Sunday, July 28, 2019

The start of International Football




The first international game was between Scotland v England (1872). Inclement weather caused the first fixture to be cancelled but a rescheduled game took place on November 30th 1872.



The meeting of the Auld Enemy took place at the West of Scotland, Cricket Ground in Patrick, Glasgow. Newspaper reports described the players wearing heavy boots with thick woolen socks.



Contemporary adverts indicate the boots were made from heavy calf leather and worn above the ankle similar to engineer's boots. Metal studs on the sole gave greater traction but the design patterns were serendipitous. Boot's toecaps were reinforced and fluted in shape.



Two years later, shin guards were worn for the first time and these were adapted from cricket. The pads were worn against the lower leg and strapped to the top of the stockings but left to hang outside. Movement was severely restricted but the game then was played in a more leisurely manner. Physical restriction prevented athleticism in the manner common to the modern game.



Official international matches started on the continent at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and the first tournament took place in London as part of the 1908 Olympics. The new sport was regarded somewhat suspiciously and considered, by many, as an exhibition rather than competition. Between 1909 and 1913 many non-European countries joined forces with FIFA. Despite disruption caused by the First World War, FIFA continued to promote international soccer competitions through the Olympic movement until 1930 when the first World Cup was help in Montevideo, Uruguay.



The 1930 World Cup final between Uruguay and Argentina and was broadcast on the radio for the first time. This brought millions of armchair fans to the international game which was one by Uruguay 4–2.


(Video Courtesy: footballgreeece by Youtube Channel)


Reviewed 29/07/2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

Women’s feet, soccer boots and common injuries




Soccer is the world’s most popular organised sport with over 265 million males and 34 million females registered with the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The popularity of soccer among girls and women in all parts of the world is on the increase at a time when some claim the continued absence of gender specific soccer boots creates multiple problems, injury, and reduced participation for women soccer players. According to (Wunderlich and Cavanagh , 2001) there are sufficient anthropometric foot variations to make the present practice of down-sizing men’s boots potentially hazardous for women players.



Men have longer and broader feet for a given stature and according to Wunderlich and Cavanagh (2001) there are two calf, five ankle, and four foot shape variables, in men and women’s feet. They discovered gender differences in the navicular height at the arch, the lateral side of the foot, the first toe angle, and the girth of the forefoot at the ball of the foot. Women’s feet generally have a narrower heel (where the shoe grips the back of the foot), a wider forefoot causing them to currently prefer smaller fittings to accommodate the heel and, higher arches and a significantly pressure load under the foot caused by their wider hips. This study highlighted female feet and legs were not simply scaled-down versions of male anatomy but rather differ in a number of shape characteristics. These differences, they author claim should be taken into account in the design and manufacture of women's sport shoes.



Most reported injuries (60%) in women’s soccer are located in the lower extremities (Junge and Dvorak, 2007). Female soccer players risk knee and ankle injuries with Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury four times more frequently than their male counterparts. According to published data the majority of ACL injuries occur in non-contact situations. According to the NCAA, women soccer players have the third-highest ACL injury rates in NCAA sports behind men’s spring football and women’s gymnastics. The most frequently diagnosed injuries were ligament (ankle) sprains (25.7 percent), followed by muscle strains (21.5 percent), contusions (15.9 percent) and concussions (9.2 percent). Women soccer players were nearly three times more likely to be injured in a game (14.4 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures) than in practice (5.0 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures). Pre-season has the highest overall injury rate (9.1 per 1,000 athlete exposures), while the post-season has the lowest (3.8 per 1,000 athlete exposures) as compared to the in-season injury rate of 6.8 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures. Contact with other players accounted for the majority of injuries. The most common activity at the time of injury during competition was general play (30.8 percent), followed by defending (16.0 percent), heading (10.1 percent), ball handling and dribbling (9.7 percent), loose ball (8.1 percent) and goaltending (6.6 percent). The action of heading the ball ranks sixth as the most common activity at the time of injury. Although a player's age may not affect injury characteristics such as such as type, body location, and severity, the longer you play and the more training you do, does increase the potential to injury . Research confirms, higher game injury rates in male soccer and these have been attributed to greater physical intensity of play during games.



