By Dr. Fabijan Cukelj. Football is the world’s most popular sport. It is now estimated that more than 200 million people play some form of the game (i.e. including futsal and beach soccer) at one level or another. Football is generally considered to be a safe sport. However, the risk of injury (especially at professional level) is substantial. It has been estimated that the overall risk is about 1,000 times greater than that of a typical high-risk industrial occupation. Although the rules limit physical contact between players, this is an essential part of the game and can lead to some forms of trauma. However, the majority of the injuries that occur during matches and training are not contactrelated. These include sprained ankles and knees, strained muscles, torn tendons and overuse injuries (stress fractures, tendinopathies, soreness following muscle overload, cartilage degeneration, etc.).
Some of the most common injuries concern the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The most common injury mechanism for ACL tears in football players is deceleration with the body unbalanced posteriorly and the foot planted on the ground. In most cases, the injury seems to occur when the player tries to change direction. An important role in the mechanism of injuries ACL have boots. Therefore, it is especially important to any player what kind of boots to choose for training and game.
What kind of boots will player choose is adequately address questions of flexibility and stability within the confines of a lightweight boot, paying special attention to players’ safety. Combining these elements with a clean, functional playing surface will result in lasting grip, increased friction between boot and ball, greater ball control, increased power and swerve, and biomechanical stability.
The various types of football boot that are available today can be classified as follows:
1. Firm ground – for playing on firm or moderately forgiving pitches
Firm ground studs are perhaps the most common stud type. They generally range from 10mm to 14mm on the outsole plate. Blades and round studs are equally preferred in today’s market
2. Hard ground – for playing on hard, unforgiving pitches
These studs are generally short and positioned in fairly uniform patterns across the outsole plate. They are very effective at providing grip where pitches are difficult to penetrate. The studs tend to be shorter and softer than the firm ground variety.
3. Soft ground – for playing on soft pitches
Football boots for rain-soaked or soft pitches occasionally require longer detachable studs (generally six on each boot; see Figure 4). These studs vary in length (ranging from 12mm to 19mm), depending on the condition of the pitch.
4. Artificial turf
For playing on extremely hard or synthetic surfaces These finely studded boots are most helpful where the pitch is even and there is no – or only sparse – natural grass
Boots should be flexible enough to absorb excessive loads and stresses, which might otherwise result in a risk of major injuries to the player.
About The Author
Dr. Fabijan Cukelj is an experienced Orthopedic and Trauma Surgeon specializing in treatments of a wide range of orthopedic issues including spine and joint problems and sports injuries. He has extensive training and expertise in physical medicine and rehabilitation, working with patients to restore them to activity through a wide assortment of minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments.