I love playing football. Soccer and AFL. Recently when moving home I found my old “footy gear” box, including the boots and game ball from my 100th game. Remembering some of the difficulties I had getting boots back then, I put together this guide after updating myself on the latest details of how what’s important when looking for footy boots. Hopefully this guide makes it a bit easier for anyone wondering what the differences in boots are and how much they cost (plus a money saving tip if you’re like me and play soccer and footy – the boots can be shared!).
In this guide I’ve looked at:
- Typical costs of football boots, which range from $25 to $350
- Differences between moulded, screw ins, and hybrid
- How long football boots should last
- Whether soccer boots can be used for footy (they can!)
Football Boots Typical Costs
Football boots typically cost between $45 and $300. Moulded boots are generally cheaper than screw ins but don’t last as long (I find moulded last a single season, but screw ins last a few years).
Some examples of football boot prices are:
|Football Boot||Typical Price|
|Diadora Brasil (Moulded)||$45|
|Blades Flash (Moulded)||$70|
|Nike Tiempo Legend (Moulded)||$90|
|Puma King Hero (Moulded)||$100|
|Under Armour Spotlight (Hybrid)||$104|
|Asics Gel Menace (Screw In)||$220|
|Nike Mercurial (Moulded)||$300|
All prices gathered from various retailers and sporting goods stores. Check out my References section at the end of this guide for more details on where I found these prices.
Football Boot Differences: Moulded, Screw Ins, Hybrid
The major differences to look for when comparing football boots are whether the boots are moulded, screw in or hybrid.
- Moulded boots – good for pivoting on hard ground
- Screw ins – more grip on wet ground
- Hybrid boots – a mix of moulded and screw in
Many brands now also offer a hybrid boot that tries to combine the benefits of both moulded and screw ins. I find they’re generally a bit more expensive and aren’t quite as good as getting either moulded or screw in.
My favourite boots are screw ins. I find they last longer than moulded and the studs can be changed to suit dry or wet ground. They’re also cheaper than hybrid. Despite being less comfortable, I tend to look for screw ins when I’m buying boots.
Moulded and hybrid are the most popular boots as they’re comfortable and as manufacturers work to overcome the downsides of moulded (such as less adaptability to wet conditions and shorter lifespan).
Moulded boots have rubber studs that are molded into the soul of the boot. The rubber studs cannot be removed or replaced and the entire shoe must be replaced once the rubber studs are worn too low.
Moulded boots typically cost between $45 and $100, though can cost over $400 at the top of the line. I like the Puma Monarch range which typically costs around $70 (Rebel Sport sells them here).
Moulded boots are the usual preference for players. The boots offer a more comfortable option.
Dry conditions are where moulded boots shine. They provide the player with more “give” on harder ground. This generally allows players to move faster when the ground is dry.
Players, including myself, find it easier to pivot and change direction in moulded boots. The rubber studs are shorter which makes it easier to change direction. This also apparently makes serious injuries less common as the shorter rubber studs do not grip into the ground [source].
Screw In football boots have removable studs that screw in to the bottom of the boot. The studs can be replaced to match the ground condition or as they wear out.
A set of replacement studs for boots typically cost between $10 and $20. When buying replacement studs, check to make sure the size of the replacement studs match the size of the current studs. Any brand of studs will work, as long as the sizing matches.
Studs for football boots are typically made of nylon or aluminium. The cost is the same regardless of the material – “nylon” studs are a nylon cover over a metal screw. Expect to find a tool to help you fit them inside the packet with the replacement studs.
When I used to play, I hated screw ins (yet I always wore them…). Many people will tell you they are great for causing blisters and can become irritating and uncomfortable. You can feel the bottom of the stud coming through the sole of the boot after a long training session or match. Especially if the ground is hard.
Screw ins used to popular with kids though, as the studs can be replaced once worn out. It can be a cheaper option for parents rather than having to buy new boots – such as when moulded boots wear out.
Many local leagues have banned screw ins however as the metal studs are too likely to cause injury.
I feel screw in boots are a necessary evil however. Footy is played in the winter on slippery wet grounds. Screw in studs are longer than moulded ones and provide more grip with less chance of slipping. Trust me as an ex-player, a good way to get your coach angry is to get caught slipping over on a wet day without screw in studs (or hybrids)!
It’s usually harder to turn in screw in boots as they tend to have more grip and not be as flexible as moulded. This can give a greater risk of ankle injuries as the studs can easily get stuck into the ground when a player is turning and twisting [source].
Hybrid footy boots aim to keep the benefits of moulded boots while having the flexibility of replaceable studs. The boots try to be comfortable, last longer (by having replaceable studs), and work in dry and wet conditions.
Hybrids are now the preferred instead of screw ins, but not nearly as popular or comfortable as the moulded ones. I’ve found the grip is better then moulded but not nearly as good as the old school screw ins.
How Long Do Boots Last
I found moulded boots hardly lasted through a year of use. Moulded studs wear out quicker. As the studs can’t be replaced, a new pair of boots has to be purchased when the studs wear out. Hybrid boots aim to overcome this with longer lasting studs.
Screw ins would typically last me a couple of years of training, pre-season, and regular season matches. With screw ins, the individual studs can be replaced as they wear out. After a couple of years, the boot overall starts to suffer from wear and tear and needs replacing.
Can Soccer Boots be Used for AFL
The main difference between soccer boots and AFL boots is that the toe of the soccer boot is a slightly different shape designed for striking the ball and getting spin on it.
I’ve found soccer boots are OK to use for footy matches if playing casually. If looking to move up to a professional football competition, there is no substitute for proper AFL boots.
AFL boots can be used for rugby as well; just as rugby boots can be used for AFL. I only found this out when researching this article – was chatting to a bloke who worked at the store selling boots and he was saying the screw ins in particular are still popular in rugby.
When I was a kid I didn’t really take much notice of what studs I was wearing.
I often bought boots because I liked a particular colour or pattern. Or because my favourite player was wearing or endorsing them.
As an adult though, I now realise the importance of practicality and comfort when wearing footy boots. Many companies are now bringing out hybrids, though these can be a bit pricier.
Hybrids are the way to go if you had to pick a type of boot to wear. I find that they work well in all conditions and have great longevity (saving money in the long run).
- Screw in boots description and price (from Catalogue Sports)
- Price of boots (from Sportsmans Warehouse)
- Price of screw ins (from Stringer Sports)
- Price of hybrids (from Sports Direct)
- Replacement studs (Rebel sport)
Cass was born with a footy in his hands, he’s been playing the game since he could walk. Over the years he’s gone through dozens of pairs of boots. This guide is his opportunity to share some of his experience with footy boots.
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