The aetiology of soccer injuries is multi-factorial and “intrinsic” factors such as general condition, muscle tightness should be distinct from “extrinsic” factors such as weather conditions and playing surfaces etc. There are however, some indications suggesting a link between footwear and ACL injuries. The most common mechanism of a non-contact ACL rupture is a deceleration event and a sudden change in direction with a planted foot (i.e. cutting manoeuvre). At the end of the last millennium Asics developed an innovative cleat designed to help prevent rotational collateral damage to the knee, reported in Australian Rules Footie players. The prototype shoes soon became popular with other football codes including Australian soccer players. The Asics system allowed optimal traction without hindering the player from running freely on hard or artificial surfaces. Similar cleat patterns were incorporated within contemporary soccer boot design but increasing reports of players misusing their cleats to damage opposition players meant the innovation had a brief run before traditional stud patterns once again prevailed.

References
Del Coso J, Herrero H. and Salinero JJ 2018 Injuries in Spanish female soccer players Journal of Sport and Health Science Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 183-190
Giza E, Mithöfer K, Farrell L, Zarins B, and Gill T 2005 Injuries in women’s professional soccer British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005;39:212-216.
Junge A and Dvorak J 2007 Injuries in female football players in top‐level international tournaments Br J Sports Med; 41(Suppl 1): i3–i7.
Mufty S, Bollars P, Vanlommel L, Van Crombrugge, K. Corten K , Bellemans J 2015 Injuries in male versus female soccer players : Epidemiology of a nationwide study Acta Orthop. Belg., 81, 289-295
Brookshire B. Ottwell E. 2016 Women in sports are often underrepresented in science Studies of competitive sports and exercise are still dominated by men Science News
Sentsomedi KS, Puckree T 2016 Epidemiology of injuries in female high school soccer players Afr Health Sci. 16(1): 298–305.
women’s soccer injuries Data from the 2004/05-2008/09 Seasons NCAA
Vojdinoski C 2019 Melbourne startup Ida Sports is on a mission to create the ideal football boots for women startupdaily.net
Wunderlich RE, Cavanagh PR 2001 Gender differences in adult foot shape: implications for shoe design Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Apr;33(4):605-11.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Evolution of Women’s Soccer Boots




Contemporary pictures of amateur teams (circa 1870) display a mixed bunch of rugged work boots. The only regulation governing boots relates to anything that may endanger their opponents.

Rule 13#: No player shall be allowed to wear projecting nails, iron plates, or gutta percha on the soles or heels of his boots.

Football boots emerged as an essential part of the sport in the late 19th century. when teams appear to wear the same boots. The men's winter game was often played in extreme weather and both boots and ball progressively got heavier as wet conditions prevailed. Sports clothing was worn for protection from the elements as much as decency and could be quite restrictive by comparison to today’s ultra-lite soccer kits. Early British football was very slow and not yet a spectators' spectacle. The game was considered more for participants and the general public was not actively encouraged to attend.



Both rugby and soccer boots evolved from engineer's boots (brogans ). Early photographs are testament to the availability of stout footwear (Denvir, 1979) and these were commissioned for public school boys, made by local boot makers to a quality superior to most workmen's boots of the 19th century. The distinguishing features were the boots were high cut to give extra support to the ankle and had a strengthened toecap in iron hard leather. Players used long laces to tighten their boots, As the popularity of football grew and clubs began to spring up across the UK, massed produced football boots were more the order of the day.



In 1880 boots began to incorporate a strap, narrow on the inside of the foot, which crossed over the bottom two or three rows of eyelet's, winding to the outside of the foot. This gave greater protection to the toes as players used the top of the foot to kick the ball and give it lift. Today, players use the side of their feet to pass the ball.



