Black Magista soleplate

The truth of the matter is, after years of being a fly on the wall in this industry and watching every equipment release with bated breath, there are aspects of the gear world that can get a bit under the skin. Luckily, my bosses {big thanks to Tony/Drew/and especially Matt [gone but never forgotten;) ]} and long-time partner-in-crime Jordon have always asked me to be completely truthful with reviews, articles, and opinions every single time that I write a post for The Instep. So, when things finally build up to the point where they creep past my filter that exists as some sort of “self-preservation” in this industry, I have to share it.

Enter “The Boot Rant”…

My third target (the first was the idiotic “boots by position” and the second was boots claiming to make you better) is the notion of why you should only use certain stud patterns on certain surfaces.

Now, your favorite pair of boots to have used for years might be a pair of FG (firm ground) boots that you swear by when you go out to your AG (artificial ground) field…but, this post is not about your personal preference. If thinking that there is such a thing as “boots by position” or “boots improving your game” or that any stud pattern can be used wherever you want, then I have no right to try and take away something that makes you happy. However, I do have a right to put the record straight on a few mistakes that are happening with stud pattern choices.

First, you are voiding the warranty of your boots. Each pair of boots has a warranty that comes with the boots to ensure that they do not explode on you the second time you use them and are left without boots (and without a big chunk of cash). When something unfortunate happens to your new boots, you have the ability to return them to the manufacturer and retrieve a replacement pair of boots (if the boot has been released within the last year). However, when you wear an FG boot on turf or an SG (soft ground) boot on anything besides soft-ground, you void that warranty. That means that, no matter how short-lived your boots are or how defective a product might have been, you are out of luck. “How can they tell?” you may ask, and the answer is relatively easy for anyone that has seen the effects of wearing any boot on turf. There is a reason brands label their stud patterns for the most effective surface, so do not risk being left boot-less.

Second, people who are reviewing these boots and telling you how they perform are testing them on the wrong surface. While this may seem irrelevant, this can completely change how a boot is meant to perform and can completely alter the state of a review. If a boot is meant for FG surfaces, make sure that it was tested on FG surfaces! There were people reviewing the oft-maligned two-heel studded Vapor VIII/IX on turf and artificial surfaces, causing many reviews online to be completely wrong about how the boots perform! Nike would never want you to use such a stud pattern on a surface where a boot cannot dig in, yet reviews were still written where the stud pattern was panned because of its use on an improper surface. If the review talks about how well an FG boot does or does not perform on AG, it probably means that the boot was tested on the wrong surface. Not having the surface available is not an excuse to someone that claims to be writing to help you make a decision on boots…it is just being a poor reviewer.

Last, misusing certain stud patterns can result in absolutely terrible and career-threatening injuries. Plus, brands are becoming more and more user friendly as they release their boots in multiple soleplate options. Avoid the risk and take advantage of these new options by snagging the boot that is built for the surface that you spend the most time on. If you cannot afford two Superfly IV’s in order to use when you switch between FG and AG surfaces, then consider a cheaper option (so that you can get two different stud patterns) in order to have the proper footwear.

The Internet is chocked full of people trying to convince you that there is no reason to not just use a boot on whatever surface you want to use it on. However, this issue is more of something that you just need to be informed about. It also is terrible that people that claim to be helping you choose your next boot (boots that are not cheap) will test boots on the wrong surface…making the performance of the studs/break-in/and other aspects be completely altered. Think before you buy your next pair…and call out anyone trying to claim to be a reviewer that is making such a simple mistake. If you are going to spend the time reading a review, you deserve the best…

*end rant*


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