Finding the right Football Boots
HIT THE GROUND RUNNING WITH THE RIGHT FOOTBALL BOOTS.
Football boots – It’s about that time of the year that you or your kids are looking for your football boots. Finding them at the back of the cupboard – dusting off the cobwebs in anticipation for yet another season of winter sports.
Here at East Gosford Podiatry, we are dedicated to reducing injury risk and increasing comfort. Along with this, keeping players on the field this winter sports season.
Football boots, whatever your code should be supportive, comfortable, be able to withstand the demands in your chosen sport. So, that you will be able to accelerate, change direction and stop, without any foot pain or discomfort.
Need for Speed with your Football Boots
Typically, boots are low profile (no heel raise) with minimal upper support and heel counter stability. This is, for example, in comparison to a standard ‘’big brand’’ jogger.
The demands of our much-loved winter field sports require players to be at full speed. For instance, to be able to stop and change direction suddenly consistently throughout the match and during training.
Remember when you are at full speed regardless of ground/age/size you are, you’re generating force at several times your body weight. But, unfortunately your feet are the body part that initially takes the impact.
With football boots – we are now seeing more research and development going into boots. A far cry from the ‘ólden days’ where boots had a block of timber in the front of the boot. For instance, they made them out of a hard black leather and had steel studs nailed into the sole of the shoe. Ask your grandfather about them.
Above all, I’m happy to see new features coming out in boots, different stud/outsole patterns and materials, firmer heel counters, heel pitches, and midsoles!!
One size doesn’t fit all
Like joggers, football boots that are made by different companies will have a variation between sizes.
Most importantly, remember to take your playing socks with you to try on the football boots as they will have an impact on the sizing as well.
Supporting what supports you
Do you wear orthotics? Taking these with you boot shopping is important, so that you ensure they fit correctly in the boot and to your foot.
Orthotics can be modified/streamlined and de-bulked to fit into most football boots. In the clinic, we’ve seen an increase in patients requesting their orthotics be adapted to their football boots with great success.
Similarly, over the years I have adjusted many orthotics to fit in tight-fitting running spikes and numerous football boots.
On the other hand, I personally think it’s crazy that you wouldn’t have your orthotics fitted to your football boots. For instance, when your foot is under more intense pressure and strain – your feet are being supported.
Specific sports or positions on the field, lean towards a specific boot, stud configuration, and style.
- Rugby players who require grip and stability require screw-in stud patterns for the tight 5.
- Similarly, Strikers on the Soccer field know the importance of a lightweight boot. Where speed, firm fit, and accuracy in shooting are key.
Keeping your options open
But, if it’s not practical to wear orthotics due to the demands of your sport, the particular position that you play or your child just simply won’t wear them.
Similarly, using NON-orthotic in-shoe additions can help to increase comfort and reduce risk of injury.
- Heel lifts and wedging.
- Forefoot padding & cushioning.
- Application of Metatarsal Dome and deflection sites.
- Alternate Lacing techniques.
- Stud grinding/adjustment of outsole.
At East Gosford Podiatry clinic, we have an onsite lab and clinical know how to make these adjustments.
Pain in the heel?
One example and very common issue seen regularly in our active kids is a condition ‘Severs Disease’. Roughly around the ages of 8-13 years. For instance, the condition is often seen during growth spurts, where pain develops at the base of the heel. In addition, using the 10mm heel pitch is a great assistive device to reduce and offload pressure to this Achilles region.
Asics do a fantastic range. In addition, offering heel pitch, but shock absorption as well. Well worth a look!
Bend it like Beckham
DID YOU KNOW…
- Many English Premier League players have in shoe modifications, to assist with blister prevention and injury management/rehabilitation?
- In addition, most teams in the AFL and NRL have a consulting Podiatrist who forms part of the medical team?
Whether you are in your 1st or 20th season… Most importantly, get prepared now to play your best season! Play well this winter, have fun and enjoy your sports!
Above all, A big shout out and best wishes to the Saratoga Hawks AFL, East Gosford Rams Soccer Club, Central Coast United, and the Avoca Sharks Rugby Union club!
Principle Podiatrist/ Co-Owner of East Gosford Podiatry
Tim has a clinical focus in Sports Podiatry and regularly assists AFL and Soccer teams on the Central Coast.