Friday, June 02, 2006

The Boots 2006

The days are counting sown to the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 . All the participating teams are gearing up for the world’s biggest event, Soccer boots are the most important item in a footballer’s kit. Today’s slippers are lightweight hardwearing designed to help control the ball and maintain stability of the foot and leg in a variety of weather and surface conditions. Fierce rivalry between boot manufacturers gives a WYSIWYG approach to latest the styles which will all be on show in Germany. Many claims are made for their products but in essence they are mere clones of each other. In the last competition played in Greece four years ago, heat was the main problem which was overcome by introducing cooling systems into the boot and clever use of biomaterials specific to cool the feet and remove excess sweat form the skin surface. The German secret will be weight, with the lightest boot on show. Now on average soccer slippers weigh less than the winner’s medal (just over 2000grams). Lightweight boots are built with blades on the base to give stability and help the speed of the athlete. So as not be confused the shoes by themselves do not make a slow player go faster, that would be deceptive advertising. Instead lightweight slippers with traction will not hinder the athlete’s movements and if they can travel fast their shoes will not hinder. Added support features which prevent the foot moving within the shoe relate more to comfort and energy conservation more than speed per se but many manufacturers promote these as selling points.
adidas
launched the +F-50 Tunit , a soccer shoe that allows consumers to choose the upper; the insole; and the cleats, or studs to adapt to different playing conditions. Cleats are replaceable as is the shoe’s in sock and upper is available in 11 national team colours (including Australia). The Nike’s Mercurial vapor Total 90 series is another new kid on the block and will be on show at FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. The Nike Air Zoom Total 90 III FG is a lightweight shoe with a new asymmetrical and integrated lacing system which improves fit and touch on the ball, according to the manufacturers. Added heel support adds to greater player stability and injected midsole provides optimal comfort including reduction from stud pressure. Optimal traction is provided by a sole plate with new circular studs. The shoe is supported by spinal structural bars which is claimed to add motion control and improved stability during flight. Will it result in more goals at the games? Let's wait and see.

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