One of the reasons football is so beloved worldwide is that all you need to play is a ball.
However, getting the suitable kit, especially if you plan on becoming part of an organised team, can help increase enjoyment and performance, while protecting you against injury.
Whether you’re having a kickabout or competing in an organised match, wearing proper clothing can be important. Clothing that isn’t specifically made for exercise can be heavy, limit your mobility and leave you feeling hot and uncomfortable. Proper activewear is designed to be light, breathable, and to wick sweat away – ensuring that you perform to the best of your ability and feel comfortable while playing.
Although walking football is strictly non-contact, we’re all human, and the odd misplaced foot can happen. This is why you might consider getting yourself a pair of shin pads to save yourself the odd bruise here and there. Shin pads are relatively cheap and will last you for years to come.
While you’ll most likely get along fine with trainers, wearing the appropriate footwear for the surface you will be playing on will give you the right amount of grip and mobility to perform at your best, while preventing injuries and discomfort. There are three main types of surface you are likely to play on:
Natural grass surfacesAstroturf and artificial grass surfacesIndoor surfaces such as linoleum or timber
If you’re going to be playing on a natural grass surface, you’ll most likely be playing when the ground is either dry or just slightly wet. For this surface, you might want to get yourself a pair of firm ground boots.
Firm ground boots have plastic studs which provide grip and help prevent injury. They come in a range of different stud styles – with the conical studs being the safest (especially if you have a history of ankle or knee problems), as they’ll pivot in any little cracks or holes in the ground.
Artificial grass pitches are now more popular than ever, and as a result, you can buy boots that are designed specifically for playing on them. If you find yourself playing on the older style sand or water-based astroturf, then you might want to buy boots specifically tailored for these surfaces instead.
As walking football is typically played in the six-a-side format, walking football matches (in the winter months especially) are often played at indoor facilities. Although you can wear trainers on these surfaces, indoor boots offer more flexible and mobile soles to help prevent injuries when making sharp turns.