Health & Fitness Reviews
Which Football Boot is the one for you?
Are you a speedy winger, a playmaker or a tough tackler? Whatever you are, there's a football boot to suit your needs. JOE sizes up the best boots on the market.
By William Costello
Gone are the days when auld men would tell you it's the feet in the boots that matters. Crap.
The modern day man knows that being comfortable in your gear has a huge impact on your game along with providing you with your identity on the pitch. Different boots suit different types of players.
We scanned the market to help you determine which boot is for you.
Nike Mercurial Vapor
Who should wear these? Vapors are certainly flash. With their ultra thin, lightweight feel, these boots definitely lend themselves to the speedy winger as opposed to the crunching tackler. These boots are definitely aimed at the skilful player, the flamboyant rather than the run of the mill.
If you see yourself as a quick player who’s touch would benefit from the extra finesse of a very lightweight boot, or a skilful player who would benefit from the extra zip over five yards then you should really give them a try. The Mercurial Vapor VII ensures you are not left behind as the pace of the modern game increases.
The downside is that wearing these flash boots (which seem to only come in ultra bright pastel colours, like pink/white/lime green) will ensure you need that extra pace as they will serve as a red rag to a bull to angry, butcher-like defenders.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the top scorer in the Premier League for the last nine seasons has been scoring goals with these boots on their feet.
Price: These boots are pricey. You can get them from between €130 - €180. For those who want to really spoil themselves, there is the premium, Superfly III range, which retail at around €336. JOE, however, has sourced the Superfly II at a knockdown price of €176.99 from www.prodirectsoccer.com
Stars who wear these: Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben
Adidas Predator X
Who should wear these? The classic. The Adidas Predator is the Rolls Royce of football boots and The Deisler clan have been setting the standard in football cobbling for more than the last decade. The Predator is built from taurus full grain leather for a smoother, more glove-like fit, improved touch and enhanced durability.
This boot will provide you with a clean, true strike of a ball, perfect for precision crossing and long-range shooting. In terms of style, you cannot go wrong with this boot as they cater for almost every colour. The Predator X is a very sleek and sexy boot.
However, we’re not a fan of Adidas’ decision to retire their trademark large tongue, with elastic strap.
Price: Retailing between €130 and €180, there’s no doubt about it, the preds are still the people’s choice.
Stars who wear these boots: David Beckham, Robin Van Persie, Stephen Gerrard, Xavi
Adidas F50 adizero
Who should wear these? These boots have the added prestige of being worn by the world player of the year/ living legend that is Lionel Messi. Adidas have latched on to Nike's lightweight approach by producing their very own version of the Vapor. The F50 adizero weighs in at 165g and the similarities with the Vapor don’t end there.
They seem to only be available in a range of striking, illuminating colours, which, like the Vapor, will get you noticed. It’s up to you whether it’s for the right reasons.
Price: There is a premium version of these boots available called the adi Zero Prime, although similarly to the Vapor superfly, it’s difficult to ascertain what justifies the monumental price increase. Adizeros are available for €165, while the elite adizero primes are breaking the bank at €247.79
Stars who wear these: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, David Villa, Gareth Bale
Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Who should wear these? For some players, first touch is paramount. This boot is all about giving you that cushioned first touch that can make all the difference when it comes to creating that vital yard of space.
Not only do these boots provide cushioned first touches, but optimum comfort through their cushioned interior. The CTR Maestri II is for those who seek to control the pace of the game, it is for the playmakers. The boot, with its unusual instep fins, actually cushion the ball on first impact and do give you a split second extra more time.
The statistics stemming from playmakers who wear the CTR360 Maestri II are quite impressive.
- Since August 2007, Cesc has 41 assists in his club’s league, nine more than the second highest player.
- Fabregas has averaged 2.26 shots per game and posted a conversion rate of 20.3% (compared to the league average of 14.6%).
- Fabregas averaged 51.5 accurate passes per game, compared to the average in his club’s league of 24.2.
- Fabregas made an average of 2,274 passes per season while the league average was 706 passes.
- Last season in his club league, the gifted schemer posted an incredible 93.7% passing accuracy rate in the middle third of the pitch.
- Iniesta averaged 47.4 accurate passes per game, compared to the average of 26.9 in his club’s league.
- Iniesta registered a passing accuracy rate of 89.06% compared to the league average of 82.51%.
- Iniesta made an average of 2075 passes per season while the league average was 658 passes.
In terms of style, it is understated, yet classy. It certainly will not attract the same levels of attention of the Vapor or the adizero, but it is still a stylish looking boot.
Price: These boots are available in reds, blues, blacks and whites for €153 with the elite version retailing at €265.45
Stars who wear these: Cesc Fabregas, Rafael Van der Vaart, Andres Iniesta
JOE Recommendation: With so much quality and diversity on the market these days, it really is specific to what your own tastes are. It’s an objective thing.
The only piece of advice JOE would offer is to stay away from the elite/prime/superfly ranges. It’s all a gimmick, football boots are overpriced as it is without these snob ranges being flaunted around.
Oh and don’t get the personalised, name on the boots option. That really is for knobs.