Not All Football Boots Are The Same?
Not all football boots are born equal. Upper materials vary from one boot to the next, the stud formations and materials also vary as does the overall technology going into each boot.
Some boots are designed with the purpose of being ultralight weight to help make the athlete run faster, or manufactured with a special upper to encourage good “feel” of the ball on the foot to improve the footballers control and touch. And some football boots are specifically designed to help generate greater power when kicking the ball…
When buying a football boot one thing that is commonly overlooked but crucial to the performance of the boot, as well as the athletes overall performance is the stud formation/pattern on the sole of the boot. Although there outwardly appear to be minimal differences between the different stud patterns, not only can selecting the boot with the right stud formation for the surface improve performance it will also help reduce injury risk. Conversely choosing the wrong stud formation for the football surface can actually increase your injury risk!
Football Playing Surfaces In Australia
When looking to purchase a new pair of football boots and wanting to match the stud formation to the surface you play on there are generally three main surface variations played on here in Australia.
- Soft Ground: Soft ground stud patterns are best used in wet and muddy conditions. Given Australia’s climate the majority of Australian footballers at least those playing at an amateur level will be playing on firm or hard surfaces due the lack of truly wet winters and the local councils rules around the protection of their sporting grounds. Meaning most park footy games are cancelled when there has been enough rain to create a soft playing surface. Footballers playing at a higher level, on club owned grounds or stadiums may train and play on soft ground surfaces and need a boot with stud patterns designed for these sessions.
- Firm Ground: Firm ground stud patterns are best used when playing on hard grass. Particularly applicable to use during the summer months such as for pre-season matches and training. The majority of Australia’s dry climates around the country would create a playing surface that would be considered ‘firm ground’ all year round.
- Hard Ground: Hard ground stud formations are designed for playing on surfaces which are very hard, such as artificial surfaces. Artificial grass surfaces are becoming more commonplace throughout Australia. Artificial surfaces are very hard surfaces and although the artificial grass is designed to mimic its natural equivalent the actual ground surface is far firmer than a natural grass surface.
Reduce Your Injury Risk By Purchasing The Right Football Boots
The take home message is that football codes have a high rate of injury what ever football you play, so why increase your chance of injury by selecting the wrong stud formation. Avoid the risk and make sure you purchase a boot that is built for the surface you spend the most time on. If you switch between playing on different surfaces but can’t afford to purchase two top on the range football boots with different purpose stud patterns then consider purchasing a cheaper option for your second boot (for the surface less frequently used) so that you can get the two necessary stud patterns you require without having to break the bank to do so.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Choosing The Right Football Boots should consult his or her physiotherapist, sports medicine specialist, football coach or sports store.