FOOTBALL BOOTS OF THE DECADE: TOP 5

So here we are. On day one of a brand new decade, Footy Boots can present our favourite five football boots from the last 10 years.'ย 

We limited ourselves to choosing only 4 boots from our ‘top’ brand plus a maximum of 3 from any others. And, just to make things a little bit more difficult, we could only select one football boot from any single range.

football boots of the decade top 20

It is, of course, a hugely subjective list so please feel free to comment below and lets us know which football boots you would have gone for. To help with your choices, here are our previous picks…

Football Boots of the Decade 20-16

Football Boots of the Decade 15-11

Football Boots of the Decade 10-6

20 – Reebok Sprintfit Lite Pro

19 – PUMA v-Konstrukt II

18 – A-Line Ultra World Cup

17 – Lotto Cafu Vento 2

16 – Adidas F50

15 – Strike Zone Pro Rage

14 – Mizuno Morelia

13 – Mercurial Superfly

12 – Nomis Glove

11 – PUMA v1.06

10 – Concave PT+

9 – Nike CTR360 Maestri

8 – Diadora LX K Pro

7 – Reebok Integrity

6 – adidas adiPure

football boots of the decade 5

AZ Total 90 II

Whilst it didn’t make too many radical changes over the original, it was more refined. Addition of a KNG-100 Upper on the top-end models was a big step towards embracing synthetic uppers for Nike. It will be remembered in the classic Blue, Black and White colourway that Luis Figo wore at WC2002.

football boots of the decade 5 az total 90

Side offset lacing was, at the time, very unorthodox – but look around you now and every major brand has at least one side-offset lacing boot in their silo.

football boots of the decade 3

Umbro Speciali

The new Speciali was exactly what Umbro had desperately craved for the best part of 5 years. Giving in to temptation, Umbro had allowed some of the scraps of technology from it’s slowly bloating X-Boot range to ‘taint’ the Speciali – making it something it should never have been, in an attempt to steal fans from the Predator & Total 90 ranges.

football boots of the decade 4 umbro speciali

After losing its retro appeal and classic styling, even looking at the Speciali left you with a certain uneasy feeling that only crops up from time to time, like when Gordon Brown proclaimed his love of the Arctic Monkeys, or just Rod Stewart in general. Clearly taking cues from Fabio Capello’s design notions for the New England home shirt Umbro ‘reset’ the Speciali back to the boot it was always meant to be – and seeing the glorious White and Red version on the feet of John Terry left me feeling that some great injustice had been undone in the world.

football boots of the decade 3 puma king xl

Puma King XL

Most of the time a classic should just be left alone, like the late 90’s remake of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ or Britney Spears covering Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. But every so often, someone comes along who’s willing to put the same time and care into the new version as those who had gone before into the old.

football boots of the decade 3 puma king xl

Streamlining the King by removing some of the unnecessary panels, increasing it’s appeal with some of the softest leather ever to grace a boot and adding a robust (yet subtle) heel guard was exactly what the brand needed to continue it’s legacy – and ensure another generation of legends could wear the King.

football boots of the decade 2

Mercurial Vapor I

Barely makes it onto the list as it was launched in the early noughties. For me, it was the first boot since the original Predator that had the ‘talk of the schoolyard’ factor. Everyone wanted Ronaldo’s boots, with the R9 behind the tongue – even though Brazil didn’t feature in any major tournament to showcase them – somehow they were the boots on everyone’s mind.

football boots of the decade 2 vapor 1

Also backed by Nike’s best Viral Ad (in my opinion) – The Cage! Adding to the collective tongue wagging of the public was the fact that you only caught the slightest glimpse of the boot at the end of the ad. Awesome.

football boots of the decade 1

Predator Precision

If that World Cup qualifier was David Beckham’s launchpad to superstardom – these boots were the rockets that propelled him. The Precisions were awesome looking boots, futuristic and fearsome – the low-profile accentuated by a velcro down tongue (the first time the tongue could ever be held in place in the range outside of some creative lace-taping or your girlfriend’s hair bobble).

football boots of the decade 1 adidas predator precision

Whilst the X-Traxion studs a huge bonus to the boot – and an innovation that has held true for a decade now – arguably the best thing about the sole plate was that adidas had dropped the creepy-looking flesh-coloured sole plate from the Accelerators!