To increase ground grip, the soles of the boots incorporated metal tacks but Rule 13 prevented these in official matches. They were replaced in 1890 with new plugs made from layers of leather an idea borrowed from hockey boots. Studs (sometimes referred to as cleats) were positioned to avoid isolated pressure points and unnecessary irritation of the foot. In the area of the hindfoot they were located towards the outside of the sole to avoid buckling. The common formation was six studs, two distal and proximal to the metatarsal heads and two on the posterior aspect of the heel.



By 1900 the soccer boot was a recognisable entity and not just modified footwear adopted from other sports. The Shurekik Boota was made from russet calf with fluted toecap and sold in 1901 for a cost 8/6d ($1.26A). In 1925, makers began to include removable studs to the boot design. To complete leg protection shin guards cost between 1/6d (22c Aus) and 2/11d (45c Aus); and football hose varied between 1/11d (30c Aus) and 4/11d (75c Aus). Professional players received 2/6 (37c. Aus) per game and some were paid special bonuses in addition depending on their skill. The sum varied according to the size of the crowd but even the best players seldom got bonuses over 2/11 (45c Aus). Boots cost three times that amount.



According to Morris (1981) 'baggy shorts and heavy boots" style remained the dominant costume theme, right up to the Second World War.



As women’s soccer gained greater popularity, bootmakers down sized versions of men's boots. These were made to a last model for men’s sizes (a mechanical shoe form in which shoes are built upon) with the arch placement, height, traction and stud size all built for the male foot. No consideration whatsoever was given to gender difference in anatomy. At the time, soccer boots were not intended to be super comfortable and it was fully anticipated during inclement weather they would become heavier. Football boots weighed approx. 500 grams when dry and twice as much when wet. Unlike today bespoke footwear it was the rare exception to have boots made to specific requirements. Players (male and female) wore heavy boots, which makes the early achievement of women’s soccer all the more remarkable.



One plausible explanation why soccer in the northern hemisphere became a winter sport was described by Manley (1992). The Medieval custom was to kill live stock in November in preparation for winter sustenance and this gave an excess of pig's bladders. Poet, Alexander Barclay (1476 - 1552) described this in 1508:

They get the bladder and blowe it great and then
With many beans or peasons put within
It ratleth, soundeth, and sineth cleare and fayre
With foot and with hande the bladder for to smite
If it falls to the grounde they lifte it up agayne
The sturdy plowmen, lustie, stronge and bolde.

Many historians accept the reason for the late edition soccer to sport despite its popularity was the lack of a uniform shaped ball, suitable for kicking. The pig bladder footballs were never a standard shape or size and all depended on the size and shape of the pig's bladder. The more irregular the bladder, the more unpredictable behaviour came once the ball once kicked. The pig’s bladder ball was blown up by mouth through clay pipes and lacked a standard pressure. Shoemakers covered the gaps with stitches to make the ball feel harder and more durable.



At the Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London (1851), bootmaker, William Gilbert from Rugby, Warwickshire, in England, had two exhibits i.e. around leather ball suitable for dribbling; and an ovoid ball for a game of carrying and handling. Gilbert had previously made his reputation as supplier of rugby balls to Rugby School and his wares were considered superior and harder than any rivals. He made his fortune selling oval balls not only in England but also to Australasia. The Gilbert name is still a major manufacturer of rugby products today. It took until 1855 to produce the first vulcanized rubber football and the panel pattern was similar to a traditional basketball. William Gilbert originally worked for H.J Lindon who tragically lost his wife when she contracted a lung disease thought to be caused by blowing up many hundreds of pig's bladders. Whether this inspired him or not remains unknown, but Lindon developed the first inflatable rubber bladder in 1862. This ensured the ball remained hard and oval. The first competition ball was used in a game in 1863.



In 1863 the English Football Association was established and they set out written rules for the game. At first there was no reference to the dimensions of the ball. However, in 1872 they decided to regulate the ball dimensions.

“the ball must be spherical with a circumference of 27 to 28 inches with a weight at the start of the game of 13-15 ounces “

This is still very much in force today with FIFA, the only change being in 1937, the weight increased to 14-16 ounces.

