Football boots are the tools of the trade for any footballer and they have changed greatly over the years. During the 1800′s as football increased in popularity in Britain, most players would play football in their heavy, steel toe capped work boots, which fitted above their ankles.
The first ever football boot is credited to King Henry VIII in 1526, although the sport was then unrecognisable from the game we know today.
As football increased in popularity and the rules became more formalised during the late 1800′s the first football boots were designed specifically with the game in mind. Again the boots rose up to the ankle for protection and following a change in the laws of the game in 1891 studs were allowed, which gave more stability on the pitch. The original studs were made of leather and they were hammered into the soles of the existing boots.
The boots of the late 1800′s were very cumbersome, weighing approximately 500g, they weighed even more when they were wet as they would absorb water, making it very difficult for the players to play the game.
In 1925 the first changeable studs were introduced and players were able to change their studs according to the weather and the condition of the pitch, although the boots themselves remained of a similar style, still covering the ankle.
The 1940′s saw greater consideration given to the how the boots affected the kicking and control of the ball and newly designed boots were created with that in mind. The 1940′s also saw the introduction of boots from manufactures such Gola and Hummel who would later become the market leaders.
The 1950′s saw the introduction of plastic and rubber interchangeable studs and the use of synthetic materials in an attempt to make the boot lighter and during the 1960′s the first below ankle, slipper style boots were introduced, which not only revolutionised the footwear, but also saw better ball control, shooting power and an increase in agility and the speed of the players around the pitch.
The 1970′s and 80′s saw lighter weight boots, with the introduction of different colours as the boot became a more fashionable accessory. Players had sponsorship deals by companies to wear their footwear exclusively, as manufacturers realised the commercial potential.
The 1990′s were dominated by Adidas who developed the Predator football boot, the main attribute being rubber strips which are attached to the forefoot which, it is claimed, increases the speed of the ball and have an effect on ball spin and precision, the boot has become the market leader. Manufacturers also experimented with different kinds of boots with different studs and more flexible soles.
The 2000′s has seen the market dominated by three manufacturers’ Puma, Nike and Adidas as they strive for further improvements in design and technology, however lightweight boots have recently been criticized by some experts for an increase in metatarsal injuries, which used to be quite rare within the game.
Football boots have seen many changes since the early days of the game, and it will be interesting to see how they develop over the coming years.

About Gene Roberson

Gene Roberson is founder of W-20 Soccer Training Center as well as primary instructor expert. Gene is a suggestion generator and also cashier of talents. Since he is much more comfy around monitoring, he leaves all points in Frank's hands.

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