Kicker Straps – Shoe Modification To Extend Life

One of the things I enjoy about the goalkeeping community is the sharing of hints and tips when it comes to all things kit; this is probably one of my favourites, hopefully you can benefit from this if you don’t already.

I should start by saying that I’ve used a few different brands over the years, and in my opinion OBO’s kickers are amongst the very best for staying in place. Also, while their ‘coated’ kicker straps seem to be the most durable, replacing them can be a costly nuisance – especially for those who regularly play on more abrasive sand-based pitches.

By cutting some studs from the soles of your astroturf trainers to create channels for the straps to sit in you’ll help the kicker to remain in place, and should find that the life of your straps are greatly extended.

Here’s an example of the finished article, posted by *Jones* over at the excellent Field Hockey Forum

To do this yourself, follow the steps below:

  1. Put your trainer only (not foot) in the kicker and do up as you normally would; making sure you have adjusted to the perfect fit and position
  2. Get a marker or felt tip pen and trace the outline on the sole of your shoes where the straps sit
  3. Remove your trainer and carefully cut away any of the ‘studs’ that sit inside the lines you have drawn.
  4. Repeat for your other shoe and kicker.

I’ve found this easiest on regular/old fashioned astroturf trainers which have lots of little studs/spikes on the sole, but the above picture shows it can also be done with the newer style tread.

To remove the studs from the tread I’ve tried lots of things, but for me a regular serrated knife (actually an old steak knife!) works best.

This will make your straps last practically forever (as your remaining astro studs are in contact with the ground, not the the strap itself) and have the added benefits of keeping the kicker itself closer to the turf and help prevent the straps from slipping when on your foot.

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