the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cruel Shoes or Kind Shoes?

But this was not an ordinary hideous pair of back and white pumps... Both were left feet. One had a right angle turn with sepa­rate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.
- excerpt from Cruel Shoes, by Steve Martin

We asked kickers, punters, and coaches to tell us a little bit about their kicking shoes...

"Like many other kickers, I wear the Copa Mundial by Adidas. Since the CFL is a RBK league, I have to colour in the three white stripes on the side. No Adidas logo can be showing or else I run the risk of being fined by the league. I also cut off the tongues so I can get cleaner contact on the ball and I buy the shoes two sizes too small so they fit really tight, like a glove. It's probably the only shoe I wouldn't mind kicking in out of the box on game day- I really like the soft K-leather."

"What kicking shoes?"

Nathan Chapman, Pro Kick Australia
"Adidas Copa Mundial for me, I like it because I can buy them really small and they mould really well to my foot so after a month they are fitting like a glove. As soon as they start getting older and loose I get a new pair."

Brandon Kornblue, Kornblue Kicking
"No piece of football equipment is more important to a kicker's success than the shoe. I always wanted a shoe that felt good and looked good. Kickers often talk about using a smaller sized shoe on their kicking foot, sometimes as much as 2 or 3 full sizes. I tried to use this technique but could only fit my size 11 foot into a 10 due to my foot width. I wished I had a higher pain tolerance or a narrower foot because I acknowledge that a smaller shoe makes ball-foot contact easier during placekicking. I always wore a different shoe on each foot. The kicking foot would get the softer leather and more form-fitting shoe, while the plant foot would get a shoe that offered more ankle stability and plant traction. My color preference was always black but the brand I used varied through the years. I initially used Nike's but when I got to the University of Michigan, I was influenced by teammates Jay Feely, Remy Hamilton, and a few other kickers who used Adidas Copa's. I tried them, loved 'em, and never found a more comfortable shoe. I used at least 5-10 different shoes in practice throughout my 7 year career in the Arena League but I always went back to the Copa during games."

Craig Pinto, Kicking 4 Celiac
"Black Nike Tiempos. Red Nike laces for good karma, and the tongue always to the left with the laces (I'm a lefty) so they don't get in the way of the sweet spot."

Michael Husted, National Camp Series
"Like most kickers, I used to wear soccer cleats a size or two smaller. Preferably kangaroo leather. I would:
  • Put on the new shoes and then soak them in bucket of water for about 10-15 minutes
  • Jog around and let them mold around my foot
  • File down the front/inside cleats so that they wouldn't grab the turf
  • Cut the tongue off the kicking shoe
  • Tuck my laces in
No matter what the surface, I would always wear the same shoe on my kicking foot. In college, I used to wear the Adidas Copas, but when I went to the NFL I switched to Nike (it was a no brainer since they offered me a contract to wear their shoes)."

Craig Hentrich, LEGacy Kicking
"Always wear a soccer shoe! They are flexible and fit a little tighter that normal football shoes. I am not, however, a believer that the kicking foot shoe should be 2 or 3 sizes smaller that the plant foot shoe. Some guys swear by this, but I believe in comfort. I will not perform well with my foot hurting from a super small shoe. The flexibility, in my opinion, is the most important characteristic that a kicking shoe should have because when we are making impact with the ball, our foot has to be locked out position. Anything that hinders this (i.e. a stiff shoe) will be a detriment to our consistency and power."

Brent Grablachoff, Kicking World
"I used the ‘Adidas Copa Mundial’ soccer cleat throughout my high school and college kicking career and it is still the most preferred kicking shoe among specialists in the NFL. Watch any NFL game and you will see one out of every few kickers or punters wearing them. Both Kickers and Punters can benefit from kangaroo leather soccer cleats like these. Kangaroo Leather is a soft and supple leather that molds to your feet and allows you to ‘feel’ the ball and control your kicks or punts. I highly recommend all my students wear a K-Leather kicking cleat. There are so many tricks and secrets kickers have for optimizing their kicking shoes. One I found quite useful over the years is to cut the tongue flap of your cleat and tuck in the laces on the outside corner so that you have a flush striking surface. Every little bit helps, even if it just makes you a little more confident! ... I actually wrote an entire blog post on the subject of ‘What are the Best Kicking Shoes?’"


adam tanalski said...

Team Tiempo,

The Nike Tiempo is by far the best kicking shoe, the leather, the weight the ability to by filed down. The shoe is a shoe every kicker can live with. They also make a hard ground, south ground, turf and indoor for all the different playing surfaces.

Hammer Kicking Academy
Adam Tanalski

Anonymous said...

I hear that wearing a shoe with traction points are bad...
I wore Adidas Predator cleats as a Freshman and i got the ball to go the DISTANCE but really its up to you

Anonymous said...

my toe next to my big toe is a slight bit longer than my big toe will this be an issue?

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