Choose the Best Junior Footy Boot

by Robert Laudani

Kids these days tend to purchase a new pair of boots every year as new fashion trends and designs are introduced to keep up with the constantly evolving gameplay and the increasing speed of sport. Much of the time, a young athlete will look to purchase the same boot as their favourite player believing they will help them kick the same goal or play like their idol. What’s important to know is that such junior boots are actually takedown versions of the adult boots, with minor adjustments in the design and materials used.

Know Your Boot Types

Today there are four different boot designs known as; firm, soft, hard and artificial/turf. Each of these offer unique design properties to maximize performance under specific conditions. The designs vary via the unique array and number of studs/blades on the outsole (bottom) of the shoe. It’s important to take into consideration the weather conditions your sport is played in, along with the playing surface when choosing a new pair. Not only will this enhance performance but reduce the likelihood of injury.

Firm Ground (FG) Boot

Firm ground boots are the most common type of junior boot as they are suitable for use across firm, dry, and moderately forgiving surfaces. Typically, this boot consists of 10-14 molded studs/blades on the outsole plate and ensures adequate control, comfort and traction for the average player.

Hard Ground (HG) Boot

As its name suggests, the hard ground boot is for playing on hard and unforgiving field surfaces that are extremely dry. These boots portray a uniform pattern of short studs across the outsole and are typically made from rubber and thermoplastic materials. This orientation of studs makes it difficult to penetrate the surface but can still provide adequate traction and comfort without the loss of control.

Soft Ground (SG) Boot

This boot is used on fields that are rain soaked, muddy and have softer surfaces. Generally, these boots consist of 6 studs longer in length which can be detached from the outsole. Many soft ground studs have metal tips or are completely made from metal. This helps with penetrating softer fields and playing surfaces. Also note that many junior leagues prohibit the use of screw-in studs and metal plated studs for player safety.

Artificial/Turf Ground Boot

This boot type is used on extremely hard surfaces, synthetic surfaces and Astro turf. Notably, the turf field or artificial boot portrays a fine arrangement of short studs across much of the outsole.

In today’s market, blades and conical style studs are placed on the outsoles of Junior boots with many players using a mix of FG/SG types for standard field conditions. The goal of many manufactures today is to develop a boot that has both high qualities of comfort, traction and control whilst being lightweight and able to perform across all surfaces.

Check out our range of Junior Boots here