It’s been a week full of nostalgic moments in the Footy Boots office. On Tuesday, Omar Saleem tip-toed down memory lane as he recalled his top 5 football boot moments of all time, a choice that included Alan Ball’s white boots and Stan Bowles wearing different boots in one game to please two sponsors.

Then on Wednesday, the boss got his wallet out – a true moment of nostalgia for all of us as we hadn’t seen him do anything similar since 1987.

In keeping with the feeling of yesteryear, Footy Boots came across some brilliant vintage football boot ad’s which prove that the boot industry was thriving, just as it is today, over 40 years ago.

Manfield-Hotspur Continental Football Boots


Our earliest ad is this example from 1957 parading the virtues of the Manfield-Hotspur Continental. Designed to replace the ‘traditional’ football boot of the time, the MH Continental was light (or certainly lighter than many of it’s competitors) and was said to improve freedom of movement and flexibility.

Bobby Charlton Popular and Brazilia Football Boots


This one hails from 1964, two boots endorsed by Bobby Charlton who was to have such an impact on the nation’s consciousness two years later. Of particular interest is the Brazilia football boot which boasts an ‘eye catching red moulded multi stud sole’. Even 45 years ago, colour was seen as being important, even if the main part of the boot remained steadfastly black and white.

Slazenger Panther Football Boots


Here’s one from 1968 which could be a forerunner to the Superfly. The Panther, designed by Slazenger, was trumpeted as being the lightest football boot around as well as being robust and hardwearing. Slazenger, of course, no longer feature in the football boot market although the ‘Panther’ name can still be found on Slazenger cricket bats, hockey sticks and other sports equipment and apparel.

Mitre Denis Law football boots

Mitre Denis Law football boots

Unlike Slazenger, Mitre football boots are still in production, although up against the big and medium sized brands, they don’t currently make much of an impression. It was certainly different back in 1970 when they had one of the biggest stars of the game endorsing their new boots. Denis Law was first used by Mitre in 1964 however, it was reported at the time that Law wasn’t a great fan of the Mitre product and negotiated a deal whereby he’d promote the product but wear Adidas football boots so long as no-one twigged.

George Best Stylo Matchmaker Football Boots


Moving in to the colour era, our final advertisement comes from 1974 as the late, great George Best gives his backing to the Stylo Matchmaker. Made from luxurious ‘softie’ leather'  it was said that Best was actively involved in the design of the boot which was big on lightness, flexibility and comfort. On the black and white model, the sole plate was translucent polyurethane which allowed interchangeable studs. Best also wore Puma football boots during his career and recently a signed pair of his vintage football boots were sold for £1500 at auction.

If you have any memories of past football boot adverts, endorsements, or have your own pair of vintage football boots, use the comments section below to let us know about them.

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  1. says: ill-d

    i agree matt, those stylo boots are very nice…they should do reissue “retro” boots nowadays!

    i mean, they still make copas, and havnt those stayed the exact same since the 70s?

    wouldn’t that be sweet to rock those george best boots? im sure they’re pretty much as good as any other boot out now…who needs all that fancy flywire stuff or pred-vamps or cheese block lace covers…

    1. says: matt d

      we found about 4 pairs of the black ones in the back room of our old shoe shop.At the time I thought about wearing them cos i loved the retro look but dont think they were that great really the studs (on the black) were molded and they looked quite basic. £8.99 on the box but i shoved them on ebay and got over £1000! for them boxed. so if you see a pair grab em! 🙂

  2. says: alan

    i remember somebody wearing george best boots at a local football match and they were bright red withlace tie ups at the side of the boots

  3. says: Jo

    Any idea how heavy the “featherweight” slazenger boots actually were? Sad to see all these retro boot brands gone nowadays, i’d loved to try them on.

  4. says: El

    Hi – I just came across this site. I actually own original pairs of most the the boots featured in those ads – and many more vintage pairs from the early 1900s to the mid-1970s. I recently displayed some of them in the TfL “Art on the Underground” exhibition. Anyway, now that I’ve found this place, maybe I’ll post some photos of boots and explain the history behind them. I’m sure people would be interested in stories like how the old boots were “broken in” or Stanley Matthews relationship with the CWS etc.

    1. says: Andrew

      Just wondering If anyone was interested in a pair of 1930’s/1940’s Ron Barassi football boots. They are size 4.5 in excellent condition. Full leather with leather hexagonal stops. The colour is black with gold Ron Barassi cursive logo on the ankle

      1. says: Ian

        A great read is “Elegance Borne of Brutality – An Eclectic History if the football boot.”
        These boots and more feature.

