Footy Boots Interview with Prior 2 Lever Creative Director Greg Lever
Prior 2 Lever are renowned and admired in the football boot world as the inventors of the world’s first fully customised football boot. The majestic Prior 2 Lever Assassin remains a mystery for most football boot fans, but we have managed to get the inside scoop! Footy Boots are proud to bring you the first of a three part interview with Greg Lever, Creative Director at Prior 2 Lever, that will give an insight into this acclaimed football boot and the people who have bought it to us. Greg studied Art & Design, followed by Graphic Communication, and also gained an MA in Performance Sportswear at the University of Derby. His professional experience began by creating bespoke solutions for elite athletes from the world of soccer, athletics, golf and currently indoor soccer (Futsal). Greg is also developing the consultancy arm of the Prior 2 Lever business, with a view to creating solutions for the mass market.
The Assassin football boot holds an exclusive position as a fully customised football boot in the industry, and we started by getting Greg’s views on football boots in general:
FB: What is your view of the current football boot market?
GL: I guess it depends from what perspective you look at this. Aesthetically they have never been better with the classics remaining prominent but also new trends emerging. From a functional perspective it is mixed. I personally do not feel that the majority of boots out there on the market at this point in time are considered enough and the aesthetic (which should always remain skin applied) is encroaching on the function. There are certain brands out there paving the way, often smaller soccer specific ones but due to the lack of marketing money, they never have a true impact on the mass market. I do believe however this is slowly turning.
FB: What do you think of the million pound boot sponsor contracts that have become part of the modern game?
GL: I don’t think it is a problem as it is not as common as many people on the outside looking in may be led to believe. What I find strange is that all the money tied into the big boot deals often just means big money. The players are wearing and utilising the same products as you and I can wear on the park on Sunday. I think this will change and is has to but it will be slow, the public believe that all our top players have their very own boots made but this often only goes as far as having an outsole and upper of different sizes attached to get a near fit. The most amount of customisation or bespoking is done by the kit man who will often cut out and add studs to make weird and wonderful configurations. This is all very well however the studs, through my experience and research, are a key element in injuries.
FB: Do you think players are putting mega buck contracts ahead of their own fitness and injury prevention?
GL: I don’t believe that the players do, they are not stupid as some may perceive them to be. Anything that can add 0.1% to their game and provide competitive edge/possibly prevent certain injuries is not passed on lightly. I think it is often the influencers around them such as representatives who handle and obtain these deals, players just want to focus on the games ahead. More needs to be done by clubs, many medical teams are pushing for better service by sponsors but you also need to understand the objective of the sponsor.
FB: Do you think there is a reason for the recent increase in metatarsal injuries to footballers and has it got anything to do with boot design?
GL: The FA Audit of injuries would suggest that there has not been an increase; it should be made clear that all injuries are multi-factorial so the boot is not always to blame. Certainly the lighter thinner outsoles can have an effect as can certain stud configurations combined with bad fit etc. Overall I feel the awareness is due to the increased amount of media outlets apposed to a sudden large increase.
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