Wing Speed Boots
A wingers greatest asset is often their pace and acceleration, enough to get the ball past the defender to deliver the crucial cross or get the shot away before the keeper can react. Many of the games wide-men will opt for a speed boot. We take a look at some of the best for the position.
Top 6 Best Boots for Wingers
1. Nike Mercurial Superfly 8 Elite
Speed merchants Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Roanldo all wear the Mercurial and you'll often see them flying down the wing, the Mercurial is Nike's speed boot and designed as such.
2. adidas X Speedflow.1
Lionel Messi has his own adidas Messi Speedflow, but other great wingers joining him in the Speedflow.1 line are Mohamed Salah, Angel Di Maria, and Serge Gnabry. The boots are a great option for wingers due to their snug and compressive feel coming from the internal Agilitycage liner and Primeknit upper. Accelerate even more with the snappy Carbitex Speedframe outsole.
3. Mizuno Morelia Neo III Beta
The Neo III Beta gives a different dimension of winger experience. It has a slim profile but is packed with the best quality of K-leather known in any football boot.
4. Nike Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite
Lacks the DF collar of the Superfly, but has the same synthetic Vaporposite upper, responsive and anatomic Aertorak soleplate, and Flyknit tongue for a fast-feeling Nike boot.
5. Puma Ultra 1.3
The Puma speed boot as worn by Antoine Griezmann and Christian Pulisic is designed to maximise your pace with a lightweight construction.
6. New Balance Furon 6+
Provides a viable knitted option for a winger's boot. Join the company of Mane, Saka, and Sterling in wearing the Furon 6+.
With the rise of advanced pressing and fluid positioning philosophies as well as changes in adapted formations in today’s football, a lot has changed about the functions of a winger. From positioning to skills, much more is now demanded from the modern winger.
Operating in the flanks and providing width to the attack is always going to be the bread and butter of a winger. But from simply staying near the sidelines and staying in midfield (most especially in a 4-4-2), today’s winger is usually positioned further up the field on the inside, forming a front three with the striker and another winger in the now common 4-3-3 formation.
Lightweight Speed Boots
But a winger today is expected to not just generally flank the striker. Because a fullback is now tasked to move forward (not just be a centre back positioned on the flanks in essence) and create overlapping runs, the winger is now at times inverted (positioned on his weaker side) so that he can provide scoring opportunities (either assists or goals themselves) as he cuts inside to his stronger foot.
While he may not necessarily be the best in tackling, a winger is now being asked to track back and provide at the very least a defensive presence to prevent their defensive end of the flanks from being overloaded by the opposition and be at a numerical disadvantage to them.
In essence, then, a winger should have at least a respectable amount of defensive skills to at least provide enough cover for the team’s defensive organization. However, given that the winger is still the one to stretch the opposition’s line certain attributes are a must. A winger presently is still required to have off the charts pace as he would be doing a lot of running for the team. He is expected to have a great first touch whenever the ball is played long to them. He must be able to dribble his way out of the defence considering that he could either drift inside or continue driving out wide. If he continues outside he should be able to deliver the accurate cross to the box, but if he does otherwise and cuts into his stronger foot, he should be able to be clinical with his finishing, with curving the ball being a plus if there is a need to do so. And given that being able to interchange positions is favoured by today’s top managers, a winger should be ready to lead the line whenever the situation calls for it.
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Today’s great wingers include Liverpool’s Mohamad Salah, Borussia Dortmund’s wunderkind Jadon Sancho, and PSG’s Neymar. If you want to form your play from these world-class stars be sure to also have the necessary boots they are wearing. Salah uses the Adidas X Ghosted .1 and maximizes its pliable Mirageskin upper with his pace supported by the Carbitex Speedframe outsole. Griezmann takes advantage of the lightweight build of the Puma Ultra and its MATRYXEVO upper and Speedunit outsole. Lastly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho wear the Nike Mercurial Superfly 8, and as such, they both benefit from the thin Vaporposite upper which is the best synthetic material Nike has ever produced. They also get a boost to their pace with the aggressive snap back feel of the Aerotrac spine plate.