One of the most difficult questions to answer is when to replace your boots. There won’t always be an obvious tear or the upper splitting from the soleplate. It can be more subtle at times and its important to check from less obvious signs that your boots and wearing out and need to be replaced. We will look at some of these today.
Getting blisters from broken in boots
One of the first and most obvious signs that your boots are breaking down is that you may start to get blisters from your boots even though you hadn’t before or since you first bought the boots. Most of the time, the cause of this is that the boots support structure is breaking down or it can also be that the boots can also no longer hold their shape. Either one of these things happening to your boots will often result in blisters. There have been many times when I have seen this happen, and blisters will form mostly on the toes or the heel. The internal cause of this is that the lining may have worn out on the toe or the heel counter may have started to collapse. Whichever happens, this is a clear sign that you need new pair of boots.
Having pain in your foot after playing
Another way that you can tell that the support is failing in your boots is if you start to experience pain after using them when you haven’t felt pain after using them before. This also points to the structure and the support of the boot breaking down. This mostly happens when the lasting board, which connects the upper to the soleplate, begins to break down or break into pieces. It is recommended to check under your insole to if any tears or overfolding has happened to lasting board. If it has, you should replace your boots as soon as possible as playing with a boot that has a broken lasting board increases your chances of injury. So, if your feet start to feel pain after using your broken in boots, get a new pair.
Slipping when playing on the pitch
Sometimes after using a boot for a while, you may begin to slip a little bit while playing on the pitch. The cause of this can be the surface you are playing on, but if its never really happened and it seems to happen more after with your boots, it might be time to replace them. Again, sometimes this is because the structure of the boot is breaking down, but many times it is because the studs on the bottom of your boots may have worn down or started to lose their stability. I periodically check the studs on my boots to make sure they are not getting too worn down. Some scuffing and scraping on the studs is fine and even expected, but when they start to inhibit your performance, your boots should be replaced.
The insole is sliding around
The insoles in your boots may wear out quicker than the boots themselves. Quite a few people replace the insoles in their boots when their boots are still in good shape. A lot of insoles are not as durable as the rest of the materials that make up a football boot so there are times when only the insoles on a boot need to be replaced. Again, a little wear and tear is fine but when you begin to feel the insole sliding around, it might be a time for a new pair of insoles and not necessarily a new pair of boots. I will also warn everybody to never use insoles that have tears or holes in them as this greatly increases the chances of injury. It’s also worth mentioning that you might to replace the insoles of your footballs anyways as you can add support or enhance the fit of your boots this way. On top of this, many insoles that are sold separately tend to be more durable than the ones that often come with the boots.
It also needs to be pointed out that is you start hearing a clicking noise and any other out of the ordinary noises from your boots then they need to be replaced. Sometimes parts of the boot that are not readily obvious will break and will only be noticeable from the noises your boot might begin to make. And now for the most obvious bit, if your boot has holes, or the soleplate snaps or the heel counter completely collapses, please replace your boots. You will risk serious injury if you play in broken boots. In addition to this I’d also like to point out that most boots will separate slightly from the soleplate during use, this does not mean they need to be replaced unless it is a very large separation. At the very last thing is that normally boots should be replaced at least once a year. If you use your boots heavily, around 5 times a week, then they maybe even need to be replaced after 6 months.
Hopefully this will be a useful guide and if there is anything that I left out please let me know in the comments.
Please note that these boots in the article have been for almost a year.
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