WILL FOOTBALL BOOT TECH GO TOO FAR?

Anyone that follows Golf, or Formula 1 will know that technology can make a huge difference to sport.

technology football boots

In golf, the game’s law makers have had to keep a close eye on technology to make sure advances do not ruin the game. Putters with wheels and drivers with trampoline like capabilities are amongst the technological innovations that have had to be banned.

Likewise in Formula 1, technology has had to be banned or limited due to complaints that tech, more than driver skill was determining the outcome of races.

Football Boot Technology

So, when you consider our passion as football boots fans is to wait with baited breath to see what advantage manufacturers can give us, you have to wonder is the day coming when an organising body – like FIFA or UEFA – will step in and say:

el clasico preview No, that football boot offers too much of an advantage and takes away too much skill from the game’?

Take, for example, a football boot like the Concave PT+. Concave state that their football boots tested independently as increasing'  accuracy by 30% and power by 15%.

Concave Football Boots

Translating this back into golf; Tiger Woods’ average drive is 295.7 yards – rounded up to 300 yards. If he were to use a ‘Concave style’ driver, that would increase his drive to 345 yards – which could be construed by golfing authorities as an unfair advantage.

Another football boot that uses technology to to give an advantage is the new Mizuno Wave Ignitus. Mizuno claim that their Mukaiten technology reduces ball spin to the point that it’ll completely throw the keeper off.

Mizuno Wave Ignius

So, as well as having to deal with unpredictable ball flight from balls like the Jabulani and the Nike Ascente, keepers are now having to put up with the Predator_X increasing spin and the Wave Ignitus causing shots to fly all over the place! Is that a case of technology making things unfair?

What do you think would be the cut off point for technology going too far?

Do you think some football boots have already passed that threshold, and everyone should just play in Copa Mundials?!

Or, do you think it’s from an invention that’s yet to come? Like say:- Goalkeepers gloves that stick to the ball?

Weigh into the debate below, or just tell us your crazy ideas for the future of football boots below!

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42 Comments

  • it will have to stop at some point especially how light the boot is. I think the tech that will be worked on is the materials. Leather is slowly going and i think a material that really moulds to your foot will come in. then you will have the ultimate comfort.

  • What a waste of an article. Football boot technology is nowhere near the level of unfair advantages yet, it sits comfortably at the level of idiotic gimmicks for the wealth of idiotic consumers.

  • It would be goodto see the law about boots. Its only a matter of time before another invention is introduced. maybe the superfly stud will take off and will be used for all studs on a boot.

  • Right now I don’t see football boots providing that much advantage, even though we might not be far from that. Lucky for us lovers of the beautiful game, I don’t think that will ever happen. With football you either have the skills or you don’t.

    But it would be interesting to see spring-like studs that help players jump higher, that will be an advantage.

  • I dont believe that football tech will ever go that far us totally rediculous! In this sport you either have the capability or you dont thats just how it is now these techs do work such as the predator that i wear does ad spin and power with the power pulse but i dont think its and advantag. you still have to strike the ball right.

  • there are to many variables that decide how good a footballer you become than the actual boots you decide to wear.the only technology that appears to give an unfair edge is the concave boot.based on simple physics. however you still need the brains and physical attributes to progress through the playing ranks

  • I agree with DaveM. Weight isn’t the key, especially when people like Bendtner are playing in Superflys…he is way too heavy for this kind of boot. And somebody should tell and show me that he is faster with a boot weighing 20 oz less and is feeling the difference…

    @Simon: you don’t really think that the superfly studs are working…come on. You won’t tell me you can feel the 3mm stud “pushing” you. Interesting to see that most of the players wearing Superflys are playing with SG studs.

