Nike Tiempo 6 Launch | With @toffem

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Nike Tiempo 6 Launch | With @toffem

 

Boot Advisor: Boot Collection – has a special!
Serious Boot Collector @toffem has a love for NIKE boots and Nike repaid the love with an all expenses trip to the recent Tiempo 6 launch in Munich, Germany. Here’s his story!

 

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image003The plane departure from Helsinki, Finland around 8 AM in local time and arrived in Munich around 9.30 AM local time. In Munich airport I had a private driver waiting for me, so once I got out from the terminal I saw a well-dressed man holding a sign saying Nike. He helped me with my bags and led me to an all-black BMW 730. He even opened the car door for me so I could take the back seat. Driver also asked if I want any water or lemonade, and what kind of music do I want to listen. Haha I never believed I would get a ride like this. image007

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a half hour of drive we arrived in the hotel in Munich, from the outside you could tell it was a fancy 5 star hotel.

 

 

I got to the room and found some really cool Nike equipment on my bed, later I heard that everyone were given different products which was quite nice. I was a bit nervous, but in a good way, as everything had happened so fast. After about one and a half hour the rest of the people started to arrive to the Hotel. It was really nice to meet the guy who first had contacted me about the event, bloggers, YouTubers and some of the other collectors who I never had a chance to talk in person before, just online. Everything went really smooth as we all shared the same passion.

 

 

Before the actual event we ate lunch at the hotel. I also saw F. Ribery with he´s son staying at same hotel as we did.

The event was located about 30 mins from center of Munich in an old factory building, there was no public entrance.  We walked through a hallway to the first display room; it was called the “bootheads” or collectors room. Here Nike had displayed some boots from Nike Tiempo collection, including my pair Nike Tiempo Air Legend II EC08. The room was stunning and professionally designed. The wall in the end of the room had a countdown display.

 

 

After the countdown the wall opened and we walked through the hallway to the next room with a stage where the Tiempo 6 was displayed. We were around 200 people in there, everything from bloggers, YouTubers, media, Nike crew and 3 collectors me included. Shortly we were asked to step down from the stage as they were about to talk about the new boots and meet Jerome Boateng and Antonio Rudiger.

 

 

It was time for us to interview and meet Jerome Boateng, Antonio Rudiger and Alessandor Florenzi. I asked them a simple question “What was your first football boots?”

Luckily I also got a selfie with Boateng.

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We were also shown the new Nike Liquid Chrome pack. I met some great people and talked about football boots in general. Next was the Tiempo 6 tryout, so we headed back to the busses and drove to a practice arena. The locker rooms were awesome as Nike had put all the needed training gear on individual seat place and they even printed our InstaGram name on the floor. We played a game 11 vs. 11 with referees and coaches. The media captured all on camera.

 

 

After the game we were supposed to have a dinner all together, but all 3 collectors were invited to dine with some of the leaders and designers for Nike Football. It was a great evening and I think we gave them some good ideas.

It truly was a trip I will never forget!

 

 

Football boots collector @toffem

Boot Collector | @toffem

 

 

 

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Check out @toffem collection and other snaps from his trip HERE.

Boot Collectors: Episode 6 – Puma King – Lothar Matthaüs Limited Edition

Boot Collectors: Episode 6

Puma King – Lothar Matthaüs Limited Edition

by Power And Precision (Cameron Corp)

 

Boot Collectors: EPISODE 6 has landed and we’re delighted to announce our new signing Cameron Corp (Power And Precision)!

His first article is on his recent ‘meet and greet’ thanks to the kind guys at Pro:DirectSoccer.

 

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Boots: Puma Kings – Lothar Matthaüs Limited Edition

Release: 2015 – Limited to 25 pairs

 

These boots are very special to me for many reasons and I think they’re one of the classiest pairs produced. It was in July when I had only been off college for a couple of weeks and I was to jet off to Mexico on the 6th for a 2 week holiday. When I was waiting at the airport to bored my flight I thought I’d take one last browse through my personal Instagram account since I wasn’t going to use it for at least another 24 hours. I clicked on my Direct Messages and saw I have one from ProDirectSoccer. I assumed that it would be to feature a picture from my account or something but I couldn’t be any more wrong. This is what I was presented with…

 

 

At first I couldn’t believe what I’d read and I was so excited and couldn’t wait to pick them up, and then reality sunk in, I was about to head to the other side of the world and thought that this was it. Someone else would get selected instead. So I replied to them explaining the situation and suggested a friend picked them up as the invite was for two. I then turned my phone off and that was it until I somehow picked up a wifi connection in Mexico. When I finally got there and got a connection, I got a reply from them saying that my solution was a good one and then agreed to give them to my friend. It wasn’t then until mid August when I finally got them and the wait was worth it 100%.

