The boot-iful game in football:

Ever since football first took off in the 19th century, football boots have inevitably been a huge part of the sport’s success story.

Born in the mid-19th century, the footwear has come a long way from sporting steel toe caps and ankle high long laces, to the luminous pink Adidas cleats of today.

The first ever football boot

The first ever football boot

The transformation has taken over a century, and whilst it has gone through a lot of radical changes to aid and improve player performance, it still won’t prevent Dads up and down the country airing their disgust at the colours and design of the modern day boot.

The majority of us may not know of anything other than the extravagant and loud coloured Adidas and Nike football boots of today but they haven’t always been made of full-grain leather weighing in at around 180 grams.

In fact, many of our ancestors wouldn’t have known anything different to their bog standard heavy leathered work boots that weighed in at 500 grams and which often doubled in extremely wet conditions.

Of course, if the greats of the early 20th century such as Stanley Matthews were donning the plastic-coated, water resistant boots we have nowadays, one can only think of how much greater they could have become.

Stanley Matthews playing in the early football boot

Stanley Matthews playing in the early football boot

But it wasn’t until after the war in the 1950s that changes to the leather boots really started to impact the game.

In 1954, the founder of Adidas, Adi Dassler was the first to come up with screw in studs to help the German football team deal with a rain-lashed World Cup, the idea so revolutionary that the system is still in use today.

As football continued to move forward so did its companion, as stars of the 60s were allowed to develop their game thanks to a lower cut boot with a lighter weight leather material.

The players were not the only ones that moved quicker. Thanks to the latest innovations, brands were also quick to close in, with Mitre, Joma and Asics getting in on the act.

However, what was about to follow in the 1970s was about to embed an un-touchable imprint in football world.

Whilst, player and boot endorsements started to take off, Adidas cemented its place by leading the sportswear market when it released its timeless and iconic classic- the Adidas World Cup football boot alongside its moulded sole counterpart the Copa Mundial.

Both the World Cup, and the Copa Mundial have staked their claim as the best ever selling football boots as they continue to fly off of the shelves of our high street shops.

This era also saw more natural leathers introduced like kangaroo, calfskin and cow leather, leaving not only the original Adidas boots to still be with us from the 70s.

David Beckham sporting the modern day football boot

David Beckham sporting the modern day football boot

Likewise to the 60s, with sports brands reaping huge benefits from their footballing inventions, more brands like Umbro involved themselves in this fast-moving market.

The 90s saw Adidas shrug off its competition once again when it unveiled the most popular and dominant boot of the past two decades: the Adidas Predator.

Since then the boots have swiftly moved on not only introducing different soles to suit different conditions but also introducing the opportunity to customise and design your own football boots using online facilities through websites.

Player endorsements with the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Cristiano Ronaldo have also provided a huge success as sales continue to rocket with children wanting to be just like their heroes.

As football boots continue to improve, today is no different, as Adidas release the first ever knitted football boot, whilst Nike have tried to go one stage further with an all in one boot that has an ankle sock attached to it.

So with decades of improvements always being made, who knows what future generations will recognise to be a modern day football boot.

 

The all new Nike Magista

The all new Nike Magista

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