The three biggest mistakes when buying football boots!

April 6, 2018

Lisa is a podiatrist of 20 years and previous Queensland Soccer Player. She is the director of Podiatry Point and brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to a subject that is close to her heart!


Here are the Three Biggest Mistakes made when buying new football boots that I want you to know about now!

Do you get confused when it comes to buying new boots for the football season?

“Did you know that the football boot industry makes up approx. 8.5 billion US dollars of the global footwear market?  This often makes sifting though the different options harder than the decision of which sport to play in the first place”

If you get this wrong it can ruin your whole season, cause you needless injury and pain and make playing the sport you love a real drag.

Getting the right boots can make for an injury free enjoyable season and maybe even that championship trophy you have been chasing.

I feel that different boot fads often get in the way of making educated decisions about what is the best boot for you”

If you have ever stood in the shoe aisle of the sports store and wondered where to start or have  got three games into the season and realised you have made a big mistake then these next three tips may just save you time money and heartache.

1st biggest mistake is buying the boots with the wrong cleats or studs. A lot of people are confused about which type and pattern of cleat is best for their sport and believe me there are a few options and they do make a big difference. The questions you need answered are. What sport is it for? What surface are you playing on?  What position in that sport do you intend to play?

I will pause here and offer the following advice for those of you who are looking for an all rounder boot, for example you are buying for a child who does not play a specific field position or moves around into various positions, I recommend the Asics tigreor IT. While it does not have the big name brand backing of the likes of Adidas and Nike and the add on features that will make you bend the ball like Beckham, at this price point this is a particularly good all rounder shoe. It will cross over into different sports with its tread pattern. It has a 10mm drop through the midsole which keeps the heel a little bit higher then the ball of the foot. This is great in the 10-15 year age group, as in this age group they are most susceptible to heel growth plate traction disorder called Severs disease. Finally with a Kangaroo leather upper this boot has a nice soft feel that aids in the touch on the ball and the smelliness of sweaty young feet

Now if you play specific positions then read on and find the perfect boot for you!

If you are a Goal Keeper, traction is the most important element of the boot you are looking for. This means you want a boot with blades. This will maximise the lateral stability and agility that is essential as a goal keeper.

If Defense is your position being able to protect your feet and offer a clean pass of the ball is essential. You are after a bladed boot with a clean strike zone (where you hit the ball).

As a Mid field player, stamina is the aim of the game. This means a shoe that offers you control and support that will sustain your feet whilst running up and down the field.

A boot with studs will give you the most support and don’t forget comfort is key so looking at kangaroo leathers will give you that all game comfort.  A leather upper will be a slightly heavier boot but will suit players with a wider foot and those that are looking for a more traditional fit and reliability in power. This is suited to defenders and midfielders

Synthetic uppers will provide a firmer fit and be lighter in weight therefore tend to be the choice of forwards and wingers.

The players on the Wing are after speed and agility. The ability to change direction as quickly as possible will aid you in your game. A boot that is lightweight and has studs will be the best choice.

As a Forward player, having a lightweight boot with a clean strike zone will improve your game. This will help with speed and control of the ball.

What type of studs will suit you will depend on the surface you are playing on and how much money you are prepared to spend.  Soft muddy and wet surfaces require the longest stud pattern. Usually this will be a screw in stud formation made from nylon or aluminum. Typically the advantage of this stud profile is that you can change worn studs easily vary the length of the stud to suit the playing surface and generally these only have 6-8 in the stud formation therefore they do not tend to hold mud on the sole.  Generally this will only apply to elite sports people playing on well kept thicker playing surfaces. The average player will confront a firmer surface or hard grass and therefore are better suited boot is one with moulded studs. These boots have shorter studs and more of them, allowing  them  to  distribute impact more evenly reducing stress on your joint and your back and they are more stable therefore reducing the risk of rolling your ankle.

2nd biggest mistake is selecting the wrong sole. Influencing factors here are pitch and shape.

A lot of popular boots that are available have no heel pitch. What is heel pitch you ask? Well, heel pitch is the height difference between the heel and the front of the foot when sitting in the shoe. By having a heel pitch it takes a lot of strain away from the Achilles tendon and can help with conditions such as; Achilles Tendinopathy and Sever’s Disease.

3rd biggest mistake is following the fads when it comes to uppers. This is how the big shoe companies get you to part with your hard earned cash. Often the fancy patterns and socks and stitching of an upper is just so they can charge more and has no real practical application or even worse is when that fad is not at all suitable for the sport you intend to use it for. For example if you are playing football (soccer) you do not want a stitched in toe box as it will influence the way the ball comes off the boot. But if you are buying boots for field hockey this type of shoe can give the toes some protection and increase the durability of the shoe.

There are a lot of factors that go into picking the best boot for you and your sport. It is important to look after your feet so we can minimise the risk of injuries and ensure you are maximising your potential on the field. The team at Podiatry Point can help with assessing your current boots, help find a new boot and answer and questions or queries you may have.  Please feel free to contact us on 4646 2016.

For more information See our live video on selecting the right boot. Here we show you some practical examples of what to look for in your next pair of boots.