  • it is the player not the boots! unlike golf a distance shot can make the difference, the power boots on the market are never going to make everyone shot from the half way line all the time. because its a team game its never really going to be an issue, more spin more power blar blar. anyone noticed the amount of (gimmick-less) classic style boots being worn at the moment by the elite players of the world!!! need i say more

  • i agree with jim: the “technology” is all mostly gimmick.

    i still think the best goal ever was roberto carlos’ swerving goal for brasil against france–second best goal ever was his goal for rm against tenerife–was he wearing powerswerves? lasers? concaves? how many shots of this quality do you see these days from all these players who wear the newest, latest tech?

    basically, i think if the tech really worked, we’d see a lot more spectacular shots like these. but we don’t.

  • Well I completely agree everyone elses comments that football boot technology although improving all the time cannot affect the game in a way that would be seen as providing an unfair advantage.

    Being good at football means you have to have many different skills to succeed. If a boot helps you apply 30% more accurancy thats fine, but it wont help if you didnt have the speed to keep up with play in the first place, and it wont help if you didnt have the awareness to get into space and call for the pass after that, and it wont help you to control a cross after that and so on.

    There are so many variables in football that one boot being good at one thing wont ever be able to impact the overall outcome, its the human part that does that.

  • predator_x was a disappointing project tho. my friend hates the boot and he used to curl the ball much better with microfiber powerswerve.

    T90 laser line helped me create more powerful shot tho I must say…

  • The tech is meaningless. I wear f30.7’s in white with black, and I run as fast and I’m as skilful as when I use my F50.9’s! Also, my Predator Absolado’s that I use on artificial grass feel no different, and they cost me £17.99! Now I only spend a maximum of £40 on boots, as there’s no point in getting anything more expensive, as you will be targeted on the pitch and won’t get any benefit from the ‘technology’

  • honestly in the perspective of the life of football, boot technology is only just starting. in truth the copa is a huge tech leap. rubber studs? whats this nonsense? or before that the puma super atom (or if youre true to the other dassler the copa again) with the screw in studs. it took a long time for boot to even have studs on them, much less be low cut and condusive to play.

    i think boot tech is on the verge of really taking of. judging by concave and even pumas pwrcat or the laser iii that trampoline technology is too far away. im sure nike and lotto will keep haveing fun with their stud set up as well.

  • to me, there is an increasing trend in minimalism in the boot market. concave and superfly ii aside, companies “gimmicks” aren’t entirely gimmicks. they are just part of the shoe. i feel that the increases in technology in the next few years will concentrate on improving the fit, feel, and protection of the shoe, just as it always has. these are the things that really matter, the things that really do “increase power” or “increase speed.”

  • ahahaha, very funny. just after i read an article about Sells making new “octopus GK gloves” that stick to the ball like an octopus arm 🙂

    so, like everyone have said: football is about either you have it, or you don’t.
    David Beckham scored less free-kicks in his (claimed to be better) new predator nowadays than when he wears (supposed to be lesser) old predators back in his MU days.

    so this means those companies are lying to us?!?!?!
    no, rest assure that they’ve done their homework. i’m sure that every new predator enhances your kicking power for like 3% and every new superfly are lighter by 5 grams or something like that.

    it just that 5 grams won’t do u any good if u run 100m in a minute. or octopus arm gloves if u can’t reach the ball.

    so if the technologies are crap although true, what the hell are we doing buying this God-forsaken-doesn’t-help-at-all shoes???
    first, i’d say to keep up with our heroes. if it’s what they wear, then it’s what we’ll wear.
    second, i’d guess to keep up with time. u’ll look quite funny wearing the first original predator when standing next to that guy who just bought a superfly II.

    will football boot tech go far? maybe someday.
    will football boot trend go far? absolutely.

  • Football boots do make a slight difference whether this may be due to the weight of the boot or the strikezone.But these wont make you any better of a good player.However if we are talking about making football a fair game what football urgently needs are video referees or box officals so the correct decisions are made and the game is fair.

  • No matter how good football boots supposedly are at increasing power/ spin etc, It matters not.

