Ida Sports, co-founded by Laura Youngson to offer the best women’s soccer boots on the market, knows that all too well. That’s a good thing, too.
With the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand—another milestone in women’s football—coming closer, some stars don’t have the ideal product. Equally important is the lack of suitable cleats available to mainstream audiences. The label continues to offer subpar and unisex options in a year when interest in performing may peak again.
On the subject of mountaintops, Youngson’s vision for a better boot came to life in 2017 on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania during a high-altitude football match on land at Equal Playing Field. Six years later, Ida is backed by Elysian Park Ventures (Todd Boehly and her Chelsea owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Premier League club), as well as Stadia Ventures and Billy Jean King Enterprises.
The next goal is to spread the name further so that it becomes a desirable option in a selection pool that includes heavyweights like Nike, Adidas and Puma.
“It’s fun to challenge brands because you know you’re a startup,” Youngson says via a Zoom link. “But at the same time, we also know that we are the team on the planet who know the most about women’s soccer spikes. I can.”
Regarding the current situation, she said: But for anything less than that, you’ll either have to get off-the-shelf products or buy products that aren’t really aimed at women.
“We know the bigger brands are looking at it and thinking about what to release for the World Cup. We probably won’t put all the technology and research into manufacturing and building a for women.”
Puma explains its stance: “We offer unisex and women-specific fits across all boot franchises (Future, Ultra, King). We’ve crafted a boot that’s built to fit, and it’s the first Puma soccer boot with a women’s specific fit coming out in 2021.”
According to an adidas statement, “Our female athletes demand the same level of uncompromising performance as their men’s footwear today, so we created football boots to meet the needs of all athletes and work with them extensively. We are currently focused on testing to identify at all levels and beyond gender.
“Footwear’s history of innovation means we never stop and keep testing new concepts with a broader athlete base.”
Nike may have a new design in its pipeline, but has yet to reveal where it will be or what solutions it can offer. Strong traction means it is well-positioned to build partnerships with players and reach more customers around the world.
To make its voice heard, Ida Sports has begun its entry into grassroots football. And while they remain involved at all levels of the game, they are also looking to connect higher up the pyramid, with some players testing out the brand in England’s Women’s Super League.
Still, there are some obstacles. “For an elite player, it’s probably the agent who’s looking for the biggest, not the best, player,” he continues Youngson. “Not all agents. But there are some who don’t understand the sport very well and are trying to make money in women’s sports.
“I think women’s sports are kind of like the Wild West at the moment. can not.
“But there have been athletes who have had problems with their shoes in the past, and they know you care about your athletes and are more loyal to women, so when they want to work with you, they’re going to be competitive. can.”
Ida Sports, which sells its products in Australia, UK and US, has released several designs such as Centra, Classica, Rise and Spirit. We are constantly listening to feedback and developing our model and are eager to expand further into Europe where the interest and football pedigree in countries like Spain is high. Inquiries about their work are pouring in as they become more sophisticated.
As for the standard of the game, which is already very high in some European countries, the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil, Youngson believes better conditions can give players a boost.
“I liken this to British cycling. The 1% increase in a lot of places add up. I think shoes are like that. If you don’t have to think about your footwear and you feel more comfortable, Wearing the right fit can reduce fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.
“We see great games like this, but players are already frustrated by the load and having to play a lot. ‘Look at that, can you imagine what would happen if we removed the shoes as one of the barriers?'”
Still, perhaps the key focus is to provide a manufacturer that represents everyone, regardless of standards.
“One of our missions is to transform the industry, so girls and women can see themselves when they walk into a sports store,” concludes Youngson.
With new heroes emerging this July and August and an unprecedented 32 teams from the Philippines to Zambia, now is the perfect time to do just that.