Whilst for most of us, the chances of being involved in a £50m move on the last day of the transfer window is nothing but a very distant dream, football is still a passion enjoyed by millions of men, women and children on park pitches and 5-a-side centres across the UK every week.
Few of us get to walk out before 40,000 supporters every week in state of the art stadia, instead settling for one man and his dog in the local pub league but even so, equipment is a very important part of the game.
Of course, go back to the pre-Premier League days and football boots were simple – black leather, six studs, laces and not much else. Today, we couldn’t have moved further away from that in terms of both technology and fashion.
Blades, studs, Astros – all terms now used to describe footballing footwear in 2011 and all boots that have a very specific purpose. You aren’t going to stay on your feet for very long if you take astro-turf boots onto a wet and muddy park pitch and the owner of the local 5-a-side centre won’t take too kindly to you turning up with studs.
We’ll start with the traditional studded pair. Of course, with football being a winter sport, boots that are designed for soft, wet ground are going to be the ones that you pick up more often than not. To address that need, we have picked out this pair of adidas F50 Adi Zero XTRX SG Football Boots.
These are the latest boots from adidas, utilising the latest weight saving materials and featuring four additional, triangular studs to compliment the traditional six-stud layout, hopefully preventing any unnecessary slips. And whatever your views on coloured football boots, they do look fantastic.
For the harder pitches, be it in the summer pre-season or on those icy fields that just about pass the referee’s pitch inspection, we have picked out these adidas Predator Absolado FG Mens Football Boots.
Using rubber moulded studs as opposed to metal screw type studs, these boots offer more flexibility on firmer ground. Not only does this make it easier on your feet when you come across harder pitches, that little bit of flex in the stud helps to prevent your studs from “locking” into the ground, minimising the risk of injury.
For those who prefer to play on artificial pitches or on astro-turf, these Nike Mercurial Victory TF Turf Trainers are some of our favourites.
With Astroturf boots, you get smaller rubber studs scattered across the boot, allowing you to grip on a surface that, aside from on the very top level, offers very little cushioning or grip.