    What makes the difference is how good you are at the game. Ronaldo would still hit a ball better than any of us if he was wearing wellies (probably), then if we were wearing predator X3000’s (future predator name 😉 )

  • All the points from people above are quite excellent and valid. Tech can only go so far. I’m not sure what direction it’s going in, but looking at the latest release from umbro, the stealth, which was reviewed on http://www.soccercleats101 com, you will notice that though there is a lot of tech, all the tech is very purposeful and targeted. No gimmicks such as extra speed or extendostuds or extra power, just various tech that work. With carbon-fibre inlays for lightness all coming in about a quarter of the price of the superfly II. The maestri’s and powercats are similar, less about the tech and more about comfort and useful features like the plastic ribs, the memory foam and the pass-pad.

    But then you have to remember that there are two unique driving forces behind boot innovation. Either to enhance play (which is awesome) or to create and sustain a trend so amateurs buy overpriced boots in order to look like their idol(which is quite poor and is what the superfly is doing). I advocate a boycott of all the expensive “gimmicky” brands and sticking with the intelligent brands with targeted and useful features. I just got a pair of brand new konstrukt III’s for 30 bucks (RRP $200+). Lighter than the laser II, k-leather, comfortable as heck, cheap as heck…that’s all you need really. Comfort is the most important before any lightness or features come into play. What’s the point of being as fast as bolt if you get blisters all the time? I haven’t got a blister in my life, all because of my boot selections.

    I’m not saying tech is bad, it works and I always look to play utilising the tech in my boot. Xavi could wear copas or adipures, but he wears predators and I’m sure you’ve all seen his excellent passes. Most wingers/strikers wear either superfly or f50 and there’s a good reason for that. The Maestri’s now have greater star power than the tiempo’s because the tech in it is so awesome. I’m just saying I hope technology moves in more useful directions; (which it seems to be doing anyway) such as all boots being suitable for all ground, no more SG,FG,HG,AG,MG configurations. All boots should be AG (all ground). And the upper should offer extreme comfort + touch and feel + protection. Rather than branch out into more categories, all boots should be multi-purpose. No more “speed” boots or “power” boots or “touch/control” boots but boots that offer you a modicum of all. Any company that brought out such a boot with the best tech and a base price of $100 with no take-down versions (they wouldn’t be needed) would become rich beyond it’s wildest dreams. All players everywhere, both professionals and amateurs could have the same boot and the playing field would be level. There would only be one football boot from all companies catering to everyone’s choice. That is my dream. It’s possible, but it’s never going to happen because most companies want to make a profit and there will always exist vapid fans who get influenced and buy $450 boots.

  • Boot technology could eventually go as far to make regulations needed, I don’t see that happening any time soon however. Also, to all the people who included little shots at the superfly II and vapor line as a whole, does it ever cross your mind that those boots may be the best boot for some people based on their foot size and material preferences in a boot? Speaking for at least myself, I prefer synthetic boots to leather ones (not that I hate leather) and my foot shape fits superflys perfectly. A lot of people then argue to go and buy the lower end versions, but to me I notice a huge difference in the feel on the ball as the material gets thicker. This is the case for everyone and their own preferences too, because if it was just me, all other players would buy the cheapest boots because everything else would be the same and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between higher and lower end boots. I’m not saying I enjoy paying the higher pricing, but people who enjoy Maestri’s (just using as an example) more than vapors strictly for the price, I’m sure if the prices switched and the boots didn’t you would all be complaining about the “gimmicks” of the Maestri and would feel neutral about the vapor. I guess all I’m saying is boots are priced where they are for a reason, and people buy them due to preferences. None of the high end boots are ever bad or gimmicky because if they were, people wouldn’t ever look for previous versions of the higher end boots at cheaper prices. Not all prices seem justified to all, but that doesn’t automatically make the boot just a gimmick.

    • I agree. Cheap mercurials are too thick. And provide a poor feel for the ball. The plastic gives an awful first touch. I have tried loads of boots and I find that all that really matters is comfort, fit and touch. I think leather tends to provide a better touch. 

      It is important that boots fit snugly but not too tight. 

      A good ball feel is important. 

