They can’t cover for everything
In the past year there has seemingly been an explosion of new grip sock companies on the market and its virtually impossible to miss them. This isn’t a bad thing though, since the more competition there is, the more everyone has to step up their game. The flip side of this is that it is almost expected that people will use grip socks with their boots. The big issue with that, it that its not always the case.
Even taking a quick look around my own team, of the 30 players in the squad about 8 of us use grip socks. Even across the league it isn’t the norm. The same goes for the professional level, where although a majority of players cut their socks, not everyone is using grip socks. Again, this shouldn’t be an issue but there seems to be a rise of people who think that if you wear certain boots, you should wear grip socks.
Part of this comes down to marketing. Nike, for example, advertises their NikeGrip technology on their insoles for their boots with the idea that wear their GripSocks with their boots will give you the best performance. Indeed, one of the most common feedback I (and others) received for my Vapor 13 review is that I didn’t get the performance or comfort I wanted because I didn’t wear grip socks when testing it. Now, when I review a boot I do sessions with and without grip socks. And I do have Tabio Sports for my go-to grip sock but as people like Jay will attest, the grip isn’t super strong on them, and they are mostly popular because of how well they fit my (and other’s) feet. In fact, the pair I wear for practice and lot of pictures has almost no grip left because I have used them so much, though the fit is still great.
What this all comes down to is boots should perform with or without grip socks. Grip socks are there to enhance the performance but not be required for said performance. Personally, I feel that too many people are pushing the whole “the boots work much better as long as you wear grip socks” rather than the boots performing well on their own merit. Again, this is why I don’t wear grip socks for most of reviews and boots will only get used with grip socks during matches.
So, if someone recommend boots to you but then follows that up with telling you that you need grip socks when wearing said boots, take their advice with a pinch of salt. Grip socks are great, but we shouldn’t have to rely on them to get the performance expected out of boots.
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