Top Rain Gear for Soccer Players [Complete Guide 2024]

Not everybody is lucky to play soccer in perfect weather all year long. Rain and snow are very common environments for soccer players, even at a very early age. When I see kindergarten players in Seattle or Portland freezing in the rain, I love it and hate it at the same time. That’s the only way to create the next US soccer superstars, but we have to not make them hate the sport because of the rain. Games and practices are rarely canceled and players need to mentally adjust to it and be ready. However, it’s not just the psychological readiness – we need the right rain gear for soccer! Staying warm and dry for the duration of the game, while also keeping the flexibility and ability to perform is important. It’s impossible to achieve both with absolute perfection, but let us guide you through what is possible and what we should avoid.

What is the best rain gear for soccer players?

The best rain gear for soccer players is the one that will keep the player dry, warm and not limit the performance in any significant way. Starting from the bottom to the top – the feet have to remain as try as possible in order to keep playing. Appropriate protection through layers is key for soccer players, as the majority of injuries can be caused by not having this protection. Furthermore, covering the hands with light, but waterproof gloves is super beneficial. Finally, while the myth that the majority of the heat escapes through the head is false, covering the head and neck is vital to stay dry and warm. Let us get through the core requirements of what is absolutely needed and what is nice to have.

Cleat Covers by Sleef

If there is one thing that you have to keep dry is the feet. Other things are annoying, but if the feet are wet, then it’s a possibility to get an avoidable injury. Sleef, a company from South Florida (use RONDOCOACH code at checkout for 25% off), has come up with “cleat covers”. While not designed for rain protection, with polyester and spandex only, they work great. We can’t recommend them strongly enough! They cover only the parts that get wet, but the tip of the foot stays uncovered for better control. Also, they provide extra protection against slipping or rolling the ankles, which is more common in rainy weather. The added bonus of keeping the laces tied is particularly useful for the youngest soccer players.

Neck Warmer Dri-Fit by Nike

The neck warmer is needed as much for rainy as it is for cold weather. In fact, I have several of them because I wash them after every practice or game. Other options, like Bula or Adiddas, have been underwhelming in rainy weather. They get wet quickly, often doing a disservice after half an hour. However, it looks like Nike has cracked the code with Dri-Fit and has come up with a material that stays dry the longest. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is exactly what you need for the rainy season. Don’t overthink it, get several pairs and keep your neck warm.

Waterproof Gloves by FanVince

The worst thing when playing soccer in the rain is to get your feet wet. The only thing coming close to it is for the hands to be wet and freezing, even with the rest of the body dry. Instead, find a simple solution by getting water-resistant gloves. They need to be light, so don’t get skiing gloves. I have found that the FanVince works best and I don’t need to swap them even with heavy rain. If you end up getting lighter ones, like Head or Nike, you might need a double pair, as they absorb too much water. Then I need to have two pairs, one for each half.

Water-resistant Beanie by OtterShell

For cold weather, a beanie is a must. However, when there is heavy rain outside, even the best beanie absorbs too much water. Ottershell has been the best I have tried, but I still have to swap it in heavy rain. It also depends a lot on your preference. As I have a fair amount of hair, although much less thick over time, keeping it dry is important, but my head is protected anyway. For players with much longer hair, it can really add to the weight of the head when it’s wet. Finding the right balance is important, so just pick one – Ottershell is our preference, but if you have another one already, just stick with that.

Long Sleeve Base Layer by Under Armour

Layers, layers, layers! Staying warm and dry is all about layers. And nobody is doing that better than Under Armour. They are not really focused on soccer, even though they have cleats and clothes. However, they are best when it comes to base layers for team sports. If you live in super cold areas, you can look for skiing/snowboarding base layers, but usually, it’s too much. Instead, get several of the UA long-sleeve base layers, just like you would use an extra t-shirt for layering. We like to have matching colors with the uniform, but kids like to have fun and mix gear colors to stand out from time to time.

Leg Sleeves by Tough Outdoors

For a long period of time, I thought that the way to go is leggings. The issue is that they took away from my flexibility and didn’t really add any stability or protection. I decided to try leg sleeves instead, as a friend of mine suggested. They are a game changer! I use them both to keep my shinguards in and to keep me dry and warm when it’s raining or cold. In fact, I even tried wearing them when skiing and snowboarding and they are great on very cold days. They also provide solid support, so I feel much better putting on hard tackles when wearing them. They are a must in my rainy gear now!

Decision time

I hope this is a good guide on the rain gear for soccer that you need to stay dry and warm. Whether you are playing to be remembered as the best soccer player ever or just want to avoid getting sick while being on the bench most of the game, you have to have a plan for it. There are variations that you might want to try that fit your preference. Removing one of them or picking different materials can be a great option, depending on the weather and what makes you feel good. It took me some time to pick my favorite items and I am sure I will change them as the technology improves. I am planning to test out several more items this winter and keep you posted!