So that’s it. Our top 5. Let the debate and the arguments begin! In the meantime, everyone at Footy Boots wishes you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.


46 Comments

  • Adidas Copa Mundial should be number one, of the football of the decade. Just because it still one of the best boots ever made, and for over 20years, it has remain the worlds most popular boots. It continues to strive eventhou with new technologies installed in new boots. so therefore, Copa mundial, should be the top boot of the decade.

  • I have no complaints about he list…you guys know much more about football boots than me, a humble enthusiast, does. So I regard your list as authoritative. I don’t see myself buying any of these top 5 though. I will comfort myself for now with cheap reebok valde/sprintfit SG boots that are on sale, and then customize a pair of ctr 360 FG in red, gold, green and black for the summer.
    http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/index.jsp?sitesrc=dl_usid&designId=195329760&size=false
    I’m treating myself. These will be the first boots I have ever bought! I’ve been using sneakers and the copa mundials my parents bought me many years ago.

    Cheers footy-boots. Good list! From this top 5 I especially like the vapour 1 and AZT 90 II. The speciali and puma are a bit ho-hum and the predator doesn’t need my praise at all!

  • Kuuku – I’ve seen the Valde (not the the Valde Pro) SG models at some unbelievable prices!

    I hope you get what you’re looking for! You’ll love the CTRs

    Fenboy – exactly right, if we were doing a ‘Best Boots Ever’ feature I’m sure the Copa’s would be right up there, they’re an enduring icon and a testament to quality design!

    Roots – It was a much closer call than you might think, but I think the Predator’s versatility clinched it!

  • Totally agree with the top 5 footy-boots! Personally would have gone for the Adidas Predator Mania’s instead of the Precisions because I don’t know if anyone remembers but the sole on the Precision boots did rip quite easily. Also I completely agree with the Mercurial Vapor 1’s being 2nd, younger generations today seem to think the IV’s and V’s are the best, but they didn’t grow up wearing the originals, they were so much better than the ones now I urge any younger people to get the originals instead of paying stupid amounts for the new ones. Anyone notice that a lot of the boots in the list are the earlier versions?
    Lastly, I agree with Alif, the Copa Mundials should have been in the list, okay they were made in the 70’s but they are still being made today, and for me, the best boot of all time.
    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Yeah I reckoned Mania, but any Predator this decade save the PowerSwervve would’ve done well.

    Don’t crack on the X-Boot! I loved the X-Boot.

    Great call on AZT90 II. I guessed Supremacy. Both are superb.

  • Oh, The Precision!.. Brings back good memories, was the first elite, high priced shoe that I got. The only bad thing that I got to say of them is that I got blisters from them in the first few matches. Still got them, although they are a few sizes too small.

  • But if you were to say copa mundials were made in the 70’s? then what about the puma kings? i mean, they are made 40 years ago but they were just “upgraded.” So they still count in the list?

  • hey kuuku its me again, im thinking to buy the valde ( normal version or PRO ) they are really some good prices =P
    nice year.

    about the copa mundial, thats a hard one, cause is good enough to be in the top 5, but they have 30 yrs released.

  • Why the Predator Precision as #1 and how much does it weigh?

    But in defense of this boot I would say it does focus on power but, is good for speed as well.

    To any who think the F50i’s should be on the top 20-The boot focuses on speed but weighs 11.5 oz! Compared to other speed boots thats alot. But it did have the option to totally customize your game!

  • Hey martincillo, I ended up getting some sprinfit II RS SG boots for around $15 from kitbag. These will tide me over until the summer when I will get my rasta coloured CTR 360s.

    I couldn’t find valde (i think they were sold out like the $45 puma v-konstrukt III) though I would have preferred valde being a power player. But it’s not a big deal, since they are so cheap the sprintfit II’s are OK as secondary boots. And I think the valde’s were a dollar or two more than the sprinfits.

  • Thanks for your advice guys!

