I sometimes wonder how the top players switch soccer shoes so often. How do they break in the new Nike or adidas soccer cleats their sponsors want them to wear? You know, there are so many different promotions going on all the time, new colors or cleat bottoms or styles….
The majority of European football teams, from Professional to Amateur are gearing up for the upcoming 2010-2011 season. During the heat of summer, a grueling pre-season schedule of friendly’s and exerting training sessions lay the foundation for the season ahead.
Take a seat inside the changing room and a reoccurring discussion you will encounter (aside from boastful stories from the ‘lads holidays’) will be about new football boots.
The contrast in opinions here couldn’t be more drastic. The notion of “you should be able to play in anything” and “expensive football boots are a waste of money” is extremely widespread, especially in English football. This attitude is often exemplified by the team ‘veterans’ who pull out their two year-old pair of $50 boots (covered in mud from last season) from their kitbag and give them a quick bang on the dressing room floor. For them, buying a top of the range pair of Adidas Predators would be unheard of!
On the other extreme, expect to see the ‘pretty boys’ stroll into practice with spectacular new boots in a whole variety of colors (except black!). Armed with the latest in football boot technology, these players will be hoping that their latest purchase will give them an advantage over the competition.
And although they’ll be sure to agree with the old saying that ‘talent doesn’t come in a cardboard box’ any opportunity to blame a bad performance from last season on wearing the wrong boots will be very comforting to a fragile ego.
Some soccer players in the dressing room will never be convinced that technology in footwear can offer them a real advantage on the field. Perhaps that’s one reason why the ‘classic’ look remains so popular. No matter what level you play at, there’s a good chance you’ll spot a pair of Adidas Copa Mundials or Nike Tiempos on the field. These shoes will never go out of style but remember all soccer boots will last much longer if you take good care of them.
In the professional ranks, at the least players get their boots for free whereas some are paid millions to wear a certain company’s products. They don’t have to worry about the price difference between Boot A and Boot B but there are more issues than just the price to consider. The majority of players make an informed decision about what to wear based upon their position, playing style and ground conditions – factors that exist in every level of the game.
There’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo could have a fantastic game wearing a pair of Paris Hilton’s high heels – well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but ultimately choosing equipment for any athlete comes down to performance maximization. Soccer players serious about achieving their potential on the field should discover for themselves how much difference a quality pair of football boots can make!
Written by Olly, soccer fan and attacking midfield player: Olly scores his goals wearing Adidas F50 adiZeros from SoccerPro.