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.
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.
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.
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 Footy-Boots.com, 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!