Some people think leather football boots are old-fashioned. Those people are wrong.
Coming alongside advancements in synthetic and sock materials, leather football boots have continued to evolve over the years. They’ve become softer, stronger and more streamlined, a million miles from those heavy and soggy designs we’d wear on a wet afternoon.
There are several types of leather for you to choose from. Most modern designs make use of lightweight k-leather, improving comfort and responsiveness, while boots made with calf-leather are more water-resistant and durable. Alternatively, you could opt for full-grain leather, which is thicker, stronger and ultimately more natural.
Leather vs Synthetic Boots
Choosing the right football boots is never easy, and the sheer range of materials certainly doesn’t help matters. Synthetic and sock materials have come a long way in recent years, meaning it’s now harder than ever to decide what to go for.
Leather boots are typically more comfortable than other types, partly because these materials will stretch and shape around your foot. This actually means you should consider getting a slightly smaller size, since this stretchiness can actually become a problem if they stretch too far.
While leather boots have always been known for their durability, it’s worth noting that synthetic designs have come a lot closer to matching this recently. The quality of the synthetic materials will obviously depend on the manufacturer you go for, but the bigger brands are now regularly producing a stream of sturdy football boots.
The choice comes down completely to personal preference and your own style of play. Check out our full guide on the differences between leather and synthetic football boots.
How to Stretch Leather Football Boots
Tight football boots are always uncomfortable. Although synthetic boots require a larger break-in time, you still need to stretch out leather before heading out on the pitch. Football boots should feel snug without being restrictive, so it’s always important to wear them in and ensure they’re as comfortable as possible.
Aside from simply wearing them around the house for a bit (which we recommend), you could also try the famous hot water trick or pad the toes box out with newspaper if they’re still too tight. However, leather boots tend to stretch over time, so you need to make sure you don’t stretch them too much and make them too big for you!
Most Popular Leather Football Boots
Classic leather boots such as the Puma King and adidas Copa Mundial are always popular. These are often considered the gold standard of retro football boots, although lately some of the best designs have come from Umbro and Nike.
More recent designs are now combining the benefits of leather and synthetic materials. The Nike Tiempo and Umbro Medusae are the perfect adverts for modern leather football boots, offering both the comfort of leather and innovation of synthetics. In fact, leather has probably never been better.
You should check out our guide on the best leather football boots if you aren’t sure what to go for!