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Footballers cover a lot of distance on the field in games. However, someone else who is overlooked in a game for their miles is the referee.
While they don’t kick the ball at any time, they are constantly on the move throughout the 90 minutes, and because of that, it’s important they have the correct footwear.
For you to end up here, your likely either already a referee or wanting to be one, but you are currently on the lookout for some decent footwear for future games you officiate.
So in this post, I will highlight some solid suggestions for you and talk you through features to look out for in football boots for referees.
Why Do Referees Need Football Boots Instead Of Shoes?
The idea of a football boot is to be designed so you, a footballer, get the best experience playing football. Of course, the kicking the ball aspect is important, but the actual soleplate is key too.
This is why referees need football boots and can’t get away with wearing normal shoes unless it is firm ground.
Referees on average run 10km a game, and because of that, there is more importance on having a shoe suitable for running on the football pitch.
If a referee is moving around on a surface where his shoes aren’t made for it, that referee is risking injury to themselves not only that they might also have a poor experience feeling heavy-footed.
What Football Boots Do Referees Need?
Buying football boots for referees is the same for footballers when taking ground into account.
Now you don’t need to take aspects of football such as passing and shooting into consideration. The only real aspect that is worth looking into is the running side.
Referees are constantly changing direction and pace as they go on. If a team loses the ball in the opposing half, then the other team might break. This requires the referee to sprint from one end to another.
In many ways, the movement of a referee is parallel to the way footballers move too.
Now, let’s look at some areas of a football boot you need to look into.
1) The Type Of Ground
As I spoke about before, having a boot that is optimized for a certain pitch is quite important. It allows you to play more freely, have a better experience, and help minimise the risk of injury.
What you need to know if you are a ref is the different types of grounds you are mostly going to officiate on, and then what boots are the right suitors for that surface.
To start with, we have 3g services which have been on the rise of late.
There are more 3G pitches than there were years ago, and because of that, more Sunday leagues and midweek mini-leagues are using the facilities.
For this surface, you are looking for either AG boots or Multi-Ground football boots.
Now ideally, you want AG because these are optimized for this surface, but if a pair of MG boots come your way and you like them, then, by all means, you can choose them.
If you are officiating Sunday league games and finding the surfaces are commonly wet and soggy, especially in the winter, then soft ground boots are the best fit.
Now, if it’s the opposite and you’re going to be refereeing games in the summer or on drier pitches, then it would firm ground instead.
2) Good Traction And Grip
Traction and grip are important aspects of a football boot because this helps you turn efficiently on the pitch.
If a boot lacks these two, then you will find yourself either doing the splits or turning like a truck on the pitch.
So this is why especially with referees, where the importance is on running and movement, you get that free range of movement to allow you to do your job to the best of your abilities.
Therefore In the list below, I have seemed out football boots that have fantastic traction systems implemented.
3) Simplicity Rather Than Flashy
It is more common for a referee to wear simplistic football boots, which normally consists of a black colourway.
From my 14 year history of playing football, I don’t think I have encountered many refs that have worn boots that are bright. That is because the norm is black football boots and socks.
Therefore, it’s best to stick to classic black football boot looks, as that is not just what’s expected but what’s professional to wear.
1) Nike Premier II
The Nike Premiers are a popular choice for referees because they have a classic and professional look.
You have the metallic silver Nike swooshes on the fold-over tongue, while the rest is a matt black.
They tick all the football boot requirements for referees and come at a lower price than other Nike silos.
These are comfy inside with a leather outer, which is key for referees who do their fair share of running in-game.
The TPU plate makes the boots durable, along with conical studs that help you grip and turn wherever you are on the pitch.
If you want a classy football boot to go along with your referee attire, then these are worth a shout.
2) Puma King Platinum
With the clue in the name, this set of Puma Kings offers a premium experience to anyone who lays their foot on the pitch.
These are made with K-Leather and have a knitted collar, which offers the user a lot of comforts.
To help give you support on the pitch, these have a RAPIDSPRINT outsole that will give you a great experience running and changing direction on firm, soft and artificial grounds.
It doesn’t get more classic than the Kings, as these legendary Silos have been around since the 1970s and were worn by Pele.
3) Mizuno Morelia Neo
Next up, we have a football boot all the way from Japan called the Mizuno Morelia Neo. These come in a crisp black colourway with a glossy Mizuno logo along the midfoot.
Again like others in the list are made with Kangaroo Leather to give you a premium feel while your feet inside.
For outside the boot, these bolster quick movement thanks to it weighing only 190 grams. You also have a dual-density outsole on the bottom to give you great traction on any surface, whether firm or soft.
4) Nike Mercurial Vapor XIII Elite Tech Craft
Now the typical mercurial football boot wouldn’t be the best suitor for a referee. Mainly because the designs nowadays have so many colours and are quite bright.
However, Nike, over the years, has been enrolling some tech craft version of their silos. These have kangaroo leather rather than the usual synthetic material.
Not only that, but they are primarily black, so they have turned a typically bright Mercurial boot into a classy looking football boot that is now fit for any referee.
Despite the material changes, the boot remains as lightweight as the other Mercurials, and with K-Leather, the boots are tremendously soft.
On the bottom, there is Nike Aerotwak in use with small grooves to give you traction that will help you move around freely,
5) Nike Tiempo Legend
Now speaking of classy Nike football boots, we have the ever-present Tiempos. These, like the Premiers, are quite popular with referees, as they are the two main options for refs that prefer Nike.
These come in a black and grey colourway with a red outline on the swoosh. These offer a pleasant experience when putting them on, and with a quad mesh lining, they smoother your feet while allowing breathability.
Whether you are a ref or a footballer, you will go through several different conditions. So the addition of ACC means these Tiempos will perform well regardless of the weather.
Coming with an SG, AG and FG version, you can wear them on different grounds.
There is also an Anti-Clog version for SG you can check out too. Nike introduced this a few years ago, which, as it sounds, is designed to stop mud from attaching to the bottom.
If you find these not only with the Tiempos but with other Nike football boots, they are worth looking into, as they are quite effective for those on soggy grounds.
6) New Balance Tekekla V3
New Balance may not be at the forefront of most footballers minds. However, of late, they have come out with tech-driven football boots that give you something different.
I also think it’s good to have more options than just Nike and Adidas, and with the Tekekla, you do have a pair of boots that fit the bill while having a nice look to them too.
These have been primarily designed around comfort and stability.
How these boots are stable is because of the addition of an infiniGRIP Otholite insole. This stops your feet from giving way on the pitch and allows you to change the sudden direction.
7) Adidas Copa 19.1
The Adidas Copa 19.1 are made with K-Leather and the addition of Fusionskin to wrap your feet with a layer of material that gives you a soft and comforting feel.
With the X-Ray ramp, it feels more like you are wearing a sock than an actual shoe. This is great if you are running several KM in a game as they will be light.
The Torsionframe outsole allows you to move around the pitch without feeling stuck due to the welcomed addition of Torsion Ribs.