Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Cobbler-altered soccer shoes working great

On May 18 (David Virgil's Blog: Adidas Top Sala X IN my choice for soccer shoes) I reported how I had bought a new pair of indoor soccer shoes.

For 3 months, until August 22, I suffered through what could be called a 'defect' in the Top Sala X IN shoe: it features a stout high thick horizontally and vertically prominent toe-ridge, in between the sole and the soft top of the shoe.

This toe-ridge caused problems for my style of game: it was very difficult to roll the ball back with the right foot and then immediately flip it up and forwards to start an aerial run (I am left-footed). It was very difficult to start a run by flipping the ball up high with the right-foot after rolling it back, so as to be able to contact the ball with the thigh not the foot on the first touch of the run; it was difficult to do such with the left-foot.

I suffered through the impairment caused by the prominent toe-ridge for too long. I felt as if I would simply be able to tough it out, and develop the skills I wanted to develop, despite the toe-ridge issue. Since the toe-ridge generally speaking was impairing my right-footed work and not my left-footed work (I am left-footed) I felt as if the problem was a skill problem not a foot problem.

Darius from Lithuania showed me that when it comes to doing the 'sombrero' move wherein the ball is flipped up without it first being rolled back, that this move could be done with my Top Sala shoes featuring the prominent toe-ridge.

Finally I got around to looking around for a cobbler who would be able to sand down the prominent toe-ridge, and who would take a credit card I use to spend a certain private fund's money. Most of the cobblers did not take credit cards. The closest one was working only two days a week, and I remembered how he usually told me that the work I wanted to do on a shoe should not be done because it would be too expensive and a new pair of shoes should be bought instead.

I found a cobbler (Shoe Repair Newton, MA - The Cobbler Shop) who did an excellent job sanding down the toe-ridge, using a powered machine-sander type tool he had in his shop; and he only charged me $10, the credit card minimum. This cobbler looked like a soccer player; the result produced by the machine sander was so perfect it looked like the shoe came straight out of the factory after he sanded down the toe-ridge.

The cobbler warned me before he did the work, that there was a possibility that my shoe would not survive the work, but I told him to go ahead, and everthing worked out great.

The first couple of days after he sanded down the toes on August 22, I did not notice improvement, but after August 24th improvement accelerated dramatically, compared to how things were going before the cobbler machine-sanded down the toes.

I am now convinced that the Adidas Top Sala X IN shoes with the prominent toe-ridge sanded down, are the best shoes available for my kind of game. The mesh helps to catch the ball like a basket for glancing blows to the underside of the ball with the top of the foot; the shoelaces run down the middle which enhances backspin; the prominent toe-ridge is no longer a problem for flipping the ball up, or in terms of having to get the foot extra low when kicking the underside of the ball.

Come to think of it, the toe-ridge is not a defect, in that if you know how to work with a competent cobbler, you can customize the size and shape of the toe-ridge.

Note: Darius seemed convinced that his method of flipping the ball up, which does not involve having to roll it backwards immediately before flipping it up and forwards, was superior to my method involving flipping the ball up after rolling it backwards. However I am sure that my method is superior. Fact is that in reality, to use Darius' method, one must first stop the ball with the sole of the foot on top of the ball. Once the ball is thus stopped, taking the foot off the ball without rolling it back, & then flipping it up, simply greatly reduces speed, accuracy and range.

Labels: , ,