If Usain Bolt traded his spikes for Paula Radcliffe’s running shoes, they’d both be in trouble. Even sports players who aren’t at elite level can benefit from wearing the right gear. Yet far too many people don’t bother with specialist football trainers for indoor and astro turf games, instead wearing the same trainers they go running or even down the pub with, or using standard studded boots.
So what’s so important about specialist astro turf shoes? Well, at the very least you may have little alternative: many people who manage indoor pitches take a dim view of players who turn up with studs or blades and you may find yourself without a game. Even if you do get away with it at your regular venue, you don’t want to run the risk of playing a game elsewhere and finding you aren’t even allowed on the pitch.
But just as importantly, using specialist shoes can give you a major advantage on astro turf pitches. They have a flatter sole compared with studs, but still contain a large number of crafted “dimples”. These are specially designed to give the best possible grip on the astro turf surface, meaning you’ve got far more control and can let your feet do the talking. You’ll also find playing becomes much less impactful on your feet and ankles, meaning fewer injuries and perhaps even allowing you that extra boost at the end of the game when all around you are feeling the pain.
JD Sports has a range of football trainers for indoor and astro turf games, and in terms of style and variety the range matches that of the studded boots. Both Adidas and Nike models are available, along with two Carbrini Velocity styles that are exclusive to JD Sports. Specific models include astro turf versions of all the famous names such as Nike’s Libretto and the Adidas Predator.
There’s something to fit every budget, with the Carbrini models starting at £20, though even the most expensive astro turf boots are only around £50. While the cheaper boots are perfectly serviceable, you do get something extra for your cash with the more expensive models (besides the admittedly stylish look): for example, the Predator range has the lacing away from the centre of the foot, which can give a better grip on the foot, as well as a reinforced heel for added comfort. The top of the range Nike boots even have a special sock-style liner that smoothes the contact between your foot and the boot, reducing irritation.
As with all JD Sports footwear, new models are being added all the time and are available for pre-order. You’ll generally find boots are available in all sizes from 6 to 12, often with a choice of colours. If you can’t make it to a store, online orders for more than £25 have free delivery, with next day available for £5.99. Alternatively you can order online and collect from a local store for free. If you pay online by credit or debit card, you can even take any returns to a local store rather than have to post them back.