What are the best kicking/punting shoes and what innersoles do you use to gain a “leg up on your competition?”

Posted Posted by admin in Blog     Comments 1 comment

What are the best kicking/punting shoes and what innersoles do you use to gain a “leg up on your competition?”

Today, this blog’s focus is on what type of kicking shoe (boot or whatever you want to call it) works best for you? As I have stated in past article, just like there is not one “perfect way” to punt or kick a field goal (because of many factors we now all know) there really is not a “perfect” kicking shoe (if there were someone would have cornered the market and all the 64 kickers and punters in the NFL would be endorsing them).

As with anything else, we as kickers and punters “prefer” a certain style – and generally ONLY change our shoes if in the event of some poorly struck balls (just like golfers and tennis players who after a poor shot always seem to look at the club or tennis racket and blame it on the equipment) have been coming off our kicking foot lately, and we “need a change for the better”. I am not writing to state that as a kicking specialist we don’t need an “upgrade” once in awhile (or maybe just a new shoe to try out the more serious we become) but the old adage of “if the shoe fits” analogy then its best to stay with what is working (well until you get to college and find out your college has an endorsement with Brand “X” and you might have to wear theirs and not the ones you like).

Before we look at the different styles let’s face one important fact! Shoe companies come out with a new and improved brand of shoe for one simple reason. They want to sell more shoes! What a brilliant concept in our capitalistic society. If we can add an All-Pro kicker who won The Super Bowl wearing the latest and greatest kickers’ shoe- then even more reason to convince Mom and Dad to purchase for their son the latest $400.00 pair of shoes being endorsed-and no doubt within the first time lacing them up and hitting the football field are “crushing the ball” longer and more consistently than ever before (of course, until little Johnny misses a bunch of kicks –and we are back out at it again).

As it relates to the type of shoes out in the “kicking world” most of them (over 98%) are developed for the soccer style kicker who is probably kicking at the HS level in football/soccer, or playing club soccer in the “off-season”. And of course, Johnny Jr. can convince Mom and Dad that the $400.00 pair is now really a good value since he can wear them for a “whole year” (until of course his feet grow 2 sizes in 6 months-then it starts all over again).

For the most part, I am not going to focus on Brand “X” over Brand “Y”, because simply I have not worn them all and tried them all (nor have the kickers I work with nationwide). But here are a couple that have what we refer to as “Functional Differences” over some others.
• First, they must be lightweight (no more than 11 ounces-)
• Made of a solid leather (no cheap plastic ones) Kangaroo Leather is a great leather
• Side laces over front laces with no “shoe tongues flaps” over the laces for better ball striking-especially on punts (and yes a favorite of mine is the kicking shoe from Mike Doan’s company Wizard Kicking…(www.wizardkicking.com) and no am not getting any commission back from Mike on this-but with full disclosure our son uses them to kick!
• Innersoles that are not “glued” to the shoe so you can replace the innersoles (I will touch on this below).
• No more than a ½ cleat (depending on what level you are playing at High School and colleges) that will allow you to “step through the ball deeper” especially if you kick mainly on real grass (Here is also a hint for you. If you think the cleat is “catching” the grass/turf too much – try some sand paper and shave it down a bit on your kicking shoe on the inside of the cleats-and don’t worry it won’t throw you off balance)
• No replacement screw-ins just stay with the molded low cleat bottom versions.

Lastly, one of the biggest “mistakes” I see from younger kickers (and their parents) is not understanding how important it is to the kicker use a proper set of innersoles or the term Orthotics. As I have stated we are all different kickers with all different types of kicking shoes and how we react. As you become more serious in your kicking game, you will see just how even something as small as proper innersoles and Orthotics can make a big difference!

Improper shoe measurement/innersoles are becoming more and more serious for almost every athlete who depends on his/her feet to make a living. Companies such as Dr. Scholls (www.drscholls.com) throughout the US have placed small kiosks in stores such as Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens where one can simply walk in and have their feet “fitted” for the best innersoles to meet their specific needs. New Balance (www.newbalance.com) also offers a computer generated a biomechanical way to ensure proper innersoles are matched for ones feet, and the serious implications arising from foot strains and muscle fatigue and loss of kicking power that bring on stress to a kicker’s joints and soft tissues. Others like Superfeet (www.superfeet.com) and SpencoRX (www.spenco.com) offer great tips and advice on various issues, from arch supports, to dealing with fallen, flat, or low arches and the proper support that might be best for you as a kicker, and how by using innersoles can assist in overall better balance and increased kicking stability and ball striking.

In conclusion, taking your kicking game to the next level requires a kicker nowadays to not just assess how they kick- but more importantly what “kicking tools” they need to ensure that in the end they are bringing everything to the game to succeed-or as some bright person stated a long time ago… “It’s the little things that really count”. +++++

Coach Nolan

1 Comment to “What are the best kicking/punting shoes and what innersoles do you use to gain a “leg up on your competition?””

  • Good blog, Thomas will try shaving down the two inside cleats on his kicking shoe to see how this works for him.