Once the English Football League in 1888 and the Scottish League in 1890 the demand for footballs increased. Companies like Mitre and Thomlinson's of Glasgow started to mass produce standard competition footballs. Strength of the leather and the skills of the cutters and stitchers were the main factors in producing a football that would retain shape. The top-grade covers were made with leather from the rump of a cow while lower quality balls were made from the shoulder. Advances in ball design came with the development of interlocking panels instead of the previously used leather sections that met at the north and south poles of the ball. The balls were then produced with a more acceptable round shape.



By the nineteenth century strong rubber bladders were available which could withstand intense heavy pressure. Balls made from inner tubes and covered with heavy brown leather were light enough to bounce yet could be kicked. The leather outer was made by stitching 18 sections of tanned leather arranged in six panels of three strips each. The sections were stitched together by hand with five-ply hemp, leaving a small lace up slit on one side. This was done with the ball was turned inside out and once completed the whole sphere was reversed to turn inside out. A collapsed rubber bladder was inserted through the open slit and then inflated to the approved pressure. The slit was then laced tight. The ball was ideal for kicking but proved painful when using the head due to the heavy stitching. No exception was made for women's soccer.



Soccer balls were made from cowhide which presented two major problems. Balls made from natural hide varied in quality depending upon which part of the cow had been used to make the ball. Footballs varied in thickness and quality and the leather often degraded during play. A second problem related to the ability for cowhide to absorb water and became heavier as the game progressed. This slowed the game down and made heading difficult and painful. Later when a new type of inflatable valve was invented this improved the ball surface and footballs were made completely lace-less. Heading the ball and dribbling became easier and when waterproofing the ball became possible this completed the revolution.





Most authorities agree changes to the design of football boots took place after the Second World War, when there was a dramatic increase in international fixtures. This was made possible by improved air travel and transcontinental travel brought soccer players from the colder climes of Europe into contact with their Mediterranean and South America counter-parts. In warmer climates players wore less restrictive clothing, had flexible boots more suited to the climate and conditions. The Latin game was played faster and provided opportunity for athleticism rarely seen in the traditional European game. Radio broadcasts followed by televised sport meant more spectators could appreciate the novel Latin styles and appreciation of their skills caused a revolution in play and clothing. Boots became sports shoes allowing players to become athletes capable of leaps and volleys never before seen. The complete focus for design of the soccer boot was aimed at kicking and controlling the ball on the ground. (Lees & Nolan,1998). As the ankle boot lowered to become a soccer shoe alternative methods of providing ankle stability were necessary (Lees and Nolan, 1998). When manufacturers were made aware player’s boots were only in contact with the ball for about 10% of the game, they developed less heavy boots. Lighter footwear meant players were less exhausted and subsequently the overall speed of play increased. This made for a more enjoyable spectator sport. By the early 50's the soccer boot was streamlined with the ankle hugging component reduced to below the malleoli (ankle bones).



The need for ground traction to allow players to play over different surfaces was recognised early in the game and studs were added to the soles.



By the twenties, Adi Dassler developed replaceable studs which firmly established his credentials as soccer boot specialist in Germany. The length of studs was governed for in 1951 and when new polymers became available. natural materials were replaced by synthetics. The idea for moulded studs had been tried on hockey boots and when transferred to soccer boots a new revolution took place. Today plugs and cleats of variable length are used. Later with the introduction of artificial playing surfaces the need for long studs became redundant. Deep penetration was neither good for the surface nor advantageous to the players, with many poor performances and injuries reported. At the same time the popularity of indoor soccer necessitated a change in boot design.



