The concept of football boots has been there for a very long time. However, over the years, they’ve kept evolving like every other part of the sports due to better research and advancement in technology.
If you look at the boots that the biggest stars in premier league football wear, you will see that they are slick and designed with the best fabrics that make them light but also offer a cushioned support for easier control of the ball. This is what helps them to perform at the top of their game and why the big stars help their teams win games and trophies.
Maybe that is one for you to consider when you are predicting the results of games, who has the best boots! That would be an interesting concept. You can find the latest premier league odds and a selection of UK Bookmakers at ratedbettingsites.co.uk.
The Early Days
Before 1891, there were no football boots. Players wore footwear to play the games, but they were more of work boots. These were very heavy on the foot and were never easy to manoeuvre. They were not designed to accommodate the ball hitting at them and people running into them. They also came with reinforced toes that were mostly made of steel too, and the result of this feature is that players get injured more often when they kick each other. The cleats on the soles of the football boots for extra grip were not available because the rule as at that time was that footballers should not wear anything that has any part sticking out from them.
However, the position was revised around 1891, giving room for football shoes to come with small bars, also known as studs. Later, actual football boots made of leather materials for better performance in the sport replaced work boots. They were designed with thick leather and were also heavy a little bit, weighing up to 0.5kg when dry and more when wet. For increased protection, these are laced up to the ankle, and that signalled the arrival of the modern-day football boots, as we know them now.
During the early 1990s, not many changes were made in the football shoes. There weren’t many materials for invention and creativity during and after the world wars, and the truth is that because there were a lot of men involved in the war, there weren’t any demands for updated boots. But even at that, Gola and Valsport were the popular football shoemakers and marketers.
When the 2nd world war came to a halt, the interest of players and developers in football shoes soared again. By this time, a huge change started coming the way of football boots. Through new research and technology, developers were able to design very flexible boots with very little weight. At this point, they cared much about performance and agility, and not about the safety of the players. Apart from the fact that they are light in weight, the fresh boots at that time were also designed to drop a little down the leg so as to be more flexible. These versions of footwear were found in huge numbers in South America and Southern Europe, where you have less mud than in England.
It was however in the 1950s that Adidas came up with their own football boot, and they were equipped with screw-in studs that could be interchanged. These studs were either made with plastic or rubber, and they were designed to be used in different field or weather conditions. The meaning at that time was that footballers stopped needing two shoes for different weather conditions, because they can interchange the studs to cater for different conditions.
With time, football boots got lighter, but the major change was noticed in the designs. All through early to the mid-1990s, there were only black coloured boots. However, around the 1970s, different designers started experimenting with several colours. A lot of experiments were also being made on the materials as well. While the footwear revolution was going on, the most famous and popular football boot came along. That was the predator by Adidas. The power and spin on the ball was increased with the rubber strips of the same material with the boot designed as a tennis bat on top of the pieces. The new boot was sensational all over the world. This was the time professional footballers started receiving endorsement deals to adorn particular brands of football boots.
By the last year of the 1990s, stretching into the 2000s, a huge amount of evolution was witnessed in the millennium football boots. The changes came because developers realized that flexibility is very essential. Since the bottom side of the football boots came with cleats, they were a bit stiff, so that they could support the studs. Because of the developments at this time, the soles supported the cleats well, while delivering the needed increased flexibility, and better motion. This evolution was embraced by most of the brands. However, the predator by Adidas still tops the chat as the best, both in sales and use.
Present Day Trends
Appreciations to laser technology, because they made it possible for football boots to be tailored to fit people’s individual feet. This is mostly found among professional footballers. Customization has become a thing nowadays too. For instance, professionals now elect to have their boots customized with their names and jersey numbers sometimes. There was also an upgrade on the studs, and they are now more of blades for tighter grip on the pitch. But there are also plastic and rubber studs. Further advancements in technology that would happen as the sports continue to innovate include the use of microchips and tracking devices on the boots. These tiny, computerized devices can be placed on the shoes to allow players track their movements and performance on their smartphones or computers.
Different Shoe Types
Till date, the entire football boots we’ve talked about are all for outdoor activities. Also, there are indoor football boots that differ from the outdoor types. These indoor boots for football are designed to be won on surfaces that are hard and flat, and not on grass pitch. They are designed with rubber soles, and there are no studs, so they have an improved grip on the hard floors.
We should also note that screw-in studs are no longer in vogue because of the frequent stud related injuries by the removable metal cleats. Bladed boots have also been banned by football clubs like Manchester United due to the injuries caused to players.
For a while, Adidas was the most popular brand of football boots. However, many other popular brands have sprung up. Firms like Umbro and Nike are now in competition with Adidas, with popular players endorsing the various brands. Because of these endorsements, Adidas and Nike seem to be more popular than others, as stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and many others promote them on and off the pitch.
Through the years, football boots now started coming in different colours, shapes and sizes, but the major goal has been to always deliver the best possible footwear to players for optimum performance. With the advancement in technology, you can rest assured that football boots will not stop evolving.
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