Astroturf football boots? Check. The "cling" sound of a ball hitting a metal fence? Check. That gravelly sound when you slide to make a tackle? Check. Those grazes you get down your knee that sting for hours? Yeah, unfortunately, check.
Astro football is an experience a world away from grass. It has its advantages: your kit doesn't get quite so muddy and everyone feels a little faster on that kind of surface (even if some of us still couldn't outrun Per Mertesacker).
But astro boots are a must-have for anyone semi-serious about having a kickabout. They're perfect for harder ground, can double up on concrete - unlike your studs - and with the biggest brands in football coming to these 'turf wars with great designs, you'll want to get in on the action.
BEST BOOTS The latest releases from Nike, Adidas, Puma and Umbro
ADIDAS BOOTS Mutator, Nemeziz, X Ghosted and Copa Mundials
NIKE BOOTS Should you buy Mercurial Vapor, Tiempo, Superfly, or Phantom?
KIDS’ BOOTS The best kids' football boots you can buy right now
1. Nike Phantom Venom Academy Tf Football Shoes
The Phantom is a reliable model from Nike and their standard in 2020
RRP: £75 | Colour: Black/Volt
The Phantoms are the Nike boots that Kevin de Bruyne wears. Whilst we can't exactly promise that you'll morph into the strawberry-blonde super-assister in your local five-a-side, it's easy to see why KDB favours Phantom (and not just because he's contracted to).
These boots have a superb feel to them and suit anyone looking to pass or cross right down to the ground. Get whipping those balls in - Kun Aguero's waiting for you.
2. Adidas Nemeziz 19.3 Laceless Astroturf Trainers Football Boots
A slip-on effort from Adidas that takes a little getting used to
RRP: £75 | Colour: Black/gold/white
The Adidas Nemeziz 19.3 Laceless Astroturf Trainers follow in a long line. Ever since Adidas launched the F50 boots slap-bang in the middle of the 2000s, commentators have been searching for alternatives for "putting his laces through the ball".
This latest astroturf offering is some of the same. Yes, slip-on shoes are more associated with your grandad than a kickabout with your mates, but if you're looking for comfort, look no further.
3. Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Club Tf Football Boots
The astro version of Nike's lightweight, Ronaldo-worn boots
RRP: £48 | Colour: Blue/white
Nike's Mercurial Superfly range is built for wingers and speedsters alike. The featherweight of the studded boot feels means you can forget that they're even on your feet - but what about the astro version?
Well, the sole is quite a bit heavier. Not that much heavier, but if you're looking for something based purely on the weight, you may be disappointed. Still, these are a top pair of boots and they look fantastic.
4. Adidas X 19.4 Tf Football Boots
This durable boot is great for crossing - and it feels textbook Adidas
RRP: £48 | Colour: Cyan/white/black
This X 19.4 pair testifies to Adidas turning the football market upside down. They're not the most jazzy boots in the stockroom but they're pure Adidas, through and through.
Long before the football boot market exploded, Adidas had been making strong, leather-heavy football boots for generations. Since David Beckham turned football footwear into its own fashion criteria though, Adidas haven't scrimped on the substance in favour of the style on this occasion.
WORKOUT TRAINERS Flexible, light and perfect for getting fit at home
5. Adidas Mundial Tea Football Training Shoes
Proper astro boots for proper players - get stuck in, lad
RRP: £89.99 | Colour: Black (obviously) and white/red
There's nothing that can be said of Adidas Mundials that hasn't already been: an absolute classic in the football world, reminiscent of tournaments your dad still bangs on about as being so much better.
If you're looking to return to the days long before VAR, these are the astro boots for you. A little old school, but that's never a bad thing.
6. Puma Future 4.4 Mg Football Boots
Puma's futuristic astros have great grip and traction
RRP: £48 | Colour: Yellow/black, grey/orange
The Puma Future 4.4 Mg football boots are incredibly futuristic and modern-looking. Puma aren't everyone's cup of tea design-wise - look at the meltdown when Manchester City's paisley kit landed - but it's impressive how they've positioned themselves alongside Nike and Adidas as one of the world's biggest brands in the last few years.
It's easy to see why with these boots. Sleek, modern and bright, they're not out of place in the big leagues.
BEST FOOTBALL EQUIPMENT Kits, goals, corner flags, balls – everything you need for organising your own match
7. Mizuno MRL Club Astro Turf Football Boots
Bring it back to the 90s with this classic pair of boots
RRP: £54.99 | Colour: Black/white/red
The Mizuno MRL Club Astro Turf Football Boots are a different kind of beast.
Miz-who now? We don't really hear much from Mizuno very much these days, but back when Rivaldo was at his pomp, he chose this brand. High praise indeed.
OK, Phantoms, Predators and Pumas have all had time to overtake Mizuno but it's hard to argue with this vintage pair of astros. They look and feel right like they've landed from 1998 - wasn't everything better back then?
8. PUMA King TOP TT Football Shoe
Puma's answer in the classic style stakes
RRP: £80 | Colour: Black/white/gold
Puma's King line is arguably their finest. These particular boots transcend the astro; they're cool beyond football.
The best thing about these boots is that they straddle the line between retro and modern: they're not completely from the dark ages - hey, you may want that vintage feel that the Mundials have - but they certainly look like they're from the good old days.
9. Adidas Messi 16.3 Tf Futsal Shoes
Messi's choice is a colourful crep perfect for both dribbling and passing
RRP: £48 | Colour: Purple/pink
The Adidas Messi 16.3 Tf Futsal Shoes are very jazzy indeed. If you're looking for some kind of seal of approval for your astro boots, how about one from the greatest footballer that ever lived?
These are the boots that made Lionel Messi what he is today: able to dribble through defences and break lines with laser-sharp passing. Well... they help, at least.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.