By AJ Barbosa
Soccer Master, the closest soccer-specific retailer to Lawrence, has started stocking their shelves with Futsal and turf shoes as players head indoors for the winter.
AJ Barbosa: As the weather drives area soccer players indoors, soccer stores like Soccer Master in Overland Park have shifted their merchandise to cater to athletes in need of new equipment for the indoor season.
Stephen Hoffman: The market is really geared towards Futsal and we’ve sold so many Futsal shoes in the last two to three weeks because that sport is becoming more and more popular and a lot of the clubs aren’t playing indoor anymore — they’re transferring to Futsal — so Futsal shoes have been coming in and we’re getting them out the door quick.
AB: Stephen Hoffman has worked at Soccer Master for several months and says that, even though it’s indoor season, some clubs still play through the winter and outdoor cleats are still somewhat in demand.
SH: Right now it’s hit or miss depending on the week but we still get quite a few people coming in for outdoor shoes.
AB: Still, Hoffman says shoes for hard-floor based Futsal and traditional indoor soccer will continue to drive the store’s sales through the winter.
SH: We probably quadrupled our shelves with Futsal and indoor. Indoor shoes will probably be on the wall through February — the end of February.
Editor’s Note: For those who may be unfamiliar with Futsal, it’s essentially soccer played on a hard surface with a smaller ball, smaller goals and smaller dimensions. Indoor soccer is generally played on turf with hockey-esque walls surrounding the playing area. Futsal doesn’t have walls — balls can be played out of bounds just like in outdoor soccer.
Here’s a look at one of my favorite Nike advertisements that shows what the playing style of Futsal tends to look like (though this court is outside). Manchester United legend Eric Cantona brings modern-day star Thierry Henry to a street Futsal court to play with some locals. Beautiful soccer ensues.