Over a year and a half after applying, I’m finally joining a soccer team in the ATL (communication issues on their part, they’ve remedied those.) And since I haven’t played much since college, I needed to go though my kit and see what to replace and what to reuse.
Shoes were first- I looked at the ones in my “sport shoes” bin in my closet and the cleats were very worn (besides the ones that looked very newly replaced), the shoe itself was in rough shape, the lining was torn… New cleats looked like they were on my list. New studs vs. Old:
And my awesome shinguards already had elastic issues when I put them away years ago, now it was totally shot, so shinguards went on the list. And I only have 1 pair of soccer shorts left, plus couldn’t find any socks, and I’d have to get a shirt for a jersey, so that all went on the list. (Summer season is fairly laid-back, so matching shirts are all that are required, jerseys with numbers are only needed in Fall & Spring seasons.) Looked like I needed the full kit of gear, unfortunately.
When I started looking at shoes and got overwhelmed with choices, I realized I’d never shopped for gear myself: Dad always did (hey, I was in college or high school, and my gear lasted forever. He was good with the gear shopping.) So, I called him up and asked him to take a look and give me a recommendation or two. He did, the Diadora Maracana, and I ordered some in size 8.5 after finding the best deal on them.
They arrived Friday and when I tried them on on Saturday, they were clearly too small. They might be ok without extra socks and shinguards, but they weren’t gonna work for real play- I needed a 9. Unfortunately, size 9 in all women’s Maracana cleats were sold out everywhere. I went down to some sporting goods stored, but they didn’t have much in the way of anything soccer, much less women’s or Diadoras (I love they way Diadora fits in any specialized-athletic type shoe.) I did pick up a new soccer ball for cheap and found socks in the clearance bin. TCB made fun of my “pink socks,” but for 2 bucks, eh. I looked at shinguards, but they all seemed so short, ending well below my knee. I didn’t feel like the larges covered even half of my shin.
I hit up Target next, thinking they might have shorts or a shirt (I don’t like the soccer shorts that are made from similar material to basketball shorts or are super-silky; I like the ones that make noise.) They had 1 dark purple shirt, it was my size and cheap. Yay! I checked the soccer section, just in case, and they had shinguards that covered my leg. Yay!
Back home, I decided to check out the soccer-specific store in Cumming after work this week, and also to see if I could find any Diadora cleats in size 9. Nope. Diadora needs to make more size 9 cleats, apparently. Not wanting to spend a bundle, I decided to give my old ones a go for summer and resume my cleat search for fall season. Since some studs were very, very worn, I looked for my stud bag to replace a few. I found it in my box of athletic equipment in the laundry room.
And with the stud bag, I found my new pair of old cleats! (And more socks, and another pair of shorts.) These shoes hadn’t seen as much action, since I think I only wore them senior year, as opposed to the 2 previous seasons that the other cleats had seen (I think Dad had gotten a good deal on them, so ordered 2 pair.) These definitely could last a few more seasons of play, so I cleaned them up (some of the stud sites were filled with dirt, not studs) and picked a set of the best studs from between the unused studs and those on the shoes, and filled up the “good” pair.
I’m really happy not to have to get new cleats and happy I can still get replacement studs.
So, for less than $30 (not the $100+ I dreaded), I’ve got my kit ready to go! As soon as I find my bag, of course. And get a haircut.