Finding the perfect footy boot can be a difficult task. Given the amount of time spent in your boots when playing and training it is important that you can find something that is not only comfortable but also reduces your risk of developing an injury. My top 5 tips for consideration when choosing new AFL boots are:
- Although very tempting, try to avoid accepting second hand boots from a friend or family member. The boots may still look to be in reasonable shape but very often will have worn in a particular way. This wear can influence foot and lower limb function once worn by you and could lead to not only foot discomfort but also lower limb injury.
- Try to get your boots early so you have plenty of time to wear them in. The development of blisters is common when wearing boots for a match before taking the time to get use to them. Depending on your budget you may want to consider selecting a Kangaroo leather upper which gives and softens more quickly than regular leather or other synthetic materials. Leather uppers are generally more expensive than synthetic ones so for younger kids that are growing rapidly a synthetic option may be the way to go.
- Consider the stud configuration and type required for the surface/s you will be playing on. Moulded studs are best for drier grounds and screw-in studs are best for wetter conditions. Adequate traction is very important when playing AFL footy but using screw-in studs on drier grounds can lead to the development of foot pain.
- Make sure you try your boots on with the socks you plan to wear to ensure the fit is right. A thumb’s gap between your big toe and the end of the boot is a good guide. Your comfort is paramount so spend a bit of extra time to make sure the fit is right for you.
- If you have experienced an injury in the past or wear foot orthoses it is worth discussing your upcoming purchase with your Podiatrist. There are footy boots on the market that have built in heel pitch and have wider bases and deeper heel counters to accommodate foot orthoses.
Learn more about Sally Child by visiting http://www.opsmc.com.au/person/sally-child/