The differences between men’s and women’s football boots have long been a topic of discussion. Historically, women were banned from playing football in League grounds by the Football Association in 1921.
However, times have changed, and women’s football has gained significant recognition and success.
Despite football being predominantly male-dominated, the need for women-specific football boots was evident. Recognizing this, major brands like Adidas, Nike, and Puma have started producing football boots tailored for women.
While the basic design of men’s and women’s football boots is similar, there are distinct differences to cater to each gender’s specific needs.
|Historical Evolution||From protective leather to advanced synthetics, football boots reflect the sport’s progression.|
|Design Distinctions||Differences in materials, weight, and studs between men’s and women’s boots cater to specific player needs.|
|Fit and Comfort||Variations in design impact comfort and performance in gender-specific boots.|
|Performance Factors||Boots influence speed, power, and agility, with distinct impacts for men and women.|
|Marketing Influences||Marketing strategies shape the perception of gender-specific boots, often reinforcing stereotypes.|
|Boot Brands||Some of the popular soccer boots for men and women in soccer|
Historical Evolution: Soccer Boots Transcendence
The transcendence of soccer boots in football is one of the many remarkable triumphs of the sport. First starting with the use of work boots after the invention of the sport, 1891 marked the invention of the first boots for soccer.
With the first set of boots came the utilization of studs (small bars) which were approved following the revision of the rules that came in 1891. Prior to 1891, the regulations did not allow anything sticking out of soccer boots.
However, the first set of soccer boots were rather heavy weighing as much as 500g when dry and almost twice as much when wet. This came as a result of the use of heavy leather in creating the boots.
The ground for improvement to the style and form of soccer boots didn’t come until after World War II.
Precisely, the first major update to the nature of boots came in the 1950s with Adidas making the screw-in-studs. These solved a major issue regarding the use of separate boots for different weather conditions.
More evolution in terms of weight and color later occurred over the years with the Addidas Predator being the most popular soccer cleat that was not made in black which was the default color for soccer cleats then.
The Evolving of Soccer Boots For Women
The development of soccer boots for women only came recently in soccer. This new redesign to meet the female spectrum was part of a broader trend in sports manufacturing.
Here companies began to recognize the unique needs and preferences of female athletes, including differences in foot shape and playing style.
Before this time, women typically wore smaller sizes of men’s soccer boots, which often did not provide the optimal fit or support suited to female players’ physiology.
The introduction of women-specific soccer boots marked a significant step in acknowledging and addressing the growing participation of women in soccer. Moreover, it highlighted the need for gear tailored to their specific requirement.
Men vs Women’s Football Boots: Design Differences
Production materials for most soccer boots under the same price range are the same, regardless of gender or age group. Pricing, however, is the major difference that separates the material for regular and premium football boots.
Therefore, there are really no varying features in material for women’s soccer cleats in contrast to men.
The weight of men’s and women’s soccer cleats is close, with female boots being lighter because of the design. This design is due to the smaller, narrower, and lesser volume of the feet of female athletes.
When factoring in this difference, there is a mild dip in what both football boots will weigh, with the women’s cleats being lighter.
The most important detail that should be looked upon while discussing men vs women’s football boots is the stud pattern.
This is because, beneath the beautiful and robust-looking boots, lies the soleplate with a stud configuration that is the most dominating and prime part of a football boot.
If not for the soleplate and stud pattern, players would face a lack of grip on the surface and chances of slipping would increase. All in all, modern playing is impossible without proper football boots.
Let us take a look at several types of stud patterns and which stud pattern is suitable for what condition
1. Firm Ground Studs (FG)
Firm Ground Studs are bladed or conical in shape. The molded studs are in different sizes and shapes across the sole.
They are non-removable PU/TPU studs of rubber material. Football boots that feature these kinds of studs are mostly suitable for natural dry grass.
They are not ideal for damp or wet pitches but can hold up in those kind of conditions. So, overall, this stud pattern is essentially an all-rounder for you irrespective of the debate regarding men vs women’s football boots.
2. Soft Ground Studs (SG)
Soft ground studs are conical in shape and are longer than usual to enable extreme penetration in the soft and muddy ground for maximum traction and stability.
They are usually made up of metal. Football boots featuring soft ground stud patterns are most suitable in muddy football pitches.
Make sure that you do not wear them on firm ground as you will most probably get yourself injured.
3. Artificial Ground Studs (AG)
This stud pattern is not so different from the Firm Ground Stud Pattern.
Both have plastic studs of conical or rounded shape but in the case of Artificial Ground Studs, there is a hole in the middle of the studs to give less traction on the AG surface.
As the name suggests itself, this stud pattern is for artificial surfaces such as AstroTurf 3G or 4G.
Men vs Women’s Football Boots: Fit and Comfort
Shape and Size
Although it is said that soccer cleats are unisex, they are made with the purpose of catering to the male folks who make up the majority of footballers.
One aspect where this is very evident is the size of these boots. Men’s cleats are generally larger and broader, and most football boots are made according to this requirement.
But this fails to consider that women’s feet have a different physiological structure. This difference is mainly in terms of length and broadness, fortunately, this is where female soccer boots come in.
Unlike the prevalent boots, they are made with the understanding that women need a separate set of necessities in football boots which also need to be catered to achieve excellent on-field performance.
