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Why The Extreme Shift To Lightweight Boots?

Lightweight Boots

Here is a pretty important topic that I’m very eager to get reader feedback on.

In your opinion, what do you think of the dramatic shift we are currently seeing toward lightweight boots?

It seems that every company is focusing on releasing lighter and lighter boots – and I’m not sure any company are ready to give up the chase to produce the lightest boot on the market. In years past, it was more about producing the highest quality boot and weight never seemed to be an issue. If a boot had a K-leather upper and weighed in at 11oz it was a winner – but over the past 2 years synthetic and lightweight is the “in” thing.

You simply have to look at the likes of the Puma evoSPEED 1 SL (5.6oz), Nike GS (5.6oz), Adidas F50 adiZero (5.8oz) and the Pele Trinity 3E (5.6oz) to know that there is more than one company in the race. Puma have even changed up the tradition King series and produced a lighter, more modernized boot.

Ultimately, is this a trend you think we will continue to see or will there be a point where players demand more than just the lightest boot on the market?

What is the ideal weight of a boot?

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About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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31 comments

  1. It could be 1. Companies tries to make players think they are going to be "faster" with a lighter boot. Which isn't true because it is the muscles in your legs that determines speed and agility. 2. Thinner material=less cost, but more technology in building, but it doesn't really cost anything besides coming up with the technology for the boot. Therefore companies use that as an excuse to increase the prices of the boot and to compete with other companies. But that's just my guess.

    • totally agree with you, plus thinner materials mean less protection.

    • Om sort of correct. If you have less weight on your body you can accelerate faster and reach a slightly higher top speed. Mind I'm talking mabe 1 mile an hour difference, but that extra edge could be all you need.

  2. I think it is just the gimmick now. I personally love the light weight feel of the boots but I don't think it is worth sacrificing comfort, durability and protection. The 7-8 ounce range in ideal in my opinion. Testing out the Hummel Old School Star and Pele Sports Galileo has really set that bar for me. Lighter doesn't always mean faster and that is what is keeping light weights on the market. It sells boots.

  3. because lightweight boots are appealing to the public (big number of sales), with low production costs, and they'll break sooner which causes people to buy more boots.

  4. I used to wear light weight boots in the past. But now I wear the Legend IV and really have no concern with the weight.

  5. Most companies seem to be taking the support out of boots in order to make them more light weight. There has been a MASSIVE rise in injuries in correlation (but maybe not causation) with the increase in light weight boots. Most people may think they need lighter boots but this also has a very negative effect on younger players. In the southern US (such as Texas) the ground is very hard which means it would be smarter to use a softer shorter or multi stud supportive boot to make up for that. However because those are not what the pros are wearing so boots like do not tend to sell. this has lead to a very larger increase in young players leading to things such as Sever's disease. We have even had people ask for soft grounds!! Even in the UK those are not always needed. A place where this is done properly is Japan, where for the most part only hard ground boots really sell. I don't think it will be too long before someone gets sued for this and I am very surprised this hasn't happened yet.

  6. I've had 2 pairs of f50 adizeros, but this year i went with a pair of the vapor viii (CR7 specifically) and they are such an improvement. They are much more comfortable, the fit is a lot better and the upper molds to you feet, stretches more and gives you a better touch. For me, anywhere from 6-8 ounces is ideal, anything less feels insubstantial, provides no protection, and you also sacrifice durability.

  7. I wear Tiempo Legend 4s, which weight in at 9.6oz, and they're by no means a heavy boot. I wouldn't want to go much lighter than 8 or 9oz, since you sacrifice protection big time.

    Really, the weight of a boot barely matters as long as traction is good. My old Umbro Specialis felt sluggish when the studs started wearing down, but upon getting my Tiempos, which are of comparable weight, I felt just as nimble as before. With good traction, the weight of a boot has nearly no effect on speed, agility, etc.

  8. I think the only pair of boots that have kept their weight low, but provided plenty of “power” are the adipowers. For me, the BEST boot I’ve ever used. Felt light, the leather gives a great touch, the soleplate works anywhere (for me) and i feel.like the element actually served a purpose. Even if it doesn’t really give more power, it gives a great indicator of what part of the shoe to strike it with.

