Every year during the second half of the summer, soccer players all over the country attempt to do the impossible—convince their parents to buy them a pair of top-tier cleats. We’ve all been there—trying to convince our parents that the Nike Mercurial Superfly or the Adidas ACE 17+ PureControl is the difference between life and death, a scholarship in the future versus not getting recruited to play in college, going pro and playing in an adult rec league.
We all want to walk in to the first day of practice with the freshest, best cleats on the team, but many parents think all the cleats look alike and don’t see the justification for the cleats’ hefty price tag.
We’ve seen many a soul go down this path and fail, so we decided to put you up on game and give you a how-to-guide that’ll lead you to the promised land.
STEP ONE: TIMING
Timing is always important whether you’re making a run on the field or asking your parents to shell out some money. You’ve gotta know when to strike, and this part can get tricky. You want to get them when they’re in a good mood, obviously, but not directly after you’ve done something good because then they’ll know you’re trying to take advantage of the situation. Don’t go from receiving praise or a compliment for your maturity to asking for money. Let it breathe and get them on a slow Saturday afternoon when they’ve got time to be persuaded.
STEP TWO: BE HONEST
If there’s one thing parents love, its honesty from their kids. Don’t try to tell them that these cleats are going to make you the next Messi, Christian Pulisic, or Ronaldo because they won’t—only practice will do that. Highlight the fact that these cleats will amplify the skills you already have, helping you to hone them and build upon them as you continue working on your game. Honesty will get you a long way in this battle.
STEP THREE: REMAIN CALM AND LEVEL HEADED
Understand that you might hear ‘no,’ or some variation of it, a lot throughout this process. But remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Never breakdown and start begging or complaining about how unfair they are being or what they got your older sister when she was your age. Think of this as a business deal: keep your eyes on the prize and negotiate.
STEP FOUR: BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE
We know what you’re thinking. “Compromise? That sounds like not getting top-level cleats.” That’s not what we’re saying. Just be willing to take a step towards the center by going with an older colorway. As long as it is the same generation of the new cleat you’re looking at, the technology in the shoe is the same. The only reason why those cleats are marked down is because the colorway is older and we have fewer sizes available.
Let’s be real, no one remembers when the different colorways were released and the cleats will still be brand new, top-level cleats when you take them on the field for the first time. If we have your size in an older colorway, be willing to take those cleats instead of the latest color. This compromise shows your parents you’ve put thought into this and that you’re trying to come up with a mutually beneficial solution.
STEP FIVE: OFFER TO EARN IT OR THROW IN SOME MONEY
Part of the whole compromising aspect is being willing to do some of the legwork for buying these shoes. Offer to put up some of your own money or to do some extra chores around the house like babysitting your younger siblings. They say “it’s the thought that counts” and often times, showing your parents that you are willing to contribute to earn these shoes will be enough to sway them. Parent’s always appreciate when kids are willing to ‘put a little skin in the game’ and invest in their own interests.
STEP SIX: FOCUS ON FIT
Every style of shoe fits a little differently. You may be a 9.5 in one pair and a 10 in another. The important thing is that you find a pair that fits and fits well. You’re never going to win this battle if you’re tripping over the front of the shoes with every other step or if the shoes are too tight and giving you blisters.
If you are in or near Pennsylvania or Maryland, try to get into one of our six retail locations to try the shoes on! If that’s not possible, ask your parents to order the cleats to see if they fit well. We provide free shipping for orders over $50 and, as long as you only try the cleats on in the house (thus not getting them dirty), we accept returns for a full refund, you just have to pay the shipping to get it back to us.
STEP SEVEN: LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY
If you attempt the six steps listed above and you’re still getting a firm no from your parents, accept the answer and get one of the mid-tier versions of the cleats you wanted. Your parents aren’t human ATMs and part of negotiation is knowing when to step away from the table with grace and appreciation. Don’t badger your parents and give them headaches about this now, and maybe they’ll reward you for it in the spring or next fall when you want a new pair.
For all your soccer cleat needs, hit up www.soccercorner.com or Angelo’s Soccer Corner!