      The right sort of studs for the surface is very important. Never wear studs on harder ground because you will leave the pitch very sore. Blades or moulded studs. 

      I think if you try a pair of boots on and you feel like your feet look good in them. Then they are the boots for you!!

  • I don’t think boot tech is close to really change the outcome of a game. It is true that inovations are flying around and generally, most companies are investing in these innovations. The real problem, i believe, will be the game balls. If you think about it, goalkeepers are already complaining about it, The ball is too light, it spins to much… I think that will be the first thing that regulations will be imposed for or against. Once that is done, maybe we can start talking about boot regulations.

  • right now, as the football boot tests generally show, the brands claims are exaggerated. Has the predator x improved Steven Gerrard’s power by 7%?. NO. Sure, having a firm surface to hit the ball off will make it go faster than off leather, but not to the point where it makes a consistent, noticeable difference in the game. And so it is the same for all improvements in technology so far, we haven’t hit the point where the gimmicks are an unacceptable advantage, and for at least the next few generations of boots, they will remain microscopic touches here and there toward your game, only noticeable if that microscopic difference was the difference between your previous attempts and perfection

  • Lmfao I don’t think anyone will notice my comment due to the popularity of the article but still. All I wanted to say is that he Wave Ignitus “no-spin” technology only works if the individual with the boot knows the technique of knuckling the ball. And for those who do know it just makes it a little bit easier to get effect on the ball. =D

  • usually amongst all the overpriced boots and gimmicks, the simple ones work best. Maestri. comfort, fit and touch of k leather with durablility and good synthetic leather features. best of both worlds. nice colours and designs for everyone whilst encouraging you to use your footballing brain, moulding to your feet and reminds you of how to CTR-most important basics in the game. superfly is good but bcos of name and brand, it is overpriced, but legit tech, but the adizero will be a revalation in speed boot tech.

  • I believe these new advancements will continue till the point that the balls with have sensors to track if the ball did cross the line, for more accurate judgment from referees. I also believe that these boots eventually will become more than just a boot, but become not literally, but part of the foot, to become natural to the players, also have the dream boot design. Now about FIFA banning them, i believe they might only because it ruins the game after awhile. I mean if even amateurs can shoot accurately and powerful, then theres no point.

  • all the technologies are supposedly to make the game more interesting, more goals, more flashy. It is getting tougher for goalies, but (nowadays) softer balls should benefit them as well.

  • @keeps: wow really? they almost had me… thanks for the heads up lad 😉

    @kuuku: well… i don’t know if i should agree to the one-boots-does-it-all concept my friend.
    i’ve said something like this before: people nowadays prefer to be noticed, to be different. they wanted a tailored items that would suit their personality.

    customization are the main event for a while now. smartphone’s apps, computer’s themes, music player’s equalizers, and so on.

    i’m assuming that it’s not all about the technology, but it’s about the freedom to chose.

    football shoes style (power, speed, legacy, etc) is more beyond a mere gimmick. it’s a statement.
    it’s a statement about your personality, about your place in the team.

    just like how our fashion/wardrobe tells a story about ourself, we want our football boots to do the same.

    we wear polo shirt to say that i’m mature and sophisticated, we wear sleeveless shirt to say that i’m sporty and energetic.
    well, we wear predator to say that i kick harder than anyone else on this pitch 😉

    @Quaresma: as far as i learned, knuckleball are achieved by kicking the ball as hard as you could in it’s center so it would fly with no spin at all. at some point, wind pressure would force the ball to turn unexpectedly.
    sometimes i could pull it out, more of the times i don’t. this is more of a luck-based shot than a skilled shot to me.

    funny thing about how mizuno positioned the no-spin pad: deep in the instep. that’s definitely not the part that could generate most power to me… even more luck are needed should i decided to buy them.

