7 Dos and Donts When Buying Football Boots

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7 Dos and Don'ts When Buying Football Boots

Football is one of the most popular sports around the world. Even inexperienced players can enjoy kicking a football around an improvised pitch, and will need only a minimal amount of football equipment. Apart from the ball itself, a footballer’s most important piece of kit is a pair of comfortable football boots. Known in the United States as soccer shoes or soccer cleats, football boots are available in many different styles to suit all possible playing conditions and foot shapes.

With so many options available, both through reputable online retailers such as eBay and at local sporting goods shops, it is hard to know where to start when shopping for a pair of football boots that will keep you on your best game. Here is a handy overview of the main factors to consider before making a final purchasing decision:

1.   DO – Choose the Right Boots for the Surface You Play On.

It is important to always wear boots that suit the pitch you are playing on. Many players end up buying at least two different pairs of football boots every year to make sure they have appropriate footwear for all weathers.

It is possible to tell the various categories of football boots apart by looking at their sole plates. If the sole has metal studs that can be adjusted to different heights, the boot has been designed for use on a wet, muddy pitch where extra traction is needed in order to avoid sliding or getting bogged down. A shoe with moulded studs or blades, sometimes of various sizes, is ideal when the ground is firm, for example on an outdoor pitch in fine weather.

On an Astroturf pitch, there is no need to have studs on the sole. Instead, the boots designed for playing on this kind of artificial surface feature have textured, dimpled soles that give good grip, and are also referred to as football trainers or Astro soles. When playing Futsal, or simply practicing indoors, it is essential to wear football boots with soles that don’t leave marks on the hard rubber pitch. While there are models made specifically for this purpose, many of the football boots sold for outdoor hard ground use will also work well on a rubber crumb pitch.

Pitch Type

Type of Boot/Sole

Features

Soft ground

Changeable studs

The most widely used football boots in the UK have six large metal studs screwed in to the sole.

The stud length can be adjusted to maximise grip on soft surfaces and help prevent slipping in muddy or waterlogged conditions.

Unsuitable for use on firm, dry ground or on Astroturf or indoor pitches, where the player will be unable to balance and will risk blistering and even impact injuries to the feet and knees.

The metal component makes boots with changeable studs a bit heavier than other football boots.

Firm ground

Moulded studs

Football boots with moulded studs and/or blades are ideal for playing on firm summer grass or other solid outdoor pitches.

The rubber sole plate features integrated studs (often 12) and/or blades that are shorter than changeable studs.

Firm ground boots are light and comfortable, and give excellent balance.

Body weight is distributed evenly across the sole, which reduces the risk of injury.

They also work in light mud, but can be slippery.

Some models can also be used on rubber crumb indoor pitches, although not all sports centres allow them.

Occasional footballers often choose boots with moulded studs or blades for all-purpose use.

Hard ground/ Astroturf

Astro soles

Also known as football trainers, these boots are made for playing and training on artificial turf and other hard surfaces.

For optimum traction on the hardest ground, the soles have dimples rather than studs.

Astro soles tend to be heavier than boots made for either soft or firm pitches.

Indoor

Non-marking soles

Indoor football boots are similar to football trainers (Astro soles), but generally have lower profile soles that are designed to leave no marks on the rubber crumb pitch.

They have light uppers, sometimes with suede panels, that make them ideal for indoor football or Futsal games.

Both Astro soles and firm ground boots also work on indoor pitches, but they can mark the surface, so make sure the club or sports centre permits them.

2.   DO – Pick Your Football Boots According to the Position You Play

A player’s position on the field should always help determine the type of footwear he or she uses. Playing style will also play a part in the selection of the best football boots for the job, with faster players requiring lighter boots, and those who do less running around needing a stouter, more protective boot.

This table gives some basic guidelines:

Position

Ideal Type of Football Boot

Defender, goalkeeper

Strong, well made boot that enhances stability and reduces the risk of injury from collisions or in the tackle.

Needs a firm grip that helps prevent slipping.

Forward, winger

Lightweight, soft leather shoe with blades or light studs.

Provides rapid acceleration and great accuracy.

Central midfielder, wingback

Classic boot that suits the prevailing pitch conditions.

Must allow accurate passing, crossing and shooting.

Striker

Almost any good quality football boot will work as long as it is comfortable, light, and lets you move quickly.

3.   DON’T – Take a Chance on the Size

Make sure you get a pair of football boots that fits correctly from the start. Children and adolescents who are still growing might be able to wear boots that are a tiny bit too big at the start of the season, as long as they grow into them quickly. However, adults should always buy football boots that fit snugly without being overly tight, bearing in mind that they will stretch more than other shoes would.

