In a fresh series of articles, we've enlisted the help of Nick a.k.a' The Sunday Leaguer' to compile the ultimate Sunday League Kitbag.
If you're footballer who plays for fun but still wants to perform at their best, Nick's articles aim to be the perfect way for people who don't know their HybridTouch from their KangaLite to get up to speed with all the latest tech on the market. Without further delay, we'll hand you over to Nick!
Shin pads Not really something that the majority of Sunday League players put much thought into, which is fair enough.
If they protect your shins, they're doing the job. I always hated shin pads; they'd never stay put and the Velcro straps were a constant source of discomfort.
When you're playing football, you don't want something like a shin pad putting you off ” it's just unnecessary. So if you haven't already, check out slip-on shin pads! They really are brilliant.
I bought mine in 2010 and they're one bit of kit I've never had an urge to replace with newer models.
There are lots of these about nowadays, from the likes of Nike and adidas, and they're fairly cheap too! Most importantly, they are just so comfortable, effective and hassle free.
They generally come with sleeves to keep them in place, but I tend not to use these.
You'll see why a bit later on.
To me, the socks you wear are as important as the boots you wear. The last thing you want during a match is sore feet; and socks can be just as much to blame for this as boots can. I've done a lot of experimenting with socks recently, more so than I have with boots I would say, in an effort to find what is most comfortable for me.
I am one of those Sunday League players that others see as completely mad when you pull out a sock with no foot on it. I started cutting the feet off my match day socks a long time ago.
The logic made sense to me ” replace the thin, coarse foot of the match day sock with a soft, padded alternative. I could write pages and pages about socks, but I'll keep it as brief as I can.
There is so much available on the market, and all are undoubtedly very good. The key thing to remember is that – ironically – there's no secret ingredient.
There is no super comfortable, blister-defying, skill-enhancing football sock out there ” just good products, different tastes and valid opinions; like with anything.
The only thing you can do is try as many as you can, and pick the one you find most comfortable. Comfort, at the end of the day, is the ultimate goal.
It's what all of the products on the market aim to achieve. Between you and me, I'm sorry ” but if you get blisters, that's just something you're going to have to deal with. I don't believe there is a sock or a boot out there that will prevent this.
However, keep reading to see how I deal with blisters. I don't remember the last time I had them!
I've tried various types of training sock which I've dismissed for one reason or another, and I've also tried the popular TruSox. I have a few pairs, but I haven't worn them in a while.' Not because I've dismissed them as such, but I have found the elusive Ĺ›most comfortable sockĹĄ, and I haven't dared play in anything else since!
I'm currently wearing Nike DriFit Compression socks. They've got it all for me. They're soft, they're padded and I do love a bit of compression. They also hold my shin pads in place very nicely.
It should be said, since I only briefly touched on TruSox, that I do think they're a good sock. They're far from the most comfortable sock I've ever worn, but they do a good job at creating friction in your boot. A very good addition to your kit bag indeed.
Next week, Nick will be tackling compression baselayers and other accessories ” if you've got any tips for fellow Sunday morning superstars, drop em in the comments.
In the meantime ” why not see what' The Sunday Leaguer' is up to on Twitter?