Explosive energy, lightning fast reflexes, and top-notch speed—these are the traits you need to succeed on the gridiron.
As an athlete, your goal is to push the physical and mental limits of your body in order to continue to improve your skills on the playing field. For the perfect pair of training shoes, the goal is to complement those skills and help you achieve your full performance potential.
Whether you’re looking to go pro, or simply trying to move up the depth chart, a comfortable pair of training shoes can make all the difference in helping you achieve greatness. The bottom line is, if you’re comfortable, you’ll stay in the gym longer—which means you’ll continue to improve as your competition fails to keep up.
There are many contributing factors to choosing the perfect pair of football training shoes. Sure, there are the obvious ones like comfort and support, but there’s more to it than that. An ideal training shoe should be well-rounded; it should have your back, not hold you back.
The following is a comprehensive guide to picking out a pair of trainers that will step your game up this season, and or many more seasons to come. It’s time to lace up, and we’re here to help you through the process.
Written by Gurvinder Singh Gandu (@GurvinderSG)
If a training shoe doesn’t fit properly, you’re going to be more focused on your feet rather than your reps. As an athlete, that’s something you want to avoid at all costs. There’s more to a well-fitting shoe than meets the eye. There’s the obvious size aspect of it, but there are other contributing factors to a solid fit that are equally as important to consider. For example, an athlete with wide feet will require shoes with a more spacious toe box than someone who’s feet are narrow. Similarly, the ideal training shoe has to fit snug enough around the ankle for a locked-in fit, but not to the point where it limits mobility and causes discomfort.
You never know where your next workout will take you. Needless to say, a solid training shoe needs to be able to perform consistently on any type of terrain, in any type of weather. Whether it’s in the gym or out on the field, athletes need to be able to rely on their shoes to keep their feet under them. The amount of traction a shoe offers boils down to the type of material used on the outsole, as well as its lug pattern. While most training shoes tend to feature a traditional rubber sole, brands like adidas have employed new polymer technology into outsole construction for a truly unique and effective approach. Of course you still need some rubber material for gripping the surface.
Let’s face it—football players tend to be a bit more brolic than other athletes. As a result, they need footwear that can provide ample support and stability in order to help reduce the risk of injury. When dealing with training shoes, support comes in numerous forms. The shoe has to feature a wide enough stance to help maintain balance, and should have proper support around the ankle, heel, and midfoot for an efficient foot strike.
The perfect training shoe should move with the foot, not against it. In other words, flexibility is key when it comes to getting the most out of your workouts and developing the mechanics to be faster and more explosive on game day. While most footwear brands achieve this via strategically placed flex grooves on the outsole, others have begun to employ next-gen technology that uses individually tuned state-of-the-art blades that work together to help propel athletes forward and literally add a spring in your step—talk about the ultimate advantage.
If you’re doing it right, you’re likely to work up quite a sweat during your training. The way to counteract that and to keep the moisture in check is with a shoe that has the proper ventilation to help regulate foot temperature. Like most other performance shoes, ones for training generally tend to feature an open mesh upper construction, which allows air to flow in and out with ease. Strategically placed perforations also increase a shoe’s breathability, allowing athletes to push the limit without overheating.
You don’t train your ass off to get noticed; you do it for the love of the game. However, it doesn’t hurt to look good while working hard. While training shoes today don’t quite have the same design appeal as the cross-trainers from the ’80s and ’90s, brands today tend to go with a more progressive approach that works equally as well, if not better.
With the popularity of cross-training at an all-time high, solely pumping iron in the gym isn’t going to cut it anymore. These days it’s all about incorporating various types of workouts into your routine in order to get well-rounded results. Therefore, the ideal football training shoe should be versatile enough to take you from the weight room to the field without skipping a beat. It should give athletes the freedom to break the mold and truly test their limits.
The training doesn’t stop just because the weather takes a nasty turn. To be the best you have to overcome adversity, and sometimes that means toughing it out no matter what nature throws your way. Rain, hail, sleet, snow—to get a leg up on the competition, you’ll need a shoe with a consistent output, and one that won’t buckle under inclement conditions.
Simply put—a perfect training shoe should keep going long after you’ve hit the proverbial wall. You don’t have time to waste on buying a new pair of trainers every other month because your last ones couldn’t hold their own. You need a shoe that will last—one that is durable in all facets of the word, including an upper that can provide long-term protection against debris and such, as well as a sturdy frame that will bend but won’t break.
If a training shoe isn’t comfortable, you may as well strap some rocks to your feet and call it a day. While the notion of comfort varies from user to user, the core idea is the same here: the right shoe should require a minimal break-in period, should have exceptional step-in feel, and should incorporate a majority of the aforementioned traits. At the end of the day, the whole point of footwear is to provide comfort without sacrificing performance. You’ll know if a shoe is comfortable when you don’t have to think twice about it.