And just like that Junior Footy has started again..
With such a wide range of colours and styles to choose from, it makes selecting the right boot as difficult as choosing your next running shoe. So when purchasing footy boots, make sure to take into consideration the functionality of the boot and how it is going to suit the conditions of the fields you will be playing on. Below we have listed a few tips you should consider when purchasing your next pair of boots, and a few recommendations available at a wide variety of stores.
When looking for boots, head to a retailer that offers a fitting service to ensure you don’t purchase a pair of boots too big, or too small. Ideally, you should aim for ½ a size bigger to what you have been measured, or whatever feels best on your foot. Stores that can offer this service include The Athlete’s Foot, Rebel Sport and Amart Sports.
2.Flexibility only at the toes
Finding a boot that bends only at the toes will reduce the amount of stress placed on the arches when running, therefore minimising strain through the foot and your chance of injury. This feature is commonly seen in most running shoes and aims to provide you with similar stability in the boot. When shopping, don’t be afraid to pick up the boot and give it a quick bend to see where the boot collapses. Ideally, you want the boot to only bend at the toes, and stay rigid in the middle.
3.More studs = greater pressure distribution
When looking at the running shoe market, there has been a growing trend towards a full contact outersole. Reason being, it allows for greater contact with the ground which distributes pressures more evenly; extremely beneficial when running, especially for those knees.
Comparing this to a football boot, if there are more studs on the boot, pressure will be distributed similar to a running shoe, therefore making it a more comfortable option.
Additionally, the amount of studs, and the depth of the studs are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. So to keep it simple:
More studs = better traction on dry grounds, less traction on wet grounds.
Less studs = better traction on wet grounds.
Long studs are suited for wet weather
Short studs are suited dry weather
In order to move more efficiently on the field, footy boots are made from minimalistic, lightweight materials that give the athlete great maneuverability, making them feel faster on their feet. When reducing the weight of the boot, the amount of cushioning and support are also compromised, which is not ideal.
So when shopping for footy boots, it is important to look for a pair that have a removable sockliner, as it will give the boot greater depth when you decide to add your own innersole or orthotic. This will not only add more comfort to the boot, but it will hopefully assist in having an injury free season!
5.See a Podiatrist
Last but certainly not least it is important that if you have any concerns about your own or your child’s feet throughout the season you should seek the advice of a professional – the beginning of the season is when we see lots of conditions that with early interventions can prevent a season riddled with pain and possible injury.
The prices of boots can vary significantly, which leads you to question “is the $279 boot the best on the market?” Many people are unaware of the different materials used in the upper of the boot, which can alter the price phenomenally!
With most boots, there are two common materials used; kangaroo leather, and synthetic leather.
Kangaroo leather is renowned for its longevity and ability to grip the ball in wet conditions, making it more favourable on a wet and cold winter’s day. Also, it is suitable for growing feet (and wide feet) as it has the ability to stretch and mould to the shape of the foot.
Compared to synthetic materials, you will find that your feet will be able to stay warm and dry if water manages to seep through. However, if there is no textured pattern on the upper material for ball contact, it may impact your kicking accuracy. Lastly, don’t forget to take into consideration that synthetic leathers do not stretch as well as a genuine leathers, making it more favourable for a narrower foot.
Our Top 3 recommendations:
- Asics Gel-Lethal Ultimate IGS
- Asics Gel-Lethal
- Nike Tiempo