  5. says: Ian McArthur

    There was a book published in 1996 which contained all these ad’s. It’s a cracking read! It’s called “Elegance Borne of Brutality – An Eclectic History of the Football Boot” published by Two Heads

  6. says: nilsen

    Didn’t most of the Leeds United player wear Stylo boots during the 73/74 season? Does anybody know where to find info about the boots

  7. says: ellen

    i’ve got a pair of the george best black stlyo boots moulded, been trying to find out what they are worth, in average condition, can anyone help ??

  8. says: Fred Whitehouse

    I have a pair of Nat Lofthouse continental football boots with moulded bottom. Brand new, need cleaning.
    Also, Simlan all leather boots, brand new with original laces and knock-in studs.
    Anyone any ideas how much they are worth?

  9. says: Arwyn Roberts

    Next Wednesday the 24th Denis Law will be 70 years old,to celebrate this special period in his life why not bring out a replica 60’s MITRE football boot in his honour.PUMA (Pele)and ADIDAS (World Cup ’66) have limited edition boots,SO COME ON MITRE show your appreciation and honour the greatest football ever.

  10. says: MS Nazruddin

    Crazy about English football players, esp about their boots. Still remember Charlie George with his white boots ( Hummel?), Jon Sammels with his Simlam, Martin Chivers’s PUMA.. players wearing Gola, Stylo, Durs, Winit, etc with padded tongues…designs were just superb. BTW I got original catalogues of Gola, Simlam and PUMA boots of the 70’s.

  11. says: stephen mcc

    Hi, I wore a Terry Venables pair – magic. Does anyone remember the mad boots with the rotating ring of studs nder the ball of the foot. My son says I’m lying and they never existed. What were they called?

  12. says: Lachlan Gow

    I used to have a pair of Terry Venables boots too ! They were great. Mine had blue soles and I think 13 (?) moulded studs.

  13. says: shoedog

    Funny that Arwyn Roberts mentioned an Anniversary shoe from Mitre. I am one of the boot designers for Mitre International and we are currently working on the anniversary Mitre Campeon boot! Maybe we’ll have to send footy boots a sample to do a review on when it’s finished?

  14. says: alan

    in reply to steven mcc post I had a pair of those crazy boots with the rotating plate under the ball of the foot .They were simlam centre circle boots.They caused more twisted ankles than they were worth ,we must have been mad in those days.

  15. says: Maurice Craig

    I wore a pair of George Best Stylo Matchmakers in about 1970. Remember they cost ÂŁ5 from Kays which was a fortune in those days. They had a black top which covered the laces. The sides were burgundy. The sole was rubber with 13 studs. The claim was you could bend a ball in any direction which was correct but unfortuently it was near impossible to kick it straight except you side footed it.

  16. says: charles zerafa

    would like to know what kind of brand used to wear zibi boniek since i could not remember!!! any idea please?

    1. says: Jenny laughlin

      Came across this site researching some old boots I was given to sell as I am clueless! I have some similar to to top ones, they are “frisby’s” continental, I believe from 1950s, if anybody has any info or is interested let me know please

  17. says: kevin leadbetter

    As a youngster in the 70’s, with the help of my parents, I bought a pair of Steve Heighway boots. They were crimson with a molded sole and Steve’s signature in Gold printed along the side. I think that I bought them through Shoot Magazine. Within three weeks they split along the side and were unwearable. Nevermind. i was the envy of my team mates at the time. Did anybody else have a pair? Best. Kevin.

  18. says: Gordon Knowles

    Any chance of photos adverts of my boots I used from late1969ish to 1974 I bought a new pair every year that’s 6-7 pairs I loved them looked the biz and felt beautiful on scored lot of goals with them 72 in one season semi pro was on Leeds books and others showed interest in me but sadly I was tackled hard from behind snapping my ankle bone and muscle snapped as I say I was no good after that.I know the boots made a massive difference to me I’m sure they alone were the reason how many goals I scored so a big thanks for them I think they were called Adidas Lawrence 101 also not sure but I think the word “patrick” was some were on the boots if you can help me I would be a very happy man.
    You’re sincerely Gordon David knowles.

  19. says: Leeds Mick

    I had a pair of Stylo matchmaker Sabre boots because the Leeds team wore them although lorimer wore adidas,Giles wore gola and Clarke and Madeley wore Puma. Its funny how kids obsess over daft things like boots when they’re all the same anyway. I also had a pair of Puma Flamenco(yellow on black) due to Allan Clarke being my hero. Earlier I had a pair of Power boots,can anyone remember them? In the late 70s a lot of the Leeds team wore Simlam boots but that company seemed to have disappeared without trace. Happy days unless you were a parent having to trail around every sports shop in town.

    1. says: Alucard

      I used to wear white Puma “magic” boots as a teenager playing against “real ‘ard men’. I thought I was cool – they didn’t & I regularly had the sh1t kicked out of me.

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