The beautiful game received a massive boast in 1966 when England won the world cup. The resulting football fervour saw an increase in women playing the game. Every effort was taken to make the event a photo opportunity which players and boot manufacturers milked for commercial gain. The new slimline soccer slippers, now in black became more attractive to female players. At first soccer boots had been dark brown in colour but black prevailed until in the 70s, Hummel introduced white boots for Alan Ball (England and Arsenal). Took a brave player to wear anything other than black for fear of being picked on by rival fans. Two decades later, colourful boots (colourways) became a bi-word for companies like Adidas and Puma who realised soccer moms liked their offspring in high visibly fashionable boots. Worldwide televised events, such as the FIFA World Cup, with millions of viewers have made the football pitch the macho catwalk where the models i.e. players, demonstrate the new look and functionality of the footwear range from the companies that pay players tens of thousands of dollars just to be “seen,” wearing them. Professional footballers second main source of income is their individual sponsorship, after the salary they receive from their club. Brands seek to lock down key players with financial incentives and different conditions which makes it unusual to see football stars change their sponsors during their professional career. This does not mean it has not happened but it is the exception to the rule. In the lead up to the World Cup much store is put on the key sponsored players to show case the company's new range of boots.



Marketing rhetoric may infer a revolution in boot design but the trend has been a steady evolution as manufacturers have sought to improve safety and performance. Designs contain the accumulated wisdom of shoe makers combined with sport and material sciences to enable: foot flexibility during accelerated activity, shoe pitch, to give a pivotal action for efficient propulsion when moving forwards; and protection to the foot from surreptitious trauma. Improvements in the last decade have covered a broad range of design changes from the shape of the shoe to new lacing systems (Martin, 1997). As women¹s soccer gained greater popularity, companies like Adidas saw a market potential and in 1975 introduced the Adidas ANJA, specifically for women players. Despitethe manufacturers’ claims these were developed to the shape and function of the female foot, there is little evidence to support this. The incorporation of lightweight, resistant and hard wearing polymers into the boot construction with added cushioning has benefited both genders. The introduction of split sole shoe design has allowed greater support through the mid-foot as well as providing the flexibility required for accelerated movements. Shoe stiffness beneath is matched with contoured uppers with which to control the ball. From time to time boot designs incorporate novelties to attract the novice buyer but these fads usually have a short life. Soccer boots continue to have poor protective capability but manufacturers do try to incorporate innovative designs that are attractive to consumers as well as including design safety features determined by the rules of the game. However, the fashion half-life of a sport shoe today is very short and products are as likely to incorporate fads rather than functional components.



Changes in lacing and eyelet mechanisms have further increased the sweet spot for traditional shooting. A flatter surface helps players dribbling control and the undulating nature of the boot upper gives added traction. Football boots are becoming more of a fashion statement these days as marquee players make them a focal point for TV cameras. Designs and colourways which might previous have not been out of place on the disco dance floor are finding their way to the green blaze and all in the name of selling product. However, it may be worth bearing in mind, the minute you see visible high-end footwear on footballers' feet the more likely the industry has nothing else to offer.



The three most notable innovations in soccer boot design in the last century have had an Australian flavour, a country not always associated with the world’s favourite game. Most manufacturers now incorporate Rubberised Kangaroo Technology (RTK) into their top of the range boots. Kangaroo hide for sports shoes dates back to Victorian Times when quality croquet and cricket boots were made from the antipodean kangaroo hide. These soft yet hard wearing leather uppers are reported as giving added grip and ball control. Professional players put a lot in store being able to feel the ball through the upper of the boot and soccer boots that fits snugly are preferred. Other animal hides are available and tend to be used in cheaper boots. Brand leaders now incorporate synthetics uppers as a viable alternative to animal leather.



At the end of the last millennium Asics developed an innovative cleat designed to help prevent rotational collateral damage to the knee, reported in Australian Rules Footie players. The prototype shoes soon became popular with other football codes including Australian soccer players. The Asics system allowed optimal traction without hindering the player from running freely on hard or artificial surfaces. Similar cleat patterns are now incorporated within contemporary soccer boot design.



Australian Craig Johnston (formerly Liverpool FC ) was convinced by changing the surface contour of the soccer boot, greater ball control would follow. He experimented for many years until his prototype Predator was eventually accepted by Adidas, and now the Adidas Predator TM is an evergreen.



