My biggest desire when playing football as a teenager? To see what I’m doing. Nobody took pictures of our games. Nobody took videos either. Even when playing against elite Irish teams such as Shamrock Rovers. Fitbit and the now non-existent Jawbone? They existed but weren’t allowed for obvious reasons. They are dangerous to wear on a football pitch. But technology has moved a lot since that time, and while it’s still not as developed in the sports market as for the overall consumer market, there are companies doing things worth knowing, it’s just very hard to find them. Xampion? They make insole football trackers, and they are one of the companies that are doing something worth knowing. But are football trackers worth it or more of a gimmick? Coming up in this Xampion insole football tracker review.
Xampion Aren’t the First Trackers Designed for Football That I Ever Tried
My journey with football trackers started almost 2 years ago. Zepp Soccer was the name. Those were trackers that in many ways worked similarly to Xampion as they were also designed with football only in mind. You put them onto your shin sleeve, and they tracked your shots and their speed as well as other things such as your running. The idea? Great. The execution? Not so great.
Zepp Soccer was just more of a burden than an asset.
If a tracker is able to provide you with data that can be used to improve your performance at the cost of concentration, then is that any better? That was Zepp’s biggest issue. You needed to turn it on with the app (Xampion doesn’t require that) which just wasn’t practical at all. It’s like whoever designed it didn’t know that football requires concentration. Not only is being on your phone right before a match disrespectful, but it also lowers your concentration as you are focused on turning the tracker on rather than on the game. Not to mention that the app was buggy to the point that activating Zepp Soccer before a match often took too much time.
Zepp Soccer? It was promising. It showed me that there’s a ton of potential. But with one tracker costing over €100 and you needing two, it was just hard to justify the price, especially considering the trackers weren’t designed for heavy rain which resulted in my one breaking.
Xampion? They did things better whether that’s with pricing, water-resistance, concentration, or features.
GPS trackers? They are great. In fact, we hope to do some reviews about them soon. The issue with them? That football is played with two feet and not your chest. Performance-wise, a GPS tracker will be amazing, but it can’t tell you anything about how you kick the ball or how many times you did so. And that’s where the Xampion insole football trackers come in.
Xampion? They are just insoles that you put in instead of your current ones, with a tracker attached underneath them.
The advantage of insole trackers over anything else? What you can track. While Zepp’s idea was great for instance and allowed you to track the speed of your shots too, Zepp just wasn’t able to show you which part of the foot you kicked with, and that was the key missing element that an insole tracker like Xampion can solve.
Whether you want to track how many times you touch the ball in the game, what part of your boot you touched it with and at what speed you then kicked the ball, or how many times you made sprints, you can do all of that with Xampion insoles. And that’s what other platforms don’t provide.
- You get started by cutting the insoles to your right size. Xampion does offer 4 sizes on the internet, but of course, there are more than 4 sizes on the planet, so you need to cut the insoles to fit your needs. I just put them side by side to my current insoles and cut accordingly.
- After you have that figured out, type in your sensor ID’s in the app, and shake the insoles/boots to awake them. You most likely will need to update your insoles, but you will be pretty much ready to go to play at any moment now.
Is Xampion Worth It?
Whether football trackers are worth it or a gimmick depends on how you use them.
Before we get into that, it’s worth mentioning or the vital aspects of Xampion.
Fitness-wise, Xampion doesn’t come with GPS which does mean that none of the running data will be fully precise, but with that said, that does increase the battery life tremendously allowing for around 15 hours of playing, and ultimately, you don’t also want to be charging your insoles after every game, that would be head wrecking, especially if you use the same boots for training.
Personally, we’ve used the insoles in many situations whether for testing or when playing, and while they might not be 100% accurate when it comes to tracking running, they are still on a very high level of tracking fitness. And bad matches are a great example of that. Just a night or two prior I had a match which ended up being called off early. I remember that I specifically had two sprints as a left-back on that night. And that’s exactly what Xampion showed me.
Xampion fitness-wise? It tracks your tempo, speed, sprints done, and overall distance run. An advantage of a GPS system would be that you could see where you did those sprints, but it’s still great data to have. Especially considering all the other data it provides. Xampion tracks what part of your boot you touched the ball with, whether that’s the inner, outer, or the front part of it. You also get the speed of your shots, the ratio of usability, and when you touched the ball and shot/crossed.
