The football boot is one of the most important pieces of kit used by players when participating in the sport of football (or soccer in other countries). Without a decent boot and the correct studs, it becomes hard for the player to keep their balance and change direction on certain surfaces. Football boots can come in different styles, colours and designs but it is the type of sole which is the most important for affecting a players’ game. Options range from the conventional screw-in metal studs, to fixed moulded studs and onto the more modern blade design for which the studs are changeable or fixed. This guide will target the moulded football design, which is most suited to dryer weather conditions and harder pitch conditions.
Main Characteristics and Uses of Moulded Football Boots
There are a number of characteristics associated with moulded football boots, and these are categorised below:
- The studs are connected to the sole of the boot, meaning they won’t detach and come off – a problem found with screw-in metal boots quite regularly.
- They have more studs inserted into them than other types of boot as the stud is generally smaller. This provides better balance and support over a wider area.
- They are softer and thus more comfortable for the user to play on. This will also reduce the chances of getting blisters, especially as the foot is resting on more studs.
- Moulded boots are best suited to dry and firm pitches due to the softer nature of the stud. They are also adequate on some astro-turf surfaces.
Disadvantages of Other Types of Football Boot
As with all football players, make sure that the equipment purchased is both stylish and effective for your style of play. Getting the right boot is an important decision as this is ultimately the most crucial piece of equipment as it’s the football boot that makes contact with the ball. The below table highlights some of the disadvantages of purchasing metal studs and blades:
Buying and Using Moulded Football Boots
When coming to buy a new pair of football boots, there are a few considerations to take into account. What surface are they going to be played on? If it is winter for example, then the ground will most certainly be harder and firmer to plant your feet on. Moulded boots will be the best option in this scenario as they are more appropriate than the longer and harder metal stud, which will make it more difficult to balance on the solid ground.
The development and rise in popularity of small-sided football means that a lot of players are now playing regularly on astro-turf pitches, where you can opt for specific astro football boots. It is perfectly acceptable to use soft moulded studs on these types of surfaces – another benefit of investing in a pair which allows footballers to play both 11-a-side and lesser sided games with them. New 3G pitches, a surface of synthetic fibers, and rubber crumb are actually ideal to play on with softer moulded studs.
Although getting the appropriate studs is essential for playing football, the boot itself is very important as well – in terms of its shape, size and comfort factor. Modern-day sports companies offer a wide-range of football boot, with a host of elaborate characteristics implanted in order to improve your game.
- Initially kangaroo leather was used in the production of football boots, giving them an elasticity and stability that has progressed further with time.
- The material Kevlar is commonly used now in some contemporary boots due to its strength and flexibility.
Sports scientists constantly analyse the minute details that can enhance a footballers speed, balance and kicking technique and seek to modify boot design to match this. Moulded boots at the top-end of the market are kitted out with these enhancements that strive to improve a players’ game, for example:
- The 1990’s Adidas Predator design included ridges on the top of the boot to help with curling the ball
- The 2011 series adiZero F50 miCoach boots come with a microchip inserted into the sole which can record the players speed and distance travelled.
To what extent you’d require elaborate boots will depend on the standard playing, as well as the budget but remember the top of the range boots aren’t necessarily faultless. Alternative innovations may improve certain aspects of the boot but may neglect other areas. For example, the necessity of having a lightweight and flexible boot is so important nowadays that the strength of support and protection to the players’ foot may be overlooked. One common injury in the modern game is that of the broken metatarsal, an injury caused by flimsy and insubstantial protection to the players’ foot that some contemporary boots don’t provide.
Tips for Buying Moulded Football Boots Online
The downfall of buying any product online is that there is no chance to experience it before it is in your possession. It is imperative that you ensure the company, or individual if buying from a site such as eBay, offers a refund or exchange policy. This then allows the confidence to make the purchase knowing that you won’t be stuck with a product that is uncomfortable, inadequate or unusable. Alternatively, go into a high street store and try on numerous football boots, but always remember that purchases online are always more cost effective than tangible stores.
When buying football boots online and trying them offline, this will then obviously make sure the size selected will fit you. Pick a style that suits your preferences as well; they come in all sorts of different colours and patterns so choose one that suits your game.
Also it may be a good idea to read reviews of other people who have bought and used the boots that take your interest. This will give an insight into any potential problems people have encountered or on the flip side provide information of their quality and excellent value.
If you want to copy a certain professional first-class footballer by purchasing a particular pair of boots then remember that durability or longevity will probably not be an issue for them. They are more than likely given a new pair by their sponsors or club every game so the need to invest carefully ones that can last years (like an amateur player will possibly require) is not there.
Examples of Moulded Football Boots and Where to Buy Them
The market is ripe with different styles and designs of moulded boots. There is the option of not only buying the traditional circular shaped moulded studs, but also moulded blades. Be careful though as some managers’ ban their players from wearing blades over their safety concerns and some sports centres pitches prevent people from playing on the astro-turf as it may cut up the expensive fibers and ruin the pitch for others.
Adult prices range usually from around £20 to well in excess of £100, including all the main sporting brands such as Nike, Adidas, Puma and Umbro. eBay is a resourceful way of finding boots at an affordable cost, either available as second-hand goods or also as unwanted gifts that people are prepared to sell for reduced prices. If you are buying from eBay then the site makes it easy to narrow down the particular type of boot you are looking for.
Type in “football boots” into the search box at the top page and then navigate through the filtering options on the left hand side of the page. Continue the filtering process with the varying options:
- Boot size
- Stud preference
Using eBay comes with a few safety considerations also, mainly to do with the validation of the seller and their seller rating. Check for positive and negative feedback along with how many transactions they have completed – the more completed sales the more trusted they are. Also remember to make sure the seller has a returns policy which is acceptable as the boot may not fit correctly or feel uncomfortable when you run.
Moulded studs are a wise investment when choosing to buy a pair football boots; they are suitable for dryer pitch conditions and can be used on astro-turf pitches also. You don’t need to break the bank either after deciding to make a purchase and scouring through the online market can be an astute way of finding a pair at good value. Some boots can last for years if you invest sensibly and look after them correctly. Remember, the most important factor about buying moulded football boots comes down to if they feel comfortable when running, balancing and striking a ball in them; sacrificing style over performance won’t impress anyone.