In 2019, adidas have again launched their Women's boot collection with claims these were engineered to specifically fit the female foot. Meantime their rivals, Nike continue to market soccer boots non specific to gender other than size.

Footnote
The more elite players with boot contracts will at the very least have their boots crafted to fit their individual requirements. Whilst the same models may appear to be for general sale, these are unlikely to be a perfect match for every consumer. The difference is the former is bespoke and the latter, mass produced. In the absence of specific boots made for female players the market hype now is 'unisex' boots, based on 'What's good for the gander , is good for the goose,' in other words 'downsized soccer shoes.'

References
Are Men's and Women's Football Boots Identical? Footyheadlines.com January 2018
Denvir C. 1979 The sports shoe In Baynes K & Baynes K (eds) The shoe show British shoes since 1790 England: The Crafts Council 90-93
Dingle S 2019 Why are there no football boots designed specifically for women? Sarah Dingle on PM ABC Kessel A 2019 Women's football: If the boot doesn’t fit then female footballers should have an alternative The Guardian
Lees A & Nolan L 1998 The biomechanics of soccer : a review Journal of Sports Sciences 16:3 211-234.
Manley D (ed) 1992 The Guinness book of records 1492: The world five hundred years ago Enfield: Guinness Publishing Ltd.
Martin DR 1997 How to steer patients toward the right sport shoe The Physician and Sportmedicine 25:9 138-140
Morris D 1981 The soccer tribe London: Jonathan Cape, London 193-194
Perez C C 2019 The Other Half: How the Gender Data Gap Makes Women Invisible HARRY N ABRAMS INC Rifkin B 2109 The difference between men's & women's soccer shoes Livestrong.com

Monday, June 10, 2019

Soccer spreads all round the world




According to Madden (2000) both Union and Confederate troops played a form of football and baseball to relax the combatants during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The games were played with audible jocularity by the men and encouraged by commanders because they rehearsed the skills of combat.



In Germany prior to the First World War the English game was despised because of its origins as well as the attire was considered indecent. In South America, the building of the railways brought British workman who played the game. This English influence was reflected in the names Argentina's two most famous clubs, River Plate and Newell's Old Boys.



Soccer in Brazil had modest start when Brazilian born Scotsman, Charles Miller went to play for Southampton. On his return he brought a copy of Hampshire FA rules, two footballs and some shirts and boots to start three first teams in 1894. Miller was instrumental in setting up the football team of the São Paulo Athletic Club (SPAC) and the Liga Paulista and the first football league in Brazil. The game was associated with the upper middle classes and such a gentleman's game it was common place when a team were awarded a penalty, player would pass the ball to the opposition to avoid an indirect accusation of ungentlemanly conduct being aimed at the player who had conceded the kick. (Liniker & Hey, 1998). A team of former Oxford and Cambridge university graduates visited Brazil in 1910 they made such an impact a Sao Paulo club adopted the same name. By 1914 the game was endemic and two years later the South American Championship was established. Once established touring English Football sides like Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Swindon Town were early visitors to Argentina (Liniker & Hey, 1998). Later with mass emigration from Italy the continental style of the game became established in South America.



In India the game came with the troops and as Muscular Christianity spread more Indians were encouraged to play the game. Soon leagues were developed with clubs like the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club which was established in 1889. Mohun Bagan created history by becoming the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield when they beat the East Yorkshire Regiment 2–1 in 1911. The Mohun Bagan players played in barefoot while East Yorkshire Regiment played with proper footballing equipment



Football in Eastern Europe was directly related to the spread of Communism after the Second World War The Hungarian Football Association was founded in 1901. Scottish exile, Jimmy Hogan expanded their football base in the years immediately after the First World War. Czechoslovakian football started in the late 19th century and was helped by another Scotsman John Dick (Airdrieonians and Arsenal). He left Arsenal in 1912 to coach Sparta Prague. A year earlier Glasgow Celtic completed a European tour and played the FC Deutsche team in two exhibition matches in Prague.


