Soccer players wear matching short-sleeved sports jerseys and shorts as the game-day uniform. Key accessories like shinguards, long socks, and goalie gloves keep soccer players safe during a game or practice. Soccer players also wear a special type of athletic shoe called cleats, featuring either rubber or metal studs to provide a firm grip on the ground.

Soccer has a unique dress code featuring short-sleeved tops and shorts, rather than pants, because players move at high speeds and focus on their footwork. But in cold weather, soccer players will wear long-sleeved thermal undershirts and thermal compression leggings for warmth.

Of course, when soccer players go off duty or “off pitch,” they can dress in whatever style they like best! Pro soccer players usually dress up in a formal suit and tie for a press conference or team event, though.

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Uniform Jersey

soccer players wear jersey

Soccer players wear colorful uniform jerseys during games. The jerseys contain specially designed moisture-wicking polyester. In some cases, the athletic uniform will even feature intricate cooling mesh panels in key places. For professionals, jerseys feature a player’s number and name, as well as various badges or logos promoting the team and its sponsors.

You can read all about the science that goes into designing jersey fabric in this article from the World Soccer Shop.


soccer players wear shorts

Soccer players wear shorts rather than pants for both games and practices. Soccer shorts often have a loose and longer cut, especially for practice. But some soccer uniforms also feature short, tighter shorts for even less friction and more ease of movement. Some players will roll up the hem of their shorts to provide even less constraint as they play.

This also allows viewers to really focus on a player’s footwork, which is the whole point of soccer In fact, rules do not allow soccer players to wear pants, as you will learn in this article from Game Day Culture. The only exception is that during cold weather, some players will don a pair of compression leggings beneath their shorts for extra warmth.


soccer players wear cleats

Soccer players wear special shoes called cleats during both games and practices. While soccer players do wear “soft” cleats with plastic spikes on the bottom on some occasions, professionals usually wear cleats studded with metal studs for games. This is because metal studs provide a better grip on soft grass and ground than rubber studs.

You can find out all about what kind of cleats the pros wear in this article from Premier Football UK.


soccer players wear shinguards

Soccer players strap sturdy shinguards to their legs before a game or practice as protection. Since soccer nvolves kicking a ball at high speeds, any areas near the feet require extra protection. 

The National Institute of Health has found that wearing shin pads reduces serious injury significantly for soccer players, and in many leagues wearing these guards is actually a mandatory part of the uniform.

Soccer Socks

soccer players wear socks

Soccer players typically sport long, knee-high socks pulled up over their shinguards. The main reason for wearing these long socks, sometimes called “soccer socks,” is to keep the shinguards in place throughout a whole game or practice. The socks also provide a little more protection, especially on the backs of the calves.

The concept of wearing these long socks actually originated in another sport called Cricket. You can find out all about the history of this part of the soccer player’s uniform in this article from Field Insider.

Goal Keeper Gloves

soccer players wear goalie gloves

In soccer only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his or her hands. Because of this, goalies wear special protective gloves made out of flexible synthetics. The gloves are not mandatory, and some goalkeepers prefer to use their bare hands.

But modern sports science shows that well-made goalie gloves provide a better grip on the ball than bare hands, as you can learn in this article from Storelli Sports.

Practice Clothes

soccer players wear practice clothes

During practice, soccer players commonly wear t-shirts and loose shorts rather than an official uniform jersey. The pros often wear branded, specially designed practice gear, but on chilly days you will still see them dressed down in sweatpants and other casual athletic wear.

Some soccer players commonly wear an absorbent headband to keep sweat out of their eyes during practice, too.

If you need to get your child ready for his or her first soccer practice, you can learn about the soccer practice dress code in this article from Soccer Prime.

Sports Bra Vs GPS Vest

soccer players wear sports bra

Female soccer players commonly wear sports bras beneath their uniform jerseys. But did you know that male soccer players also wear something that looks kind of like a sports bra in many cases? This garment, called a GPS vest, allows coaches to track vital info like a player’s heart rate to help them develop the best playing practices for health and safety. 

Catapult Sports explains that athletes sometimes wear the vest over a practice shirt or undershirt for comfort, too.

Thermal Base Layer

soccer players wear thermal layer

In cold weather, soccer players often wear thermal base layers such as a long-sleeved shirt or compression leggings beneath the jersey and shorts of their uniform. These warm garments usually feature moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics, just like the sports jersey. Thermal or base layer shirts improve blood flow and keep a player warm even in cold temperatures.

In fact, goalkeepers commonly wear a thermal shirt even in warmer weather because they have to stand still in the goal for most of the game instead of moving around to keep warm. 

You can read more about the importance of base layers in this article from Nike.

Off-Pitch Outfits

soccer players wear suit

Of course, off-pitch, soccer players wear many different styles depending on their own personality and the nature of the occasion. Pro soccer players often dress up in a suit and tie for press briefs or team events, but in their personal lives, they can wear whatever they want just like the average person! 

If you need a stylish but sustainable suit and tie to look like your favorite soccer player, take a look at this list of the 20 best affordable and sustainable suits for men and women.

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About the Author: Hannah Cobb

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