Boots that are too tight or too loose can cause blisters, affect playing ability, or even lead to injuries when a player is unable to move freely. Leather uppers will stretch more than synthetic materials, especially when they get wet. This is one reason why many football boots are manufactured from a combination of the two. If the boots have 100% leather uppers, it can be OK to buy them half a size smaller than usual and wear them in quickly before a big match.

It is no secret that sizing can vary somewhat depending on the brand of boot. Before shopping online for an unfamiliar brand, it can therefore be a good idea to go to a local shop and try on a few pairs to make sure you order the right size.

4.   DO – Pay Attention to the Shape of Your Feet

In addition to buying the right size, you need to ensure that your football boots suit the shape of your feet. Some of us have flat feet, some have high arches, and others have normal arches. Feet come in different widths too, and it is essential to pick footwear that properly accommodates these variations. Then there is the question of the toes, with some people having a second toe that is longer than their big toe, some whose first two toes are the same length, and others whose toes taper to a point at the big toe.

It’s no wonder getting football boots that really fit can be so complicated! Width is quite easy to judge, both in shoes and in feet. Certain brands tend to be wider than others, and it is therefore often wise to stick to a brand you know suits the width of your feet. For example, Nike boots are said to be wider than Adidas, while Puma and Umbro tend to be somewhere in between.

The height of your arch will also help guide you in finding a comfortable fit with adequate support. There are three basic degrees of arch and foot support offered by different models of football boots:

Foot Type

Alignment

Ideal Boot/Support Type

High arch

Supination – weight placed on outside edge of foot

Cushioning boot

Normal arch

Neutral

Stability boot

Flat foot

Pronation – weight placed on inside edge of foot

Motion control boot

5.   DON’T – Buy a Pair of Football Boots Because Your Favourite Player Wears Them

While it is great to want to emulate successful footballers, be sensible when it comes to picking your boots. Just because a great player wears a certain label, or designed a model that promises to improve performance on the pitch, it doesn’t mean it will suit everyone else or make them a better striker or goalkeeper. Rather than being swayed by clever marketing or celebrity endorsements, make sure you buy the boots that work best for you.

6.   DO – Buy the Best Boots You Can Afford

Given that your feet have to support the rest of your body, many people consider it worth spending a little extra to get the best quality footwear their budgets will stretch to. It’s no different when it comes to football boots, which after all have to take a lot of wear and tear while protecting the feet, legs and knees from injury.

There are good boots to be found in all price ranges, and not just among the most expensive options. In fact, a more affordable boot might well be better for you than a pricey one. The important thing is to do the required research and then find a pair within your price range that really suits your needs and offers the best value for money. For example, if your budget is £50, you can use the price search box along with the other search options on the eBay site to help locate your ideal model.

7.   DON’T – Be Afraid to Buy Football Boots Online

While we all know that purchasing online is very convenient, and often more economical than going to a local shop, some shoppers might be hesitant to buy something like sports shoes from an online retailer. Indeed, the fact that a customer cannot walk in and try them on can make it tricky to get precisely the right size and fit unless he or she has bought the same brand and model before.

There is an easy way around this problem, however – simply visit the nearest sporting goods shop or department store and try on all the football boots you are considering. If the exact model you are looking for is not available, ask the shop assistant to recommend a similar boot from the same manufacturer to try instead, and you should find that the fit is the same. When you have narrowed down which one to buy, log on to your chosen online shop and place an order.

Buying Football Boots on eBay

eBay has a comprehensive selection of sports equipment for sale, including a wide range of different football items. Among these are thousands of pairs of football boots.

To find football boots for sale or auction, go to the sporting goods portal, where you will find pages for many different sports such as cricket, fishing, hockey, hiking, skiing, and more. Pick the football page and choose from the sub-categories on the left hand side, or visit the football boots page directly. You can also use the various search options in the left hand column of each page to narrow down your search, for example by entering the size, price range or brand of the item you are looking for, or simply type your keyword in to the search box at the top.

To learn more about searching with keywords, click on eBay’s finding items page. Have a look at the various eBay Shops for an alternative selection if you cannot find exactly what you need. eBay.co.uk is a widely trusted online outlet that is known for its excellent choice of products, reliable sellers and competitive prices. Start here to learn more about buying on eBay.

Conclusion

Wearing the right pair of football boots can make all the difference to a player’s comfort and safety, and even to his or her ability to play a great game. Get the fit right, pick a boot type that works well with your usual pitch conditions and playing position, and then go for the best quality you can find for your money. While the sheer choice of football boots on the market can be a bit overwhelming, eBay’s flexible search facility makes it easy to find a pair that suits you perfectly.

 
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