FOOTBALL BOOTS SHOULD GET BACK TO BASICS

Many football boot enthusiasts have made it clear that they feel the top brands are going overboard with the gimmicks. I have to agree and am beginning to wonder when it will end.

With new “technologies” being introduced with the release of every new football boot, buyers aren’t sure what to believe these days. While many football boots are touted for their “Speed”, “Touch”, or “Power”, their design is slowly but surely straying away from their purpose. Have the football boot brands finally out-gimmicked their own gimmicks?

Adidas Predator

2009 alone has seen the introduction of three new models to the Predator range. Each are acknowledged for their apparent “Power”, “Swerve”, and “Control”. A Fantasy Predator as well as a ClimaCool Predator designed for David Beckham have also been released. Funny that Adidas has decided to develop individual boots for each Predator element, as when last I checked, the Predator PowerSwerve was supposed to combine all three of those elements?

Adidas Predator Control

Adidas F50 TUNiT

This range is the most guilty of them all. With a new upper being released approximately every 10 months, Adidas can’t seem to keep from these boots rolling off the production line. I’d suggest that it’s “Alles Klar” technology is questionable and there have been some well known defects associated with the TUNiT system.

Adidas F50.9

Nike Mercurial

Nike’s Vapor range has been made to be viewed as extremely lightweight boots. With that being said each new Vapor has brought with it a few extra grams. Though I understand they’ve had to focus more on safety due to the recurring injury of the metatarsal, there have been unnecessary additions to the Vapor that detract from its sleekness and weigh it down.

A prime example of this is the Vapor IV’s Glass Fibre heel wrap, which is basically useless. Because of these changes many Vapor fans have wished for the return of original Vapor I and II’s'  features. Despite these negatives Nike has made progress through the evolution of their NikeSkin. Today’s Vapor’s feature just one seam in the upper and is made of Teijin leather wrapped in a clear tactile coating that creates a gripped surface for all playing conditions. Perhaps the imminent release of the Mercurial Vapor Superfly could change our view?

Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly

Nike Total 90

In many’s eyes the Laser II has failed to live up to its predecessor. With the shotshield’s area being increased to the whole forefoot with minimal effect and a V-Twin lacing system that is not very functional, why change the winning formula of the original Laser?

And the rest…

Lotto’s Twist’NGo technology is subject to question as to if it improves the function of the modern day football boot. It seems to be just another “technology” included to up the price of the boot.

Lotto Twist’NGo

Companies have been investing more and more of their time in the aesthetics of their boots while adding unnecessary changes. Is it time these companies take it back to the basics? Let us know what you think.

By Matt Dawson


25 Comments

  • Finally somebody has acknowledged that most of these ‘technologies’ are just worthless gimmicks! I have to say the ‘Twist’n’go’ seems to be the worst of them, utter rubbish.

    I will say though, is it not true that maybe footy-boots doesn’t help the situation?

    Every time a new boot comes out you guys are quick to wax lyrical about it’s supposed ‘technologies’. Not having a pop, just think you could be more honest when previewing/reviewing a boot.

    If there is something about the boot that is a pointless gimmick, say so, we’d appreciate the honesty.

  • adidas and nike keep bringing out flash boots different colours on which my grandson loves but not in junior size 4s but they all have blades on but several junior leagues have banned blades and only allow studs. hope to here comments from footy boots thanks

  • Quality Article Matt!

    I always wondered why Adidas have split the Powerserves in half by having ‘Power’ & ‘Swerve’ Seperate now – and then adding Fantasy and Control in for some reason!

    Scottymac – great point, I think it’s a case of each to their own, some people like the psychological feeling of something ‘boosting’ their game whereas others like having something more clean-cut, so F-B’s has to report for both tastes!

    Alan, the F-B’s store has some ‘Soft Ground’ kids boots in size 4 at the moment, from what I can see they’ve got every Nike boot bar the Vapour’s available in some form or another! LINK

    If you need help finding any specific boots just comment back and I’m sure someone will help!

    Also the ‘Twist n’ Go’ thing is beyond me completely, if you were trying to turn on that stud, wouldn’t the one on the other side of the boot get in the way?

    • I’m currently designing a boot called the Collect’NGo. This allows Premier League players to simply turn up, receive vast sums of money and then sod off again without having done that much.

      Bound to catch on!

  • this is why i stick to my copa mundials and mundial teams! same boot for years (decades even)…and theres a reason for it.

    although those new conclaves catch my eye lol

  • Surely if the brands stopped developing new technologies, football boots would not evolve. For example take a look at a boot that is 20 years old, then one that is 40 years old and so on, it’s these ‘gimmicks’ which are improving the equipment and ultimately even the quality of the game. I for one don’t want to be running around in an ankle boot that ways half a kilo.

