We have all had that moment. When your football boot’s playing days are over. They have served you well for a number of games, running into challenges with absolutely no fear like Nemanja Vidic, blasting shots into row Z like Bobby Zamora and even a nice through ball here and there like the absolute magician that is Mesut Ozil. However, now the time has come to make that bold step into the unknown and pick a pair of new boots. No matter what anyone says, the right football boots make a world of difference on the pitch.
Most of us football enthusiasts know everything there is about football but, when it comes to football boots, we have absolutely no idea what to look for and what factors might affect our decision. There is absolutely no doubt that the right football boots make for a more comfortable and better performance on the field so do not make your decision without the information you need to make the right choice.
That is where this buyers guide will take you through the do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing your new boots.
First off you need to be familiar with the fact that different positions have different boots designed for them. Companies spend millions every year researching and developing boots purpose designed for different tasks. You cannot use a screwdriver to hammer a nail so why does the same not apply for football boots? The answer is it does. Football boots have design features which allow the user to perform better depending on what position and role they play in the team. For example, a winger must need a boot which is light weight and grip allowing for sharp movements and being able to beat players which means they can sacrifice protection and rigidity. This means the boots a winger would idealy wear would not be suited for a defender who has to get stuck in to challenges and needs boots that provide extra support and safety along with more rigidity. You can find a summary in the Table below.
Moreover, you need to know what ground you are going to be using the boots on. Football companies design boots sole’s for different playing conditions. Firm ground soles or FG are designed for 3G pitches and can be used in light mud but can become slippery if the surface becomes too wet and muddy. For more information check out the table below for full details.
|Playing Surface||Type of boot and Features|
|Soft Ground||Soft Ground (SG) boots have changeable studs meaning they can be used in most situations. The longer the stud the better the grip in wetter and slippery conditions. They are mainly used for mud surfaces and some 3G and artificial turfs. However some 3G and artificial surface facilities do not allow HG boots so make sure to check with the facility before purchasing and using them on their pitches.|
|Firm Ground||Football boots with rubber/plastic moulds are Firm Ground (FG) boots. FG boots are the most widely used boots as they can be used on almost any surface whether that be mud or 3G. They do however perform best on dry firm ground and do not provide as much grip as SG boots on wet muddy surfaces.|
|Hard Ground||Hard Ground (HG) boots have astro bottoms the soles have dimples made from rubber for the best grip on hard courts and ground. Such as astroturf boots. you can get non-Marking HG boots but make sure to ask the seller and facilities before hand as some facilities do not allow HG boots as they mark the courts.|
|Position||Type Of Boot And Features|
|Defender and Goalkeeper||Defenders and Goalkeepers need rigid and sturdy boots which provide sufficient support and protection. Boots with thick leather and moulded/Studded soles are best as they provide the optimal amount of grip and protection when jumping into challenges. They also have very good control capabilities allowing for sufficient technical play.|
|Striker and Winger||Strikers and Wingers need lightweight boots with high levels of control for technical play. They need to be lightweight for increased agility and speed as well as shaped for the best contact upon shooting. Attacking boots do not need as much protection as defender boots so have thinner leather and more features allowing for better grip on contact with the ball.|
|Midfielder||Box-to-Box midfielders and Defensive midfielders need boots with thick leather and sturdiness ideally defender boots. However, if you are more of an attack mixed midfielder and don't like tracking back like Ozil, then striker and winger boots would be more suited allowing for better creative play and more finesse on contact with the ball.|
|Referee||Copa Mundial or Nike Tiempo Always! (Black)|
Nike Tiempo Legend VI
“I have actually owned these boots for about a year now and what can I say. They live up to the reputation of the famous brand. They are brutally strong like all its predecessors. They have lines of stitching on the front of the boot to increase surface area creating more grip for the user. Furthermore, the soleplate of these boots comes with 8 circular moulds around the front of the foot and 4 around the heel. This provides better support over a wider area. They also have two blades in the centre of the boot giving increased grip when taking off and slowing down.
I personally love the way nike have taken a step back from the route of flashy, eye-catching colours and chosen a matte black finish with a gold framed, white nike tick. The sole is white contrasting well with the overall boot. I feel it gives the boot a classy and modest look. Which is the direction I feel most brands are taking nowadays.
Ideal for defenders, Central and defensive midfielders and Goalkeepers I would highly recommend this boot, if what you are looking for is reliability and longevity.”
Adidas Nemeziz 17
“When adidas released these boots I had huge expectations and I feel like for the most part they did not cut it. They are gorgeous and look even better on foot. The all black pair I would say are the best looking and I feel that the light grey diagonal lines going though really add to its design.
The nemeziz boot has a sock around the front of the ankle for increased support for the foot but have stuck to the traditional back. The front of the boot has indentations like most older boots for increased surface area which aids control. The material used to create the boot I feel does not have the feel of good quality like many other boots in its category. Furthermore, the top of the boot has very little support or protection for your toes which does leave you without much confidence when challenging for the ball. I understand this has been done with an aim of weight loss but I feel there has to be some form of compromise between weight and support.
The soleplate of the boot consists of 11 moulds with 7 moulds in the front evenly spaced out in a 2 -3 -2 arrangement and 4 being at the heel of the boot.
For what it makes up for in looks I fell it lacks in usability. And for that reason I feel there are better boots on the market for the targeted audience.
This boot is mainly for use of attack minded players such as Midfielders, Strikers and wingers.”
Adidas Predators 18
“This boot has taken the industry by storm, being the comeback of the legendary predator range by adidas. Legends of the game have worn these boots such as Del Piero, Zidane and Beckham just to name a few.
So when these boots were released they had a lot to live up to and they did not disappoint. They come in two options, laceless or laced. Now in my opinion if you were to buy these boots the laceless ones would be the option to go for but of course everyone has their own preference.
Adidas have innovated a new CONTROLSKIN feature on the boot which is a rubber like material used to cover the front part of the boot. The upper part of the boot has also has ridges to increase the surface area which along with the brand new CONTROLSKIN redefines the meaning of grip. The ball literally sticks to your foot, by far the best control you have for the ball. There is also a sock surrounding the ankle to allow for a snug and tight fit which is needed if you don’t have laces. The laceless feature also allows for better contact on the ball and a whole new feel when playing football which takes time to get used to.
The soleplate of the predators comes with a combination of studs and triangular shaped moulds. The front of the boot has 4 studs surrounding 3 triangular shaped moulds which ironically are arranged in a triangular shape. The back of the boot near the heel has two triangular shaped moulds followed by two studs. The combination of the studs and moulds gets the best of both grip and control and I feel adidas have worked out a formula that works well.
The boot has a matte black finish with the sock being the iconic red and black of the predator. The boot also has the iconic adidas three white stripes down the side. The sole around the heel is lined with a gold plastic outline which I think looks sleek and cool. Overall I really like this boot, I feel it has changed the way brands will design their boots in the future and feel it has revolutionised the industry.
These are ideal boots for attack minded players such as midfielders and strikers. I do think there would be better suited boots for wingers, but they would get the job done if you really wanted a pair.”
Puma One 17
“Puma have always had a long history in the game and I genuinely feel they have gone under the radar recently compared to the main two brands, Adidas and Nike. After all lets not forget the greatest footballers in the world wore Puma’s such as Pele, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona.
The latest boot Puma has launched is a combination of new and old technologies and that is why it is one of my favourite football boots on the market. It has the evoKNIT sock around the colour of the boot coupled with the laces leading to one of the best, most snug fitting boots around which is essential for comfortability and confidence when playing. Furthermore, I feel the use of thicker leather compared to the other puma boots has lead to a sturdier and more planted feel on top of the extra protection it provides. I love the iconic puma swoosh it has on the side sticking to it’s origins.
The boot is white leather and has two lines of stitching on the front.The evoKNIT sock is black creating contrast with the rest of the boot that I love. It’s soleplate is orange and has 4 blades round the edge of the front of the boot and 4 on the heel for more control and speed. it also has 4 moulds in the middle for the extra grip and planted feel everyone wants.
I adore these boots. They are trendy, highly functional and long lasting.
They are perfect for any type of player but mainly suited for defender, midfielders and goalkeepers.”
Under Armour UA Force 3.0
“Under Armour have made massive strides when it comes to the football boot market and are really cementing themselves as one of the household names in the market. And their effort on the Under Armour UA Force 3.0 has not gone unnoticed with some very high profile footballers using them on the highest of levels.
The boot has a good old back to the basics design with nothing but an under armour logo on the side of the heel and thats it. I love the simplicity in the design and feel it makes for a classy and modest look. The boot has indentations all over for greater surface area allowing for better ball control.
The soleplate of the boot is made up of 12 moulds with 8 surrounding the front of the boot and 4 on the heel. It also has one big blade in the middle of the front of the boot and smaller blades coming of the side of each mould.
I love the design and feel this boot is great value for money. It is an affordable option perfect for any position on the pitch.”