Footy Boots: What To Look For
With footy season just around the corner I just wanted to share some Podiatry knowledge with you all on footy boots to make sure you buy the right pair for your feet. Often players will select footy boots based on appearance/colours and neglecting the possible ramifications it might have for your feet. It is important that you get properly fitted into a boot that suits your playstyle, foot posture and gait to reduce the likelihood of experiencing lower-leg related injuries.
Wearing the wrong pair of footy boots may lead to the following injuries:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Forefoot injuries
- Morton’s Neuroma/intermetatarsal bursitis
- Stress fractures
What material should I go for?
Kangaroo leather is ideal for footy boots, as it is strong, lightweight, flexible and durable compared to other leathers. However, synthetic boots are well suited to children’s feet, as they’re bones are yet to fully develop until the age of 16 and synthetic boots can provide sufficient cushioning and protection, and are often more affordable.
Tips on finding the right fit
- Ensure that you have at least a thumbs width between the end of the boot and your big toe. During a match your foot may swell up due to increased blood flow, and a tight-fitting boot can cause blisters/pressure points and nail trauma.
- Bring your football socks with you when trying on boots to ensure you get an ideal fit.
- There are boots that are more tailored to fit narrow feet, standard feet and wider feet, which gives you all the more reason to seek professional help when looking for your next pair.
Boots for players with narrow feet
- Nike Mercurial
- ASICS Menace
- Adidas Nemeziz
- Puma Future
Boots for players with regular width feet
- Adidas Predator
- Adidas Copa
- ASICS Lethal Tigreo
- Nike Tiempo
Boots for players with wider feet
- New Balance Tekala
- ASICS Lethal Ultimate
- Adidas X
- ASICS Lethal Testimonial
- Nike Magista Obra
- ASICS Lethal Ultimate
Should I go with moulded boots or screw-in boots?
Moulded boots are more suited to playing on dry or hard surfaces, especially in Summer preseason conditions.
Screw-ins are a little longer, and thus more tailored to softer and wetter conditions.
- If you are experiencing any pressure points or rubbing within your boots, a handy trick to help this is to remove the stud or grind down the stud that is closest to this pressure point to offload that area. The most common area for this to occur is underneath your big toe.
- Never wear your new boots for the first time on gameday. Gradually wear them in at training to give the material time to stretch to your feet and avoid painful blisters.
- If you wear orthotics, ensure that you purchase boots with enough depth to fit them in and ensure that the innersole is removable to allow for more wiggle room.
- If you are prone to ankle sprains, it may be beneficial to look for a boot with a lower heel drop to feel a little sturdier.
- If you are prone to calf/Achilles injuries, a higher heel drop in your boot may help offload your calf muscles to help you get through games.
- To reduce the likelihood of injuries bring a pair of runners to preseason training for those tough running sessions.
- Wash your boots regularly to remove any possible bacteria/fungus living in your boots and reduce the likelihood of getting fungal infections on your feet.