Why do soccer players wear sliding pants?

In this blog, we are going to talk about sliding pants for soccer players. Perhaps you wear them too or have seen fellow and opposing players wearing them. Maybe you came to this blog because you have seen professional soccer players wearing them on TV. After reading this blog, you will know why they are worn.

This is why soccer players wear sliding shorts:
Sliding shorts are worn to keep the muscles in the upper legs warm. It thus reduces the risk of (minor) injuries. In addition, sliding pants work well against abrasions. Especially when the grass is dry and a slide is made, without the shorts you run the risk of grazes. 

When you continue reading, we provide detailed information on why soccer players wear sliding shorts. However, there is more to this blog. Among other things, we explain what sliding pants are made of, whether there are rules about wearing sliding pants and whether there are alternatives.

Comprehensive explanation of why soccer players wear sliding shorts

As you have read in the intro of this blog there are several reasons why a soccer player wears sliding pants. Since we want to explain more about this we will go into more detail here. Below you will find all the reasons why they are worn.

Sliding pants reduce the risk of (minor) injuries
The main reason why soccer players choose to wear sliding pants is to reduce the risk of injuries. 

During a game, a player uses his upper legs almost constantly. He needs them to run, sprint, jump and, of course, to shoot the ball. When the muscles cool down, the player is more likely to suffer an injury during all these movements. 

The sliding shorts help keep the muscles in the upper legs warmer and therefore less vulnerable to injury. These include the hamstring, groin and quads (the large thigh muscle at the front of the leg).  

Sliding pants reduce the risk of scrapes
During a game, an incredibly large number of slidings are made by soccer players. Especially when the grass is very dry, sliding can result in grazes. Because it is not your skin that comes into contact with the grass, but the sliding shorts, you do not sustain an abrasion. 

An abrasion can cause a burning, stinging and/or stabbing sensation. When you have this unpleasant feeling during the game it can affect your game. You may think twice before making another slide. 

Especially at amateur soccer clubs play are more and more artificial turf fields. When these are not sprayed beforehand, they are bone dry. After all, it is a kind of plastic field. If you slide on it, you are guaranteed to get grazes without sliding shorts. If you play on such a field, wearing sliding pants is an absolute must. 

Sliding pants keep the player warmer
As you have already read, sliding pants keep the upper legs warmer. Especially if you are playing a match and it is very cold, sliding pants keep you even a little warmer. This helps especially if there are a lot of moments the game is at pause. If you are a defender and your team is attacking you move a lot less. Wearing sliding pants is therefore very pleasant. 

Do goalkeepers wear sliding pants?

Goalkeepers may also choose to wear sliding shorts. They do this only when they wear shorts. When they wear long pants, this is simply not necessary. 

Goalkeepers wear sliding shorts for the same reasons as field players. In fact, they often benefit more than a player on the pitch. After all, a goalkeeper often has to get to the ball on the ground. Because he is in frequent contact with the ground, sliding pants protect against abrasions. 

A goalkeeper stands still much more than a player on the field during a match. The muscles of a goalie therefore cool down faster. For example, when a goalkeeper has to get out of his 16-meter area quickly, he needs his upper leg muscles a lot. Wearing sliding pants in this case ensures that the goalkeeper has less chance of sustaining an injury.

What are sliding pants made of?

Sliding pants are made of polyester. This material has the property of being very flexible. Sliding pants look quite small when you are not wearing them. Because the pants are made of polyester, they stretch as soon as you put them on. This makes the sliding pants tight around your legs. 

Are there any rules regarding sliding pants?

There are color rules regarding sliding pants. You cannot just pick any color and wear it. The color of the sliding pants should be the same as the color of your soccer pants. If your soccer pants have multiple colors, the sliding pants should have the same color as the bottom of your soccer pants. 

You may also find this blog interesting 
What protective equipment does a soccer player wear (a complete overview)

What is the alternative for wearing sliding pants?

Developments in sportswear never stop. Since soccer is the most played sport on earth, it is important for manufacturers to keep thinking about the best clothing for the players. Sliding pants have been widely used for some time but there are alternatives. 

A good alternative to sliding pants are compression pants. These pants have long been used during endurance sports. Soccer players have now discovered the pants as well. Compression pants are even tighter around the legs than sliding pants. This reduces the risk of injury. 

However, compression pants also increase muscle endurance. Because the muscles are fitted so tightly in the pants, they vibrate less. As a result, less energy is lost and a player can therefore continue playing longer and/or more intensively. Also, wearing compression pants reduces the risk of muscle soreness. 

Are compression pants better than sliding pants?

Yes compression pants work better than sliding pants. Because compression pants are much tighter around the skin than sliding pants, the muscles stay warmer and vibrate less during movement. It ensures that the muscles do not get tired as quickly, so that you can keep going longer. It also ensures that you are less likely to suffer from muscle pain. 


By now you know the different reasons why a soccer player wears sliding pants. Did you not wear one and are you going to wear one after reading this blog? Chances are then you have even more questions about sliding pants. In this case, we recommend you read our blog 14 questions answered about sliding pants

Curious about more blogs on soccer safety? Click here for an overview.

January 23, 2023
Published: January 23, 2023