(Video Courtesy: cristy2pac by Youtube Channel)


References
Lineker G & Hey S 1998 Gary Lineker's golden boots: The world greatest strikers 1930-1998 London: Hodder & Stoughton
Madden D (ed) 2000 Beyond the battlefield : The ordinary life and extraordinary times of the civil war soldier New York: Simon & Schuster

Reviewed 11/06/2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Early development of soccer boots




Football boots emerged as an essential part of the sport. Contemporary pictures of amateur teams (circa 1870) display a mixed bunch of rugged work boots. Not until the last decade of the century do teams appear to wear the same boots. The only regulation governing boots relates to anything that may endanger their opponents.

Rule 13#: No player shall be allowed to wear projecting nails, iron plates, or gutta percha on the soles or heels of his boots.

Newspaper reports indicate the weather in the winter of 1870/71 was severe and extreme. Heavy rain accompanied by high winds with severe frosts and snow did not deter the new game from being played. Flooding frequently arose followed by an unusual hot summer which pioneering players took in their stride but boots and ball got progressively heavier as wet conditions prevailed. Clothing was restrictive and worn for protection from the elements as much as decency.



Early British football was very slow and not yet a spectators' spectacle. The game was considered more for participants and the general public was not actively encouraged to attend. Despite this the popularity of football grew and clubs began to spring up across the UK. Early photographs are testament to the availability of stout footwear (Denvir, 1979). Players wore long laced boots, similar to engineer's boots but with a strengthened toecap in iron hard leather.



In 1880 boots began to incorporate a strap, narrow on the inside of the foot, which crossed over the bottom two or three rows of eyelet's, winding to the outside of the foot. This gave greater protection to the toes as players used the dorsum of the foot to kick. Today, players use the side of their foot to strike the ball but then the toe was used to catch the ball and give it lift.



To increase ground grip the soles incorporated metal tacks but Rule 13 prevented these in official matches. They were replaced in 1890 with new plugs made from layers of leather and the idea came from hockey boots. Studs (sometimes referred to as cleats) were positioned to avoid isolated pressure points and unnecessary irritation of the foot. In the area of the hindfoot they were located towards the outside of the sole to avoid buckling. The common formation was six studs, two distal and proximal to the metatarsal heads and two on the posterior aspect of the heel.



By 1900 the soccer boot was a recognisable entity and not just modified footwear adopted from other sports. The Shurekik Boota was made from russet calf with fluted toecap and sold in 1901 for a cost 8/6d ($1.26A). In 1925, makers began to include removable studs to the boot design. To complete leg protection shin guards cost between 1/6d (22c Aus) and 2/11d (45c Aus); and football hose varied between 1/11d (30c Aus) and 4/11d (75c Aus). Professional players received 2/6 (37c. Aus) per game and some were paid special bonuses in addition depending on their skill. The sum varied according to the size of the crowd but even the best players seldom got bonuses over 2/11 (45c Aus). Boots cost three times that amount.



According to Morris (1981) 'baggy shorts and heavy boots" style remained the dominant costume theme, right up to the Second World War. Most authorities agree changes to football boots took place after the war when there was a dramatic increase in international fixtures. This was made possible by improved air travel and transcontinental travel brought soccer players from the colder climes of Europe into contact with their counter parts in the Mediterranean and South America. Warmer climates meant players wore less and had flexible boots more suited to the climate. The Latin game was played faster and provided opportunity for athleticism rarely seen in the traditional European game.


(Video Courtesy:cristy2pac by Youtube Channel)


Radio broadcasts then televised sport meant more spectators could appreciate the novel Latin styles and appreciation of their skills caused a revolution in play and clothing. Boots became sports shoes allowing players to become athletes capable of leaps and volleys never before seen. The complete focus for design of the soccer boot was aimed at kicking and controlling the ball on the ground. (Lees & Nola,1998). Some might argue this has been at the expense of preventing injury. As the ankle boot lowered to become a soccer shoe alternative methods of providing ankle stability were necessary (Lees and Nolan, 1998). Later with the introduction of artificial playing surfaces the need for long studs became redundant. Deep penetration was neither good for the surface nor advantageous to the players, with many poor performances and injuries reported. At the same time the popularity of indoor soccer necessitated a change in boot design. The new challenges meant boot designers overcame the need to give players greater stability as their legs anchored to the floor combined with the need to cope with the rigours of sliding on the floor.



The new soccer shoe had bristle (or cleat) soles and gradually these have been incorporated into the traditional soccer boot design. Marketing rhetoric may infer a revolution in recent years but the trend has been a steady evolution in design and materials as manufacturers have sought to improve safety and performance. Improvements in the last decade have covered a broad range of design changes from the shape of the shoe to new lacing systems (Martin, 1997).



As women¹s soccer gained greater popularity, companies like Adidas carry different soccer shoes, developed on the shape and function of the female foot. To improve comfort, midsole cushioning now incorporates visco-elastic polymers. These are light in weight extremely resilient and hard wearing materials which incorporate fluids and gas within a solid mass. Not of this world these synthetics have come from the aerospace industry. These in turn displaced the revolutionary polyurethane which were originally used instead of natural rubber foams and leather. Changes from split sole shoe design have given greater support through the midfoot without loosing the need for shoe flexibility in accelerated movements. Changes in lacing and eyelet mechanisms make the hitting surfaces flatter against the foot. This has two benefits i.e. pressure is distributed across the top of the foot and the flatter surface helps the player control the ball. Side eyelet fixation is another design innovation considered to contribute to the above. Better grip is affected by the inclusion of neoprene sleeves around the throat of the boot.





References
Denvir C. 1979 The sports shoe In Baynes K & Baynes K (eds) The shoe show British shoes since 1790 England: The Crafts Council 90-93
Lees A & Nolan L 1998 The biomechanics of soccer : a review Journal of Sports Sciences 16:3 211-234.
Martin DR 1997 How to steer patients toward the right sport shoe The Physician and Sportmedicine 25:9 138-140
Morris D 1981 The soccer tribe London: Jonathan Cape, London 193-194




The English Game




The Factory Act 1847 prohibited the employment of women and young people on Saturday afternoons. The law governed for women and children gradually was applied to the men and soon after there arose an enormous public demand to be amused on Saturday afternoons. The popularity of soccer among working class men grew with the pursuit of leisure. One of the main attractions of soccer to the youth of the time was the absence of special clothing. The game could be played in any clothes and shoes. According to James Laver (1950, cited in Maple), sporting garments originated in ordinary masculine wear.



Once established as the working class pastime British colonists took their rough and tumble game around the world. Railway workers, clerks and business owners were responsible for the spread of the game to Europe, South America and the Commonwealth (Oliver, 1995). Football remained a sport much more associated with the British merchant class than its ruling aristocracy but it also coincided with the British Empire's commitment to Civilising Mission and Muscular Christianity. Victorians were dedicated to spread Christianity throughout the Commonwealth and soccer provided an ideal medium for healthy pastimes for people of India, Africa and Asia. Playing the game also gave ex-pats an opportunity to celebrate the British culture left so far behind. Along with the team game came the uniform although the majority of indigenous peoples played barefoot. Even when boots were later available barefoot football was already established.



In the 1850s, the Irish introduced Gaelic football to Melbourne, Australia. Local cricketers were looking to exercise off-season and when the game was combined with an indigenous Aboriginal game and took on a distinct Australian nature. This became Australian Rules Football.



In the US a meeting at Princeton, in 1867 proved seminal for US College Football. They adopted the English rugby code but insisted on soccer's eleven asides. Later these rules were refined and by 1880, US College Football was launched.



The Rugby Union devised a 15 a side amateur game played with an oval ball. In 1922 a dispute over players arose in the north of England and the rugby code split to form Rugby League with thirteen a side.

References
Marples M 1954 A history of football London: Secker & Warburg
Oliver G 1995 The Guinness book of world soccer (2nd ed) Enfield: Guinness Publishing Ltd.


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