If you play soccer, you’re probably used to being handed a soccer jersey with a team and sponsor logo, and moving out onto the pitch. However, in practice sessions and when you’re on the field by yourself, your shirt choice is your own.

Buying a soccer jersey isn’t rocket science, but players still need to think through what they’re buying. Of course, the incorrect jersey can impact a player’s performance negatively if it’s the incorrect fit or lacks protective features. For soccer goalies, shirts are incredibly important as overall flexibility and safety features can help you create a great save, and cushion you from effect on landing.

Many avid soccer players get caught in the trap of buying cheap soccer jerseys and replacing them time and time again when they inevitably rip, tear, or shrink in the wash. To save yourself money and time, it’s preferable to just buy one good jersey.

Here are some methods for what things to look for when buying a soccer jersey. If you do your research beforehand, you’re sure to turn out with something that’s both functional and attractive to wear.

Fit

The most important aspect of choosing a soccer jersey is the fact that it fits the body correctly. You can wear the most advanced, high-tech jersey in the world, but if it’s too tight, or slides around on your body, it won’t can you any good. Most on-field jerseys are slim-fitting to totally form-fitting, and are created to make sure you have freedom of movement without excess fabric getting in your path.

Even though soccer jerseys are meant to be form-fitting, you never want to feel pinched or restricted. You ought to have total freedom of movement at all times.

Material

The best jerseys are created from lightweight, seamless material, you need to include mesh side panels to help encourage ventilation, resulting in a less sweaty playing experience. The light fabric is soft on skin, and the seamless construction means that you’ll never be itched, scratched, or irritated by hard seams.

These specialty fabrics are typically produced from nylon and polyester. This high-performance fabric wicks sweat away from the body, so you’re not playing in a soggy, heavy jersey. The fabric is also extremely durable, so you won’t need to switch your shirt as often.

Protective Features

While your comfort on the pitch is important, your safety is in the end paramount. A good minor injury can sideline a new player for weeks or even months. To help protect against everything from scrapes and bruises to extreme impacts, lots of the best soccer jerseys now include strategically put ergonomic pads. These pads help to cushion impacts, and force away cuts, bruises, and contusions.

Ideally, these flexible pads should not impact your movement by any means. You should barely know they’re there.

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