Monday, July 06, 2009
Soccer Boots: The game is on
As a lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa footwear companies will be introducing their new lines of football boots. In a highly competitive industry there are few secrets shared but looking across the current range of available boots remarkably there seems little to separate them other than price. Personally I believe the football shoe has been developed as far as it can with only novelty left to appeal to consumers. Concave, a minnow in the market, are about to introduce a new line which they insist will give players at all levels the ability to increase their ball striking skills. Patented technology on the top of the boot gives players 30% better control and 15% more power, according to an accredited university study. The secret is the upper conforms to the convex shape of the ball which effectively increases the sweat spot by as much as four times compared to traditional football boots. Concave boots have a shank balance stabilizer (SBS) to give support and reinforcement to the mid-foot and help control balance between the rear and fore-front. The presence of the SBS may reduce the risk of stress injuries to the metatarsals. To support the concave upper the shoes and protect the foot there is a flexible MetaGuard layer made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomers (TPU). This might prevent stomping injury. Concave make most of their soccer boots available in a variety of outsole configurations, including soft ground, firm ground, hard ground with blades, and a traditional rounded mold. Meanwhile over at Nike their keenly anticipated Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly met with teething problems when reports were received the boots ripped in situ. Nike recalled the boots from general sale and set to finding out how the boot design could be improved. Now a version that is less tight lasted will be available on general sale from 1st August and will retail at a cool £224.99 ( $367 US).