Can Women Wear Kid Sizes of Football Boots?
Ladies who have small leg sizes can take up kid-sized soccer boots giving them the chance to save up on cost. However, this might mean they lose some features in terms of look and performance which are on adult boots.
The difference in Standard Size
Men’s football boots are, according to a general observation, two widths wider and one and a half inches long as compared to women’s football boots.
This difference is due to the factor of genetics, as we will discuss later in the article. Women’s feet are smaller and thinner than men’s feet, so their boots follow the same rule.
Men vs Women’s Football Boots: Performance Factors
The lightweight and aerodynamic designs we see with soccer boots for men are built more around the need for increased speed and reduced drag in the motion of soccer players on the field.
For women’s soccer boots, stability and balance are prioritized along with speed. Therefore, biomechanics offers good traction along with quick, agile movements.
A report was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which elaborated that men when suddenly changing direction while playing, put more pressure on their feet as compared to women.
Thus, manufacturers keep this point in mind while manufacturing men vs women’s football boots. As there is a greater risk of injury boots are designed to tackle more pressure easily.
Hence, Men’s football boots are more stable than women’s football boots eliminating the chance of bad injuries considerably.
The make of men’s soccer cleats places attention on striking power, which is vital in professional football.
This is achieved through reinforced areas on the boot, such as a tougher toe box or a rigid midsole, which can aid in transferring more force during a shot.
Meanwhile, while women’s football boots also take into account power and precision, they also consider flexibility in certain areas, like the forefoot.
This is to allow for a more nuanced touch and control, which can be advantageous in precise shooting or passing.
To allow for agility when performing quick pivots and turns, manufacturers brought about the combination of the lightweight design and stud configuration found in men’s football boots.
The soleplate and stud pattern are engineered to enable rapid changes in direction without losing balance or traction.
Women’s boots might have a different approach to agility, taking into account factors like lower body mass and strength.
This could mean their stud configuration is optimized for quickness, more frequent directional changes, and a soleplate designed for better ground feedback and responsiveness.
Difference In Football Boots For Men and Women
Genetics is something to consider when we talk about men vs women’s football boots. As a general observation, men are bigger than women in both height and width.
As feet are also a part of the body, they would obviously differ as the rules of genetics demonstrate. The feet of women are smaller and thinner as opposed to men’s feet.
Also, men’s feet are longer and wider and tend to have a shallower arch as compared to women’s feet.
Thus, when shopping for women’s football boots, the genetics factor should always come to mind before purchasing.
Size of Men vs Women’s Feet (Research & Analysis)
According to the reference study published on Research Gate, the most popular shoe sizes for men and women in the United States were as follows;
- US 10.5 (10.75in/27.3cm) for men; and
- US 8.5 (10.75in/27.3cm) for women.
This demonstrates the variance in foot lengths and shoe sizes between men and women.
The market has always favored the production of football boots that are aimed at men, who are the main audience. This is because of the dense population of the male audience who play the sport and the possibilities for it to grow.
However, now with the increasing participation of women in football and the identification of the peculiarities of women’s feet, it has given rise to the innovation of female-specific soccer boots.
Adidas’ First Soccer Boots For Women
Adidas in 2016, released their first line of female-specific football boots with the help of some of the top female soccer players in the US such as Becky-Sauerbrunn, the ex-captain of the US national women’s team.
The lines showcased were the Adidas X and the Adidas ACE soccer boots.
Nike First Football Boots For Women
One of the biggest soccer boot brands in the world, Nike, released their first ever female-specific soccer boots this year in 2023, the Nike Phantom Luna boot.
The boot came from 2 years of research, trialing, designing, styling, and listening to players – according to Sport Optus.
Is there a real difference?
The debate about men vs women’s football boots is not so old as the manufacturing of football boots especially for women has started quite recently.
In a nutshell, the points taken and highlighted when making women-specific soccer boots give them an advantage in terms of control, comfort, and fit, all of which add up to an excellent experience on the field.
When compared to men’s soccer boots built for an entirely different audience, the pieces that make them distinct for their own group become more visible.
Popular Men’s And Women’s Football Boots
|Men Soccer Boots||Women Soccer Boots|
|Nike Mercurial||Armour Magnetico 3|
|Adidas X speed||Adidas Predator Edge|
|Nike Tiempo Legend Elite FG||Puma Future 1.4|
|Adidas X Speedportal+ FG||Nike Phantom GT2 Elite|
|adidas Copa Pure.1||Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite|
Why are Women’s Boots not so common?
That is an issue that has been prevailing for some time now. One might wonder, besides being in high demand, why manufacturers avoid making specially customized boots for women?
Well, the issue is that manufacturers do not find it viable to market women’s football boots separately as it is more convenient to manufacture the same football boots in smaller sizes.
So, this is the reason women’s football boots are not so commonly found. Only some brands market them. Other than that, men’s boots in smaller sizes are commonly used by women.
To sum it up, understanding the differences between men’s and women’s football boots is particularly useful for female players. Contrary to some beliefs, female footballers can use men’s boots effectively.
However, the downside to this is they have to choose a size or half a size smaller. For women who prefer extra space in their footwear or have naturally wider feet, men’s boots could be an ideal choice.
Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.
Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.