Without a proper floorball shoe you won’t be able to bring you best game. The offer has never been larger, the selection never more difficult. However, we provide you with 12 rules, that will help you to pick the best floorball footwear you ever had.
1. There are more floorball shoes than you think.
Yes, some brands claim to produce special floorball shoes and they do. But it’s very likely that you’ll feel well or even better in badminton, volleyball, squash, handball or other indoor shoes. Vice versa, badminton or squash players might also compete in floorball shoes. However, in all these disciplines athletes should pick their footwear by most of the following principles.
2. Know your size.
Almost every brand has its own size chart and, believe it or not, your foot changes during your life. So get up and find your proper size. Test the shoe with a thicker match sock and as late as possible in the day (your feet are bigger in the evening than in the morning). And if you’re not sure, pick a larger size. When you get moving, blood will flood your feet and widen them. If you really have to order without having tested before, compare the japanese sizes. They represent the foot length in centimeters, the only indisputable value.
3. Keep it low.
In the past it was pretty common competing in basketball shoes with a higher ankle area. This feature is mostly psychological as it’s not really giving you any additional stabilization. Actually it makes your shoe only heavier and less breathable. The only time a high ankle shoe can be a good pick for a floorball player is when you have to fixate your ankle and the shoe shall provide complementary support to a bandage.
4. Don’t hang loose.
If you really want to locate your feet well, check out the upper sole and its lacing. Avoid shoes that tie you up like a birthday present. They will create pressure marks on your span, but the feet will stay loose on the sides. Laces should fixate your whole foot through a proper upper or by some kind of binding. Another important feature is a comfortable but firm heel cup protecting the back of your feet from slipping out. Though, after a certain amount of time, almost every fabric gets soft. Floorball players with a higher training workload than three units a week need at least two pairs of shoes a season.
5. Stay flexible.
Though you want to locate your feet well, your sole has to remain flexible. That’s not a contradiction. A shoe should bend in the places, where a foot is bending, too. If your outsole is stiff, you won’t be able to perform lateral movement. Besides every acceleration will demand more energy, because your foot is not only fighting the force of gravity but also the stiffness of your outsole.
6. Less is more.
Every gram makes you slower. Nowadays indoor shoes can provide stability without the weight of a brick. The optimal shoe weight is somewhere between 250 and 300 g (at size UK 8). If you really need well cushioned shoes, you shouldn’t top 350 g.
7. Let your brain work.
Weight isn’t the only reason to avoid overcushioned shoes. The more responsive a shoe, the better your feeling for the floor. A chubby double layer of rubber between your feet and the ground absorbs shock waves but it obstructs the transportation of data to your head, too. With a thinner midsole your brain is able to receive more information about your movement and it will provide your body with optimal balance.
8. Round but sharp.
Twisting one’s ankle is the most common floorball injury. You can lower this risk by picking preventive footwear. Focus on the shape of the inner and of the outer shoe edge. The inner one should be round and allow an easy roll over when you want to accelerate or to stretch while blocking a shot. The outer edge should provide some kind of protecting angle, so your foot doesn’t stumble over it too easily in case of a fast lateral stop. But be careful: If such an ankle is too close to your foot, it may even cause the twists you actually want to avoid.
9. Find your drop.
A mostly unknown but very important feature of a good floorball shoe is its drop. The drop is the height difference between heel and toe. If a drop is low, you have a better feeling for the floor, but you will feel every sudden stop in your back. If a drop is high, you might accelerate easier and spare your back, but you will reduce your general movability and perhaps even irritate your achilles tendon. However, the right drop is a very individual thing and you should listen to your body. An optimal value might be found somewhere between 6 and 12 mm.
10. Stick to it.
To perform on every floor you need a perfect grip. People often think, that the sole pattern and the edges of a shoe are the most important features to avoid sliding. Actually it’s all about the sole material. Most brands hide the secret of its composition. Good soles are sticky and abrasion-proof. Unfortunately it takes some time until you know if a shoe keeps its grip. Anyways, when comparing the grip of shoes don’t test it straight up under your body. Stretch your leg out as if you’d prepare for your match warm up and push the foot away from you.
11. Get some air.
To regulate your body’s temperature, you don’t want any of your parts to overheat – including your feet. Look for breathable shoe constructions with a lot of mesh material. Though it reduces the durability of your shoe, it keeps your feet dry and the weight of your shoe low.
12. Time is money.
Quality has its price. Brands categorize their shoe models in predefined price classes so you’ll hardly find solid floorball shoes bellow a recommended retail price of 80 to 100 Euro. Shoes combining newest technologies rise up to 150 Euro and even above. If you want to spare money wait for sales or buy an older model.