Can I get something off my chest that might seem controversial, but I’m pretty sure some of you will agree with? Laceless boots need to become a thing of the past!
Over the last few years, the concept of laceless boots has become a reality, with some huge advancements ensuring boots can be released and worn without laces. But, recently I’ve come to the conclusion that laceless boots are not the future. In fact, they are more of a gimmick that make players spend money they really don’t need to. Why in the world should you have to pay MORE money for a boot that has LESS material? You have a boot that doesn’t come with any laces and no guarentee of a comfortable fit, yet you are forced to pay $100 more. Brands will tell you that the higher price comes as a result of intensive research and development that goes into making the design work. But ultimately, it is just a case of exploitation at its worst!
Let me explain more. At the beginning, the idea of laceless boots was pretty cool, a novel idea with a lot of potential. There was excitement about the concept of wearing a boot that relied on the materials around the tongue and lacing to provide a locked in fit. “I can wear a boot without laces, how cool is that!” But, several generations on, laceless hasn’t massively advanced and there are less and less pro players choosing laceless over laces. It always irritates me that Lionel Messi is shown holding laceless boots in PR images when he only wears laced boots. How is that fair to consumers? The only real positive we have come across is adidas decision to add $100 laceless options in all their silos. It provides an option with a price that matches exactly where they should be priced!
A key complaint about laceless boots is that the fit is too tight or too loose. Right, because you are relying on one single fit to serve a whole multitude of players and foot shapes. There is nothing other than the upper materials to keep you locked into the boots. At least with a standard laced release, you have the opportunity to personalize the fit using the laces. Tighter to pull the upper around your foot, looser to accommodate wider fits. Unless you have the opportunity to try on a laceless pair and wear test them through some sprints, it makes it very difficult to access whether they are right for you or not.
So, where does laceless go from here? As above, adidas has introduced some $100 options that at least give players who are on a budget the opportunity to wear a pair. And other brands are looking to expand into other areas of technology that include laced designs. Whether brands continue to release laceless boots or not, I’d just recommend players avoid them, stick with laces knowing you have a much better chance of finding a boot that can provide solid performance to compliment your playing style!
I’m interested to hear other players viewpoints on this, and whether you agree or disagree. Have you had experience with laceless boots and what were your thoughts? And for those in favor of lacesless boots, I want to hear your arguments as to why you want to see them continue to sell on the market!