What Type Of Football Boot Stud Pattern Should I Use?
When looking to purchase a new pair of football boots and wanting to match the football boot stud patterns to the surface you play on, there are generally three main surface variations played on here in Australia to consider. What I aim to discus are the main types of stud formations and what each different pattern is used for and therefore how to choose the right football boot stud pattern to reduce your injury risk and improve performance.
Football Code Playing Surfaces And The Appropriate Football Boot Stud Patterns
Soft Ground: Soft ground playing surfaces suit the longest style of stud formation. The studs are generally screw-in and are made from nylon or aluminum or part thereof. They are great for wet and muddy conditions that require extra grip.
What Is A Screw-In Football Boot?
Instead of having a moulded stud pattern on the sole, a screw-in boot has studs that screw into the sole plate. This allows the studs to be changed at any given time, allowing the replacement of either worn studs or the ability to change the length of the studs in the boot to better suit the conditions.
The Advantages Of Screw-In Boots are that you can achieve better grip on soft grounds because you can have longer studs giving you traction in soft conditions. Screw-in studs can be up to 21mm in length rather than the normal 10 – 12mm moulded stud for firm ground. Another advantage is that with fewer studs on the sole plate of a screw-in boot (typically a screw-in boot has a 6-8 stud formation) mud doesn’t accumulate between the studs as easily as it would on a moulded boot which typically has more studs on the sole plate. Screw-in studs are for ideal for soft grounds and often used by rugby union forwards who contest scrums and require extra grip for these scrummaging contests.
The Disadvantages Of A Screw-In Boot are that because there are only 6-8 studs on the sole plate when playing on firm or hard ground where the studs don’t sink into the ground all of your body weight is on 6-8 pressure points which can cause discomfort on the sole of the foot and sometimes injury. Also if the studs are not sinking into the playing surface then these longer studs can create a situation where there is greater potential to roll your ankle. Screw-in studs are both uncomfortable and dangerous when used on hard and some firmer playing surfaces.
Firm Ground: Firm Ground stud patterns are designed so they are best used when playing on hard grass. Although this stud pattern is not ideal for wet or muddy conditions it will go OK on soft ground. This type of stud pattern is considered your general all-rounder for Australian weather conditions and is what the majority of football players wear.
Firm ground football boot stud patterns are made of rubber and are shorter than soft ground football boot stud patterns yet they are slightly longer than hard ground stud formations. A typical firm ground stud length will be approximately 10 – 12mm at the heel and slightly shorter at the front of the boot. They have a multi-stud formation when compared to a screw-in soft ground pattern so the impact load through the foot is distributed across multiple points rather than only the 6-8 points in a screw in boot. The actual design pattern of the sole plates vary from boot to boot and brand to brand but are designed with the purpose of good grip and release. Balancing both good grip to the playing surface without sticking and failing to release when pushing off or pivoting which can be the cause of injury.
Hard Ground: Hard ground surfaces such as playing on artificial grass require football boot stud patterns that take pressure away from your joints and lower back. The football boot stud patterns with hard ground boots have lower profile studs and a greater number of individual studs when compared to both a screw-in and firm ground football boot. This lower stud height means it is a more stable boot on hard surfaces and less risk of rolling your ankle. The multiple stud formations are designed to distribute impact load when running on a hard surface more evenly throughout the whole foot.
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 Football Stud Patterns For Australian Playing Surfaces should consult his or her physiotherapist, sports medicine specialist, football coach or sports store.