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jophyal Wed Apr 20, 2011 02:42pm

best shoes you have worn...
What are the best shoes you have worn? Please let me know if you are on field turf or grass.

bossman72 Sat Apr 23, 2011 06:32am

I have a pair of reebok's and a pair of new balance. Reebok's always seem to fit my feet really nice, however they're a little heavy.

HLin NC Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:52am

That's a hard one to answer as no two people's feet are the same. There are different models for grass and artificial surface and quite a few manufacturers. I suffered with plantar fasciitis and until I got custom inserts made, not much else mattered.

The old stand-by's, like the Spotbilt models, are gone. Reebok and New Balance seem to be the only major brands catering to the officials market and the NFL is switching back to Nike as a their major supplier so I guess we will see a change there in the next couple of years.

I'm always on the look-out for a good deal, checking the online suppliers, eBay, and shoe outlets when I travel. If I find a good deal, I'll buy them and put them away if need be.

The NFL Reebok models from a few years back tended to slip at the heel on me. I do have a pair of Thorpe Low models I bought last year off eBay, with a sneaker like tread, that I wear on turf most of the time now. I also have one pair of the discontinued adidas Pro Intimidate Low that I really like.

For grass, I either wear the New Balance 350's or in wet or muddy conditions, a pair of adidas Gridirons that I swapped a former SEC official for a pair of old Spotbilts. These are removable, cleated, football shoes

Overall, I think baseball trainers or turf shoes make the closest, functional shoe that a football official can purchase on the open market now. Its hard to find real leather at all and the baseball shoes in black tend to have the least amount of white that one is going to have to "color in" to be acceptable.

I have a pair of Mizuno Wave Trainer G3's that were solid black and all leather that I really liked. I think they are discontinued now. They were a little heavy and I soon learned that their particular rippled sole is a real #@$%& to clean out after a game on grass. I do know that the SoCon officials have been wearing a later model for their game shoe.

I've got one R that swears by his Nike hi-top Land Sharks.

Texas Aggie Sun Apr 24, 2011 06:03pm

HL is right; everyone is different.

However, I will say I'm a shoe (and equipment in general) junkie and these are my observations:

-- Under Armour makes a darn good shoe; I have a black running shoe that I used for subvarsity games last year on the Fieldturf stuff and they worked out fine; they won't be very good in wet or muddy weather, and pray you don't get stepped on (like I did once). We can get away with almost anything in subvarsity as long as the shoe is predominantly black.

-- I purchased a pair of Reebok plate shoes for baseball and they are VERY comfortable -- more so than the Reeboks I bought circa 2006 (football shoes). If the football/baseball field models are as comfortable (I have heard they are) and supportive as the new Reebok plate shoes are, Reeboks should be the first shoe to check out for those that don't have immediate foot issues (Achilles tendonitis, plantar faciatis, etc.);

-- The Nike field trainer (baseball field shoe) is a very good shoe as well; I'll probably start the football varsity season in this one unless I get the Reebok; If the NFL is going Nike, then I'd be interested in seeing new field models as they come out. The only thing I don't like about Nike is the fit, but as long as they come out with a wide shoe, I'll be fine.

-- The New Balance models have regressed to the point where the newer one is all but unwearable for me; if you've been a NB guy, don't assume the new models fit and wear like the older ones -- try them out to make sure they'll work before buying or ordering them. I don't recommend NB unless all the other brands don't work for you.

-- if you are like me and work on both grass and turf, the small studs, like the Nike baseball trainer, work fine for both; that is, except in muddy conditions; Under Armour makes some more studded shoes that work well on wet grass or in mud; I think the days of wearing the Spotbilt stud or similar shoes are over (obviously for Spotbilt, since they are no longer).

I will have at least 4 pairs I work through next fall:

-- my UA running shoes for subvarsity; easier to stand for 3.5-4 hours on my feet on those, but will watch out for lineman stepping on my feet!

-- My Nike trainers for varsity games I don't work with my crew on;

-- A new pair of of either Reeboks or Nikes that I will match up with my crew -- the white on black shoes will go really well with the new black pants;

-- a as of yet to be determined mud pair or two -- probably including the NB pair I hate. I will probably look at another UA pair with the synthetic leather rather than the mesh like the ones I have now.

That's just me, but every football official should have at least 2 and probably 3 pairs of shoes ready to go.

And you guys thought the black pants were going to cause headaches!

jophyal Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:53pm

thanks for the replies... I have different shoes for each sitch. I have been given a set of orthotics and they seem to help. I will have them broken in by two a days and scrimmages. I have been wearing Boombah's the last two years and find them inexpensive and very durable. The turf shoes work well on turf and grass.

BIG UMP Mon Apr 25, 2011 03:25pm

I have been a New Balance official for 10 or 12 years. At present I wear the 995s and do like them. Reebok and Nike don't offer the wide widths that I like.

I have always believed for everyday and sports shoes I don't skimp on the price, I walk on these dogs all day everyday and want to keep them happy and comfortable.

jophyal Tue Apr 26, 2011 01:48pm


Originally Posted by big ump (Post 753245)
i have been a new balance official for 10 or 12 years. At present i wear the 995s and do like them. Reebok and nike don't offer the wide widths that i like.

I have always believed for everyday and sports shoes i don't skimp on the price, i walk on these dogs all day everyday and want to keep them happy and comfortable.


JugglingReferee Tue Apr 26, 2011 04:49pm


Originally Posted by jophyal (Post 752135)
What are the best shoes you have worn? Please let me know if you are on field turf or grass.

Best shoes? I have a really nice pair of shiny dress shoes. Chicks dig them.

Re: your 2nd question; currently I am on my sofa.

Sonofanump Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:33pm

All but two of our schools are on turf, even all our local schools that play JV are turf. For turf I wear the NB995. Love them. For grass I have a pair of Easton soft cleat baseball shoes that get seldom use.

I used to have a pair of the old Reebok NFL that I liked and wore out.

With_Two_Flakes Sat Apr 30, 2011 09:13pm

Back in 2007, I managed to get hold of the last pair of the old style Spotbilt OS95 (picture link above) from Honig's warehouse when I was visiting Ann Arbor. Lucky for me they were my size. I recently started wearing them as my previous pair gave up the ghost. What I'll wear when these die, I have no idea. Been wearing OS95's since 1991.

Jim S Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:15am

I too am a New Balance fan. I use the 995 on turf ( have n older pair of cleted shoes for those one or to non-turf games each year when it's muddy), and also their plate shoe on the baseball & softball diamonds (absolutely the best plate shoe I have had in 50+ years of working behind the plate).

mean Gene Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:00pm

Adidas Turf hogs, great shoe and you can find them at a great price $40 or less

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