First timers-selecting the right football boot.

There are a few important aspects in selecting a pair of shoes that I have come across:

Comfort more than looks when choice is limited.

Length: Every shoe manufacturer seems to have a different fit for a UK size 10! Start with a sample of the manufacturer that you like and try it. Leave at least half a size for toe impact while running. This can be painful while playing. Give a size and a half for children, they grow fast! A kid 5 years old outgrew his new pair in 5 months!

Width: Even while I procure from distribution channels, I find this as a challenge to source as a sports person. Its easy to get the length in a pair but a narrow choice when it comes to width. We all come in different sizes and this is a limited area especially when you visit sports stores. At Prakrida, we are working hard to have a choice of width as well.

Flat foot: There are insoles which can give you that boost. We are not yet close to manufacturing to order like in the developed areas.

Remember to try with both shoes on: Everyone will have a dominant foot and may be surprised it might be the other foot you didn't try on. Use a pair of stockings or 2, if you use them while playing while trying out your pair. Get the real feel. Check the shoe for flexibility. Leathers for example expand with moisture but these are the expensive variety these days. Synthetic is the norm and they don`t alter to moisture. The thicker the synthetic the more rigid they are typically. Boots also take to your feet after a while, for this loosen the lace to the top and tie it to your fit and re-assess.

Spend for use.

Evaluate your budget on: How often do you play? How many practice matches? How many training sessions? What is the surface you play on mud hard ground, soft ground, artificial grass? A lot of questions especially when you wear out your shoes quickly and have a budget.

If you are a beginner, it might make sense to go for the trainers to get you started for cost, grip and get your muscles acclimatized to take on your next pair of studs.

For a kid till about 12 years, its best to go in for a pair of trainers. This brings down the chances of injuries and accidents a whole lot while giving them the grip they need.

You could have a training pair that is economical for rough use and a match pair for performance.

Types: You have Trainers(Rubber studs)-TF/Firm Ground-FG/ Artificial Grass-AG/Soft Ground-SG/Indoor(Futsal)-IN types of shoes.

Its usually very tempting to go in for that flashy in pair of boots, like on TV. Only to shortly realize you have to give it away in view of injury caused by the wrong surface played on or that you have worn out an expensive pair on a poor surface at the wrong time.

None of the typical grounds, from my experience, support the shoes you see on the English Premier League on natural turf. These are the SG (soft ground) boots which are the equivalent of heels on the surfaces we play. A small pebble is enough for that ankle to snap. Follow the selection process and it will ensure you have the right comfort .

Typically go in for that trainers or AG/FG. FG especially for the monsoon.

I hope these suggestions help, happy boot shopping!

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