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by Brian Jennings – The Rapids’ Edson Buddle has been around long enough to know what his feet are telling him and how to treat them with his Nike boots. 

The first year Colorado forward says his current choice is the Nike CTR360 Maestri III FG.  He ended the 2013 season in a pair of Volt/Black/Green Glow versions.  So why does the 6’1”, 185lb. Buddle favor the current Nike lineup and what does he look for in footwear now?    “Sturdiness, support. The Vapors are kind of flimsy-for a bigger guy like myself-that’s why I choose these because they keep their shape longer.”

Buddle has been a Nike athlete since he entered MLS back in 2001 with the Columbus Crew.  His career has seen him win an MLS Cup with Los Angeles, play in a World Cup with the United States in South Africa, and even a stint in Europe at the German division 2.

Throughout his 294 MLS matches and 98 goals, Buddle has found his feet are requiring more attention than most fans realize.  “We keep pounding and pounding them so you’ve just got to take care of your feet with pedicures and whatnot.”  Check out a professional soccer player’s toes and you can see what he means as abuse and infections can take their toll.  “You can’t cure them and take (medication) for them until you’re finished because it’s hard on the liver.”

Players must then adjust their footwear as their needs change with age.  As a youngster, Buddle admits he was like many players in that he preferred a boot with an extremely snug fit and the less weight the better for a forward used to running quite a bit.  “When I first started out I wore a 10.5 and now I’m a 12 so my toes can’t take the pressure as much anymore.  I used to but as the years go by I go for comfort instead of so tight.”

As for color schemes, Buddle admits he and other professionals have very little say over those matters, at least in the US.  “We represent like 0.00… percent.  We had a meeting one time and that’s what they said, ‘even though they’re not as comfortable as what we’d like it’s for the public, the comfort of the people’.  However, Buddle doesn’t mind being a playing billboard.  “I was with them in Project 40 when the league started so I’ve been fortunate to continue with them so long.  Nike switches colors a couple times a year and they don’t want you to wear the old colors so we have to keep up. It’s not for us it’s for the people.”

“World