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Order of the boot: Footballers' footwear nowadays is just too lightweight

By JAMIE REDKNAPP

 

The two most important functions of a football boot should be performance and protection.

 

The obsession with performance - lighter and more dynamic boots, with cutting edge, high-tech developments - seems to have undermined the need for protection. The new range of boots are light, with the idea being professionals can move with greater flexibility and more speed around the pitch.

 

One manufacturer claims a pair of their new model comes in at under 2lb - each boot the weight of three bananas.

 

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It cannot be a coincidence that Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and David Beckham, three England players at the forefront of campaigns to market the latest designs of their boot manufacturers, are among those who have suffered broken metatarsals in recent times.

 

It is not a new injury. I suffered similarly when a stud worked up through the sole of my boot, one that I had sent to Patrik Berger's father, a cobbler in the Czech Republic, to be modified.

 

It happened in a game against West Bromwich Albion and, like Wayne, I tried to play on until half-time, when the pain became too much.

 

Despite the technological advances, modern boots have become more of a fashion accessory than footwear designed to stabilise the foot. Schoolchildren are desperate to follow the trends, brainwashed by 'cool' advertising campaigns that offer high-tech footwear, designer logos, different colours, with names and even national flags plastered along the back, side and tongues... and costing around £130 a pair.

 

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The way it was...Football boots that weighed a ton, Newcastle 1948

 

Who needs protection when you are trying to keep up with your heroes? I can remember cleaning Luther Blissett's leather boots, Puma Kings, when we were at Bournemouth. They were beautiful, absolutely lovely - and they cleaned up a treat - but they were heavy, collected water and carried mud from pitches that resembled bogs once you got beyond Christmas.

 

Now the game is much quicker and is played on hard surfaces that are a mixture of grass and synthetic weave. All year round, pitches look pristine but there is a lack of give, which doesn't help.

 

With so many injuries, it must be questionable how much protection the new synthetic boots are providing. The number of injuries suggests not very much.

 

Where does that leave England? No Rooney and struggling for firepower. Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent come under consideration for the friendly against Germany and the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Russia and Israel next month, but neither started for Tottenham on Saturday. West Ham's Dean Ashton started on the bench, too, and is also recovering from a year-long injury.

 

Peter Crouch, suspended for the Israel qualifier, was not in Liverpool's 16 at Aston Villa, but will surely start against the Germans at Wembley next Wednesday.

 

That leaves Andrew Johnson and David Nugent. Presuming, of course, no defender treads on their toes between now and then.

 

and:

 

Nike defend boot after Rooney injury

 

Nike insist the design of their boots had "nothing to do with" Wayne Rooney's latest foot injury.

 

The Manchester United and England striker faces two months on the sidelines after suffering a hairline fracture of his left foot during the clash with Reading on Sunday, the third time since 2004 he has suffered injuries to his feet.

 

Charlie Brooks, head of corporate communications for Nike UK, told Channel 4 News: "He himself is personally absolutely confident, as we are, that the boot had nothing to do with his injury."

 

He added: "Nearly 20% of the professional players in the Barclays Premier league this weekend were wearing this boot.

 

"I think it is a boot that stands up to all kinds of testing....and stands up to on-pitch demand.

 

"I think what happened to Wayne is an unfortunate football injury.

 

"When we were developing this boot we worked extensively with Wayne.

 

"He was part of the development testing process. He went over to our headquarters in the United States and he tested the boot extensively over there."

 

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the injury would keep the 21-year-old out for two months, making him a major doubt for England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

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I think Redknapp is correct ....Boots now are like fukin slippers ..no protection what so ever

 

Im not saying we need to go back to 1948 but i do think the modern boot needs some kind of protection on the top to prevent all this metatartinthetoon (metatarsal) bollicks

 

I had never heard of a metatarsal until these new boots came out

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I think Redknapp is correct ....Boots now are like fukin slippers ..no protection what so ever

 

Im not saying we need to go back to 1948 but i do think the modern boot needs some kind of protection on the top to prevent all this metatartinthetoon (metatarsal) bollicks

 

I had never heard of a metatarsal until these new boots came out

 

That's the whole point though - the injury was only made famous because it was Beckham (and then Neville etc). It still happened before the lighter boots came around, but we didn't hear about it.

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I think Redknapp is correct ....Boots now are like fukin slippers ..no protection what so ever

 

Im not saying we need to go back to 1948 but i do think the modern boot needs some kind of protection on the top to prevent all this metatartinthetoon (metatarsal) bollicks

 

I had never heard of a metatarsal until these new boots came out

 

That's the whole point though - the injury was only made famous because it was Beckham (and then Neville etc). It still happened before the lighter boots came around, but we didn't hear about it.

 

 

Exactly.

 

Before it was just a foot injury, or a broken bone in the foot, etc.

 

Quite common just not as publicized as the now "infamous metatarsal", which pisses me off how everyone in the media go on about.

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