    • Great to see the comments coming in, thanks.

      Sion- Very good point, I just feel that there is no need to make complete changes to these “technologies”, rather the companies should focus on perfecting a gimmick before designing a new one.

  • I saw a picture of Drogba’s Superfly’s (which are suppose to be uber strong..) with the boot basically ripped in half after a tackle in an international match against Turkey. I know that this is just one incident but companies are taking it too far in trying to peak the performance of a boot. The only reasonable boot for me this year are the Concaves!

  • All of the gimmicks are getting silly…especially the Lotto boot. What’s next? Wings that deploy at certain speeds (like a Porsche’s wing) to allow you to fly further in the air when trying to head the ball. Let’s get back to basics and have a boot that provides great feel (good materials) and protects the user.

  • For me a good football boot is made out of Leather, K-leather is better, and in black. I agree that all the new tech specs these modern football boots have are only developed as a way to increase the prices.

  • The Vapor I & II’s hurt the feet. Blisters blisters blisters. The III’s were amazing, no blisters at all. And while I slightly agree that some boots are full of useless tech, it is still intriguing to see what they come out with. The biggest gimmick coming out at the moment has to be those Concave boots, ‘lets just put a big chunk of plastic/rubber on the top of the boot…’ Boots are going to keep getting crazier and crazier no use fightin it. Those superfly’s look nice.

  • My fave boots are the Adidas supernova’s from a few years back. still play with them now even though i bought some new preds.

    They should redo the supernova. The predator silohuette without that plastic swerve rubbish on the front. K-leather all over bar the back for support. best boot ever i.m.o

  • totally agree, boot designers should stick to adipure or air legend designs, basic, simple and functional. I used to have a nice pair of air legend I boots, they were pretty light and it really feels when you touch a ball, aftero those i bought a predator absolute pair, syntethic not so nice it was hard to get used to these boots. I’ve just bought nike’s laser II, man these are the worst football boots i’ve ever bought, theyre hard, uncomfortable, and you dont really feel your thouching the ball, feels like you have an armor on your feet. I think nike should stick to MVIII design on mercurial line, i would buy again an air legend pair but they’re so damn hard to get here in Mexico, bad luck.

  • I keep coming back to this article to hear what people have to say. Predator Mania 2002 model was best football boot ever in my opinion. Del Piero kept wearing them when he was bored with his old F50s and Tunits.

    In terms of Mercurials though, I agree with Ulises. I mean, just look at the SL models, they should come back with Predator Mania!

  • I agree Ted predator mania were THE BEST BOOTS EVER. As i mentioned above about the supernova that was what they were based on just without the swerve bit on the front. I had some mania but wore them out and by that time they were no longer available and got the supernova (deadstock luckily had my size) and loved them.

    I had two mania one FG one SG the champagne ones and the red ones. loved them. sometimes come on e-bay but they are well expensive or battered.

  • i recently bought adidas f50s.
    they seem to be ok but i keep rolling my ankle whil wearing them. i wore total 90s last season and they wer amazing, now i wish i got them again.
    just wondering if anyone else has the same problems with the ankle support.
    thanks

  • I think that Lotto is working very well in recent years, in contrast to brands like adidas which are making us pay too much their boots for technologies that do not exist.predator or F50, for me, are shoes absolutely less than a classic copa mundial, nike legend or lotto stadio.

    having said that, I believe that technology is the result of studies in which I believe, I believe that this technology could contribute, at least in small part, to reduce accidents; if we take care in lotto top range football boots collection, there are no longer the cleats lamellar (except in Zhero Gravity, but for the World Cup in 2010, this shoe will be equipped with twist & go and classic cleats).

    I think the Lotto Zhero Project in general, is producing very great boots, I think well above of boots with higher prices.

  • I agree with all the guys above,
    the predator mania and supernova were the best boots adidas have ever made.
    WHY?? because of the kangaroo skin leather, the glove like fit, and none of the bullshit gimmicks that are on boots these days.

    I would buy a pair of supernova’s or mania’s straight away if they were available, Adidas should definitely bring them out again, as they are much better then the predators that have been out the last couple of years.

  • Who cares if they’re “gimmicks”? Do they make the boot any worse? I OWN TUNiT’s and they are the best boots I have ever had. I can’t see how the Predator’s aren’t the most gimmicky of them all, they have powder in the shoe and tell you it helps you kick harder. Yea right.

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