As spring approaches, five-a-side leagues up and down the country are getting back into gear. But with the British weather providing every sort of challenge to amateurs across the land, from torrential rain to swirling winds, footwear that will help you to deliver your best is essential.
When buying a new pair of astro turf boots, practicality is essential, but you will also be making a fashion statement.
The following have been chosen not only in terms of how they help your game, but also by how they look. Here are the best.
1. Adidas Goletto: £26, Sports Direct
A perennial favourite of five-a-side players across the UK, the Goletto’s big draw is its price. The iconic three-stripe branding gives it a no nonsense old-school look and the boots themselves provide sturdy protection and excellent grip in dry or wet weather. Comes in a variety of colour schemes.
2. Nike HypervenomX Proximo II Dynamic Fit: £140, Nike
The Hypervenom offers excellent all-round performance in all weather conditions. It is extremely light, so gives up a certain amount in protection to stray kicks. But the textured synthetic leather makes for good control and the unique lacing system means striking the ball with the top of your foot feels easier. The ankle-height, sock-like design gives good support, too. Comes in citrus green or black.
3. Adidas X Tango 16.1: £83.97, Adidas
More like a slipper than a traditional boot, the Adidas X-16 feels unlike anything on the market. “Zero slip-in time” means it feels immediately comfortable as the insole moulds to your foot. Control of the ball is excellent – it feels almost as if you’re playing in bare feet. The flip side is you don’t feel overly protected by any stray kicks. The extremely high top line means you will certainly be noticed.
4. Under Armour ClutchFit Force 2.0: £45, Under Armour
Extremely light yet well cushioned, Under Armour’s latest offering feels comfortable underfoot. What it gives up in attractiveness – a giant X on the side will not be to everyone’s liking – it more than makes up for in traction and control. The unusual rubber covering gives a textured feel and excellent grip on the ball. Comes in black or high-vis yellow.
5. New Balance Visaro: £48, New Balance
A multi-coloured boot built for the more confident five-a-side player, the Visaro is another light-weight boot offering a surprising amount of protection. The down side is the relative lack of grip, as the outsole lacks rubber studs as deep as its competitors. The synthetic upper does not offer fantastic grip in wetter conditions, but the off-centre lace design is good for ball striking with power. Comes in four different colour schemes.
6. Puma EvoPower Vigor 4 TT: £51, Puma
With its fluorescent green styling, this is another pair of boots which certainly won’t be missed. We found the sole gives good grip on the pitch, thanks to the multiple studs which pretty much cover the bottom of the boot, and the flexible upper gives good ball control. As the name would suggest, these boots are aimed at those after extra power in their shots, and we found it easy to get good connection with the ball when striking.
7. New Balance Audazo Pro: £48, New Balance
The Audazo is an attractive, high-performance shoe with good breathability due to its distinctive collar and tongue design. It looks more like a tennis shoe than a football boot, but it nonetheless provides a good deal of comfort and protection. An unusual downside comes in the fact that getting lift on the ball is made more difficult due to the relatively raised outsole around the toe. Comes in white or blue colour schemes.
The Verdict: Astro turf football boots
For pure performance, you can’t beat the Nike HypervenomX, but the price may be off-putting. For all but the most serious five-a-side players, the Adidas Goletto provides perhaps the best value for money. At £26 you get a comfortable fit and a boot that will last.
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