  9. LIGHT WEIGHT IS GOOD = FASTER but honestly, the number of SH%*S i give about the boots weight is very very small. Once you get below 7 ounce there's not much difference between boots (at least in how they feel on your feet). All you know is that they are lighter then 10 + ounce boots

    • Lightweight doesn't make you faster. Sure, it makes you FEEL faster, and sometimes that's all you need (and I agree it's a nice feeling). But just know that's all it is…a feeling.

      • So you are saying if I wear a work boot vs the adizero it wouldn't make a difference in a sprint? You are wrong! At a high level it would and will make a difference at one point or another. You all are missing the point with speed. It's not just the sprint, its if I can move my foot by 1 foot to the right faster with lighter shoes, I may just get a piece of a ball vs missing it. Break it down into nano seconds. Split seconds aren't obvious to the eye, but they are definitely there and could be the difference between beating a defender or not so why wear heavy shoes if you need speed?

  10. what a lot of my friends who buy boots just because they need them go for, is either the "lightweight" ones, because they have no gimmicks. they won't take care of kangaroo leather, none of that "power enhancing" stuff, and they think for control boots, if you can pass, you can pass. the lightweight boots are the thinnest so they feel the ball better. plus, CR7 and Messi fanboys will always buy the boots their heros wear.

  11. I’m a fan of lightweight boots for some of the reasons Danny mentioned. I like the minimalist, second skin feel, little to no water uptake, etc. That said, the garish colors are a turnoff. It’s hard to find speed boots in subdued colors. However, I don’t agree with leather boots getting lighter and lighter. 9 oz is the best weight for a leather boot IMO. Much less than that and the boot feels “unbalanced” and hinders durability/reliability (the main reason people go for leather to begin with).

  12. As for lightweight boots making you faster, they give a player the perception that they are moving faster which causes the body to want to move faster than regular in order to compensate for what the brain telling them. It's all just a placebo effect. The lightweight cleats don't make you faster by nature of being lightweight but they give you the mindset that you are faster which does correlate to moving faster.

  13. I'm at the point where I don't really concern myself with the weight of a pair of boots. I've worn Vapor's (VII) and F50's and I don't feel any quicker when I'm wearing them , I do feel pain in my feet, however, due to the cutting down of any (necessary) padding in the insole. Now I know I can't be the only person who suffers from this. It is why I've gone back to wearing boots which almost exclusively have conical studs as they distribute weight evenly, and it's not like my Stadio Primato's or my Mexico-Finale's weight a metric ton or anything. I'd advise people to play in what feels comfortable as opposed whats been nicely packaged as the next MUST have boot.

  14. I agree with almost everybody on this, i own a few pairs of adizeros and vapors, and also tiempos,ctrs,lottos, and predators, and in no way do i feel like i am any faster, the differences i can tell are the difference in comfort, or touch, or shooting, (adizero synthetic can hurt your foot shooting if you kick it hard enough, like sting because of no padding on the upper,)and getting stepped on hurts so bad with vapors or adizeros compared to tiempos or ctrs or predators. Weight really isnt much of a factor, although after 10 oz is a bit sluggish, and below 7, offers no protection

  15. I agree with almost everybody on this, i own a few pairs of adizeros and vapors, and also tiempos,ctrs,lottos, and predators, and in no way do i feel like i am any faster, the differences i can tell are the difference in comfort, or touch, or shooting, (adizero synthetic can hurt your foot shooting if you kick it hard enough, like sting because of no padding on the upper,)and getting stepped on hurts so bad with vapors or adizeros compared to tiempos or ctrs or predators. Weight really isnt much of a factor, although after 10 oz is a bit sluggish, and below 7, offers no protection

  16. Companies should try to balance a moderately lightweight boot with a good quality upper like nike's kangalight.

  17. Bravo Bryan, for posing the question. I think a part of the light weight push is to help the companies move away from natural materials and make synthetics the cutting edge. I suspect they like the cost savings, of having all the material you need on a huge uniform, roll, vs. hides, tanning, and the variation they have. There are some admirable traits, like wet weather performance, but I feel it is more about $$ for the brands. Another casualty of the weight push, is fit. Look at close ups of pros in light boots, the width of the shoe looks silly on some feet, the tongue not wide enough to span the area between the laces sometimes, and the sole plates can be narrow to save weight too. I hope the trend will change, but a look at the Messi line, vs. his game day selection, and it seems like it will be a while.

  18. For me, this push for lightweight is terrible. I miss the feel and protective qualities of leather…especially k-leather.

  19. 708 oz are just great
    Still has paddings, quite lite, not bulky

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