Some football boot-based controversy reared its head this weekend as the Professional Footballers Association (The PFA) announced they are to investigate the use of mixed-stud soleplate (or hybrid) football boots at the top-level of the game.

SG Pro soleplate on the Mercurial Vapor VIII

Whilst the use and benefits of football boots that use both plastic and metal screw-in studs on their soleplate have often been a hot topic amongst keen players and boot-fanatics alike, a collision between Wayne Rooney and Fulham’s Hugo Rodallega has seen the normally-niche topic thrust into the limelight of mainstream media.

The incident has put Rooney on the sidelines at Manchester United for around six weeks, as the England international ended up with a large laceration along his inner thigh as a result of his attempted block of Rodallega’s shot.

Assuring that his recovery was progressing smoothly, Rooney revealed to the press that the cut was just millimeters away from his femoral artery – and had Rodallega’s boot nicked that, the former Everton man’s road to recovery might have been a lot longer – if not endless.

Wayne Rooney's Lacerated Leg from a collision with the studs on Hugo Rodallega's boot

In response, PFA chief Gordon Taylor has announced that – despite Rodallega’s studs being approved by the fourth official before he come onto the pitch – that the PFA are in the midst of launching an investigation into the boots the former Wigan striker was wearing – announcing' Ĺ›This is an ongoing process, we have not finished looking into it.ĹĄ.

Should the PFA’s investigation deem that boots with mixed-stud soleplates are a risk to other players, it would be' disastrous' for Nike & adidas – both of whom have recently adopted the hybrid as the standard plate for their soft-ground boots.

Hoever, the focus seems to be on the combination of FG blades with' aluminum' screw-in studs, meaning that the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII and T90 Laser IV would be the boots most likely declared illegal.

Mixed-Sole Puma King bootsPuma’s mixed-sole Kings have been on the pitch for years. Though their blades aren’t as sharp as those on more modern boots

Despite their recent renaissance, mixed-sole boots are nothing new to the game, with Puma offering a mixed-sole version of the classic King over a decade ago, Patrick’s ‘Gold Cup’ range of heritage boots boasting a hybrid plate since their launch and Cristiano Ronaldo having the Real Madrid kit-man install SG studs onto his FG Vapors since the launch of the Superfly II in 2010.

Here at, we’re of the opinion that – whilst we wouldn’t fancy a set being scraped down our leg – this type of' sole is common throughout football, and unfortunately when you have two professional athletes with thighs like tree-trunks – capable of kicking a ball at 80-90mph – all it took was the slightest of wrong angles or a mistimed follow-through for these studs to do the damage you saw happen to Rooney’s leg.

But what do you guys think? Are Hybrid studs a genuine risk to a player’s career?

Answer using our poll, or if you’ve got plenty to say – hit up the comments!

[poll id=”54″]

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  1. says: Kelvin

    Not at all – however Mercurial vapor’s new studs are dangerous – the fg soleplate studs are too sharp to begin with – I saw many players wearing MV VIIIs have their heels and ankles cut up as they kick the ball because the studs were too sharp. At some point the sharpness of these FG plates need to be regulated. This is not baseball!

  2. says: Insider_11

    Totally agree with the other comments…Hybrid soleplates are not dangerous but the Nike MV’s are! Those blades are small, sharp and nasty. I’ve seen a guy who had his boot ripped open from just being stepped on with the new MV soleplate.

  3. says: Kurve

    I agree with the previous postees, Mixed studs are not the issue, in fact conical studs are probably safer. It is the sharper blades that seem to do the damage. Had Rodallega been wearing the FG boots the same outcome would have arisen.

  4. says: jimbob

    the mixed sole plate is as safe now as it ever was. these new nike ‘pins’ look like marching boot studs!! it was not so long ago the blades from the adidas range were banned in some county’s after a few legs where cut.
    common sense should sort this………… ‘a thin metal area to a fine point, this might cause damage’
    all the fa need to do with their new kit company is a quick memo!!!

  5. says: Greg Stevenson

    i’m a goalie and wouldn’t like one of those studs connecting with me as i wear the ctr360 treq with the mixed sole so what would i do if they do get banned by the FA?

  6. says: Big Vern

    Why not adopt the same principle as Rugby Union- BS kite marked safety studs on all screw in plates-or the hard ground moulded 12 stud config. I only played minor club level for 15 years but never saw an injury like Rooneys despite some fancy footwork by some over keen ruckers!

  7. says: JonnyB

    This article misses the whole point. The issue isn’t with Hybrid sole plates. The issue is with metal studs whether they are on SG or hybrid boots. If you walk over gravel or a hard surface with metal studs only once you run the risk of having slight obrasions on the metal. When you think about it this is like having tiny metal knives strapped to the bottom of your foot.
    If this slight metal abrasion comes into contact with skin at speed you have a very nasty gash on your leg……..just like Rooney!!!

  8. says: sam

    All i am saying is that my personal experiences with football boots (am a keeper) i would rather get a few stitches then have my knee injured with rounded studs i always get worse injuries with rounded metal studs then blades

  9. says: Jimmy

    They should ban any stud with a blade like configuration, This is an obvious danger to a player alloy studs when in a worn state can also be a danger, If you look at HSE REQUIREMENTS THEY MUST BE TESTED AS TO NOT CAUSE

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