  • By the way I wrote a blog post about how the ball could improve:

    Fifa have regulations for balls but not for boots, so eventually they might have to start enforcing a few but I doubt a complany wiuld make a tech that would need regulating and how would it work to give an unfair advantage? I can’t imagine how a tech could be banned, adding more power to a shot or more speed to a player are subjective. The comfort and durability and protection on the other hand are objective. What this means is that unless boots begin to have tech to affect other players it is unlikely they could go too far.

    I’m sure if a proffesional showed up in sneakers with decent traction and made the decision to play in them; though there would be a few questions he would be allowed to. There aren’t really regulations, players wear boots for the traction, comfort and usefulness to control the ball and shoot the ball, otherwise they would wear sneakers. They wear a particular boot wither becuase they are paid to or becuase they like it. So I don’t think tech could go too far.

  • No regulations will be needed. Unless Nike figure out a way to put a rocket on their vapors or adidas have a hand that comes out of the predator vamps and puts the ball where you want it to go.

    Even though boots have a lot of technology these days. They have very minimal advantages and there are too many variables in football. And dont forget the player still needs to know how to use these technologies on the boot anyway.

  • you mean like the adaptive studs that caused christano ronaldo to slide around like a pro figure-skater? or the stud patterns that caused all the infamous meta-tarsal injuries.

    i think they may need to regulate so that football companies so giving a unfair DISadvantage by injuring players whose one week salary is more than some people make in a year. that’s a gross waste of GDP.

  • The technology going into football boots is only to find news ways of creating similar boots. The CTR360s came out with a material that was supposed to feel like kangaroo leather without the wear and tear. The advancements that are being made are more in that direction than trying to give players advantages over one another. Predator’s have always been the boots that are supposed to help curl a ball. Vapors have always been for speed. Lasers have their strike zone. Every boot has some specific to it to help with a particular part of someone’s game. But no boot can do it all. And the classics are just as popular as the new technology boots. So no technology is no where close to ruining the beautiful game.

  • Football technology is improving dramatically each year. For example, The new Nike Superfly II has a stud plate in which the studs move back and forth by 6mm. This is supposed to give you an advantage over the opposition when pushing off to make a run, or when changing direction. Now, as current as today, no company has come up with the ultimate football boot. Each manufacturer has designed boots for specific things, as said before. If you buy a pair of the highest level predators, they had Tungsten powder inside, sole. THis puts more weight behind your shot aswell as your own force and the massive weigh of the boot. They gained the idea of better shooting, but out aside the fact that the boot will be heavy, which in my opinion it is. Im not the fastest player, an di dont necessarily play in the most popular position (Centre Mid) to wear Nike Mercurial Vapor/Superfly. Most midfielders choose boots like predators/adipure/tiempo/ctr360. However, i find that vapors are comfy, light, and have all the requirements of any player in any position. I’m wide footed and they are still very comfy, and forfill my needs as a player, they also come in flashy, eye-catching colours. I’d recommend these boots to any1 regardless of your playing style or position.

  • I honestly do think more people should play in the Copa Mundials like you suggest! I have never had a more true boot in my life. It feels so natural, and more honest to the kind of touch I put on the ball. It feels more like I am in control rather than the boot doing the work for me!

  • dee, i also play center mid and dissagree with you about the vapers, i got a pair and they offer very little protection. I’m getting a pair of t90 lasers for power as i tend to hold back and hold the midfield so I need help with power and accuracy as I also have long range shots. vapors dont really do that.

  • Maybe I’m just odd, but I manage a football store, I could have my pick of almost any boot I want before they go on sale, and I still only get myself the boot that feels the most comfortable. As far as boots weighing 5 grams less, I mean really, 5 grams? My pre game ritual of visiting the men’s room before I lace up my boots definitely makes me more than 5g lighter. I still feel K-Leather feels best on my feet, and as for the Ancient, boring, old school Copas, they fit like a glove and feel great. Technology is meaningless if the boot hurts your foot.

  • I don’t this is true because at the end of the day if your not a got player, whatever Nike or Adidas or Puma etc tell you no boot will make you a better player. Remember football is more than just boots alone.

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