We thought we’d change our focus from football boots to turf shoes for this article, since the recent popularity rise in ‘fives’ and futsal has resulted in companies releasing a whole range of different shoes available for you to wear on turf. In this article we’ll argue whether you should wear firm ground, or stick with the rubber outsole, and highlight the five best contenders that you should be looking to purchase for your five a side games.
Generally, there are two types of astroturf: 3G and sand based. The 3G is the turf that contains the little rubber pellets, covering an artificial grass pitch. The sand based turf is basically just a carpet with sand on it. As technologies have developed, 3G has become the main turf contender and as such players are at a huge dilemma in what type of boots to wear. In the past, players were restricted to purely rubber soled shoes for the sand based turf, but now that 3G is more common, the use of firm ground boots on turf has become a popular option.
But is it always wise to wear firm ground boots? Well, quite frankly, it depends on the stud configuration. Boots such as the CTR360 Maestri IIs with a bladed soleplate are almost dangerous to use on 3G, and can result in injuries. I personally have been on the receiving end of a nasty knee injury because I wore blades and it really wasn’t pleasant. However, if you’re the owner of a Conical stud patterned football boot (for example, the Adidas Copa Mundial), then it’s absolutely fine to use them on 3G.
If we turn our attention to the rubber soled turf shoes, there are some benefits and negatives to this choice too. Many players feel that wearing this type of boot on 3G just doesn’t provide them with enough grip, like a firm ground boot would. You do lose a bit of traction, and in wet conditions it can lead to slipping and sliding everywhere. But then you have to consider that rubber soled shoes can be used on both types of turf, 3G and sand, and are generally a great deal cheaper than firm ground boots.
Which one would I recommend? Personally, I can’t play on turf without using firm ground boots. However, I must stress that you pick yourself a Conical stud patterned football boot. These tend to be more heritage style boots, but it’s really for your own safety. It may be tempting to wear blades on turf, and some people get away with it, but it just hugely increases the chances of an injury and I don’t think it’s worth the bother really. However, if you’re on more of a budget, there are some quality rubber soled shoes that you can purchase that are designed for small sided games.
Which are the best boots to wear then?
1. Nike Bomba Finale
Nike’s mix between the T90 and CTR360 in a turf shoe has proved to be a popular one – and for good reason. The upper of the shoe is made from an extremely thin, pliable kangalite, and the fit mimics a Nike Mercurial Vapor more than a Laser. Weighing in at just over 10 ounces, the technology on the shoe is designed to help you make your passes and shots accurate and true. The outsole features a unique layout for a turf shoe, and is designed to help you reach your max speed as quickly as possible. The Nike Bomba Finale would be a solid choice for any budding 5 a side player with an RRP of £74.99.
Now it’s the turn of Adidas’ specialist futsal shoe! The upper of the shoe features a breathable mesh material, covered in an usual substance which is used to enhance touch and control in any conditions – similar to Nike’s latest technology on the CTR360s, set to be later added to the rest of the Nike range. The outsole of the shoe features Adidas’ renowned AdiPrene technology – something that I loved when wearing these shoes. Perhaps not as professional as the Bomba Finale, the price tag reflects this at a cool RRP of £47.
3. Pantafola d’Oro Piceno Vitello
Definitely the premium shoe in this list, coming in at an RRP of £109.99, the Pantafola d’Oro Piceno Vitello boasts a wonderful K-Leather upper which is regarded as one of the best in the world. Crafted by hand, Pantafola as a brand are loved by many top pros of the past, with names such as Bergomi, Capello, Di Canio, Klinsmann and Mancini all having worn them. Finishing the package off is a durable gum rubber outsole which is designed to provide optimal traction on turf and hard ground. If you were indeed inclined to splash out on a pair of Pantafola d’Oro Piceno Vitello futsal shoes, you would be guaranteed quality.
4. Nike Tiempo Legend IV FG
You can really wear any boot on 3G turf, but the best to wear are ones with conical studs or specifically made for 3G pitches. There are are many boots that fit this criteria, but do you have a certain pair of boots you wear on synthetic pitches?