There are a lot of myths that make their way around the clubs and soccer sites, but none is as common or as erroneous as the idea that lightweight soccer shoes provide less protection than their heavier cousins. This a myth and I’m going to look at one type of shoe that has really suffered from this unfair criticism, the adidas F50 adiZero, to illustrate why:
Injuries are a fact of life in sports, but thankfully its rare to see someone break a bone or sustain any other kind of serious injury. Some people are under the impression the reason that so many players end breaking their metatarsals bones in their feet, is because they were wearing shoes that didn’t provide sufficient protection. This is wrong.
What leads to the breaking of a bone is a combination of the speed of an impact, the weight behind it, and the angle it came in at compared to where it impacted. For example, if hit a board on either end, it’s pretty hard to break it, but hit in the middle wear its weakest, and it will break with some ease. This holds true even if wrap the board in thick cloth or padding, because the structure of the board. The same holds true for your bones, and most breaks occur in the middle of a limb or bone for that reason. It doesn’t matter if your wearing a heavy shoe like the Nike Total 90 Laser, or a lightweight adidas F50 adiZero, at the right angle, and with the right force, your will still get a break.
The only way to adequately deflect the force behind a heavy tackle is to use a rigid material like a shin guard. The rigid structure of a shin guard works by first absorbing and then deflecting the force behind a tackle. A soccer shoe has to be flexible, and that’s what leaves you vulnerable. The material doesn’t really matter. It may protect you from some scrapes from other peoples cleats, but in the end its still gonna be the angle, speed, and weight behind the tackle that determines whether or not you get a break. It’s just not practical.
Even when wearing a shin guard, there are some tackles that are so hard, or come in at just the right angle to cause serious damage to your leg. Just ask Gabriel Cisse, or Nigel de Jong. The bottom line is, the cleats you wear won’t protect you or leave you vulnerable, they simply don’t make a difference. And when you are in the heat of the game, it’s more down to luck than anything else.
I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. It’s just my opinion.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
Recent posts in Product Reviews