The beautiful game of football has a lot of intricacies and details that are unique to its games and leagues only. One of such apparent specifics about the game is the appearance of some kickers wearing different shoes at the same time.
Are you wondering why kickers wear different shoes at the same time? (One kind of shoe on the left leg, and another kind – brand, size, weight, etc. – on the right)
Kickers in football leagues like the NFL wear two different shoes at the same time majorly because they need to have special shoes on their kicking foot for proper and more effective kicking.
This works for many kickers because they will get the more comfortable shoe on their kicking foot. These kicking shoes that are alternatively worn by kickers are also lighter and more flexible than the regular ones they wear on the other foot.
Also, wearing different shoes allows kickers to have more rigidity and ankle support on the foot they land on before kicking a ball.
Do kickers’ shoes really matter?
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Football Kickers have to wear the right shoes for all the games that they play in. Even in practice, they have to have the correct pairs of shoes and overall gear so that they get used to putting the ball between the goalposts in the proper way.
Kickers can’t kick well or play well generally when they don’t have the proper shoes for kicking. Field goals will not be scored, points will not be made, and the game will most likely not be won if the kicker, the shooter, doesn’t kick the ball comfortably.
This is why a lot of football teams today invest a lot in the gear of their players so that each player has the shoes that they need to glide across the field and get the tactics and scoring right.
Teams have to get different kinds of shoes for their players all the time. These shoes have to be specific to each player’s needs and directives in all the games that will be played.
Most players already know what’s comfortable and efficient for them, and this is what every team should work with so that the maximum points are achieved in the results.
There are regular football cleats that all NFL players wear on their feet for every game. These are the shoes that kickers wear on their non-kicking feet. The football cleats have special soles (mostly studs) that plant the player on the ground with some additional weight anchor.
Kickers wear these shoes on the non-kicking foot because it is important for them to have stable shoes with great ankle support on their plant foot (non-kicking foot). The plant foot refers to the foot that plants and balances before the kicking foot take the shot.
Soccer cleats are the best kinds of shoes for kickers to wear on their kicking feet. Whenever pro kickers have to kick or punt, they love to go for simply designed leather soccer cleats that can really help them take the shots in the best way possible.
While the football cleats are mostly made of a great rubber material that gives more stability to football players in the NFL, soccer cleats are more comfortable for kickers to wear because they are made of premium quality leather that is lighter than the average football cleats.
Soccer cleats help the kickers to connect with the ball more efficiently so that their punts and kicks are done with more power and direction.
These shoes also have spikes in their soles which prevent kickers from sliding roughly when they run up to take their shots.
Some kickers don’t care for wearing two different kinds of shoes on their feet while they play real matches or while they practice.
It is all a matter of personal preference and choice when it comes to these cases. Some players actually feel comfortable wearing the same kinds of shoes for both feet.
It is left for the individual kicker to decide whether to wear football cleats or soccer cleats on their feet for the games.
They can then decide to wear two different shoes on the plant foot and the kicking foot to ensure that their game is run at maximum success.
Some kickers just wear different shoes on their feet for personal fashion reasons that make them more relaxed and fashionable on the field.
Each player has his/her reasons for choosing the kind of gear that they wear; for most of them, however, comfort, functionality, and fashion are the major considerations before the choice of sports gear.
What are the requirements for kickers’ shoes?
For football kickers, there are several considerations to be duly taken into account before they can decide on a particular pair of kicking shoes for their games.
If they don’t truly meet these requirements, they can find themselves losing out in their matches – which will lead to bad overall performance in the season.
It is very important that kickers have the right kind of kicking shoes that will enable them to take their shots with the best kind of control and accuracy.
Once the requirements for good kicking shoes are met, kickers will then have the best kind of shoes for them to kick and punt the ball wonderfully.
The requirements for great kicking shoes for football kickers include:
- Lightweight Quality.
- Feet Support
Kicking shoes like the soccer cleats worn by most kickers in the NFL have to be comfortable on their feet and very relaxed too.
The comfort of the shoes is paramount above anything else that you can imagine, and this is because comfortable shoes help the kickers to kick the ball better.
When the kickers are comfortable in their cleats, they can then be confident enough to take great shots that will score them and the team points that inevitably win the game.
If kickers are not comfortable in their shoes, the whole game will be disorganized and without direction.
Kicking shoes have to be lightweight enough to let kickers connect with the ball with more force and control.
The surface area of the shoes has to be of a light and soft material that lets the kicker swing at the ball and hit it with zero pressure on the kicking foot.
Lightweight kicking shoes also let the kickers in the field be more relaxed when they take their shots.
When kicking the ball (or punting), kickers need lightweight shoes that let them make the maximum kind of impact on the kicked football.
Kickers generally feel better on the field when they are wearing shoes that allow them to express their individual fashion tastes and preferences.
Getting fashionable shoes is a very good investment for kickers to make because it allows them to play the games while being confident and comfy in their individuality.
Players get to also express their personalities in the way that they style themselves up for the games. The right kind of kicking shoes for kickers are the ones that get to showcase the fashion sense of each individual kicker.
When they feel good, kickers kick the ball better.
Kickers have to wear shoes that support their feet well enough when they take their shots. Having the wrong shoes on for games might spell doom for kickers because of the injuries and/or damages that could be incurred on the feet of the players.
Shoes have to protect and support the kicking foot of kickers so that the kicks and punts can be taken without worries. Each player should know the kinds of cleats that give their feet the most feet support and grip whenever they play.
If the shoes don’t give the feet the support it needs for all the plays being made, it is probably not a good idea to get them for kickers to wear.
