The 4 main differences between men and women’s soccer boots soccer players need to know
Women’s soccer is having a moment in Australia. The Matilda’s came second in a recent survey ranking the emotional connections fans have with Aussie teams, and Australia and New Zealand have just won the joint bid for the 2023 World Cup.
Soccer is now the most popular team sport for girls in Australia and more and more women are getting involved in the game, but the majority of women (around 75%) are still wearing men’s boots to play in.
I didn't realise soccer boots were meant to be comfy
The Ida community is full of amazing female soccer players. We love the game and, being players ourselves, we design women’s soccer boots with female soccer players at the forefront of our minds.
When we’re chatting to players on the field and in clubs, one question that crops up a lot is “what’s the difference between men’s and women’s soccer boots?”. We have boiled it down to the four main differences you need to know if you’re a soccer player. Keep these in mind when you’re investing in your next pair of boots.
What’s the difference between men’s and women’s soccer boots?
Most obviously, women tend to have different sized feet to men and children yet we often wear boots that are slightly too small (children’s) or too large (men’s) in order to access different colourways, or because there are no women’s soccer boots on offer at all.
It’s not just that women have smaller feet than men. Characteristics including the arch height, the lateral side of the foot, the toes, and the heels of women’s feet are different to men’s. Women’s soccer boots are designed to grip our heels and support our arches and toes. The front of a women’s boot is also wider compared to the heel than a man’s boot, allowing for women’s wider toe box.
“Having a thinner heel makes a big difference for most players, who feel like they're slipping on the boot. For me, there was an impact on the change of direction, acceleration and deceleration” Kat Goff, South Melbourne FC
3. Pressure Loads
Due to women usually having different body sizes and shapes from men, the pressure load on their boots is also different. This is important when considering where to place studs on the boots. Stud-configuration on boots designed for women results in you having reduced pressure on the sesamoid bone (under the foot) as the studs spread the pressure out. When studs are in the wrong place (or designed for men’s pressure loads), it can lead to metatarsalgia or sprains.
4. Traction for Multi-Direction Movement
Women’s soccer boots are designed with an improved fit for the cutting motions needed when playing soccer. If you’re wearing men’s boots when darting quickly in different directions, your body will be compensating to support your feet in places the boots are not. Over time, this fatigues the overworked muscles in both your feet and higher up your body, and increases your risk of injury.
When choosing your next pair of boots, your aim should be for your feet to be able to replicate as natural movement as possible. Wearing boots that don’t quite fit the shape of your feet or support your weight over a sustained period of time will impact your performance and can ultimately result in injury.
“Awesome Boots. I was very skeptical to buy boots online, as I usually have to try on multiple pairs of boots and compare before I find the right ones, but these boots fit me perfectly! They are incredibly comfortable from the moment you put them on your feet, and you can tell just by looking at them that they are good quality. They feel so much more supportive than other boots that I have previously owned, and got through a preseason and summer soccer competition with no issues at all! They look amazing and they feel amazing, I definitely recommend!” Sophie Scott
At Ida we only make boots for women because we think there are enough men’s boots out there already.
Since we started creating our boots we’ve had some pretty great feedback from Australian soccer players.
“I love these boots! They are so incredibly comfortable and I really look forward to stepping into them before training. A lot of boots don't feel as comfortable or supportive due to how thin and stiff they can feel but this is not the case with the IDA boot. They are so soft and give your foot a huge hug! They are so supportive around the ankle and allow for good change of direction. I am such a fan of the clean and chic design. I would highly recommend!' Tash Rigby, Perth Glory FC Captain