    Kyle and martincillo, after looking carefully at the sprintfit and the valde I realised I would be getting a much better and more suitable boot for a few extra dollars. The valde (originally about $60) has most technologies from the pro version and is leather to boot. The sprinfit II RS (orginally about $45) is the entry level and is synthetic. Not to mention it doesn’t provide the protection a power boot normally does which I need. Even as my secondary boot the boot has to be strong cos of the swashbuckling way I play. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So I will contact kitbag post haste to change my order to the valde. Thanks for pointing this out to me guys! Cheers and a very happy new year. May it be a great year and may you be able to stick with all your resolutions!

    Sorry for going way off-topic. ๐Ÿ˜€
    BTW what do you guys think of my rasta flavour CTR 360s?
    http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/index.jsp?sitesrc=dl_usid&designId=195329773&size=false

  • i must say i am quite dissapointed i would put the predator mania or powerswerve at 1 instead, and the vapor 3 and 4 are way better than the 1,the speciali and the king were excellent choices, but i would put either the f5i, laser 1, or t90 supremacy at #5

  • why are the Nike CTR360 Maestri on the list? they have been out for only a couple of months and haven’t really established themselves yet

  • Glad to see the king XLs on there, suprised by 2 and 1, expected families suprising versions.

    But hopefully we can start some good articles from this, such as which vapor version is the best, or something id really be interested in would be discussing is the f50 line.

    while i would have chosen the f50+ footy-boots seems to think, or i may be projecting my own feelings, that once the f50 stopped being a lightweight boot and became a multi-purpose/economy boot when it added the interchangeable studs. The f50s weigh more than any nike boot and are tied with the pred x for adidas’ heaviest boot. Which is why a few players, namely Messi, have opted to use the f30 for the drop of about an ounce.

  • hey kuuku hope this year you have more luck with the tracking of the cheap boots :P, have a happy new year man.
    and that rasta ctr360 are awesome, really, the other day i customize a pair of nike rival i think, i didnt buy them ๐Ÿ˜› but is funny to customize

  • I definitely agree with vapors and predators being the top 2 boot ranges. The best two that I have ever worn. I think the models should be different though, more recent.

    Vapor 3s were the best: first boots with teijin

    Predator Absolutes: best preds ever and they were the first with powerpulse. Thats revolutionary to me.

    I think that the superflys were properly ranked though. To me the flywire is just stupid. The upper should be thick enough to support itself. Personally, I would much rather have a boot with a pure teijin upper (vapors). I think that the superflys are simply unnecessary

  • Acho que vocฤ‚ยƒฤ†โ€™ฤ‚โ€šร‚ลžs deviam colocar a Nike Tiempo legend pelo menos entre
    as 5 melhores e uma chuteira excelente.

  • messi doesnt choose to wear f50 because of weight, its because of the stud configuration. I have pred x’s and they arent heavy at all i can run the same speed with my x’s then my vapors. I agree with the top 2, vapors are rubbish now and it would have been a tough decision choosing between the predator precisions and manias.

  • cw2194

    hey dude the first predator to use extra weight was the predator pulse =P

    and why the mercurial superfly and the mercurial vapor, they are the same line !
    not exactly but yes

  • Good List I bought a pair of the predator precision HG for just ฤ‚ยƒรขโ‚ฌลกฤ‚โ€šร‚ล40 a few weeks ago! BARGAIN!..Im sure that the adidas predator accelerator’s would have been top if they were in the last decade!

  • Not a bad list, like the Reebok Integrity being in there but really the Predator Mania should have a bow as should the original Nike Mercurial which were being produced still in the last decade, or if not the Match Mercurial. Also the vapor I was an amazing boot but what about the Vapor III, thats what the collectors all look for?!

  • Where can you get Vapor 3s for 1/4 of the price of superflys? Theyre so hard to find now that I’m dreading what I’ll do if my 3rd pair die on me. I love these boots.

  • Move every boot one back and put Predator Mania at number 1

    Seriously how could it not be? style, comfort, performance. No doubt about it, number 1 of all time

    Revolutionized football boots, it was so much lighter than the Precision and the features were ahead of its time, it was the biggest advancement in football boots for 50 years

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