What are the best football boots for 4G pitches?
When you're playing on a 4G pitch, you've got to make sure your boots are up to the task.
Just like the technology and equipment within the beautiful game of football, the choice of surface it can be played on has also evolved and expanded through the years. Although it still exists, there’s now not as many kids going home with cut knees picked up performing their best sliding tackle on gravelly concrete street pens. Now most children and adults, who still cling on to the dream that their big break is just around the corner, have safer pitches to go and strut their stuff on.
First there’s the sand-based 2G which has since been followed by rubber crumb 3G and now 4G, which is purely synthetic grass. A lot of football clubs are now investing in the latter as they are easier to maintain and can be a source of income throughout the whole year. But whether you’re just having a kickabout or are playing for a club which has a fourth generation surface, you will need to have the proper footwear which will allow you to excel.
So with firm ground blades or metal studs not recommended, we at FOOTY.COM have decided to select the five best football boot options to wear when playing on AG (Artificial Ground) pitches.
adidas Predator 19.3 AG
We’re going to kick things off with adidas and their Predator 19.3 AG boot. David Beckham made this series of boots a household name in his playing days and this version has been adapted for 4G pitches that certainly weren’t around when Becks was whipping free-kicks into the top corner. The outsole features 21 conical studs, specially installed to adapt to AG, while the mesh upper material is designed to follow the shape of the user’s foot which allows for a snug, sock-like fit. Available in various colours the boot possesses a collar which extends up to the ankle offering a more secure lockdown. Beware, the Predator 19.3 AG is not the best for those with wide feet and you may have to go half a size larger than your norm.
Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite AG-PRO
Nike’s big-selling Mercurial Superfly 360 boots are also one of the best performers on 4G with their AG-Pro version. Another blessed with conical studs, this great-looking shoe with Flyknit upper, wraps the foot for a perfect and comfortable fit. This helps with feel and ball control, while a forefoot plate optimises a player’s speed – a deadly combination which makes the Superfly 360 the choice of footwear for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nike’s star offering – which is on the market in a stunning Black/Metallic Vivid Gold among other colourways - can take a few matches to break into but once that’s happened they are said to be extremely comfortable. We doubt the record-breaking Portuguese superstar would wear them if this was not completely accurate!
PUMA ONE 19.1 evoKNIT AG
Worn by one of the world’s sharpest shooters in Sergio Aguero, the Puma One’s are also as lethal on 4G with their evoKNIT AG version. Engineered for supreme comfort, this boot maximises a player’s speed and control. A sock-like feel via PUMA’s evoKNIT technology adapts to the foot, while the FUSEFIT lacing set-up tailors to give users the ultimate fit. Lightweight and breathable, the One 19.1 also boasts a RAPIDSPRINT outsole and stud configuration perfect for speed. Available in various colours, it also has a soft K-Leather upper which offers great traction to help you beat your opponent to the ball. However, it has been claimed that it stretches overtime which can affect the fit so that’s definitely something to bear in mind.
New Balance Furon 2.0 Pro AG
Next up is New Balance and their AG version of the Furon 2.0. Although older than the other boots on this list, that doesn’t make it the least worthy option. The Furon’s breathable Hybrid Mesh upper has been designed with a wide strike zone to help produce the cleanest of shots in any condition. An Ultra-Directional stud design and stiffened soleplate offer unbeatable straight-line speed, energy return and, importantly, grip on 4G surfaces.
With speed and striking two beneficiaries of the Furon it’s no surprise that Liverpool’s Sadio Mane is currently wearing the latest edition - the v5. The Senegalese star will also be impressed with its Top Line Lacing system and ultralight Fantom Fit which give wearers fantastic lockdown. If you don’t like black, bright red and yellow together these may not be the boots for you as the AG edition is limited to that colourway in a few different combinations.
adidas X 18.3 Artificial Grass
Another offering from adidas but this time this is an AG boot which offers great value for money. The adidas X 18.3 Artificial Grass is extremely comfortable, in fact, it gives the other four on this list a real battle in that area. It’s breathable, lightweight dual-layer mesh upper with low-cut Clawcollar creates stability and support by locking the foot down. Multiple hybrid studs optimise grip and traction whether you’re chasing down the ball or dribbling in various directions.
Although not the X 18.3s, there are many notable players who live by adidas’ X range, including striker Luka Jovic and defender Matthijs de Ligt. Because the X18.3 is a cheaper option in the 4G boot market, some buyers have said that they durability can be an issue. However, if you’re just using them for training or play just a couple of times a week, these could be a good acquisition for the new season.
Now it’s up to you to decide. Which pair will aid your training to put you in the forefront of your manager’s mind, or which will help your surpass last season’s goal-tally? Please remember though, we’re strictly saying that these boots are the amongst the best options for use on 4G. Not sure what surface you play then check with your gaffer or club before selecting your weapon of choice. If you play on real grass (you know, the muddy stuff) or five-a-side on 3G then you should check our blog: “When to wear soft ground or firm ground football boots”.