There is always a huge interest from football fans in the boots their idols are wearing.
Those fans that play football themselves often look to wear the same footwear as star players, believing that it will give them an edge so to speak. People want to play like their favourite players after all, with many believing by donning a specific pair of boots, that it will somehow transform them into a better player or they will be faster, have a better first touch or be a more accomplished finisher.
One thing is for sure, boot manufacturers such as Adidas and Nike put a lot of time into developing football boots. There is a lot more to the design than meets the eye, there’s technology used to enable the boots to aide specific abilities. A lot of the technology used over the years seems to have been to make football boots lighter. The question is, do boots impact performance to a noticeable degree or are they really all for show?
Most, if not all, footballers are born with some level of natural ability. Some players are quick. The likes of Theo Walcott, Hector Bellerin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can all get a shift on in terms of acceleration and pace. The question is, do the boots that they are wearing actually make them quicker? Certain pairs probably do but not so that it is noticeable, at all. Fast players are fast, whatever boots they’re wearing. The question is, would players ability and performance be affected if the player decided to change his boot? I suspect not.
Some players, such as the recently retired Xabi Alonso, are able to pass the ball 50 yards accurately. The passing ability is natural, the player instinctively hits the ball in the right place, with the right part of their boot and with the right amount of power. Again, the boots worn would not make any noticeable difference whatsoever. If they did, why do footballers often change boots? Surely they would wear the pair they have had continued success with?
Players often wear boots that they are given through either sponsorship deals or their agents. Some boot companies literally send boots out to footballers in the hope of them wearing them to attract attention to their brand or new boot models. What you do tend to get is say 10 types of boot which tend to get worn the most by professional footballers. It’s funny how the majority of these are made by either Nike or Adidas and that those top pros wearing them often appear in commercials or have links to the companies.
If boots actually made a difference and enhanced abilities and performance, everyone would be wearing the same pair of boots. The fact that players often switch between boot models and brands tells you that they simply have no noticeable effect whatsoever. Footballers are born with a degree of natural ability that is developed through coaching and playing experience. They didn’t have these technologically advanced boots decades ago yet the likes of Pele, Maradona and George Best still excelled.