Sports have always been one of the most significant sources of entertainment for most people. The sports industry is easily among one of the most well-known sectors next to Hollywood. Every year billions of dollars are invested into sports to make it better and entertaining than the previous year. A major part of this money is invested in creating the state of the art stadiums and arenas where sports enthusiasts can come and enjoy the live matches. Among the various types of sports worldwide, the most famous and well-known sports is soccer.
No one exactly knowns when soccer was invented; however, some believe that it has been played for the last 3000 years. Soccer has the most fans in the world, making it the number one sport in the world. In most countries, soccer is also known as football. There is not much of an equipment involved in professional soccer except for the ball and the shoes, known as cleats.
We have done some research on the composition of soccer balls about the materials used and the pros and cons of each ball.
A soccer ball has three parts
- The outer cover
- The padding in between
- The bladder
The Outer cover
The outer cover of a soccer ball is the outer part that we are used to seeing. The ball's outer shell is used to protect it from wear and give it a unique appearance. In the past, the outer layer was made from leather, but nowadays, due to the leather soccer ball's heaviness, the outer cover is made from synthetic materials that make the ball lighter.
The padding is the middle layer of the soccer ball that resides between the outer shell and the bladder. The function of the inner layer is to provide softness and bouncy feel to the ball. It is also responsible for the responsiveness of the soccer ball.
In professional soccer balls, the padding is done using four layers of cotton and polyester. In contrast, in standard or non-professional match balls, the padding is a little thin by two cotton and polyester layers. The thin layer makes the ball harder and challenging to play with.
The bladder is one of the main parts of the ball. The bladder holds the air and keeps the football inflated. Commonly the bladder of the football is made of butyl. Butyl is a pretty durable material known to retain air quite well; however, the one con to butyl is that it is deformed easily.
The soccer ball used in professional matches is made of latex. Latex is a much strong material that is not deformed easily and adds to the ball's responsiveness.
This is when the panels or the ball's outer layer are joint together with the padding and the bladder. The stitching is usually done with Kevlar and polyester threads. Kevlar threads increase the water-resistance of the ball.
However, nowadays, the panels are glued together using thermal heating. Professional soccer balls use the glued panel soccer balls as they make the ball much smoother and accurate.
Budget vs. Expensive
Buying a soccer ball that uses multiple layers of padding along with a bladder made of latex will cost you more. If you are a professional player or want that top-notch quality ball, definitely go with the one that is used in professional matches.
Similarly, buying a ball that has fewer layers of padding along with a butyl bladder will cost you significantly less than the more professional balls.
Having good soccer cleats are very important when playing soccer. There are various types of cleats, depending on the type, material, field, and weather conditions.
Firm Ground / Molded Cleats
The firm ground cleats have a basic soccer shoe design. The rubber on the bottom of these cleats is non-removable and is made of hard plastic. The firm ground cleats are best for control and traction of the field. The firm ground cleats are best suited for beginner and intermediate players and can be used in all types of weather conditions.
Soft Ground / Replaceable Cleats
The soft ground cleats have studs on the bottom attached with screws and can be removed when required. The best part about the soft ground cleats is that the studs can be changed to a different length depending on the weather conditions. The studs mostly have metal tips to improve grip. Professional players mostly use these types of cleats.
Hard Ground Cleats
The hard ground cleats are made for hard and artificial surfaces. The shoes have several small studs on the bottom that are evenly distributed to provide a better grip. The studs are designed in such a way to give more accuracy and control on the most challenging grounds, where ordinary shoes would make you slip easily.
The soccer cleats are mainly manufactured using two materials. One is leather, and the other is an artificial synthetic material. The choice of the material depends on how serious of a player you are.
The leather soccer cleats are one of the best shoes that you can buy for your money. The leather cleats provide a much better fit and are generally more comfortable. The softness of the leather is also a major factor that must be considered when buying shoes. The softer the leather, the more comfortable the cleats would feel, but they would become less durable.
One drawback of leather shoes is that they absorb water much quicker, making your shoes feel heavier.
The synthetic soccer cleats are not as comfortable as the leather cleats, but they get the job done. The synthetic material cleats are best for players that are new to the sport and are still developing their skills.
Premium Synthetic Cleats
Using the modern tech, premium synthetic cleats have been developed that are lightweight and much more comfortable than the normal synthetic cleats. These cleats have microfiber that is water repellent. The professional level cleats are designed by combining leather and premium synthetic to get both worlds' best.
The leather cleats are made with much more effort and are much superior compared to the synthetic cleats. Therefore they are much more expensive. The leather and premium synthetic combined cleats are also on the expensive side of things.
The soccer cleats designed using the standard synthetic material are much cheaper than the other two options.