult 5 – still for a bargain £9.99.
Design-wise they’re a fuss-free black and red combo with a white sole with moulded studs, plus there’s also a version for artificial pitches. Our tester found them comfortable and easy enough to get on and off, and they cleaned up and lasted well. Considering how quickly kids’ feet grow, we found these did the job perfectly for a great price – albeit without any of the bells and whistles. Kipsta also do a rip-tab Agility 500 boot as well as a high-top version, both of which make a wallet-friendly step up from the Agility 100 if your child plays a bit more regularly.
Nike tiempo legend 9 pro FG football boots
Best: For lightweight boots
Nike has redesigned the plate and upper of its classic tiempos to create the legend 9 pro, which is the priciest pair of boots in our round-up. Amazingly lightweight, these have a leather upper cut to a low-profile shape, and they’re designed with attackers in mind.
Our tester liked the low-key black colourway with a signature tiempo logo on the back, and apart from the textured foam pods on the upper and the all-important Nike tick, the design is as cool and classic as it gets. This version starts from a UK4 and goes up to a UK14, so older kids, teens and grown-ups can all find a size to fit. There’s also a cheaper junior version in smaller sizes.
Puma ultra 4.2 children’s astro turf trainers
Best: For speed
Our tester loved channelling Antoine Griezmann in these Puma ultras. Engineered for speed, they have a slim profile and feel nice and light, with a non-marking rubber outsole and a synthetic upper that’s reflected in the low price.
The boots start from a junior 10 and go up to a size two, so they’re another good choice for small feet. We tried the sunblaze colour – a pinky red with blue details – which stood out well on an astro turf pitch. The option to customise them with a name (for £2) and a flag or emoji (for another £5) sealed the deal for our tester.
Nike mercurial vapor club children’s astro turf trainer
Best: For younger players
Our six-year-old tester got on brilliantly with these boots thanks to the quick and easy Velcro fastening. There’s a bit of give so you can get a good fit on a fairly narrow foot, or let it out a little if your child’s feet are wider. Either way, the Velcro seems to last well without losing its grip over time.
Design-wise they’re sleek and simple with a synthetic upper, padded ankle and cushioned insole. Our tester wore the black version with red details, although there are brighter options available if you want to be able to spot your little player on the pitch. All in all this is a good budget version of Nike’s famous mercurial boot available for younger players from a junior size 10 up to a 13.
Adidas predator freak .3 laceless children’s astro turf trainer
Best: Laceless boots
Yes, it’s the predators again. But these freak .3s deserve a special mention as they’re such a good option if you’re looking for laceless football boots without having to worry about Velcro fastenings losing their grip over time.
Bear in mind that without the laces there’s no adjustment to be made, so our most narrow-footed tester found the fit a little loose. On the plus side, they allow your young player to pull them on and off totally independently, without the risk of tripping over their laces in the middle of a match.
In particular, we liked the colour options available with these – as well as the classic red there’s a black and pink version and a blue and yellow option. The rubber outsole must be treated with some sort of magic coating because we found it never scuffed or marked even after lots – and lots – of use.
The verdict: Kids’ football boots
All the boots in our round-up will see young footballers right on the pitch, but we were blown away by the Adidas predator freak .1 Children’s FG football boots and the other Predators we tested. The Nike tiempo legend 9 pros were another big hit, and for absolute bargain boots it’s got to be those Kipsta agility 100s.
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If your child is need of a fresh pair of trainers ahead of the new term, take a look at our review of the best kids’ running shoes
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.