When we were younger, any old pair of trainers would be good enough for any kickabout. However, with age comes wisdom and also, less fortunately, impact stresses, greater recovery times, more injuries etc.
Just choosing the correct footwear for 5-a-side football can give you a performance advantage on the pitch and help protect you from injury.
At Astro Park, we strive to make sure that all our customers have a fantastic time when using our facilities. So, to help get the most out of your 5-a-side game, we have compiled a guide to choosing the right footwear.
What to look for when buying footwear for 5-a-side football
The first thing to note is that traditional football boots are out! As the name suggests an astro pitch uses astroturf as a playing surface, and this does not lend itself well to studded football boots.
Studs and blades have a tendency to snag on artificial surfaces, so they are forbidden as they represent a danger to the player and also can damage artificial pitches.
There are plenty of quality football boots that are designed specifically to perform best on astroturf pitches. These are great if your only intended use is on astroturf surfaces but be aware that many of these aren’t much good for everyday wear.
A more practical choice for more casual players is a good set of trainers with plenty of grip. In practical terms, the choice of footwear for 5-a-side can be broken down into these main considerations:
The right fit is crucial to prevent soreness and blisters. Boots that are either too loose or too tight will be problematic in these areas and ultimately result in a less than enjoyable (and painful) 5-a-side experience.
Try to choose boots that offer good breathability. Trainers that incorporate materials like Gore-Tex or similar are great for this. The important thing is to avoid the “sweaty feet” discomfort by choosing footwear that allows the sweat to evaporate
Making sure your boots have the right grip for the surface is essential. Not only does this avoid the embarrassment of slipping as you pounce on the last-minute chance to win the game, but it also cuts down the risk of injuries other than your pride!
4. Support and Cushioning
Crucially important is ensuring the boot you choose has adequate support and cushioning. This goes a long way to protecting your feet from impact injuries and also supporting your ankles and tendons when making your trademark “Cruyff turn”.
5. Weight and Touch
Lightweight footwear gives you an extra turn of speed and keeps fatigue at bay. Feel is also important to give you a more responsive and natural touch on the ball.
The good news is that a good set of trainers that will perform well on 5-a-side pitches won’t cost the earth. However, go too cheap, and the chances are that none of the criteria listed above will be met. Look to start at about €30 upwards, and you won’t be far off the mark.
How much you play or intend to play is the biggest defining factor when it comes to choosing boots. For occasional players, a pair of trainers with a soleplate that offers plenty of grip and a construction that is both breathable and supporting are perfect.
For serious players, considering buying a boot that is designed specifically for the latest generation of artificial surfaces is the best bet.
The only downside of wearing the proper footwear is you will no longer be able to blame those wild and wayward shots on your choice of football boot!