And that’s what makes Xampion worth it if you use that data.
I, for instance, didn’t use my left foot at all in my recent match that got called off. Considering I was playing as a left-back, that isn’t great. With Xampion, I see that, and I know I need to work on using it. Xampion makes me aware of things like that. And while it sure doesn’t come with GPS, it still shows me my tempo throughout the game allowing me to see my fitness levels.
My favorite thing about Xampion’s data tracking? That it’s stress-free. You forget about its existence, and it just does everything for you as it automatically turns on for you. That allows for full concentration before a game. You just sync whenever you can, after.
Are Xampion Insole Football Trackers Comfortable?
This is a big question to address in any review, but especially in this Xampion insole football tracker review as ultimately, you need to be comfortable when playing.
If you read my reviews in the past, then you know I’m brutally honest, even if I do in some work a company.
Xampion insoles? They take time adjusting to as while they are still thin, naturally due to the fact they need a tracker, they aren’t as thin as standard football boots. Think of it as when you get a pair of new boots. They aren’t always comfortable as they need to adapt to your feet. Same with Xampion.
After a few sessions of wearing Xampion, my feet adapted though, and frankly, it felt a lot better playing with Xampion as the insoles do provide more support under arches of your feet compared to the standard insoles in boots. Of course, if you do need to wear custom insoles though, Xampion works with these too.
The Xampion App
All the data goes to the app, which is why it’s crucial that the app works great if we are to recommend Xampion insole football trackers as a product that you should use to track football.
The app? It’s not going to get any awards for great looks, although Xampion is working on a redesigned version of the app which will (I saw) look much better while providing even more value.
The app itself does offer you with data in a simple matter that isn’t too hard to find and for sure isn’t as buggy as Zepp’s app, although it does have some syncing issues from time to time which sometimes results in the app in crashing. Luckily there’s no need to connect to the app right away to get data or to turn the tracker on, so it’s not a big issue at all.
You might have probably thought that if the tracker turns on itself, that it would also collect data from a warm-up rather than just the match. The great thing about the app is that you can actually edit your sessions to separate the warm-up time so that your match statistics are fully accurate.
GPS Trackers VS Xampion
For optimum tracking? You should get both. Running is a vital part of the game and being able to analyze the direction you sprint can allow you to understand how you overall move on a pitch. With that said, football is played with your feet, and GPS trackers aren’t able to track any of that crucial data.
That’s why if you have the money, you should go for both. Frankly, neither of the systems are complete without themselves.
And that brings me to my issue with both.
There’s no eco-system. All these platforms are independent. Nobody is working together to combine data to offer you even better data. And that’s why I hope that Xampion either releases their own GPS tracker soon or works with other companies in collaboration. As that will only improve football in the long-term.
If there’s anything to add to this, it’s that Xampion insoles are overall better for individuals that want to improve. GPS trackers for individual training aren’t of much use, although most also come with heart rate sensors which are nice to have for an extra set of data.
To Sum up This Xampion Insole Football Tracker Review – Are Football Trackers Worth It?
What I once wanted to do, I now can. Xampion? It’s the most incredible tracker I came across. It did what Zepp tried to do but succeeded, while being far more advanced and water-resistant too so that you can play when the grass is wet. Whether you want some data to show your friends, or want to improve your game by realizing what you need to work on, if you love football, there’s nothing that I can recommend to you more than Xampion. Instead of getting that new jersey for the season, perhaps get this. It will be far more satisfying and helpful.
To sum up this Xampion insole football tracker review, there’s so much potential in football technology, and I see some incredible things happening for Xampion as they keep growing and improving, whether it’s their hardware, algorithms, or app.
And the best thing? If you aren’t satisfied with Xampion, you have 30-days to return it for a full refund. Not that you won’t be satisfied though.
As to me? I’m off to practice on playing with my left foot that I apparently don’t use enough in games.
Found this useful? Make sure to check out our posts about best health tech that will help you step your football game up but overall health game, even further!