Football boots with fold over tongue, what’s the difference?

With the reappearance of the Predator Mania “Champagne” or the release of the Tiempo VI Totti x Roma, the soccer boots with folded tongues are back to the delight of the nostalgic. But really, what makes them so different from other soccer boots?
These days, it’s pretty rare to see players wearing soccer boots with long folded tongues on the field. Although the Adidas Copa Mundial is still popular with players over 30, this type of boot has become extremely rare in recent years. The companies have since focused on minimalist boots that should provide the maximum effect of playing barefoot. Hence the disappearance of the famous folded tongue boots. But in concrete terms, what does this change for the practice? and are they really necessary?

Image courtesy of Sportbible.com , Copyright Sportbible.com

1) MORE EFFICIENT TO PROTECT THE INSTEP
The first use of a boot with a long tongue that can be folded is to better protect the instep from the blows of opposing studs. Since the boots with this type of tongue are exclusively made of leather, this folded tongue can act as an additional layer of protection that is all the more effective. This is why the Adidas Copa Mundial is generally considered a “defender’s” boot. Compared to the ultra-thin, often synthetic uppers of modern shoes, there’s no denying that these leather shoes with a folded tongue mitigate stud hits on the instep more.

2) COVER THE LACES SO AS NOT TO INTERFERE WITH BALL STRIKING.
The long folding tabs were also designed to cover the laces on the instep so as not to interfere with dribbling or hitting the ball. Indeed, the laces of the time being more massive than those of today, these last ones could modify involuntarily certain trajectories or ball drives. But paradoxically, a badly folded tongue could also affect the trajectory of the balls. That’s why equipment manufacturers added an elastic band around the tongue, to better fix it on the boot and avoid any inconvenience during the game.

3) AN ICONIC LOOK
Beyond technology and practicality, soccer boots with folded tabs are most prized for their look. Like any vintage item, many players are attached to this style that has been lost over time. When asked about his attachment to soccer boots with these tongues, Francesco Totti had no other explanation than his attachment to a type of boot that accompanied him in his early days and which he never wanted to get rid of: “I always played with boots with its long folded tongues. Over time, it became a sort of travel companion. To put it simply, I’m attached to that tongue.”

In the end, even though they can be really useful, soccer boots with a folded tongue are mostly part of a trend, a fashion statement. This trend is outdated at the moment (especially for young players) but it could well become fashionable again given the passion generated by the return of the Predator Mania “Champagne”. Like all fashions, these famous tabs are bound to make a long-lasting comeback in a few years. Before disappearing and reappearing again … Anyway, these boots with folded tongues will always have fans, collectors, or nostalgic who will perpetuate their legend

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