Footballers in the UK will me more than familiar with turning up to a rain-soaked pitch or a relative mud bath of a weekend, making the importance of a suitable pair of boots all the more important. Soft ground football boots are designed to provide traction and support even in the most difficult of conditions, making them a must-have for any footballer.
I have put together a list of the best soft ground football boots on the market today, with a moulded shoe or trainer just not good enough. Featuring a more durable stud configuration and systems that ensure mud does not decrease grip, soft ground boots are now developed by all of the leading manufacturers, meaning that there is plenty of choice for players today. Let’s take a look at the first of the products in my list.
The Puma King is a classic in the world of football, having been made famous by Argentine legend Diego Maradona initially. A Puma Lite leather upper delivers excellent comfort and durability, as well as giving the boots a more traditional and “old school” feel.
I found that the GripTex ankle lining allowed for an excellent fit during testing of the boots, and the famous fold-over tongue helps to add to the surface area when shooting at goal. The Puma King Pro is lightweight too, meaning that it is suitable for those playing in a range of positions.
A Pebax outsole and DuoFlex technology help to create fantastic comfort and flexibility, while tipped conical studs provide traction even on the wettest of surfaces. Featuring six metal studs, I found the Puma Kind Pro Soft Ground boot to be more than adequate when playing on a muddy pitch.
The Puma King has long been a favourite boot for many footballers and their latest version is suitable for a range of players thanks to their durability and affordable price point. Perfect for those who still enjoy a black boot, the Pro Soft Ground will aid your performance on any Sunday league pitch across the country.
The Predator range from Adidas has received a modern update recently, and the 18.1 featuring a knitted upper that provides support from heel to toe. Leather on the vamp also allows for excellent touch and feel, with controlskin ensuring that your touch will be just as good in wet conditions as it is in the dry.
The 18.1 SG is designed for high-performance in the wet and mud thanks to a combination of fixed and removable aluminium studs, enhancing both traction and rotation. A moulded heel allowed for a perfectly snug fit during testing of the boots, plus I also found the PrimeKnit sock collar made it easy to get them on and off quickly.
The number of quality materials and high-tech features on the Predator 18.1 mean that these boots are at the higher end of the price range, however, they are undoubtedly one of the best-looking football products on the market today.
Available in a range of colours, many of which can be seen on the biggest stars in the Premier League, these boots deliver on your muddy local pitches too, but they are likely to cater more for those playing at a higher level.
The latest model of football boot from Nike comes in the form of the Phantom, designed for players looking for outstanding control on the pitch. Excellent fit is delivered thanks to the flyknit material found on the upper, with the ghost lacing system providing a huge striking surface, perfect for both passing and shooting.
Featuring Nike’s anti-clog system, I found that these boots performed well on a wet surface, especially in terms of traction. Fixed and detachable studs deliver grip on the most difficult of pitches, while Nike’s All Conditions Control (ACC) textured upper also aids ball control in the wet.
The Phantom is supremely lightweight and flexible, helped by the quadfit mesh inner, which also aids comfort and fit at all times. These boots are undoubtedly one of the most modern designs on the market today, and the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho have shown their benefits on the pitch.
The high price point of these boots means that they are unlikely to cater for those with a lower budget or for those looking to get back into football after a break from the game. Their high performance does mean that they aided ball control and striking during testing, offering something new from Nike.
K-Leather dominates the upper of the Adidas World Cup, providing durability, comfort and a glove-like fit in the process. An EVA midsole distributes stud pressure evenly across the sole, as exchangeable screw-in studs deliver excellent traction on soft ground pitches.
A quick-drying synthetic inner ensured that the boots remained lightweight during testing, while the leather upper making striking the ball powerfully easier and more comfortable than ever. The traditional lacing system means that players can adjust to their preferred tightness, as well as adding to the minimalistic design.
The Adidas World Cup is a perfect option for players of all standards thanks to its price point and durability, with fans of the Copa Mundial from the German manufacturer certain to like these too. I found that all aspects of the game were made easy thanks to these boots, especially when it came to passing and shooting.
I have put forward a range of products, meaning that you should find at least one boot that suits your style of play and demands on the pitch. However, before making your final decision, be sure to check out the following points, which could have an impact upon which boot you ultimately end up purchasing.
Many manufacturers now design boots with certain positions on the field in mind, meaning those who enjoy flying down the wing likely to go for a lightweight option, while tough-tackling defenders will need more support and durability. As a result, it is important to look at the specs of potential boots beforehand, before deciding as to whether they line up with your style of play and position.
As you will have seen from my product reviews, the materials used on the upper of today’s football boots vary significantly, with this too likely to have an impact upon their suitability for you.
Those playing regularly on poor quality, muddy pitches may wish to stay away from mesh uppers due to their poor durability in comparison to a traditional leather option. However, those looking to enhance their game alongside a more lightweight and close-fitting boot should be on the lookout for a more modern product.
Many modern boots also feature some form of ankle collar, which is designed to improve both stability and comfort. While this is a nice feature for some, purchasing a boot with this feature is not a must, with traditional boots still being the product of choice for many players at the top level.
Your budget when looking to buy a new pair of boots is also likely affecting your ultimate decision, with the boots discussed in this article ranging severely in price. Those placing once every few weeks with friends in the park are unlikely to need all of the modern technologies found in today’s market, meaning that a lower costing, durable product will be a better option. However, those training and playing 90 minutes on a weekly basis are advised to go for something that will both last and enhance your performance.