When choosing the right shoe it is important to check for control, good damping and stability. Often football players find a light shoe very nice because it gives good ball control and also has a better traction. With traction, we mean the ability to transfer speed on the field. That’s why it’s also important to choose the right shoe for the different subjects you can play. In a hard field, you will need less high knots than in a soft or wet field. The grip of the sole and the type of studs are therefore determining factors when selecting the right football shoe.
At Decathlon, we offer a range of different types of soccer shoes. Footballs with fixed studs, footballs, artificial grass shoes and soccer shoes with screw studs.
Many different materials are used for football shoes, which makes it important to look at the sole construction. Often abbreviations are used for the different types of kicking. These abbreviations mainly concern the nuts and the sole (sole construction).
Common abbreviations are AG (artificial ground) for use on artificial grass. In addition, a distinction is made between FG (firm ground) and SG (soft ground). The FGs are suitable for different surfaces and are seen as an all-around shoe. The SG’s will be used more often in wet and droughty fields. The TF (peat) kicks are designed for hard surfaces, which can be very useful in hard fields during frost or gravel fields because they have small short nuts that are very suitable for this type of substrate. The AGs are currently very popular, and many associations make artificial turf fields available. The big advantage is that football matches on artificial turf can almost always pass, no more matched matches! In the chart below you will find a handy overview that makes it easy to see which soccer shoes you need on different surfaces.
An all-round and an all-around football shoe, for use on grass and artificial turf fields. Also to be used on wet fields. In principle, you can play a firm ground shoe in all-weather conditions. Note that these kicks will wear more quickly on an artificial turf field. A good example of this type of shoe is Adidas Copa Mundial with around stud. The material is of kangaroo leather which is lighter and durable. Also from our own Kipsta brand, there are several shoes that can be classified as an all-around football shoe. You can recognize these shoes on the elongated or round studs. The bumps are generally a bit softer and will leave less grip on a wet field because mud can hang between the bumps. This is the case with long bumps.
If it has rained hard and the fields are very wet or drastic we recommend using longer nozzles. Soft ground soccer shoes are the right choice in this case and provide maximum grip during bad days in fields that are otherwise poorly playable. Often it is possible to change the (iron) studs, allowing you to alternate with rubber nuts. This type of shoe is also a popular choice for rugby players because it guarantees a good grip. However, due to the low number of studs (6 to 8), the stability is less and this type of shoe is used less often. Keepers can appreciate this type of shoe because they are less likely to slip out.
Artificial turf fields can be stiff and hard and therefore it is important to choose a correct shoe here. Due to the fact that hard ground soccer shoes often have short little studs, they offer enough grip on a synthetic grass field, even though it has rained. An advantage of these shoes is that the tip is often reinforced, which reduces wear. Decathlon has a wide range of artificial grass shoes of different brands. Our own brand Kipsta has been greatly improved in recent years and has different artificial grass and hard ground soccer shoes for young and old.
Indoor or room footballs are made especially for futsal (room football). These shoes are very worn and have no nipples. The sole is special for usage in the room and is not stretched since to play soccer on a wooden or plastic floor, it is important that there are no nuts on the shoes, which prevents damage to the floor. The futsal shoe is specially designed for fast, technical ball handling.
Room football is played in a team of teams with 5 players. A match takes 2 x 25 minutes and the game is played with a special explosion. A normal ball bounces way too high and speeds up the game. A good technique is therefore very important, like the use of the right football.
Today, almost every football association has one or more artificial turf fields. This means that there is a chance that you will be playing on an artificial turf field. Even in competitive games, your opponents are likely to play on artificial grass. It is therefore advisable to purchase some artificial ground shoes. This type of shoe can sometimes also be used on grass but it is important to estimate whether the sole gives enough grip on grass. Often these shoes have shorter studs that are different in shape and different so you do not get stuck on the rugged artificial turf.
As you’ve seen, it’s not easy to make a choice when it comes to soccer shoes. In addition to the differences in the sole structure, there are a number of differences in the material of the shoe (not the sole). Different materials have different advantages and prices so take a good look before making a choice. In general, the material of football shoes is subdivided into leather and synthetic.
Leather soccer shoes
Most soccer shoes have a leather upper work. More expensive models use calf leather or bovine leather and even kangaroo leather is used. Calf leather and kangaroo leather is very flexible and durable and you often pay more for this material, but of course, you will get some back! The advantage is that leather soccer shoes are very nice because they take the shape of the foot.
The shoe will, therefore, feel very comfortable and also give a good ball feeling. Leather football shoes will expire (light) so keep in mind when you are going to fit. If you think the shoe is too big and your feet probably walks out, you can better choose a smaller size. Leather shoes should be well maintained and will suck themselves during the rain, making the shoes very heavy. You can inject the shoe with an entertaining spray that is also water repellent but this will never be 100% effective. Also, this type of shoe will wear more quickly on the rugged artificial turf. When you’re going to use shoes for the first time, you can hold them under the tap for use to make them go to your feet.
Plastic soccer shoes and Synthetic leather
Plastic shoes generally require little maintenance and give a good ball control with a firm fit. These types of football shoes are in different price categories and often the entry models are not expensive. Especially for people who want to try the sport and for football players who do not practice the sport daily, plastic football shoes are a perfect solution. The shoes are often light and offer sufficient support. It’s important to have your goal in mind before buying a shoe because some cheaper models will offer less control, something that is not a problem for the recreational footballer. For the more experienced soccer players, we have plastic football shoes in the high segment.
This type of material is known as synthetic leather and soccer shoes with synthetic leather give you a good ball feeling and are even lighter than just leather. A major advantage is that this material requires less maintenance (for normal leather) and during the rainy days this material will not absorb moisture. The more expensive models are almost impossible to distinguish from real leather and are almost as flexible as real leather. Synthetic leather wears less quickly than real leather but gives less ball control than real leather.
Maintenance of your soccer shoes
After a match, it is important to prepare your kick again for the next match, but it is also important to ensure that your shoes last as long as possible so that you can get the most out of your shoes.
– In general, wet soccer shoes can be worn by putting in newspapers. If the newspapers have pulled the moisture out of the shoes, you can put in new stuff, just as long as your shoes are dry.
– Never put your shoes on the stove because it may cause cracks in the material. Especially with leather shoes, these tears can shrink your shoes. It’s also wise to get your kicks out of your soccer ball because they are drying faster. The soles are often easy to remove from your shoes and can be dried well. If you do not do this, there is a risk of mold over the footbed. To maintain the right shape of the shoe, you can use a shoe tensioner, but the newspapers can also guarantee a proper fit.
– For optimal care of your football shoes, you can use a healthcare product. This makes the leather strong and flexible.
– Do not rinse your leather shoes with water, but try to polish the dirt with a cloth or soft brush. Synthetic shoes can simply be washed with water and the material does not need to be greased.
– Plastic shoes are therefore easy to maintain, and this material can also be used to dry with newspaper nipples in the shoe. Fitting does not make sense because the material does not absorb the fat. Try cleaning the material with a damp cloth to allow the shoe to dry at room temperature (not on the heater).