No matter what code you are playing this winter; Rugby League, AFL, Rugby Union or Soccer, your footy boots can have a major impact on your performance and risk of injury!
Here are some tips when choosing the right footy boots for performance, structural stability and comfort:
Finding the perfect fit:
Have your boots professionally fitted to reduce the risk of lower limb injury. If required, orthotics can be made to fit your football boots.
Take along your footy socks and orthotics when trying on boots. Consider the width of the boots - a narrow-fitted boot can lead to problems such as ingrown toenails, forefoot pain, nerve pain and much more.
Selecting the right material:
Leather Boots: Leather will adapt to the shape of your foot quite quickly. These boots absorb water and may overstretch. The biggest positive wearing leather boots is that they provide some protection against being studded by opponents to the top of your foot during a game.
Synthetic boots: Synthetic materials are usually cheaper, hold their colours and logos better than leather boots. Usually waterproof, however when they become wet, they tend to lose their grip.
Stud height and placement:
Dependant on the surface you are playing on, whether it be grass or asphalt, the stud height/placement is something to consider. Boots that have lower stud height and greater distribution will increase the surface area of contact and should hold better, lowering the risk of lower limb injury. Poorly designed cleats have hugely impacted on lower limb injury rates. Longer studs become stuck in the drier, harder turf, adding to the twisting forces through the lower limb.
Alternate between footwear:
When training, alternate your footwear from runners to your football boots during drills. Wear runners that provide cushioned support during medium to long distance running drills, and then wear football boots during ball skill training. This will provide your feet with the comfort and support they require.
Cutting Edge Podiatry can assist with selecting the right footwear for you and will help to manage any issues you have, preventing further injury. Experiencing blisters, bruised nails or ingrown toenails, although very common, can be caused by friction or pressure forces, and are signs of a bad fit.