I’ve written a few versions of the soccer girls essentials, but my list was definitely in need of an update for 2016 now that both my girls are older. Here’s the “Soccer Girl Essentials 2016” for my girls at the moment. As always, I’m not an expert- just sharing the things that my girls use and love.
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My girls still love the Nike cleats– one likes the Mercurial line and the other likes the Magista line. The thing about cleats is that there are usually several different “levels” ranging in price from $50 all the way up to $200+, but they look very similar. I tend to get the middle/upper level for maximum comfort since my girls play so often especially now that their feet aren’t growing so quickly. Traditionally, the “holy grail” of cleats are the black Adidas Copas but they are much stiffer than the light, flexible Nikes. Maybe one day I will convince them to make the switch. Make sure to shop around- prices can vary a great deal.
Just like with cleats, my girls like the Nike soccer balls. They come in different sizes and are used according to age. My kids started with a size 3 ball then went to a 4 ball around 8 years old and then moved to a size 5 ball at age 12. Here’s an article that discusses all the different types of soccer balls and why they vary so much in price.
For your own comfort you MUST have your kids use slip in shinguards as soon as possible! I’m sure traditional shin guards that cover the ankle and foot are more protective, but oh man, do they start to smell! The slip in ones are a huge improvement and are also easy to toss in the washing machine. My girls usually just slide them in their socks and are good to go, but there are many types of straps and covers that help them stay in place if needed. Trust me, this one is good for the whole family!
At the moment all the teenage girls seem to love the Nike Pro shorts. They come in all different colors and are comfortable to wear underneath soccer shorts. One of my girls has white shorts as a part of her uniform and always feels more comfortable wearing sliders….especially at certain times of the month. (Sorry, who thinks white shorts are a great plan for a teenage girl??!!) My girls tell me that sliders are comfortable and help avoid chaffing.
Sports bras that are comfortable, supportive and cute are definitely an essential for soccer girls. Because they often change jerseys on the sideline they definitely don’t want to be wearing anything embarrassing or too revealing. My BSG loves the Lululemon Sports Bras (of course, right?!) and she asks for those for her birthday and Christmas gifts. They are very cute and come in many different colors and patterns. My little soccer girl really likes the “girl” brand of Lululemon- Ivivva, but she’s about to grow out of their Sports Bras. I know that these brands are really expensive, but they really last and perform! I know that you are supposed to take great care when washing these things, but I have to admit that I don’t. I’ve washed and dried the Ivivva Sports Bras approximately 2,000 times (only a slight exaggeration!) and they still look great. My girls also like the Nike Pro sports bras. For little girls, there are cute sports bras at Target as well.
We have all sorts of different water bottles, but the current craze at the high school is the S’well bottles. They are pretty over the top expensive for a water bottle, but again the girls got them for Christmas. They are very cute and do an amazing job of keeping water cold and ice frozen. Last weekend we were at a tournament where it was over 100 degrees. BSG had filled up her bottle with ice in the morning at home and then just continued to replenish the water throughout the day. The ice was still there when we got home. I’ve heard that they keep things hot just as well, but we’ve never tried it. S’well also donates money to UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water for those in need. Of course there are plenty of other great options- LSG still likes to use her $5 Gatorade bottle.
Most soccer girls use some kind of headband to hold their hair back. The most popular is the ever present colorful pre-wrap which comes in a million colors. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be used for, but it makes great headbands and you can’t beat the price. The girls have gone through phases where they’ve liked Lululemon headbands, Nike headbands and many others, but they always seem to return to the almighty pre-wrap.
A very important addition to any soccer bag is sunscreen. Most girls I know are super picky about sunscreen because they don’t want it stinging their eyes or running down their face. We’ve come up with a couple of options that my girls like. BSG is a big fan of the Sun Bum stick because she says it’s easy to put on and smells good. I think they carry it at Tillys, but I usually order through Amazon. I like the clear zinc products for a total block for the face and chest- Sun Bum Face and Ocean Potion Face. I carry the zinc products and stick the sticks in their soccer backpacks. For the body we just purchased some Sun Bum spray– it smells great.
It’s hot as I write this so we won’t be needing these any time soon, but Ugg boots (or similar) are super helpful for those chilly mornings. They are easy to slip on and off and keep you cozy. They are definitely a soccer mom essential too! They can be very pricy (another Christmas gift suggestion!) but there are many knock off similar boots at a much lower price point so you won’t be horrified when they get covered in grass and mud. Check Costco in the fall for their cute version at a much more reasonable price.
Again this isn’t something we are thinking about right now in summer, but when it’s cold outside it’s time to put on the Under Armor. (This is just a generic name for something that you wear underneath your uniform to keep you warm. Under Armor now makes tons of other things and you can buy similar cold gear from many other brands) Now, it isn’t usually cold enough here to need it, but we’ve used it when we’ve traveled and sometimes for a very cold winter morning. My girls don’t usually like wearing it, but have been glad to have it when the temperatures really drop. Some teams/tournaments are picky about the color of the Under Armor, but we just go with black and white and make it work.
These are just a few of the things that I throw in their backpacks. The Sneaker Balls are great for cutting down smelly odors although I think we need an industrial strength kind! Keeping a small first aid kit handy is always a good idea as well as lipgloss, lots of hair ties and hand sanitizer.
In addition, BSG likes to bring her Mophie Powerstation to charge her phone…just in case there has been an overabundance of Snapchatting that day. Although I usually don’t allow them in the car (I like for us to all listen to music together and chat- torture I’m sure!) sometimes earbuds come in handy.
Let’s face it- the ultimate Soccer Girl essential is always the cell phone 🙂 They might forget anything on the list above, but the phone is always with them.
Did I forget anything? Anyone have any additions?