Why do I need the right footy boots?
Choosing the right footy boots is crucial. Footy season is upon us and whilst you may not be able to prevent the bumps and tackles that happen on the field it’s easy to get the basics right so that your body is fit and ready to go. You can apply up to 5 times your body weight through your legs when you play AFL and this is transferred straight through your feet. Therefore, it’s very important to find a shoe that is not only comfortable during training and game day but also for injury prevention. New shiny boots might be eye catching, but a comfortable and well fitted boot can enhance your performance.
Our podiatrist, Camilla Phillips has put together her top 3 tips for finding the right footy boots.
1. You get what you pay for.
To help your game sometimes it means spending more on the right pair of boots.
Consider the following features when choosing…
- Upper materials: The upper needs to be strong to support your foot when changing direction. Kangaroo leather is a material used in high end footy boots as it’s light and molds well to your foot. Synthetic material is usually cheaper and will work great for kids.
- Stud configuration: Some boots have different stud patterns to accommodate different playing surfaces. If you are a more elite football player, consider boots with moulded studs for dry days and a set with screw in studs for wet days. It’s important that the base of the front of the shoe is flexible to allow for toe off and to allow smooth contact with the ball.
- Lacing configuration: Most AFL boots have lacing placed in the center of the boot whereas some boots have the lacing slightly off center which is generally for soccer players.
2. Rule of thumb.
To fit your shoe, make sure there is a thumb width between your longest toe and the end of the boot. Make sure you wear socks when trying on football boots and beware that your foot will slightly swell when playing, so allow space for some expansion. Lastly, if the studs are in the wrong place they can aggravate the foot leading to blisters and callus, so make sure the configuration feels comfortable beneath your feet.
3. Seek professional help.
If you are still unsure of what to buy it’s worth speaking with someone who can guide you through the features and find the best fit for you. Maybe you’ve experienced pain in your boots previously? Foot orthoses can be helpful but keep this in mind before you buy the boots. To fit an orthotic you will most likely need a deeper fit.
Some final advice…
Make sure you gradually increase the amount of wear in your boots by ensuring they have been worn for at least two training sessions before a game. If you require any further help make sure you seek assistance from a Podiatrist.