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Football buying guide

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Football Guide - An Introduction

Any family with a football player or fan knows there is plenty to buy, whether it’s a football goal and football cones for home practice, your favorite team’s gears like a Manchester United jacket, or related items like table football. You’ll need football boots for games and practice, and two of the popular brands include Adidas Predator and Nike Mercurial.

England has a long relationship with football, with recorded accounts of games dating back to the 12th Century. Edward II even banned the game in the 14th Century because young men were more interested in playing football than in practicing their archery skills, and he feared the country would not be safe without enough skilled archers. In addition to the military objections of Edward II and several subsequent kings, the church opposed football being played on Sunday. Eventually, however, football has won out, remaining one of the most popular sports in the UK.

Modern UK football was invented in 1863 when the Football Association was formed, and today it’s more popular than ever. Premier League Football began in 2002 in an attempt to revive UK Football’s tarnished image, after English football was banned in several other countries due to its violence. Now the Premier League has managed to create a brand that fans around the world can be proud to watch.

Price Inspector has all the football gear, games, and clothing you could want. We shop the UK stores to make it easy for you to buy the best football items at cheap prices. Let Price Inspector help you find what you want at the best prices.

Major brands

  • AdidasAdidas has been a leader in the sporting good industry for more than 80 years. Founded on the goals of making the best shoe for the sport, to protect athletes from injury, and to make durable shoes, Adidas remains at the forefront of the soccer industry. They continually strengthen the brand by further enhancing their product line.
  • Nike: Although Nike was formed in the early 1960s as an elite running shoe company, the first shoe to hit the retail market was actually a football boot. Nike provides fierce competition for Adidas, with the two companies representing their fair share of loyal football fans.
  • Puma: Founded in Italy, it’s no surprise the Puma is dedicated to football. They sponsor the Italian team, which in 2006 became the first Puma sponsored team to win the World Cup. With their experience working with the Italian team, they have developed some of the best shoes and gear in the industry.
  • UmbroUmbro is now a division of Nike, but they are a Manchester-based company that originated in the field of sports tailoring. With the UK background, they know UK football intimately, and are dedicated to the sport. They combine their traditions with their ongoing commitment to the sport, blending performance and style.
  • RucanorRucanor is another classic sports shoe company. Founded in 1956 in Rottendam, they have grown to be an international company with distributorships in more than 30 countries. Their best-selling shoe remains their first sneaker ever, the Rucanor 281. They are not the best-known name in football, but they have some world-class players under their sponsorship.

 

Table football games

Whether you’re a spectator or a competitor, there’s always room for some off-field football play. If you’re interested in table football, there are a few decisions to make. There are a lot of different tables available, and it can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

First, consider who will be playing. If this will primarily be used as a children’s toy, there are many affordable table football games. Look for decent rods and a level, playable surface. At the lower price end, however, there can be some dead spots on the table or erratic rolling areas. For beginners, just the fun of having the game will provide hours of enjoyment, and these won’t be major detractors. You can even find an adjustable height table, perfect as your younger players are learning the game.

For intermediate players, however, the skills are starting to develop, and you need a higher quality table. Table football games in the middle price range usually provide a consistent, even playing surface. If you use high quality balls, this will let players learn to spin, stop, and maneuver more easily. If you’re serious about learning to play, intermediate tables are appropriate for beginner players as well.

At the upper end of the price range, high-end tables give players of all levels the ability to enhance their skills. The biggest selling feature, however, is the durability of the cabinet. They are designed to withstand heavy use, so if you have energetic players, these are the best choice.

Console football games

Although there are only a few major gaming platforms, such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii, there are dozens of football games to choose from. To give a sample for different consoles and player abilities, we highlight 3 different games:

  • FIFA 10: One of the top football games for PS3 or XBox is FIFA 10. Each year, FIFA builds on the previous version. The latest release offers superior dribbling and uncanny player likenesses, it brings a degree of realism unmatched by other football games. The Artificial Intelligence has been greatly enhanced, so that your team mates and opponents now react to the match situation with appropriate football moves. There is even changing weather that affects the play, just like in real-life football matches.
  • Mario Strikers Charged Football: Players can charge-up the ball in a couple of different ways, setting the stage for super-powered offensive moves, even teleporting past the goal keeper. Even though younger players can play happily with the surface moves, more experienced players can happily discover many hidden moves and extended plays. Add the community support, team selection capability, and the personal Mii profile, and you have a very complete game for both new and advanced players.
  • Football Manager 10: For advanced players, Football Manager 10 is a good manager simulation game. Control all aspects of the game, such as getting players to improve their game, which assistant coaches to target, and feedback between games. An enhanced tools lets you analyse every kick, pass, or shot of the match, watching real-time replays. You can even define player roles more easily than in years past.

Tips to consider before  buying any Football Items

  • Boots: The appropriate style will depend on your style of play and your skill level. Boots with detachable cleats are designed for intermediate to advanced players; while they are designed for use on soft turf, they are fine on most surfaces. The boots have metal cleats that can be removed and replaced.
  • Indoor shoes, as the name implies, are designed for indoor play, and do not have cleats. They are not appropriate for outdoor play. Moulded cleats are good for a variety of field types, good for both beginners and intermediate players. The cleats are moulded into the shoe and are not removable. Like indoor shoes, turf shoes do not have studs. Their rubber soles are meant for either indoor play or artificial turf.
  • Balls: You have to have a ball before you can play, but how do you know which one? Size 3 is for children under 8. Size 4 is bigger and heavier, meant for children between 8 and 13, and Size 5 is for teens and adults. The most common is a synthetic leather cover, either in PVC or polyurethane.

    The interior of the ball will depend on your personal preferences. Latex bladders offer a more responsive ball, but they don’t hold air as long. Expect to fill the ball about once a week. Your other choice, butyl bladders hold air longer. Also, balls with hand stitching last longer, but they are more expensive than machine-stitched ones.
  • Shin Guards: Guards are not only common sense, they’re also a required piece of equipment. Shin guards use different materials, which determine how strong they are. Most of them use EVA foam on the inside to help absorb shock, but the outsides will vary. Plastic is inexpensive, but it doesn’t last long under very aggressive play. Plastic shin guards might be appropriate for younger players, but not for adults and teens. Polyurethane shin guards provide the most protection; however, they’re heavy, so they’re not good for younger children. In between the two, there is fiberglass or K-resin. They are lightweight, but they provide more protection than plastic.

Jargon Explained

ButylA synthetic rubber compound that creates an air-tight seal, with the lowest gas permeability of all rubber compounds.
LatexA milky tree sap that coagulates to form rubber.
PVC Also known as polyvinyl chloride: a commonly used petroleum-based plastic.
Polyurethane or PUA polymer that contains urethane, usually used as a plastic or rubber. 
 

Buying Guide to Football
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