Former player and renowned football boot designer Craig Johnston has claimed that superstar footballers are being put at risk as not enough research is being under taken in to stud technology.

craig johnston footy boots awards

Craig Johnston – arguably the first Aussie to have an impact on the English game

49 year old Johnston made his name in the game as a player for Middlesbrough and then Liverpool. On retirement, he and Simon Skirrow (now owner of Nomis) set about designing a revolutionary new football boot, and came up with the Predator for adidas.

Now, having had an advisory role in this years Footy Boots Awards, he has pitched in to the debate of player safety by refuting certain claims that boots are now less safe than they have been in the past.

Indeed, Johnston says a number of injuries are caused because modern day foot wear offers too much protection.

Speaking to Footy Boots, Johnston said:

craig johnston footy boots awards A lot of players have been injured over the last four or five years because of their equipment and because of the quality of the pitches.

There’s been David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and even Michael Owen, just to name three.

footy boots awards craig johnston stud research

Before 2002, most of us thought metatarsal was a cheap, Greek brandy

craig johnston footy boots awards People say that the boots don’t provide enough protection. In fact the opposite is true. The problem is that the boots are so well made there is no give at all in the materials – especially the cheaper synthetics.

The pitches are now so well maintained and even woven with synthetic materials that the players’ studs engage like they should do but they don’t release enough, causing injury.

Also, the studs are far too long and give far too much grip.

stud research craig johnston

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy had surgery after a bad tackle

craig johnston footy boots awards Something has to give and in this day and age it is the ligaments and the metatarsals that are giving way – not the boots, the studs or the grass of the new-generation pitches.

I would make a call to the big brands and manufacturers and just say to them: please, for the safety and well-being of all footballers of all abilities, put a bit of research and development money behind the concept of stud release.

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    1. says: S

      I don’t think he meant it that way. Like the way the studs are connected to the boot. Its more like the grip it has on the ground. I think he means if it has too tight a grip on the ground the likelihood of injury is greater.

  1. says: Kyle

    Simon, I was just thinking that myself – I’d rather not pay £120 for boots, and then a fiver for a new packet of stubs every month!

    It’s a scheme I could see working in the Premiership, La Liga, Serie A etc. Where players get a new pair of boots every game anyway, and I bet managers at club and country levels would love the scheme as it’d lead to less injuries.

    However, it’d take some serious outside-of-the-box thinking to get something like this working at amateur and casual level – but here’s hoping, and good on Mr. Johnston for bringing this up in the public domain!

  2. says: Jed

    Interesting point, but with research perhaps the stud release could only be activated at a certain point, or angle when caught in the ground.

    If this helps reduce injury, I wouldn’t mind paying a few quid to have replacements. Anyhow the boot could come with a spare set.

    Agree, good to see Craig Johnston talking about boots again!

  3. says: footy boot lover

    he means when the stud is coming out of the ground it must do so freely, not get stuck causing knee ligament injuries. if they were releasable studs then there would be all these studs left on the pitch…

  4. says: Splinter09

    I’m with footy boot lover, and isn’t that more or less what Lotto is doing with one of their new football boots?¿

  5. says: Adam Tosic

    “especially the cheaper synthetics”

    I’ve been saying this all along, Vapour are a really cheap material.. So are the synthectic puma v1.08

    They still try and charge people 120..

  6. says: martincillo

    i agree, we love the vapors or the pumas, but i think they are made for the “pros” not for a casual player, why??? i think is easier to get injuried with that new boots of cheap and light synthetic material and weird studs.

  7. says: ill-d

    WOW, what Craig Johnston just said up there has REALLY struck a chord with me…

    i have had a couple knee injuries from soccer, a torn meniscus which i had repaired thru surgery and which i am in the middle of healing, and a sprained MCL. BOTH were caused not by physical contact, but by twisting my knee. Both had to do with planting my foot, making a quick direction change, and my foot still being stuck in the ground.

    Long story short, the studs were doing too good of a job in the sense that they were nailing down my foot into the ground while the rest of my leg was twisting. Perhaps if i had boots with stud release like Craig is talking about, my foot wouldn’t have been anchored into the ground while the rest of my body turned.

    BTW i was wearing FG on turf…from now on its HGs and turf boots for me when i play on turf.

    Basically im an example of exactly what Craig Johnston is talking about. Like he says, something has to give, and when its not the studs, boot material, or turf grounds, its going to be ligaments like the ones in my knee.

    1. says: ill-d

      thanks…lol yah it was stupid, i had always been playing in FGs on grass, and then had just started playing on turf and didnt have any turf boots…learned my lesson the hard way!

      although, i have sprained my knee before on grass with FGs, so i think my agreement with Craig Johnston’s points are still relevant.

  8. says: Tony

    The best thing to do is have a pair of boots for grass and one for turf. Because selection of hard ground cleats are limited what I do is just shave down the studs on my regular cleats (v1.08) a couple millimeters and my feet don’t feel like they stick in the turf but I still get the feel of cleats and not the bulk of turfs. I wear predators for grass and don’t modify the stud length.

  9. says: marcello

    Just to clarify this for everyone, he is not talking about studs breaking away from the boot, or studs releasing from the boot. Instead he is saying the studs need to release and pivot more freely from the field.
    All modern developments to football studs have been to make them grip the field better, to make them lock into the field, however that is exactly the problem, because then when you try to change directions quickly, your boot stays locked into the ground while the rest of your leg turns (just like ill-d describes). This is another reason conical studs are better than blades, even though they don’t grip the same way conical studs do, they are safer because they “release” better.

  10. says: Bryson

    ill-d, hope can recover and get back to playing soon. I’d suggest taking a look at one of the Lotto Zhero series boots. They have the Twist’ngo feature, which has a rotating front stud that’s used to prevent injuries (much like the ones you described).
    I think Lotto has taken a step in the right direction with Twist’ngo, but it’s hard to see them incorporating that feature into boots with bladed studs like the Predator..

  11. says: Bishi

    guys – Asics have been researching and developing their studs for years – to ensure they have a better co efficiency with the ground and better release, thus lowering the chances of injury. However, as most soccer players will only look at Nike and Adidas due to some very clever marketing I guess you wouldn’t know…

  12. says: Kyle

    Hey i wore the Adidas Predator Power Swerves last sunday month in a game and now im waiting for an operation date on my ACL so if theres any young kid out there reading this please don’t fall for the gimmick that blades make u play better as i have learned the hard way and will now have injury problems for the rest of my life no doubt.

  13. says: Paul Jackson

    I bought a pair of predator boots and found they were great, i never lost any studs whilst playing and do agree with the research that studs have too much grip which is why you see shocking leg breaks like Eduardo for example. If only they put more research into the actual quality of their own boots though, as the stitching gave way on my boots after 2 months which i do not expect from a ÂŁ100 pair of boots! In reply to Kyle i totally agree, certain boots do help certain players, for example the predator for me is great for first touch and for curling a good cross into the box, but at the end of the day no boot can make you a better player

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