It’s that time of year again, where professional, college, and high school football teams hit the field to do battle. But before this began, at some point this summer, high school and youth football players selected a shoe for the upcoming season (professional & college players don’t have to worry about selecting shoes, as it’d done for them). Very little information is out there on which football shoes are good and which shoes may pose an injury risk to the athlete. What’s really important in a shoe, and which shoes meet functional needs?
Unfortunately, most shoes are selected because of the brand of the shoe, instead of considering position, surface, and specific needs. Although position-specific shoes don’t exist, it’s only a matter of time before certain shoes will be made for certain positions. Currently, some shoes are better for an offensive/defensive lineman, while others are preferred for speed positions like cornerback or receiver.
Most football shoes are inflexible because of the carbon plate on the bottom that the cleats attach to. Most of the time, this type of shoe is appropriate if one has a history of turf toe, and these types of shoes certainly provide stability in side-to-side movements. If a shoe bends in half, absolutely stay away from it. It’s an injury waiting to happen. Cleats exist as detachable or molded. The problem with molded cleats are that when they start to wear, it can faulty mechanics of the feet or legs leading to injury. Detachable cleats are preferred because they can be replaced when worn, and changed because of the playing surface, i.e., mud, grass length. Most, but not all, football cleats now come as midcut shoes which provide some ankle stability.
The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine has in the past evaluated shoes–running, football, basketball, cross trainers. As a member, and now officer, I’ve evaluated several football shoes over the years, and have seen some really good shoes, and some really bad ones. The system I use is subjective, but I evaluate on stability, flexibility, low/mid/high cut, ankle reinforcement, and type of cleat. Some models of shoes improve from year to year while some remain the same, which may be a positive or negative. I’ve selected five football shoe models that I believe are excellent shoes for athletes to select from. I know there are all kinds of shoes on the market, and the one purchased is usually the one that is the most comfortable. My top shoes for 2010 are:
Again, these may depend on position and specific needs, but I think these particular shoes stand out from a functional standpoint. These aren’t ranked in any specific order. I hope this is of some value to people who can’t decide or know what to look for in a football shoe.
Good luck everyone!!