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Football Boot Information
Emily Smith and Trent Salkavich from sportspodiatrists.com.au investigate some areas to give you a better knowledge of what you should be looking for when buying football boots. The information below is intended for boots related to soccer/football, AFL, Rugby Union/League, Touch football and Ultimate Frisby. It is important to consider the following variables before purchasing a boot; injury history, foot function, average field condition, player position and foot shape. The first section will focus on general advice for choosing a boot. The second section will outline the most appropriate boot for your foot type. If unsure consult with the Podiatry team; Emily Smith or Trent Salkavich for further advice regarding boot prescription.

Stud type and configuration

For dry grass pitches, choose moulded studs. They are a little longer and give more grip on grass than trainers but are still comfortable enough to wear on hard ground. For wet or muddy pitches always buy removable studs. They provide maximum grip on soft ground for running and turning.

For rugby union, the screw-in stud (or in some cases a metal-tipped, moulded stud) is preferred, especially in the positions of prop, hooker, and lock, where more grip is required for contested scrums. These screw-in studs are commonly either completely of metal construction or plastic with metal tips, of a maximum length of 18mm. These boots are often heavier than appropriate for other types of football.

More recently, moulded soles with specially designed boots known as blades have moulded soles facing in multiple directions, theoretically to maximise grip and minimise ankle injury. This can also work to a player’s detriment as the foot can potentially ‘stick’ to the ground when changing direction causing injury.

Main considerations when choosing a pair of football boots

Always try football boots on with the same thickness of socks as you would play in. Try several pairs of different brands and in different sizes to find what is most comfortable for you and still gives you enough of a "feel" and touch for the ball through the boot. In general boots should be slightly tighter than a jogger roughly half an adult thumb width from the longest toe to the end of boot. Many brands are now incorporating a ‘sweet spot’ on top of the boot to improve feel – they tend to be more expensive so think about whether your position warrants this technology. Comfort and fit is more important than colour and aesthetics.

Cost

Prices of boots differ from $50 to $370. At the end of play comfort and reducing injury risk are the two most important variables to consider when purchasing boots. People often fall into the trap of paying too much for colour, branding and fancy unnecessary technologies.

Our top picks - brands and models

The following is a general outline of boots for specific sports and conditions. Obtain more specific advice from your Podiatrist and/or Physiotherapist. Rebel Sport has the greatest variety of boots whilst Athletes Foot offer quality advice.

Top 3 Rugby Union/League; Front Row
1/ Asics Lethal Tigreor 3 ST. (10 mm gradient)
2/ Asics Lethal Warno 6 stud screw in (ankle stablility, 10mm gradient)
3/ Adidas Regulate IV SG (8 Stud configuration, extra width)

Top 4 Football/Soccer, Rugby Back Row
1/ Adidas Predator X FG (best all round boot for neutral foot type)
2/ Nike total 90 Laser 3 FG
3/ Asics Gel lethal Ultimate IGS 6 (10mm heel gradient)
4/ X-Blades Legend BMX (superior cushioning)

Top 3 Touch football/Ultimate frisby
1/ Asics Gel Lethal Touch Pro
2/ Tiger touch (best value for dry conditions)
3/ Adidas Predator X FG


If you have any questions or comments regarding the above information please do not hesitate to contact Emily Smith or Trent Salkavich from sportspodiatrists.com.au. All the best for the approaching winter sport season.
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