Field hockey. Such much fun. So intense as you manoeuvre around the field speeding up and slowing down. So exciting when you score that precious point that pushes your team into the lead. But the game isn’t that enjoyable if you are wearing the wrong footwear. Just as you spend time considering the right hockey stick for you, it’s equally important that you choose the correct field hockey shoes.
When playing field hockey you need to have shoes that are comfortable, fit correctly and provide you with the support and cushioning you need as your feet impact the hard surface of the hockey field.
Choosing the wrong type shoes can lead to a range of foot and leg issues and that means taking time out from the game you enjoy. But, we don’t want that. We want you to go back out on the field with shoes that are comfortable and a pleasure to wear. Here we will tell you why you need great field hockey shoes, the best brands and also the best shoes.
Ready? Let’s get the game under way…
My legs are sore
When you are out on the field chasing, attacking and defending your feet and lower legs take a hammering as they pound against the ground. As you may be aware, for those of you that have been in the game for a bit, there are physical issues that you can experience if you don’t have the correct footwear. For those new to the game, here are some of the more common problems that hockey players suffer (this isn’t meant to scare you, but highlight the importance of choosing the best shoes for field hockey).
When running you are placing stress on your shin bones and the tissues that connect the muscles of your lower leg to the bones. Shin splints are typically caused by flat feet, weak ankles or poor fitting shoes that don’t offer support.
Field hockey players can become victims of Plantar fasciitis through the constant running and movement that is required in the game. The pain is noticeable in the first few steps when you get up in the morning, yet it decreases during the day. The bad news is that the pain returns if standing for prolonged periods of time.
Plantar fasciitis, like Shin splints, can be caused by ill fitting shoes that don’t support your feet.
This condition is caused through the overuse of the Achilles tendon connecting the calf muscles to your heel and occurs when you change the intensity of running (such as when you go from a slow run to a sprint during a hockey match). If you find that your shoes don’t offer cushioning to your heels or the arches of your feet, then replace them. Also, don’t use worn out shoes.
Corns and calluses
If your feet are constantly rubbing against the sides of your shoes due to the footwear being too loose, you will eventually develop corns. Additionally, shoes that are too tight restrict the movement of your foot causing it to rub against your shoes (your toes will also be squashed together and brushing against each other) which creates corns.
Calluses are formed through the hardening of the skin of your foot through shoes that are too tight putting pressure on your feet. The shape of your foot also is a factor in the development of calluses. If you have a high arched foot or protrusions, these areas are forced against the inner of your shoes and the result is…calluses!
Turf and support
Now you know the painful truth of what can happen to your feet if you slip on the wrong type of shoes, you think that choosing footwear is easy. But, hang on. Before you rush out to your favourite shoe store, there is still more that you need to think about.
What is this surface?
When it comes to hockey practice and training, are you doing it on grass, asphalt, astro turf, wood or concrete? Also, when it comes to the game, are you playing on an actual field or on artificial turf? The difference determines if you have to get shoes with cleats or rubber grips. These give you the support and agility that is required.
Cleats are the best option if you are training and playing on grass. For the other surfaces, then rubber grips are the way to go.
It’s all about support
We have seen what poor footwear can do to your feet, and that is something we want to avoid. So, when you are looking at buying new field hockey shoes, look at those that give the arch of your foot support (especially for those of you who suffer from flat feet) as well as cushion and your heel. You don’t want shoes that are too loose, or too tight. Like Goldilocks out shoe shopping, you want to find a pair of shoes that are “just right”.
You will find that after several hockey sessions, your shoes will conform to the shape of your foot.
These will last, won’t they?
How would you like to buy a new pair of shoes after several games out on the field? No, we also think that isn’t such a great idea either. Field hockey shoes aren’t all created equal and it pays to consider forking over a little bit more extra cash to get a pair of shoes that will last the distance.
A decent pair of shoes should last anywhere between 1 to 2 years before you need to replace them. However, remember that worn out shoes can cause discomfort in your feet and legs, so look closely at the shoes when you wear them and if you think you are going to have some issues from them, then replace the shoes.
The most respected brands in field hockey
As we mentioned there are some shoes that will serve you well and others that, well… let’s not go there, huh?
In the world of field hockey there are some brands that are well respected because of the quality of the footwear they provide. And your feet deserve the best. The following brands are listed in no particular order and are the ones you will find hockey players returning to time and time again.
As you may have guessed from the name alone, Kookaburra is an Australian company founded in 1890 (so it’s been around for a while!). It specialises in cricket and hockey equipment and you know what “specalises” means. Yep, great gear that is designed with you and your foot in mind.
As Australia’s Number 1 sporting brand, Kookaburra has extended its influence beyond Australia and is actively involved in a number of Hockey boards internationally.
Since its inception in Germany, Adidas has always been a company committed to providing exceptional products to the sports industry. Adidas has a clear company vision which is “To be the best sports company in the world.”
With that kind of focus you know that any hockey shoes you get from Adidas is guaranteed to serve you well.
With “Hockey” in the title of their website/online store, you know that you will find nothing but the highest quality hockey products from Grays. Gray’s in one of the top respected companies in the hockey world and it is easy to see why. The equipment they manufacture is of the highest quality and innovation to ensure that you are on the top of your game when you step onto the hockey field.
Founded in Kobe, Japan, in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka Asics has grown to become a respected brand amongst sporting enthusiasts. Inspired by the Latin quote “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (Asics) which translates to “You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Kihachiro strived to ensure that his products encouraged people to become healthy through sports.
If you are wanting some of the best field hockey shoes on the market, then reach for a pair o Asics. You won’t be disappointed.
Which shoes to buy?
