This rise in popularity comes hand in hand with an increasing number of shops stocking soccer boots and equipment, but also with a marked increase in the price of all soccer equipment, from balls and replica team shirts to kit bags and shoes. All football equipment is widely available in stores and also online.
The basic design of soccer shoes is a tough but flexible leather upper, with a leather tongue, a thin sole, thin but sturdy laces, and plastic or metal studs on the sole. These studs are vital for grip when playing in any number of conditions, since football is often played in the rain, especially in Britain. For this reason, the leather upper is waterproofed to prevent water from seeping into the shoe. Football boots are as lightweight as possible, since footballers do a great deal of running during their matches.
Soccer shoes are always low-cut rather than designed to support the ankle. This is because soccer is an extremely energetic sport and requires a great deal of speed and flexibility from players. If the ankle is able to move naturally, players are able to run, tackle and aim their kicks easily.
Because they are low-cut and so lightweight, however, it is vital that footballers protect their shins by wearing shin pads in conjunction with proper football socks. These go some way towards avoiding broken shins and cuts from particularly aggressive tackles. All good sports shops will supply a range of football socks and shin pads in different sizes.
A large number of sports brands now manufacture high-quality soccer shoes. They all conform to the standard design, but are made to look individual through different colours and the distinctive brand logos on the tongue and back of the shoe. The only disadvantage in buying branded soccer shoes is that they are really quite expensive. It is worth checking out a few unbranded styles to see if you can find a good bargain, but as with any shoe it is not worth buying a cheap pair of bad-quality shoes that will fall apart after a few vigorous matches.