This Year’s Best Soccer Gear: A position-by-position breakdown

Soccer is a beautiful and complicated game, with each position requiring a certain set of particular, unique skills. The traits you need to be successful as a forward are much different than the ones you need to be successful as a goalie. So, when it comes to soccer gear, you don’t need just any gear. You need the boots and guards that are fine-tuned to maximize the specific skill set you bring to the pitch on game day. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Eastbay Soccer Gear Guide - Forward


As a forward, you need to be fast. You need to burst past the last line of defenders to get that perfect shot. But if you want to be like the game’s best goal-scorers, you’ll need a lot more skills than just straight-line speed. You’ll need to be quick, able to change directions in a split-second, and have unrivaled touch on the ball.

For edge attackers, the Nike Mercurial Superfly II is your top option. It’s got the game-changing traction and advanced fit you need to stop on a dime, dodge your defender, and cut towards the goal.

Forwards manning the middle will love the Nike Hypervenom Phinish. Its NikeSkin upper with ACC technology gives you unmatched control and touch on the ball under any type of weather condition.

If adidas is more your style, you can’t go wrong with the adidas Messi 16+ Pureagility. The world’s best soccer player played a big part in the design and creation of these boots, so you can be sure you’ll get elite level striking performance from them.

Don’t forget to stay safe out there! The Nike Mercurial Flylite shin guards are truly outstanding. They’ve got a revolutionary open-venting design that increases airflow and keeps your legs cool and dry all match long.

Eastbay Soccer Gear Guide - Midfielder


For a midfielder, footwork is key. You need to keep control of the ball longer than any other position and start game-altering fast breaks. This is all right up the Nike Magista Obra’s alley. Its 3D, full-knit upper actually enhances foot-to-ball touch for unbelievable control and a devastating finish.

However, the latest wave of elite midfielders brings as much speed to the pitch as any other position. If you’re looking to push the pace, check out the adidas X 16.1. At only 7.2 ounces and with a SPRINTFRAME outsole, this cleat is lightweight and explosive while staying comfortable and stable.

The adidas Ghost Pro Guard is the perfect way to stay protected as a mid. With the same lightweight fit of other slip-on sleeve models, it also offers a strong protective plate for full-speed contact.

Eastbay Soccer Gear Guide - Defender


All-game comfort. First-class fit. Terrific control. These are all essential parts to a defender’s boots. For those looking to take over key possessions and tactically bring the ball up-field, the adidas Ace 16.1 Primeknit is exactly what you need. Its Primeknit upper gives you that great adidas ball control, while its pure cut sock system and SPRINTFRAME outsole work together to provide a premium level of comfort.

Physical play is also a key component to a defender’s game. If you love tackling the opposing attackers to the ground and quickly booting the ball back to your offense, there’s the PUMA EvoPOWER 1.3. Available both in leather and synthetic options, this boot is built with thin upper pads for protection during take downs and a Pebax outsole for proper flex when launching the ball deep down the field.

Shin guard-wise, the Nike Attack Premium Guard is as durable as they come. Built in three pieces, it disperses impact better than any other option so you feel less impact while always staying safe.

Eastbay Soccer Gear Guide - Goalkeeper


Goalies can be all over the map when it comes to their favorite types of boots, but many still love the premium comfort and touch of leather. If that sounds like you, we recommend the Nike Tiempo Legend VI. The Tiempo is constructed from top-of-the-line kangaroo leather and contains an internal support cage to help maintain the boot’s shape after multiple punts.

Another great leather goalie boot option is the Under Armour SpeedForm Carbon Leather. Its molded heel and shaped toe box make it insanely comfortable and ensure that you get the perfect fit.

A keeper’s shin guard doesn’t need to be too heavy-duty, since contact isn’t too common. A guard like the Nike Mercurial Lite Guard is ideal. It comes in a variety of cool colors, while staying lightweight and fitting perfectly.

Obviously, you need some gloves too, and there are a ton of great choices out there, but we love the adidas Zones collection. With specific catching zones, hyperextension protection, and a supportive wrist strap, they are truly elite. Plus, they come in a variety of different prices, fits, and styles.

Eastbay Fall Sports

There’s plenty more where all this great soccer gear came from. Make sure to check out our entire selection of great boots and shin guards. And don’t worry keepers, we didn’t forget about you. We’ve got a ton of goalkeeping gloves as well.

So now that you’ve got the perfect gear for your position, you’ve got nothing else holding you back. So step onto the pitch this fall season and make this the year that you Conquer Your Can’t.

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