Probably the most important equipment used for football is the football ball ... of course. Football balls come in different sizes: 3, 4, & 5. Regulation balls comes with a stamp that says either "official size & weight" or "FIFA Approved".
Even if the football ball is the official weight, some balls are heavier & harder than others. An unregulated soccer balls can be uncomfortably heavy or hard making it painful to kick the ball thus knowing your football is most important.
It's difficult to over emphasise the importance of having well fitted football boots.
The first record of football boots were in the days of Henry VIII in 1526 but in the past half a century or so things have moved on leaps and bounds. Studs are now generally considerable obsolete with most players wearing moulds or blades.
There is a huge variety of boots available at wildly varying prices, but the most expensive ones on the market won't necessarily be the best ones for you, and they certainly won't make you a better player. The problem with the new style of boots has been the lack of protection the boot gives to the top of the foot. The now infamous metatarsal bone has been broken many times in recent years during football matches and a lot of the blame on that has gone on the new style of boots, which provide a 'slipper-like' feel but fails to protect the foot from serious injury.
Football boots from the 1920s
So when you're choosing your next pair, forget style and think about practicality and comfort.
Firstly, try and understand the shape of your feet and your running style.
Also think about if you are flat-footed or have a high arch.
Ideally, football boots will fit snugly, although during teenage years with feet still growing it is advisable to allow some room to compensate.
Leather and synthetic boots are both available.
There are advantages with each and you should make your own judgement by trying both.
Leather moulds itself to the shape of your feet but can stretch out of shape in wet conditions.
Synthetic boots are often lighter and less expensive.
Try and find soft "uppers" that give you the best control of a ball - you may even find that a boot that combines leather and synthetics is best for you.
The position of the laces can vary on boots.
Some manufacturers offer boots which have the laces moved slightly down the outside of the boot, the aim being that it creates a larger and cleaner surface area on the top of the boot to control and strike the ball.
A boot with moulded studs can have anything from 12 to 16 studs on its base.
These boots are usually best used on dry pitches.
The large number of studs gives you better support over a wider area, and they also reduce the risk of getting blisters.
If the conditions are wet or muddy then moulded studs will not give a particularly good grip compared to screw-in studs.
Screw In Studs
Boots with screw-in studs are the most popular in Europe.
They offer a player the opportunity to adjust their footwear depending on the conditions.
If the pitch is particularly muddy then it is a good idea to use a longer set of studs, changing to shorter studs on a drier day.
And an extra set of studs is cheaper to buy than another pair of boots.
When changing or tightening studs, it is a good idea to apply a bit of grease to the thread, to prevent rusting.
A sole made up of a series of blades is also available.
A more recent innovation, these boots are said to make turning easier.
The depth of the blade can change from model to model.
And it is now possible to buy blades that can be changed dependent on the conditions.
If you are playing on an all-weather surface, such as astroturf, then special shoes with multiple rubber pimples are the best choice.
They will provide the best grip, without which you could find yourself with cuts and burns on your legs.
Astroturf boots also cushion your feet against some of the constant pounding on a hard surface.
They are also useful on a dry, hard grass pitch at the start of a season.
Caring For Your Boots
Nobody likes cleaning their boots after a game.
Why else do you think the professionals used to always pass on their boots to the young apprentices?
Neither Kevin Phillips, who cleaned the boots of Alan Shearer at Southampton, or Steve McManaman, who was the boot boy of John Barnes, have suffered too greatly from it. So keeping your boots in good order will see you in good company.
Here are some tips to keep those kickers in prime condition
Not only is it in the best interests of your health to wear shinguards, a referee should ensure that all players are wearing them.
Shinguards are available in a number of different materials, so it's best to try on a number of pairs to find which feel most comfortable for you.
You should be looking for a shinguard that will give you good protection but not restrict your movement.
A particularly popular type are those which loop around under the foot and are then held in place on the upper calf by a Velcro strap.
These will usually have extra padding around the ankle and Achilles tendon area, which is very beneficial.
Shin Pads in 1920s
Ankle protection is particularly important for a striker, while a defender will be best served by a heavier, and greater-protecting, shinguard.
Fibreglass shinguards will give great protection and are lightweight, making them a very good choice for youth players.
Plastic shinguards are generally the cheapest and still give good protection.
In football, as in a number of sports, kit refers to the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The term "kit" should be distinguished from a "strip", which refers to just the shirt, shorts and socks, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, and also prohibit the use of anything that is dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating, that in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire.
Footballers generally wear identifying number on the backs of their shirts. Originally a team of players wore numbers from 1 to 11, corresponding roughly to their playing positions, but at the professional level this has generally been superseded by squad numbering, whereby each player in a squad is allocated a fixed number for the duration of a season. Professional clubs also usually display players' surnames or nicknames on their shirts, above (or, infrequently, below) their squad numbers.
Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport, when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. In the twentieth century boots became lighter and softer, shorts were worn at a shorter length, and advancements in clothing manufacture and printing allowed shirts to be made in lighter synthetic fibres with increasingly colourful and complex designs. With the rise of advertisting in the 20th century, sponsors' logos began to appear on shirts, and replica strips were made available for fans to purchase, generating significant amounts of revenue for clubs.