What boots should you buy? – part 5
Ok, lets talk soleplates. There are 5 current types of soleplates on offer for all forms of football. They are soft ground, firm ground, artificial grass, turf and indoor. Soft ground boots are most commonly seen in Northern Europe and I would imagine Canada. These boots are designed for fields that are often waterlogged, muddy and wet most of the time. Think England when you think of soft ground boots.
Firm Ground boots are the most common pair of football boots and are used everywhere. These are designed for natural grass fields that are dry with good grass covered. There used to be a class of boots called hard ground boots although this type has since died out seemingly because of firm ground boots.
Artificial grass boots are made for synthetic grass fields. These boots tend to have shallower studs, have thicker soleplates and other adaptations to make them more durable on the abrasive surface. Not to be confused with turf boots.
Turf boots are suitable to be used on turf, and to a lesser extent the street. The soleplate on a turf boot is a hard compound rubber or plastic making it more durable. You can wear turf boots on artificial grass although there may be some traction issues, personally I have not worn turf boots ever so I do not know how well they work on an artificial grass surface. You cannot however wear artificial grass boots on turf. I would also imagine turf boots being good for hard ground surfaces such has fields that have lost all their grass and only have hard compacted soil on them.
Indoor court boots are strictly for indoor wooden surfaces or specially designed outdoors surfaces. The soles of these shoes are a soft non-marking rubber that would disintegrate when used on any abrasive surface. As well because they have no studs you would be slipping and sliding all over the place if you were to wear these anywhere other than the surface it was designed for.
Why are there so many different types? Because football is played everywhere, and in order to make the game safe and accessible for people to play everywhere you need boots for each of the different surfaces. The boots are also all different and specifically designed for their surface to ensure safety, durability and better performance so that players are able to play the best they can.