With sweater weather in full swing and winter not too far around the corner, it’s time for soccer to start transitioning indoors. If you’re like me you probably love the small sided game more than the full sided game, if you don’t you probably should consider changing your tune.
Indoor (in all its variants) is where you get your touches, it’s where you learn quick decision making, it’s pretty much where you learn your craft. If you have desires of playing at higher levels you definitely need to be playing the small sided game; and if you need an example as proof, take the modern innovator of ridiculousness on a football pitch Ronaldinho who learned the majority of his tricks and feints on the sala court.
Now despite the importance of the indoor game in player development, until recently it had been criminally overlooked by the big companies; with players limited cobbled together versions of lower tier boots. Unless of course they were willing to take a chance on specialist companies like Joma, Munich, Kelme, and Penalty who all catered to indoor game of futsal, and have arguably been the leaders in top quality boots for years. However, last year Nike really put a focus on small sided football with the release of the SCCRX line, which marked the first time that one of the big three had properly started designing for indoor.
So, given that there’s a more pronounced focus on the indoor game, let’s take a look at some of the top options for those players looking for a top tier indoor release.
Joma Top Flex
If you’re looking for a new indoor boot and the Joma Top Flex doesn’t feature on your list, you need to re-evaluate your list (and possibly your life) completely. The Top Flex has been one of the flagship boots in the futsal world for ages now, don’t believe me find a stream of an Inter Movistar match. The Top Flex gives you a boot built purpose built for the sala court. The boot features a solid gum rubber upper for traction on the court, a supple leather upper and a suede shot guard running from the front of the boot to the instep. If you’re curious about the shot guard’s purpose it’s added padding to protect the foot when driving a fustal ball as it is weightier than your standard ball. The Top Flex is a solid performer and one of my personal go to indoor boots, I’m actually still wearing the pair I tested nearly two years ago now, so there’s another plus for durability. The best part about the Top Flex though, is the price $69.99. Yes, a top quality boot for under three figures is something which you just don’t see these days.
Nike Mercurial X Proximo
If there’s a boot which started off the revolution of the big brands taking indoor seriously that honour goes to the Nike Mercurial X Proximo, although, back in the day when the revolution began, it was known as the Nike Elastico Superfly. The updated model has taken more stylistic cues from the 11 a-side Mercurial Vapor Superfly, but the boot is still very much indoor specific, while Nike are continuing to promote their mid-cut collar as speed friendly, both Bryan and myself have noted that it’s definitely built with the playmaker in mind as opposed to the speed demon. That said the boot which features a Flyknit upper and a generous application of NikeSkin, especially in the control areas is perhaps the top performing boot on the indoor market today. Which you would definitely expect with a price of $149.99.
If you’d rather dispense with the mid-cut collar but want a boot in the vein of the Mercurial series you can of course get yourself the Mercurial X Finale which retails for $89.99.
Adidas X 15.1 Primeknit CT
With the X and the Ace, Adidas flipped the boot world on it’s proverbial head; so is it really any surprise that Adidas are taking a serious look at the indoor game? It about time they did in my opinion. Until now Adidas’ foray’s into the indoor game were limited to one really good boot and a lot of dross. This is why it’s nice to see the three stripes offering up a quasi limited release boot with the X 15.1 Primeknit CT. Featuring the same Primeknit upper as the recently released (and also quasi limited) X 15.1 and Ace Primeknit boots. It’s also an evolution on the Primeknit Boost which while one of the gaffers go to indoor boots resembled a trainer a bit more than it did a serious indoor boot.
While we haven’t seen the Primeknit CT around these parts it’s definitely a boot to be on the look out for and a boot which I’d love to get my hands on and put through its paces. While the $149.99 price point might be a sticking point for some, especially given Adidas’ only recently acquired focus on the indoor game.
Nike Magista X Proximo/Finale
The second silo to receive the SCCRX treatment from Nike. The Magista is all about playmaking so it suits the small sided game down to the ground. The Proximo is a boot based on the Magista Obra featuring the the same Flyknit upper with NikeSkin coating and dynamic fit collar. The indoor version of the boot also features Lunarlon in the mid-sole providing a comfortable ride on hard court surfaces.
Whereas the Proximo is designed to pretty much mimic the qualities of the Magista Obra, the Magista X Finale is a different boot entirely to the Magista Opus. The Finale features a primarily synthetic upper with a calf skin leather coating over the forefoot to provide a soft touch on the ball. The mid-sole of the boot also features the same Lunarlon technology as the Proximo. Given that players often tend to be much more budget conscious with their indoor boots I’m anticipating that the Finale will be one of the more popular new indoor releases this season, as they retail for a cool $99.99 in comparison to the Proximo’s $149.99 price tag.
Adidas Mundial Team
With the exception of the X 15.1 Primeknit all the other boots offer options for those who play their indoor game on turf. However, if you’re playing indoor on turf and you’re looking for a turf specific boot your best option is to turn back the clock to a simpler time, when leather ruled the roost! Despite the 12.7oz weight which in today’s day and age might be a little off putting, but there’s no accounting for the class touch on the ball offered by the super supple K-Leather upper of the Mundial Team. It’s a boot designed to offer both comfort and performance and it has been doing so for about as long as I can remember.
If having a K-Leather indoor boot isn’t enough for you to look into the Mundial Team, keep in mind you’re getting a boot with a similar build quality to the Copa Mundial, so it’ll definitely stand the test of time; and when you consider the Copa runs at $149.99, then a boot of the Mundial Team’s quality is a bargain at $94.99.
So that concludes a run down of some of the top boots you can pick up if you’re in the market for a new pair of indoor boots. Does it take into account all the options? Definitely not, I mean there’s also the new Hypervenom SCCRX line of boots and a brand new Ace Primeknit model designed for the turf game, and both of which would also make worthy additions to this list. What indoor boots are you currently sporting? Give us a shout in the comments.