Youth Soccer Socks 101: Find the Right Pair for Your Young Athlete


Your young soccer star is ready to stand out on the field. But first: it’s time to gear up! In addition to their team uniform, they’ll need shin guards, cleats, and some well-fitting pairs of socks. You might think soccer socks are an afterthought, but in reality the right pair of socks can be the difference between skinned knees and sliding through turf without a mark. Plus, many socks give your youth soccer player the chance to show off a bit of personality.

How do you find the right pair of youth soccer socks? It begins with the right fit and then you should consider factors like how much impact your player sees and where they’ll be playing. No matter what your needs are, you can find a pair of youth socks on MadSportsStuff that your small soccer star can wear comfortably with pride (and use to stand out on the field). 

Help Kids Express Their Personality through Apparel 

The uniformity of uniforms doesn’t leave a lot of room to get yourself notice on the field. Enter crazy socks! Whether they want to shine during warm-ups or switch up their game time look, special soccer socks present a huge opportunity to stand out. Wearing crazy socks let’s players: 

  • Show off their favorite colors that aren’t included in the team uniforms 
  • Intimidate the competition during warm-ups by wearing tiger stripes or other bold designs.  
  • Be silly during team practices by showing up in unicorn socks or wearing soccer socks with a watermelon pattern. 

How to Know You're Getting the Right Fit 

So, what are you even looking for in sock size? Making sure they fit correctly between the toe and ankle is just the beginning. Socks must also be compatible with the cleats and shin guards your youth soccer player wears during game time. Here are some ways to identify whether or not the soccer socks you’re considering are going to be the right fit: 

Length: The right length for youth soccer socks is one-part function and another part personal preference. Some players prefer to wear their socks a few inches below the knee (often called calf socks), while other players prefer their socks to hit just below or over the knee. The right length is one that allows your player to run most freely. If your young player regularly fidgets with their socks during a game and winds up folding the top down, an under-knee length is probably the right fit.  

Shin Guard Fit: Regardless of preference, one thing is true for all players: Their socks should be able to completely cover their shin guards. If your kids use thick shin guards, buy longer socks to ensure they’ll still reach their desired height even with the guards on. Likewise, if your player likes to wear double socks, you should consider the necessary length required to cover both another pair of socks and a set of shin guards.  

Thickness: You should also consider the thickness of the socks you’re buying. The ideal fiber blend for soccer socks is a mix of materials like polypropylene, nylon, spandex, and polyester. This combination won’t get bogged down with moisture while still offering cushion. Consider how well the socks will fit into your player’s cleats before you make a purchase. Socks that are too thick may cause shoes to become too tight and make running a lot harder. You don’t want your players toes to go numb in the middle of a match! 

Choose Youth Soccer Socks Based on Position  

The range of motion, coverage, and fiber make-up required of the right socks may depend a lot on what position your child plays. Do they need to successfully negotiate sudden bursts of speed? Are they regularly on the receiving end of other players’ contact? These factors may help you decide on the size, type, and thickness of the right socks.  

Goalie: Goalies don’t see a lot of impact. Their shin guards are usually thin, so you won’t have to buy extra-long socks to accommodate heavily padded guards. The socks are also unlikely to fall down a lot since your player won’t be racing up and down the field. 

Defender: These players need a lot of protection for their shins and ankles. In addition to padded shin guards, they may also wear some sort of ankle support. If your player is a defender, consider buying a bigger size in socks than your first instinct (or the size chart) suggests.  

Midfielder: Midfielders are moving around quite a bit on all parts of the field, so they’re socks should be flexible and offer protection in the event of contact. Since this position can serve as both defender and passer, the right socks should be as versatile as the role on the field is.  

Forward: Your forward player is always on the move, especially in the final third of the field. Their gear should focus on mobility and flexibility. Socks that are too tight could make it harder to jolt forward as needed to break free and score. Since the shin guards forwards wear are often thin in order to keep them lightweight, you don’t have to size up when you’re ordering socks.  

Look for Modern Design and Technology 

At a loss for what makes some socks superior to others? Aside from a great fit, finding the right pair of playing socks is all about getting a pair that takes advantage of special performance features. Here are a few attributes to look for: 

  • Arch and ankle compression. This feature helps your player avoid fatigue and provides additional support to parts of the leg and foot that often see injury.  
  • Antimicrobials. This is a big word for “will keep the socks from growing mold and smelling bad.” And it’s worth it.  
  • Double welt top. The welt is the band of elastic at the top of the sock that keeps it from slipping down. Double it up, and a player who runs a lot can do so without worrying about risking their sock falling over their shin guard.  

Consider the Weather When Choosing Socks 

Once you’ve narrowed down the size, fit, and function of your youth soccer socks, you should think about the playing conditions. A player who primarily has games on artificial turf doesn’t have to worry about slippery, muddy fields, but they may want extra heat protection. Synthetic turf gets much hotter in the sun than regular grass, so higher or thicker socks may be appropriate.  

If your young soccer star plays outdoors in all weather, buy a pair of socks that have a high moisture wicking factor. Nothing will slow a player down on the field like soggy cotton socks that continue to fall victim to gravity. Consider the temperature of the games, as well. Socks with more warmth retention (like compression socks) aren’t such a bad thing if you’re playing in the spring in a location where winter often runs late.  

How to Buy the Right Soccer Socks Online 

OK, so you know you need long socks to cover your player’s thick shin guards and you’re on the hunt for moisture wicking blends. Should you buy socks online without trying them on? You can absolutely get socks that fit like gloves when you shop online. Here are a few tips to make sure you get it right: 

  • Review the available sizing chart. At MadSportsStuff, our socks are true sizes, meaning they align with regular shoe sizes. Still, we offer a detailed sizing chart so you know what sock size (S,M, etc.) is appropriate for your shoe size.  
  • Buy socks at least a few weeks in advance. You should have your socks in hand two weeks before your first game if possible. This gives you time to assess the sizing and return/reorder if necessary.  
  • Check out all available images. Make sure you get a good look at the entire design of the socks before you order. This helps you avoid surprises. Zoom in and out and look for details like seams to make sure the socks will be comfortable, too.  

How Many Pairs of Youth Socks Do You Need? 

This is a tough question to answer. A quality pair of youth soccer socks can survive quite a few washes, so you don’t need to order a 12-pack like you might with a strictly cotton blend that stretches out immediately in the laundry. That being said, you may want to consider buying more than one pair. Consider: 

  • The league rules. You may need a pair of crazy soccer socks for practice, but a more low-key color scheme for game day. The league may not permit silly patterns or bold colors on the socks during a game. Crazy socks are fun, but not worth a penalty! 
  • The growth of your player. Is your youth soccer player shooting up like a weed? A lot of sock sizing has to do with the height of the player, so you may want to order their current size and the next size up to make sure you’re covered for the entire season.  
  • Convenience. If you don’t want to do be doing sock laundry several times a week, go ahead and order duplicates now. Your star forward will always have a clean pair on hand without the need to scramble and do a midnight load in the washer and dryer.  

Buying the right athletic socks for your youth soccer player is a tall order (literally). They can ensure warmth, safety, and compliance with league rules. Of course, specialized socks also bring a new sense of fun and whimsy to the field. Finding a pair of socks to help your kiddo stand out is easy! Our crazy soccer socks run the gamut from girly to sporty to intimidating -- in other words, there is a pair for everybody.