Soccer Cleats are perhaps the most crucial article for a soccer player. Cleats help provide players with improved operating and switching abilities on the turf. The cleats help grip the field, allowing players to change course rapidly and without obtaining any serious injury. Whenever you are devoid of cleats that may constrain you to the floor nicely, altering paths rapidly can be an extremely difficult and challenging feat particularly on a moist and slippery playing field. Below are some interesting and entertaining facts regarding cleats:
History of Cleats
Before the start of world-wide production of cleats, players used to innovate by adding bits of buckskin to the underside of their boots. This helped them in acquiring a more powerful grip.
First Pair of Cleats
The earliest known pair of cleats was created for England’s King Henry VIII in the 16th century. The king’s personal shoemaker was asked to create a pair of shoes for him that were stronger and provided much better grip than the his usual boots for the purpose of playing soccer.
It was not until the 19th century that the first studded cleats were produced. These modernized soccer cleats consisted of heavy leather boots with steel toes and had metal studs hammered into the sole for traction and grasping purposes. By 1938, more than 1,000 pairs of these modernized soccer cleats were being made each day.
Different Types of Cleats
There are actually three different types of cleats designed for different kinds of playing surfaces. Cleats designed for soft grounds have removable blades or studs. These studs vary in size and are made specifically for softer fields. Cleats produced for firm surfaces have studs or blades built into the sole of the shoe that are designed for typical fields offering a moderate amount of traction. Cleats designed for hard playing surfaces have dozens of tiny grips across the sole to provide traction and adherence on extremely hard grounds or artificial turfs.
No Law Governing the Use of Cleats
This might come as a surprise to many but the rules that govern soccer internationally do not require players to wear cleats. The rules only require players to wear footwear. Many competitive soccer players chose to wear cleats when playing on natural grass. However, they may opt to use turf shoes when playing on artificial turf. Children and recreational players may choose to wear sneakers rather than cleats to avoid unwanted injuries.
Oldest Existing Cleat Companies
There are several soccer cleat producing companies that are older than Adidas (1924) and are still in existence. Among these oldest existing cleat companies include Gola (1904), Valsport (1920) and Hummel (1923).
Puma & Adidas
In 1948 The rival cleat brands of Adidas and Puma were officially formed in the year 1948. What is so unique about these companies is the fact that two brothers named Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler (das) laid the foundation of Adidas before they had a rift and Rudolf left Adidas to establish his own company. And that company is none other than Puma!
In the World Cup Finals of 1966, an amazing 75% of the players sported the Adidas soccer cleat, signaling the dominance of Adidas on the market at that time.
Cleats with Interchangeable Screws
Rudolf and his company Puma went on to launch the first soccer cleat with interchangeable screws. The cleat was named “Puma Atom.”
Best Selling Cleat
The world’s best selling soccer cleat to have ever been designed is the Copa Mundial by the leading brand Adidas. The Copa Mundial was designed in the year 1979 and it is still a top sellar in the market even today.
Nike Soccer Cleats
Nike stamped their name on the soccer cleat industry in the year 1998 after the release of the famous Nike Mercurial soccer cleat. Nike now stands among the top two of the biggest soccer cleat manufacturing brands in the world today.
Most Expensive Soccer Cleats
Among the most expensive soccer cleats are David Beckham’s own personalized soccer cleats which cost over $500. Beckham is known to sport a new pair in every match. He has had the names of his three children sewn into the cleat along with symbols of Feng Shui. Top notch soccer cleats like the Mercurial Vapor VI FG are often listed to cost more than $200.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation set a world record in the year 2009 for the longest chain of soccer cleats ever. They tied 11,904 cleats tied together to create a huge chain and surpassed the previous record of 10,500 cleats. This record was set at a conference of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the cleats were later donated to the underprivileged children. The conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri.