What Do You Call this Part of the Foot: Instep or Inside-of-the-Foot?


One of my favorite questions I ask youth players and coaches is, “What is the most important part of the foot in soccer?” While the answer should really be ‘all parts of the foot’ (refer to the ‘Are You Right or Left Footed?‘ post), you can tell by this post what my answer is. Based on the answers I get, young players typically split their votes equally between the bottom, top, outside, and inside of the foot. Older, more experienced players along with coaches tend to agree with me.

However, herein lies a problem. What do you call this part of the foot? For as long as I can remember, I always referred to it as the instep. I hear people refer to it as the inside-of-the-foot but referring to it as the ‘instep’ is so much simpler. However, a few years back I was told that the instep actually refers to the top the foot. I don’t know about you but I now find myself in a shoe and foot-naming quandary.

IOTF_or_Instep

So what do you call this part of the foot (highlighted in red)? Please share the name you use by answering the poll question. Below the poll are some videos that show that part of the foot in action. Be sure to ‘Share This’ poll with other soccer enthusiasts.

This following clip show Zlatan “Ibra” Ibrahimovic scoring a beautiful goal against Real Madrid with that part of the foot. The goal is scored at 2:00 of the video.

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7 Responses to “What Do You Call this Part of the Foot: Instep or Inside-of-the-Foot?”

  1. Gary Says:

    I think “Inside-of-the-foot” is universally understood – therefore actually simpler.

    And yes, it is the “most important” since it offers the greatest control.

  2. Tony Everett Says:

    When you look at the likes of Messi any part of the foot is important, and in his case all offer great amounts of control. As you said, it is important to get the players using all of the parts of their foot, but with younger players we should start with a focus. I think focusing in the inside-of-the-foot with these younger players is a great place to start. See comment from Gary about control.

  3. Trevor Says:

    Alex;

    Instep. Always have, always will. :-)

    On another note, I really like this blog. I was wondering if you accept guest bloggers, or if you would like to write a post for our blog. Let me know!

  4. Sam H Says:

    It’s funny you should mention this – it was onlyl when I began doing my UEFA-B coaching license that I realised that that part of the foot wasn’t the instep!

    I’d been calling it that my whole life – that was the instep and top of the foot were the laces…made sense to me!!

    Sam

    • Alex Kos Says:

      My story is the same … did not find out about the inside-of-the-foot not being called the instep just a few years back. Do you or does anyone else know why the laces or the top-of-the-foot is called the instep? My mother believes it is a carryover from a dance (or ballet) term. I have not been able to find a good answer yet.

  5. 2010 Soccer MVP: Inside-of-the-Foot … Popularity Among Professionals « Improving Soccer in the United States Says:

    [...] PDRTJS_settings_517741_post_657 = { "id" : "517741", "unique_id" : "wp-post-657", "title" : "2010+Soccer+MVP%3A+Inside-of-the-Foot+…+Popularity+Among+Professionals", "item_id" : "_post_657", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fimprovesoccerus.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F03%2F03%2F2010-soccer-mvp-inside-of-the-foot-popularity-among-professionals%2F" } Author’s Note: This post is one in a series of posts that breaks down the 2010 Soccer MVP Tournament competition. Be sure to look at the final results to review how ‘Inside’ was crowned champion. What do you call this part of the foot? Please vote. [...]

  6. 2010 Soccer MVP: Inside-of-the-Foot … Dribbling « Improving Soccer in the United States Says:

    [...] PDRTJS_settings_517741_post_671 = { "id" : "517741", "unique_id" : "wp-post-671", "title" : "2010+Soccer+MVP%3A+Inside-of-the-Foot+…+Dribbling", "item_id" : "_post_671", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fimprovesoccerus.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2F13%2F2010-soccer-mvp-inside-of-the-foot-dribbling%2F" } Author’s Note: This post is one in a series of posts that breaks down the 2010 Soccer MVP Tournament competition. Be sure to look at the final results to review how ‘Inside’ was crowned champion. What do you call this part of the foot? Please vote. [...]

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