By: Samantha Kay

Once upon a time, in the 1970's, polyester was the king of cool fabrics, worn by everyone for every occasion. Soon, however, this synthetic material's popularity went the way of Disco music and the 8-track player used to listen to it on. On the soccer field, however, polyester lives on, and new ways of weaving this durable fabric have made it the material for designing comfortable, easy to care for uniforms.

Soccer uniforms are not simply color-matched clothes for the team to wear while playing the game. These clothing items should be considered as important as the ball choice and the cleats, since a great deal of the player's ability to give an optimal performance will depend on how their body is reacting to either the heat or to a cold chill. The correct selection of the soccer uniform can enhance or detract from the team's overall performance, and therefore deserves appropriate attention.

Polyester shares the spotlight with no other fabric on the soccer field. It is lightweight, durable and breathable, and allows for very little color bleeding, if any. CoolMax, designed by Dupont, has taken the old stand by of polyester, and created a hybrid, 4-channel spun fiber that wicks moisture quickly away from the body, and dries in an instant, leaving the player cool and comfortable even in the hottest game of the season. Now the old work horse, polyester, performs like a thoroughbred, making even the most inexperienced player look and feel like a champion.

No discussion on soccer uniforms would be complete without considering socks. Socks must be well fitted, and preferably made of one of today's high tech moisture wicking fiber blends, designed to help keep feet dry and blister free. It would be a shame to afford no time to proper sock fitting since the best cleats money can buy will not be able to compensate for the discomfort a pair of ill fitting socks can cause.

As in the jersey and short construction, polyester and its hybrid cousins stand out in performance and durability. When choosing soccer socks, look for the blend to list polyester first, or highest, among the named components. You will pay a bit more, sometimes double for soccer socks with a high polyester thread count, however choosing the better socks over those made of say, primarily acrylic, will pay off for you in happier player's feet. In a game where feet are of supreme importance, it is wise to invest a bit in the proper care and comfort of them.

If you are the parent of a youth soccer player, and for financial reasons the least expensive socks are being ordered for the team, it would be very prudent of you to purchase the upgraded polyester blend socks for your child. Just make sure they are an exact match. Ideally, ask the coach or team manager to order them for your child along with the entire uniform order, explaining you are willing to pay the cost differential.

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