The colour of a footballer’s boots reveals what type of player he is according to a leading sports psychologist.
Dr Martin Perry and Footy Boots have joined forces to classify footballers according to their choice of footwear in a study created by sports marketing specialists, Hedgehog.
The Old Pro: Black Boots
Black, of course, is a safe colour and suggests certainty and authority. Having been at the club all his senior career, black boots might be your gnarly team captain. He will have seen it all before and doesn’t take readily to new methods. He might be silently scathing in his criticism of those who wear coloured boots. Always worn traditional black boots, and always will.
The Maestro: White Boots
Wandering into the Boot Room comes The Maestro, his white boots laid out ready to be slipped on, left before right, in an orderly fashion. In many societies white represents purity and light and
The Maestro, a name he gave himself without any prompting from his tabloid ghostwriter, is a player who shines brightly in any arena. He is oozing talent and class, and has everything except sweat-inducing work rate, but the gaffer has given him a special dispensation to not track back, so he says. He strolls around the pitch and thinks with his feet, which is better than trying to use his brain; and he always finds time on the ball. He has good instincts and he knows he is good, but he doesn’t mind other people reminding him. When he demands the ball he expects to get it and guarantees to use it diligently with the minimum of effort. White should be worn by players with class, who can give us a few footballing lessons, however expensive. He will be our white knight, rescuing us in times of trouble.
The Hot Potato: Red Boots
Red is an intense colour which generates intense emotions. Like love and hate, the yin and yang of who we are and who we’d like to be. If you want impetuous and rash and someone to make their mark on the game, and their opponents, this fire-brand will give you what you crave. Refs remember red boots, have nightmares about them. They are hard to forget, even when asleep.
The Veteran: Blue Boots
As we know, blue is the colour, true blue, for some. We look for blue skies, for peace and tranquillity. Our blue booted player is still going strong into his late thirties. He has drifted down a division or two but lacks nothing in keenness and enthusiasm. Rarely among our footy types, he reads books on sports psychology and quotes them liberally, randomly and, sometimes, inappropriately. He is diet conscious and accepts the ‘old man’ gibes of the young upstarts with equanimity. He is convinced that his experience and nous more than makes up for a lack of pace. He switched to blue boots to demonstrate his coolness and calmness under pressure.
The Enigma: Green Boots
Green may be a lucky colour in some countries, the colour of money, the flag of Libya, and refreshes a dull landscape as winter turns to spring. But your player who wears green boots on green grass is, to say the least, enigmatic. Here is a player who has the manager tearing his already thinning hair out in frustration. On his day, he can win a match by himself. He has skill; he has ability; he has attitude. One week, storming the barricades; next week, missing in inaction. Why? Who knows? Not the player. Quiet, please, artist in green boots and headband, at work.
The Entertainer: Yellow Boots As well as being the colour of a true love’s hair, and buttercups, yellow brings good cheer and optimism is all around. Our yellow-booted entertainer, socks pulled up above his knees, will be the club clown, the life and soul of the team; they have to laugh with him, he makes them. He plays with a silly grin on his face, whatever the circumstances. He may seem to be happy go lucky, but there will be some sadness not that far beneath the surface. He can lift morale when others are down. He shows lots of energy and enthusiasm, and his well-rehearsed goal celebrations will be the ‘and finally’ of many a highlights show.
The Organiser: Brown Boots As solid as the dark earth beneath his feet, our brown booted player will be a smartly turned out defender, unyielding and dependable. The astute manager will make him the club captain. With a penchant for a sliding tackle, you can rouse your teammates and stir the crowd. You don’t mind taking the brunt of criticism which your team gets, because you must accept responsibility. Your favourite colour is leathery brown, reflected in your natural calm in a crisis, in tune with your star sign, Capricorn. So, it is not surprising that you chose your soft chocolate brown medium weight lace ups as your boot of choice.
The Golden Boy: Gold Boots
Welcome to the bullion boy; he is our future. The colour of sun brings warmth and wisdom. Of course, he is super talented, but he might believe too much in his own publicity. A big ego brings big responsibility; we want him to dazzle, to make our dreams come true. We don’t want him to be prone to tantrums and throw those toys out of the pram. Even if he’s playing at the highest level, we keep hearing rumours of other challenges which await him elsewhere. They have no doubts that they are fit to wear gold boots. They need to believe they are above mediocrity, but sometimes struggle to prove it.
The Headless Chicken: Silver Boots
Silver has the lustre of moonlight, it offers light and balance, and the footballer who wears silver boots will bring stability to the team, if they let him. They may be suspicious of his shiny footwear. He has speed and pace to burn, but they think he does not always use it wisely. Unkindly known as a headless chicken by his merciless team-mates as he runs on everlasting nervous energy. Passing and distribution can be erratic but aesthetically pleasing. On their day, they are unstoppable. But when is their day?
The Eccentric: Orange Boots
Orange is a stimulating, lively colour, it offers freedom and emotional release. But if your orange boot wearer is your goalie, take a deep breath and get ready for a bumpy ride. Orange offers a life to be lived to the full, too often not the safe and reliable pair of hands the hard-pressed coach yearns for. Your orange booted goalkeeper can be prone to impulsive decision making and heart-stopping gaffes. Obviously, he can also pull off exceptional world-class saves, drawn from the top of the top drawer. His orange boots express his individuality and desire to be different, they can’t fail to get him noticed, even when he doesn’t want to be.
Dr Martin Perry is the resident Confidence Coach and Sports and Football Psychology columnist for the football magazine Four Four Two.