Buying shoes can always be fun, yet fraught with issues. Which size should I buy? Will they give me the comfort and support that I need to push back potential foot and leg issues associated with field hockey? Do they look fashionable? What are they made of?
So many things to consider when buying shoes. Obviously you want a pair that will stand up to the strenuous demands of field hockey. We have discussed the best brands, now it’s time to break it down even further.
Best hockey shoes for men
When you run around on the field you get hot, so do your feet. You want to provide comfort for your tootsies and with the Flexcloud Shoes, they are designed with a mesh that allows airflow from the tip of the shoe to circulate around your feet, keeping them cool and dry. Which means, comfort for you!
Ever have a hard hockey ball hit you in the toe? It hurts! But with these shoes, you have no reason to fear if you see that ball heading towards your toes because the TPU toecap in the upper front of the shoe will keep you safe.
If you want to stay as quick and nimble as a cat on the hockey field, then Adidas’ Cloudfoam comes to the rescue! In the midsole of the shoes are cushioned with soft cushioning that makes maneuvering around the field feel like a walk in the…clouds!
Are you prone to injuries when out on the field? Then these shoes from Asics are something that you seriously need to look at.
The Impact Guidance System built into the shoes, working from the heel to the entire foot provides a holistic approach to supporting your feet as you impact with the ground and twist and turn as you defend and attack on the field. In addition, you are additionally protected from impacts through the Gel Cushioning System as well as provide you with shock resistance. That means you can last the entire game in comfort.
You don’t want havey shoes weighing you down which affects your speed and agility. The sponge in the base of the shoes is made Asics’ Solyte technology, making the cushions weigh 50% less than the EVA counterparts. In addition to the lightness, Solyte gives you more bounce in your step, so you can attack faster.
Do you find yourself slip sliding away whilst playing hockey? Gray’s will give you the grip and traction that you need through it’s All Surface Performance Sole Unit which gives you bigger studs for superior hold on the field.
For the comfort and to keep your feet from overheating, Gray’s AirFlow-X and the GR Tex with Gorse mesh allows for air to circulate through the shoes cooling your feet and allowing them to breath.
A TPU counter is contained within the shoe to support your heel which minimises sideways movement of your heel. The overall design of the Burner Rubber Shoe enhances speed and comfort when on the field.
These shoes are made for speed, agility and traction and, if you have a situation where you are playing hockey in the rain, the upper of the shoe is water-resistant coated mesh. Also, internally your feet are kept dry through moisture wicking which is designed to draw moisture away from your feet.
Do you feel pressure on your feet when playing? The Nitro Shoes EVA midsole has been manufactured to alleviate the pressure off your feet and ankles with shocks being absorbed by the lightweight insole.
Stability in movement and grip are provided through the precise placement of the lugs in the outsole.
With so much thought and detail placed in the design of these shoes, it’s not hard to see why Kookaburra is one of the top brands in the world of field hockey.
Best hockey shoes for women
The amazing pink colour with a base that looks like it’s created from “Cookies and Cream” makes it easy for you to be spotted on the field! But apart from the awesome fashion statement you will be making whilst playing hockey, there is more to these shoes. The overlays provide you with support in sideways movements (which means no worrying about any potential ankle twists).
The bottom sole of the shoe is designed with Adidas’ traxion system in which the rubber reduces the pressure on your feet, while the cleats give you great grip on softer turf. The lightweight, durable material of the shoe means that it will give you the comfort and support you are needing as you enjoy another fast-paced match of hockey.
These shoes contain Asics’ Trusstic System Technology where the midsole is stabilised reduce unnecessary twisting when running on the hockey field. Therefore you can take comfort knowing that your feet and ankles are in good hands…uh, shoes!
Also, the Gel-Hockey Neo Shoes have DuoMax technology which controls the inward roll of your heel. Too much roll means that you will end up suffering an injury. DuoMax technology was designed to counter overpronation of excessive heel roll.
Your feet aren’t going to get all hot and sweaty either, thanks to the breathable mesh fabric.
Do you want a shoe that feels like you are slipping into a sock? Then the Flight AST is the one! The one-piece design slides onto your foot and minimises the chances of water coming into your shoe.
The outsole is created to give you the best grip possible even on those surfaces that are wet or greasy. The middle of the shoe is made to provide you with the ability to make the best turns and twists as you chase, defend and attack, without you having to be concerned about hurting your ankle.
Your speed is also enhanced through the lightweight upper of the shoe.
Gray’s is truly dedicated to ensuring that hockey players are provided with the best shoes that maximise on-field performance as well as training.
The purple and grey outer of these shoes make them look cute, but they aren’t just footwear designed for aesthetic value. They are made to help you become a force to be reckoned with on the hockey field.
The triangular lugs are placed in such a way as to maximise your grip on the field while supporting your feet. The upper mesh is water resistant and durable, so you have confidence that the shoes can take a hammering in any weather while keeping your feet cool and dry. The insole is pierced so as to allow any sweat to leave the shoe,
The EVA midsole will absorb the impact and shock of your feet hitting the turf, which means you don’t have to think about any probable injuries and focus your attention entirely on getting that precious goal for your team.
Kookaburra takes great care and pride in the creation of their products and it shows in the details they have focused on in the Dusk shoes. Comfort, traction, agility and looks make these shoes a great option when thinking about purchasing new footwear for field hockey.
It’s what you want
You have seen some incredible pairs of shoes in this list but you are an individual and you may have unique needs to ensure that your feet and legs are supported when playing hockey. You want to prevent the health issues we have highlighted such as shin splints, corns and calluses. The shoes we have looked at try to provide the support and comfort you are looking for.
It’s all about you being a hockey playing machine when on the field and your feet feeling the love through the footwear you decide to slip them into.