When you’re playing hockey, one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need are good, solid footwear or cleats. Your shin guards are also pretty important but choosing the wrong boots will leave you sore, with blisters and possibly pulled muscles on top! Not to mention the fact that you’ll have wasted good money on poor footwear. Choosing wisely can free you up to run, react and improve your play. Here are some handy tips to help you in your hunt for the perfect hockey boots:
What’s the difference between cleats and turf shoes?
The main difference is whether you will be playing indoor or outside on a grass pitch. Turf shoes don’t have metal spikes but rubber instead, giving better grip on astro turf or indoors. Cleats are usually worn outside on grass and have either metal or plastic cleats for digging into the ground, enabling you to make quick dashes and sudden turns without slipping. Many of the top sports shoe brands make footwear specially designed for field hockey.
Many players choose to wear either football or lacrosse footwear instead. This makes life easier if you also play these sports or simply find this choice more comfortable. Both lacrosse and football boots with cleats are ideal for outdoor and grass play. If unsure, they can always be tested during training sessions. For a great range of training session Hockey Drill Videos, visit https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/
One of your top priorities must be the safety of your foot. Most modern field hockey cleats and turf shoes are manufactured with a thicker top which helps prevent injury from hockey sticks. If you decide to use football boots, be aware that the material on top is thinner and lighter so won’t offer the same level of protection from those sticks!
When it comes to shopping for hockey shoes, you’ll need to consider more than just your budget. Do some research and find out what the most significant features are of each type of hockey shoe. Such factors include:
Depending on the playing surface, good grip and traction is important for boosting your performance. Too much and you risk damaging the playing surface and too little means you could be unable to launch yourself quickly or be prone to slipping.
It’s vital to support your feet, ankles and knees when playing hockey. You’ll also want a pair that hold their shape well and offer consistent performance. Shoes that don’t offer your feet enough support can cause restricted movement and even injury to your back and joints.
If you have the budget, it’s worth investing in a higher end pair as they really are more durable. Both the quality of construction and the cushion technology must work in harmony to ensure they are can last the rugged nature of the sport and support your speed and quick manoeuvring.
You will ideally want both rear and forefoot gel cushioning. Hockey shoes need a high level of shock absorbency, for the constant action and to keep your feet blister free and warm. A well-supported foot with plenty of cushioning technology will leave you free from aches, cramps and blisters post-match.