Great kicking shoes are shoes that are flexible and very relaxed on the feet of the football kickers. Once you have flexible shoes on your feet, you will be able to direct your shots better as your aim and precision will be more increased.
Flexible shoes allow kickers to twist and turn their kicks and punts as they please, without risking injuries from the shots. You should look out for stretchable shoes that allow you to kick the ball with more ease and extra fluidity.
Kickers often have to wear shoes from particular brand names because of their personal preferences, business organizations, team contracts, and so on.
Whatever the reason for this, kickers will always consider some shoe brands first before they pick a new pair of shoes for the games.
The particular brand of shoe that a kicker picks is the one that is comfortable for him/her and more beneficial as well. Teams have to make provisions for different players and their branding strategies as the seasons go on.
Durability is one of the most major things that you have to look out for in kicking shoes for football kickers. You don’t want to wear shoes that wear out and tear up after just a few games with them, do you?
Get kicking shoes that are of premium materials that are durable enough to be utilized for a reasonable amount of time.
When should kickers change shoes?
There will come a time when kickers have to change the shoes that they wear on their feet to play the games.
Situations like chaffing, discomfort, loss of appeal, and ill fits will make kickers have to change their old shoes out for new ones when the time is right.
Kickers should make sure that their shoes are changed when they see some of the warning signs that will be highlighted here in a moment.
If these shoes are not replaced with better ones, kickers could get major injuries on the field once they continue playing with worn-out shoes.
The following reasons indicate a need for kickers to change their shoes:
- Kickers should change their kicking shoes when they no longer fit their kicking foot.
- Kicking shoes should be replaced when they are no longer comfortable.
- Kickers should switch their current kicking shoes for new ones if the old ones have become worn-out and too torn.
- Kickers should change their shoes if they no longer support their feet as well as they used to.
- To avoid the risk of injuries, kickers should replace their shoes if they start to give them unnecessary blisters and calluses whenever they play in them.
- Kicking shoes should be replaced if they are no longer fashionable to wear.
Why do kickers wear smaller shoes?
Kickers wear smaller shoes on their kicking foot to encourage optimal smooth contact with the football whenever they kick it.
When the shoes are smaller on the kicking foot, the surface area of the shoe is harder and when the shot is taken, the ball will go further as a result.
There is a stronger impact on the ball whenever the kicking shoes are smaller on the foot that is doing the kicking and punting.
Some NFL kickers have adopted this method of wearing smaller shoes so that they get a better connection with the ball as they kick and punt it.
Apart from just wearing soccer cleats with cool kangaroo leather that lets the ball link with the feet much better, some kickers still go ahead to get those kicking cleats in smaller sizes that further optimize the success of their shots.
Kai Forbath is a great example of one of such kickers who wear smaller shoes on their kicking feet. The Redskins kicker wears a size 7.5 shoe on his size 10.5 kicking foot in order to improve the power and accuracy of his kicks.
Although it is quite painful to do this, the effort is well-worth as most kickers have come to attest.
Do Kickers kick barefoot?
Although kinda strange, some kickers in the game of football opt for the option of taking their shots/kicking the ball with bare feet.
You may even see these kickers attempting their field goals and punts with their bare feet even during games.
Barefoot kicking helps the kickers to achieve a maximum impact with the ball while increasing the speed and power of the kicks that they shoot at the goalposts.
There is definitely a more effective ball velocity whenever kickers kick the ball barefoot.
Although this is more painful, the risks are made worthwhile when the player see their shots connecting better and drive through with more power, speed, and accuracy.
Hurts and pains can occur when you kick the ball barefoot because the ball could be overinflated, and you could bruise your feet against the field as you take the shots.
It is not advisable to kick the ball this way but the results are actually outstanding and very desirable.
Anthony Ray Franklin, who once played for The Philadelphia Eagles, was the first NFL player to kick the football barefoot during games.
During his time, that easily became his trademark because he was so good at it that coaches and team managers had to let him continue with his unique style of play.
Apart from Ray Franklin, Rich Karlis of the Broncos and Mike Lansford of the Rams are the two other great kickers who have kicked the football barefoot during games in the National Football League (NFL).
Most kickers don’t usually do much in the game but kick and/or punt the ball. Coaches won’t risk them having injuries and other complications if they are involved with the other roles of play during the games.
Kickers have to optimize their shots and/or kicks very well during games – the best kinds of comfortable and functional shoes for kicking have to be purchased and worn by them at all times.
It is important for kickers to wear the best shoes for kicking with their kicking feet. And because balance is also important for the plant foot, you most likely will see a lot of kickers wear two different kinds of shoes at the same time for games and/or practice sessions.
In the end, it is left for the individual to decide what works best for him or her whenever it comes down to kicking the football and scoring goals.
Some players don’t care about the shoes that they wear as long as they are comfortable and balanced enough for them to play the game and kick the ball efficiently.
Kickers can even decide to kick the ball barefoot if they so please; what really matters is the enhancement of the comfort and style of the individual kickers that go forth to play their matches with as much agility and accuracy as possible.
Check out some of these great shoes for kicking the football today (they surely will help kickers to kick the ball better):
- NIKE MEN’S ALPHA MENACE FOOTBALL CLEATS
- ADIDAS ORIGINALS WOMEN’S FIRM GROUND SOCCER SHOE
- ADIDAS UNISEX-ADULT X SPEEDFLOW GROUND SOCCER SHOE
- ADIDAS MEN’S COPA MUNDIAL SOCCER SHOE
- LIAOCX MEN’S FOOTBALL CLEATS
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