Having the correct pair of boots that suits your playing style can be the difference between “good” and “great” performances. In order to play your best, you need to have confidence in what you are wearing. You need a boot that fits well and can allow you to just play your game. You need something that matches who you are, giving you the ability to focus on what you need to do to help your team. Eliminating any distractions related to footwear can be a huge bonus.
There are so many factors that go into buying a pair of boots. This is even more true when you consider the sheer number of boots that are currently available on the market. Every day there seems to be something new released! In order to make the process a little easier, we pieced together this guide with some of our top buying tips. Let it help you focus on some of the key elements to choosing the pair of boots that will make the most sense for you!
Research, Research, Research
Like everything, it is vitally important to know what you are looking for before you go looking. Having some knowledge and understanding about your personal game and what you need to compliment your style can go a long way to getting the best boot possible. We live in a world where advertising can easily sway people’s decisions without fully comprehending what the product is.
Take time to access what it is that you need and how much money you have to get it. Do you want a boot built on comfort, or is a boot that provides some added power behind shots more important? Is weight an important component or do you need something with a little more padding and added durability? Is is a top tier boot you are after, or are you willing to invest in mid tier options if it is the right fit?
Research doesn’t only come in the form of some Google searches. Sometimes, it just takes an in-person conversation to put your needs together. Your first outlet should be your soccer coach. Most have played at a high level, so they have a broad understanding of what the needs of players are, especially if they know your style. Never be afraid to ask questions. Your next best option is to go into a soccer store and talk with the people that work there. Who better to talk you through performance than the people that are around boots all day long!
If both of those fail, we are always available through email or social media to answer question. Oh, and we also have a trusty Boot Guide that might answer some of your questions!
Consider Where You Will be Playing
Ten years ago, the idea of turf specific shoes was very unheard of. Players played on natural grass or mud pitches, with turf specific fields being few and far between. For those that played on turf, a standard pair of FG boots was the way to go. But times have changed, and brands have evolved considerably. When you check out new boots, always take a second to look underneath and review the traction system in play. Where are they intended to be worn and what will they offer your game?
For FG boots, the rule of thumb is as follows: anything with conical studs will provide a more generalized performance that is trusty without all the pizzazz; anything with an aggressive bladed style will be more useful for acceleration and cutting with an increased potential of drag that might cause injury. If you need something that doubles between FG and artificial turf, anything with a lower profile conical configuration will be your best option. I play on artificial turf a lot and I’ve always found conical studs to be proficient. AG specific configurations and Turf shoes are also ideal options, although you do loose out when it comes to quick changes in direction as they don’t bite the surface as well. AG and Turf have more teeth underneath, intended to bite the surface and create uniform pressure distribution.
Search for Deals
Yes, we all enjoy the latest and greatest new boots as they arrive to market. What is better than receiving a brand new pair to showcase on pitch before anyone else has a chance?
But, sometimes it is worth taking a step back to try find value in what you are buying. With top tier boots ranging in price between $200 and $300, you are not getting a whole lot of value over their short lifespan. When a new boot goes on sale, it automatically means retailers have older models on their hands that they need to move. And if you are willing to bide your time, you can really make the most of these sale boots by doubling them with special seasonal sales. Picking up two of last seasons top-tier models for the same price as a single brand new top-tier gives you a lot more options to work with.
Also, take some time and keep an eye on boots that are added to Outlet SALE pages like this one!
The Mid-Tier “Secret”
I reference top-tier options above, but the same is very true with the mid-tier category. And there is also the added bonus of how brands develop their mid-tier boots. Let me share a little secret with you here.
Brands put more time and money into creating top-tier boots for pro level players. What do we know about pro players? They don’t wear a single pair of boots very long. In fact, a pro player might only wear a pair for 2-3 games before changing. So, there is no direct emphasis on creating a durable boot. That is where the mid-tier boots comes into play; a target market for brands that know a majority of their sales will comes in the $150 range. So, they built their mid-tier with more affordable materials that are more durable!
Consider a Practice and Game Pair
The best thing you can do is avoid a scenario where your boots rip in a game and you don’t have a back-up pair. It happens to players all the time. If you have a practice and game pair, you will always have an extra pair available to get you through the difficult times. You might here people comment on a negative to wearing a different boot in training and game, but in reality as long as your game pair is broken in and feels good to wear, there is no negative. Being confident in your game boots is vitally important. If you have that confidence in your game pair and can use a practice pair to increase it is a huge plus. Believe me, your game day boots will also approve of the added longevity to wear them over a full season!
Don’t Commit to One Brand
If you look at the market right now, brands are jumping between all different categories and styles of boots. Quite often people ask me what the best boot available is, but the answer is not as simple as naming a boot. Depending on the style you are looking for, you can find 3 or 4 top options spread across multiple brands. Don’t be shut off to thing you need to be loyal to adidas, or wearing the same brand as Cristiano Ronaldo is an absolute necessity. Base your options on what is right for you, and what boot will complement or elevate your game to the next level.
And on that note, don’t dismiss some of the smaller brands. They might not have all the power signings or marketing flair of the big guns, but quite often you can find a gem where you least expect. I have been heavily impressed with what Under Armour has been developing in recent times, case in point the Magnetico. I’d recommend checking them out if you haven’t before!
Stick to Trusted Retailers
And finally, what is probably the most important tip; stick to retailers you trust and know. Over the past few years, there has been a huge surge in the number of counterfeit boots released to market. You might have seen some sites before where $300 boots that have just be released are listed at a ridiculous $70 and they don’t look quite the same. Well, that is because they are not the same. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. These sites are selling counterfeit boots that are designed to mimic the top brand releases without having any connection to the brand. In other words, you are buying a dud that is built on an assumption of design rather than having all the tech you expect from top releases. And in recent times, I’ve received many emails from customers who’s credit card details have been stolen and misused. Don’t fall for it guys.
Please read the following two incredible important posts to ensure you stay on track:
- Unique Looking Boots That You Don’t Want to Buy!
- Avoid Counterfeit and Find the Right Website to Buy From
Instead, stick to tried and trusted sites that have positive reputations and can protect your purchase. We work closely with soccer.com and highly recommend using them when exploring new boot options. Become a Goal Club member and you save on ever order, with free standard shipping on all footwear purchases. They are the best in the business! If you ever have a questionable site you are not sure about, drop us a message and we will give you our honest opinion!