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Do Modern Football Boots Cause More Foot Injuries

Updated: May 31

Modern Football boots are designed to be super lightweight and built for speed. Made from 'flyknit' materials and synthetics modern Football boots offer less protection than thicker 'old-fashioned' leather football boots which may increase the risk of causing an injury to your foot.

What Is The Result Of Wearing Lightweight Modern Football Boots

Due to the thin protection on the upper and soleplate, the number of injuries that have occurred has increased since the year 2000 in particular metatarsal injuries which can take 6-12 weeks to heal, while less serious injuries such as cuts and bruising which can occur from having your foot stood on can easily lead to a few weeks on the sideline. The lack of any upper ankle support reduces stability and can lead to an increase in the risk of ankle sprains and strains which can again lead to injuries, with a time between 4 and 6 months on the sidelines depending on the severity of the injury.

A Brief History - How Foot Protection Of Football Boots Has Changed Over The Years

History Of Football Boots 1960-2020
Changes In Football Boot Design 1960-2020

1960's Football boots were made from leather and include laces up the ankle for increased strength and support to protect your foot.

1970's Football boots were again made from leather but had less upper ankle support and protection to allow increased flexibility and movement bur decreasing protection.

1980's Improved leather and fitting and complete loss of heel cuff made a more lightweight boot and comfort for the player but again at a loss of protection to the foot.

1990's Introduction of rubber, plastic onto leather upper started to see a rapid change in football boot design while the leather thickness still offered some protection.

2000's Synthetic materials used in the upper boot became more popular as it was lighter and less costly to the manufacturer while marketed as a speed and control benefit. This though led to less protection on the upper to metatarsal injuries.

2010's More advanced materials were tried with various combinations of flynit and synthetics to improve fit control and speed. Upper thickness remained thin and no protection to now common blade type studs.

2020's The modern-day Football boot has incorporated many features of earlier football designs. The higher ankle cuff looks to give support but in fact gives no extra stability, while synthetic and flynit upper offers little protection.

Top 5 most famous injuries caused by modern football boots

David Beckham - 2002 (Recovery Time - 7 Weeks)

He was probably one of the first players to suffer from the metatarsal injury back in 2002. It happened during a Champions League match between Manchester United and Deportivo La Coruna in April 2002 - just before the World Cup.

It was a horror tackle from Pedro Duscher and many believed that Beckham would not recover in time for the World Cup that year.

However, he made an impressive recovery and played in all of the matches for England just 2 months later.

Wayne Rooney - 2006 (Recovery Time - 14 Weeks)

It was a couple of months before the 2006 World Cup and Wayne Rooney was playing against Chelsea. During the game, the Englishman clashed with Paulo Ferreira, thus suffering a fourth metatarsal injury on his right foot.

It looked as if the former Manchester United forward would not recover in time for the World Cup. However, just 2 days before the squad was to be announced for the big event, scans revealed that the problem was on mend and that he would make it for the World Cup.

He made an impressive recovery for the World Cup, though he did miss the group stage matches.

Lionel Messi 2006 (Recovery Time - 12 Weeks)

The Barcelona superstar has also suffered from this metatarsal injury when he was 19-year-old.

He suffered from the fifth metatarsal injury on his left foot as the 19-year-old which happened while playing against Las Palmas in the opening minutes of the game.

The Argentine missed 3 months of action after successfully undergoing a surgery but he did recover just in time for the El Clasico where he became the 1st player, in over 12 years, to score a hattrick from either of the clubs.

Gabriel Jesus 2017 (Recovery Time - 10 Weeks)

The Brazilian scored thrice in his first five appearances for Manchester City before suffering from a metatarsal injury on his right foot. It happened in February 2017 while playing against Bournemouth which City won 2-0.

The Brazilian striker had broken his metatarsal bone in his right foot, scans had confirmed. He was subbed off in the 1st half after he attempted to reach for a cross but ended up landing on his ankle heavily.

Neymar 2018 (Recovery Time - 12 weeks)

The world's most expensive player suffered from a somewhat mysterious foot injury and was sidelined for a couple of months before getting back on the field.

PSG confirmed that the Brazilian had to fly to Brazil and underwent surgery that keept him out of action for a few months.

How Can Footballers Improve Protection To Their Foot And Avoid Injury?

The Empowerband Football Ankle Support fits over your boot covering your midfoot metatarsals and ankle reducing and absorbing impact damage from tough tackles while increasing stability to prevent ankle sprains as you play. Made from tough durable silicone rubber infused on a nylon support frame with a depth of 2-3mm it provides a super lightweight solution to increase support and protection to your Football boot and help prevent injury to your foot.


Jenna Stuart
Jenna Stuart
Sep 11, 2021

Great posst thankyou

Sep 11, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Jenna much appreciated 👍

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