How to choose the perfect football boot

Find the right weapons for you with this essential guide to navigating the boot room

1 Pick the right boot for the right surface
“It’s important you purchase something suitable for the surface you’re playing on,” explains Ned Ozkasim, brand communications executive at Pro-Direct Sport. “It’s worth investing in a few options so you’re always prepared – this will reduce your risk of injury. Firm ground boots are best suited to natural grass, but a lot of players will use this stud plate on artificial grass. This is a mistake because they’re not designed to withstand this abrasive surface. If you’re playing on an artificial surface you should buy a pair with an artificial grass plate, or a turf trainer.” 
 
2 Feel good, play good
“If you like the like of your boots you’ll feel confident when you step out on the pitch,” says Ozkasim. “There are so many options out there you have to find something that makes you feel good and suits your game – no matter what colour or style they are. Flash boots used to invite a good kicking on a Sunday morning – not anymore – you’ll see flashes of pink, yellow and purple whatever the level.”
 
3 Look beyond the leather
“Traditionally customers associate leather boots with comfort, but modern synthetics provide a great fit straight out of the box,” advises Ozkasim. “While it’s important you like look of a boot, don’t get too preoccupied with the aesthetics – you need to find a pair that suit the shape of your foot. Fit is paramount. Getting the right balance between comfort, look and performance is essential.”
 
4 Go prepared   
“Try the boots on in the store and see how they lace up,” says Ozkasim. “You want to lock your foot into the upper, giving you a secure, comfortable fit. Some boots even have asymmetrical laces for a larger, cleaner striking area across the foot. Every brand fits differently so it’s worth trying the boots on with some football socks – this will give a better understanding of how they will feel when you’re on the pitch.”
 
5 Keep ‘em clean
“We’re all guilty of throwing our boots in a bag after a game and not touching them until following week, but it’s important to look after them,” advises Ozkasim. “If you’re a bit negligent in this department synthetic boots might be a better option for you because they’re easier to maintain and they dry quicker. Clean them with a soft cloth and warm water and don’t dry them on the radiator – the heat can cause the leather to crack and damage any glue on the boot. Let them dry naturally. To help retain the shape of your boot stuff them with newspaper during the drying process.”

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