When interviewing a former player last week, I realised how I best remembered him. His boots.
Now my mind was flowing.. remember all those beautiful boots back in the day? When you’d be searching round sports shops for the boots your idol was wearing last weekend. When you’d buy Shoot or Match magazine just to see the Pro Direct Soccer advertisement in the later pages.
The good old days eh. Before a small matter of work and responsibilities got in the way!
Let me take you back to these days… where you’d spend all week at school dreaming of the goals you’d score at the weekend, and in particular, the boots you’d score them with.
2004 Nike Air Zoom Total 90
Where best to start? Wow. What a boot this was. Nike were in their prime boot making days in 2004. At the time, the T90’s were fresh. They were modern. The laces on the side to ensure nothing would get in your way when smacking the ball.
They released some serious colourways of these boots too. Not only the trusty double grey as seen above, but Red/White and Gold/White. A truly iconic boot.
Adidas Predator 1998
We’ve started with Nike, so let’s move onto Adidas. The Predator range is still going, however these were iconic.
Remember Zinedine Zidane winning the 1998 World Cup in these? Nostalgia. Adidas smashed it out the park with these predators, and it was the beginning of an legendary range of boot. This isn’t the last Adidas Predator in this list.
Lotto Zhero Gravity
It’s pretty much impossible to talk about fashion and style without mentioning the Italians.
Lotto just screams class, and this boot epitomises that. Pavel Nedved in his prime days with Juventus would rock these, and Petr Cech also brought the Italian style to the Premier League with these.
Not the most iconic boots ever, however, they were stunning.
Adidas Copa Mundial
These boots are the real OG’s.
I think the fact that it’s been 42 years since these were initially released, and yet you can still walk into the nearest sports shop and buy them. The biggest compliment really.
None of this lightweight, colourful fanciness that we see nowadays, just the basic Adidas black and white boot. Reminds me of a strong central midfielder’s boots. No nonsense. Also screams referee.
I couldn’t have the Adidas Copa’s without the brother, Puma King.
Worn by magicians like Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, these boots were basically wands.
Just like the Copa’s, they are still available to buy today, and will always be timeless.
Nike Mercurial Vapor
This is it for me. The Holy Grail.
What. A. Boot. Wow. I used to own a few pairs of these and honestly I felt 10 foot tall when wearing them. Icons like Henry, R9 and Drogba used to rock these on the pitch.
Quite frankly one of the most attractive boots ever made. They’d come in all sorts of colours and every single one was as beautiful as the next.
For me, the Nike Mercurial was always a strikers boot. However the Adidas F50 will also be remembered for the wingers who wore them.
I think these boots were quite slept on if I’m honest. I loved them. They looked modern, clean, and were the first initial boot to be made as light as possible.
Lionel Messi really took these and ran with them. They continue to make F50’s but just in a completely different style. In fact Messi’s M10 boots are originally from the F50 ideology.
Cor blimey. These were beauties. The pair in the photo above were part of the Ronaldinho range of Nike Tiempo’s. All kinds of Tiempo’s were nice however. A proper old school boot made into a fancier version of its younger self.
Will always remember Ronnie himself scoring that wonder goal against Chelsea in a pair of black Tiempo’s.
What a player. What a boot.
Adidas Predator 2006
Saved the best til last. The 2006 Adidas Predator.
Gerrard. Beckham. Lampard. Kaka. The list goes on. All wore this iconic boot in the prime of their careers.
I used to adore this boot and just for the elastic tongue.. you’d always see the cheaper versions without the elastic so you’d be begging your parents for the more expensive ones simply for that.
Some of the best boots ever were brought out in our childhoods. The kids these days will never understand!
What a time to be alive.