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CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOTBALL BOOTS
How you move, how you feel and how you play comes down to your feet. To get the most out of your game and your body, you need to wear the right boot for your feet. Selecting the right football boots, or cleats, are vital to ensure they are not only comfortable, but to reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating injuries.
So how do you know which boot is most suitable for you? There are several factors you need to consider, including the type of field you play on and the position you play. You also need to consider the support and material, grip, weight and fit of the boots.
SURFACE & GRIP
Balance, speed and even your risk of injury all rely on wearing the right football boots on the correct Firm grsurface.
Firm Ground (FG)
Firm, natural grass ground.
Used on natural dry grass, although they can handle damp pitches. They feature moulded studs or blades in various shapes and sizes across the sole. Although slippery in wet conditions and easily worn down on 3G pitches, firm ground boots feel light and give great balance.
You’ll need what most people think of when they think of the “classic football cleat (boot),” the firm ground or moulded cleat. Generally, they have a series of non-removable PU/TPU/rubber studs that are either bladed or conical in shape and are shorter than the soft ground stud patterns. Firm ground boots are designed to provide traction and stability on most natural grass fields.
Although not ideal for wet or muddy conditions, this type of stud pattern is your general all-rounder and will hold up in these conditions. This stud pattern is ideal for Australian weather conditions and is what most players wear.
Soft Ground (SG)
Soft, muddy grass
Used on muddy grounds for better traction. Soft ground boots have the iconic six conical stud formation on the outsole. These studs are longer than standard to help them penetrate soft or muddy ground for maximum stability, but you’ll completely lose grip/balance and can injure your feet and legs if worn on hard surfaces.
The Soft ground stud patterns are best used in wet and muddy conditions. The studs (or blades) are typically longer than other stud patterns and are screw-in. The studs are metallic making them heavier than the plastic alternatives, this stud pattern is rarely used in Australia at amateur levels.
Artificial Grass (AG)
Lush Artificial Grass Turf
Used on fake grass and 3G pitches. The outsoles of these boots have short, hollow studs for an even grip and lightweight feel. Artificial grass boots are excellent at taking shock impact on this type of ground, which reduces your chances of injury.
As the popularity of 3G and 4G artificial pitches grows, the need for a safer and more comfortable option than Firm Ground or Astroturf has become necessary.
The studs on Artificial Grass boots have been designed specifically to work alongside the extra abrasion that synthetic grass gives. In general, the boots have far more studs than the standard Firm Ground sole which are more densely populated on the sole. In terms of feel, the sole is usually a lot stiffer due to the higher number of studs, so comfort can sometimes differ from the FG version.
Used on courts inside. These boots have a flat, non-mark outsole made from rubber for grip on smooth surfaces.
ARTIFICIAL TURF (TF)
Thin carpet turf (often found indoors)
An artificial turf boot has even shorter studs than artificial grass boots because this type of turf is very thin, not lush. There are also more studs on an artificial turf boot than on any other boot. The extra studs eliminate pressure on individual studs, which can cause foot or knee pain and injury.
Firm ground boots should never be worn on artificial carpet turf because the hard TPU sole plate and longer studs are unforgiving on your feet and ankles.
SUPPORT & MATERIAL
Football boot fabric affects your comfort, stability and performance. The upper of the boot needs to be strong enough to support your foot during rapid changes in direction and when kicking.
Combination leather and synthetic uppers are the strongest, particularly when reinforced with ample stitching. Kangaroo leather, or K-leather boots, also referred to as kangaroo leather cleats, are increasingly becoming popular as the cleats are firm, yet flexible, and provide a smooth, strong surface for consistent striking of the ball with the foot.
If choosing a synthetic boot, watch out for heavy material. Also, make sure the synthetic is breathable and be prepared for a slightly longer break-in time.
ASICS boots are mainly used in AFL, Rugby League and Union codes as they are based on running shoes, which means they have an elevated heel and midsole. This is designed to minimise the risk of injury and provide greater cushioning and support. However, with these added benefits comes added weight.
When it comes to purchasing a pair of football boots it is important to get the right size. Our MyFit3D system is designed to ensure that whatever activity you want to do, you're wearing the right shoes. The process is QUICK and EASY. First you remove your shoes and socks. Your feet are then 3D scanned to provide the perfect measurements across the foot. You then step across and walk down a pressure pad with 4000 individual sensors whilst your unique foot movement is being filmed which allows us to identify motion of your foot and gain a great understanding of your personal fitting needs. Our expert Fit Technicians then apply their shoe expertise and knowledge of biometrics to find your perfect shoe.
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