One of the great things about our Australian sports is the amount of variation you see across a playing group, from the small agile mosquito fleet to behemoths, mountains of muscle through, there’s variation everywhere.
What is really unique is there hasn’t been variation in one place for some time, their footwear. The biomechanics demands of each position and the unique body shapes of the players who play their pose a new challenge. So a little over 18 months ago XBlades set themselves on a mission, to create the ultimate contact sports boot.
So what makes it a boot built for contact sports?
We utilised some of our star midfielders, blokes like Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko and Isaac Heeney from the AFL, plus our jets of the NRL like Moylan, French, Graham, and let's not forget guns of the AFLW like Chelsea Randall and Phoebe Monahan, and we asked them what features they were looking for in their football boots. There were the distinct areas they focussed on.
- Support - passing the POD test
- Lightweight Construction
- True Kicking Feel
With consultation from world renown biomechanics and podiatrist Simon Bartold we started development on what would become Voltaic. Like every project, we start at the sole. It was then up to our footwear development team to land on our stud configuration, drop heights and the overall shape of the outsole, built up to create a boot with great speed, grip and traction as well as support through the whole length of the foot. We kept true to our belief (backed by scientific research) that comfort and fit impact directly to performance so we made sure we added a poron innersole and comfort padding at the heel to make Voltaic as comfortable and carefree as we could.
One of the most prominent injuries in Aussie contact sports is Plantar Fasciitis, we’ve introduced a molded inner board and strengthened the sole, try bending our boots in half like you can with some other lightweight boots, you will feel the resistance, this is actively working to protect your feet. Both horizontal and torsional bending meets more resistance than any other “speed” boot we tested.
Our materials team helped to shape the upper of Voltaic, giving it a comfortable yet lightweight structure, our Supercell mesh, whilst ensuring that the contact point of the shoe with the ball was made from kangaroo leather, known for molding to players feet and providing a true kicking feel. We applied our unique resistance finish, helping the leather absorb its shape, you’ll be able to feel the ball zip off it when kicking. By focussing on kicking zones associated with AFL you’ll find kicking support in the areas you need, not on the side of the foot.
As for style, the end result speaks for itself, the boot is stunning. Through many concepts and trials we came up with our ending three colorways; Blue Volt, Black Volt and Firehawk Red. Colours chosen by our pro athletes and extended design teams.
When you try on Voltaic you will feel a difference, finally, a boot built for contact sports in Australia, unlike any other.