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Athletes typically wear shoes designed specifically for
the sport they play and soccer players are no exception. Soccer cleats,
sometimes called soccer boots, are designed to provide players with excellent
control, traction, balance and maneuverability.
History of Soccer Cleats
King Henry VIII was one of the first known individuals to
own a pair of shoes worn just to play soccer. These shoes were made of strong,
heavy leather and hit about ankle-high.
Common folks of that time period started wearing their
steel-toe work boots when participating in the sport. Some players hammered
tacks or metal studs into the soles to increase stability and traction.
Modern soccer cleats were introduced in the late 1800s
once official game rules became integrated into the sport. These new rules
allowed players to wear footwear with rounded, leather studs, called cleats, on
the soles of the shoes.
Several companies started manufacturing soccer shoes,
including Hummel, Valsport and Gola, all of which are still in business today.
Over in Germany, the Dassler brothers introduced soccer shoes with removable
studs that could be changed according to playing conditions.
After World War II, the world started taking notice of
the amazing ball skills of the South American soccer players. Since those
excellent athletes were using lightweight, flexible footwear, Western
manufacturers started making lighter, more flexible soccer cleats as well.
The Dassler brothers had a falling out around 1948 and
Adolf Dassler founded Adidas while his brother Rudolf established Puma. Trying
to outdo one another, the brothers designed even lighter soccer shoes that came
with interchangeable screw-in studs made of either rubber or plastic.
Modern Soccer Cleats
Modern soccer cleats allow for larger surface areas that
provide better traction between the shoe and the ground as well as the shoe and
the ball. Today`s soccer shoes come in various high-quality materials much
lighter than the leather boots of yore.
Some of the more popular materials include lightweight
kangaroo leather, durable calfskin leather, water-resistant pittards leather
and a synthetic polyester material called Nanofront. This extremely lightweight
material is worn by numerous professional soccer players.
Kangaroo leather is commonly considered to be the most
comfortable material because it molds to the wearer`s feet. However, shoes made
of kangaroo leather also tend to be the most expensive.
Soccer shoes have come a long way since King Henry VIII
first strutted onto the soccer field back in the 1500s. Although soccer cleats
started out as a simple piece of protective apparel, this footwear has turned
into an essential piece of player equipment made with cutting-edge technology.
With today`s technology, you can not only buy first-rate soccer cleats, but you
can also enjoy watching your favorite soccer teams live.