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What are cleats? The Anatomy of a football boot
Football boots have come a long way from being merely a protective footwear for a player to being a performance enhancer.
Having the right boot for your position and style of play is important. To get that perfect pair, you need to be able to understand the anatomy of your football boot.
Understanding the basic components and terminology of your football boot will help you make an informed decision about the best boot based on your sport and position.
The collar is the opening you put your foot in and the enclosure that goes around your ankle once they’re on.
The three types of collars are:
- HIGH-CUT collars extend above the ankle bone. They aren’t used much today because they restrict a lot of ankle movement.
- MID-CUT collars cut off at or just below the ankle bone.
- LOW-CUT collars cut low just below the ankle bone. It’s the traditional collar and offers the most rotational freedom.
The upper is the material that is attached to the sole plate and commonly comes in two varieties; synthetic or leather.
The upper should be lightweight, durable and supportive to handle tackling, high speed direction changes and kicking.
An insole, also known as a sockliner, is the thin removable cushioning material that fits inside your football boot. The best football boot insoles are engineered to provide optimal support and cushioning for your foot type, enhancing comfort whilst increasing confidence in your footwork.
This is the support centre, providing stability and comfort to the wearer. The midsole keeps the shape of the cleat, even when sprinting at full speed.
The heel counter or heel cup is the back portion of the shoe that provides support for your heel. It can be external or built within the shoe itself and it needs to be very rigid to support your rear foot during swerving & stepping. A sturdy deep heel cup can prevent injuries especially in young footballers.
The outsole is essentially the bottom of the boot that is attached to the upper and it is one of the most important aspects of the football boot. Fixed or detachable studs in ground, round or bladed types can offer better control for different surfaces: indoor or outdoor.
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