Name: Neil Jones
Team History: UCSB 2001-04
NZ National Team Full international, U-23, U-20. U-17 level
Kuala Lumpur FC
Cleat size: 10.5 Sneaker size: 11
Preferred cleat? Adidas Adipure
In one sentence, why? Simple, clean design, made from leather that is comfortable to wear and light.
Neil, thanks for joining us and letting our readers in on your tips!
First, What do you look for when choosing a cleat?
First and foremost, they must be made of leather. I am not a fan of the new plastic type cleats, they do not conform to my foot and are not comfortable in my opinion. I am also not a fan of colored cleats, I guess I am just old fashioned! I like black cleats. Also, I would rather have round molded cleats on the sole as opposed to blades. My perfect pair of cleats would be Adidas Adipure upper with Adidas Copa Mundial sole.
How much would you pay for the ‘perfect’ pair of cleats? $200
What advice would you give someone who is deciding what types of cleats to purchase?
Well, you have to have at last 2-3 pairs of cleats. One for hard ground, one for soft/wet surfaces and one for training. I like to keep my game cleats separate. A lot of games/trainings these days take place of artificial surfaces and on these surfaces I like to wear turf shoes. It does not feel natural to wear normal cleats on these surfaces sometimes. So, if a pair of turf shoes fits in your budget, I would recommend those too.
What tips do you have on ‘breaking’ cleats in?
I have always found the best way to break cleats in is in the shower or bath. Take a nice long shower/bath in hot water (as hot as you can handle it!) with your cleats on. The hot water helps to make the leather of your cleat more supple and conforms better to your foot. After you get out of he shower/bath, walk around the house in the cleats. This is the best way to break shoes in quickly.
Do you have any other tips on how to maintain cleats?
Clean your cleats after each practice/game. Cleats are expensive and they need care. A quick clean and a bit of leather food on the cleats goes a long way in not only extending the lifetime of your cleat but keeps the leather supple and prevents it from drying out.
Neil is currently assistant coach at UCSB, where he played for 4 years, captaining the team to the 2006 National Championship game. He had the honor of playing with his native New Zealand at international level, and marked Demarcus Beasley once in a game vs. USA.