 

 

The boots themselves are stunning, composed of white and black leather with gold trims and lettering makes them look fantastic. These Lothar Matthaüs boots were produced to celebrate his fantastic career as a player and note some of his best achievements on the box. On both heels marks a 25th anniversary logo with the date 1980 – 2015 above, and on the outside of the heels includes his name Lothar Matthaüs and underneath the pair number out of 25. Mine was 22. My favourite thing about this special pair is the golden fold over tongue that when lifted up reads the same statistics that is printed on the box; 1 World Cup winner, 5 World Cup tournaments and 25 World Cup goals.

 

 

I can’t fault the boots at all and the presentation of them was very nice, they came in a Perspex box with a foam fitting that was shaped to fit both boots, then the pullover box was gold on the inside and white on the outside with a little window on the front allowing you to see his name on the heel and the number issued out of 25. A really nice touch.

 

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The bonus things for me about these boots is the fact that I have a certificate of authentication signed by him with my pair number marked on it as well as the event title ‘Meet Matthaüs’ and then he hand signed one of my boots above his name on the heel, it was a really nice touch that made this one of a kind boots every more special.

There are only 25 pairs produced of these boots, all of which were given out to lucky people selected to attend the event and I was one of them. Thank you Puma, thank you Pro Direct.

 

 

Keep an eye out for other great boots from Cameron’s Instagram page!

Comment below if there is a specific boot you’d like to see covered!

 

Boot Collectors: Episode 7 coming soon!

 

 

 

 

*Header image courtesy of Pro:DirectSoccer

Boot Collectors: Episode 5 – Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 2 CR7 Safari 1

Episode 5 Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 2 (CR7 Safari 1)

by vaporash

 

It’s EPISODE 5 and another quality piece by Ashdon Roberts (@vaporash). His Nike collection is pretty serious and this may well be his crown jewel! Check it out.

 

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Year of release: 2010
Worn by:  Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

 

Before Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid in 2009, Cristiano was still wearing the same Mercurial line he’s always worn. In 2010, Nike deservingly decided to give him his own pair of signature boots. The boots themselves were presented to CR7 and the world at a special event in Madrid. As you can imagine it was quite an achievement and honour for Cristiano to be rewarded with his own signature line, and it was well deserved as im sure he’ll go down as one of the world’s finest footballers. It’s also worth noting that CR7 joined the select few of Nike football athletes and footballing legends Ronaldo Lima (R9) and Ronaldinho Gaúcho  (R10)  in being selected to receive their own signature Nike football boots.

 

 

As  expected, Cristiano managed to notch himself a great goal tally wearing his first ever signature boot, as the 2010-11 season saw CR7 earn the Pichichi as La Liga’s top scorer with a remarkable 40 goals in 34 games, while he also scored the winning goal against Real Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

 

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Visually I think the CR7 Safari 1 Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 2 look stunning and are a true reflection of Cristiano’s flamboyant and unique footballing ability and style.  The graphic on the boots themselves draw, inspiration from the Nike Air Safari trainers that were originally released in 1987.That famous Nike Safari print combined with the Total Orange accent colour make for a great looking boot, and one of my personal favourite ever colourways.

 

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CR7 football boots, have came a long way since the first  release of his signature boot collection in 2010, they have  become increasingly popular.  Nike have now released 12 pairs of CR7 boots, 9  general release colourways and the 3 highly coveted limited editions. The release  of the 13th instalment of the CR7 signature boot series is pretty imminent, and I’m very much looking forward to them being launched. I currently have all 9 general release colourway CR7s in my personal boot collection, and I have to say I’m a fan of all of them. Not only because I’m a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, but because I think they are great looking and great performing boots. I firmly believe Nike designers have done a good job on every CR7 released so far, I honestly don’t think there’s been a bad one to date.

 

Anyway I hope you enjoyed my write up on the CR7 Safari 1 Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 2 , and be sure to be on the lookout for my next article, on the Nike Hypervenom Phantom 1.

 

 

Keep an eye on Ashdon’s Nike collection through his Instagram page (@vaporash)

 

 

Boot Collectors: Episode 6 coming soon!

 

 

Boot Collectors: Episode 4 – Nike Magista Obra by armandinho10_football

Boot Collectors: Episode 4 – Nike Magista Obra

by armandinho10_football

 

It’s EPISODE 4 and it’s brought to you by Arman Virdee (@armandinho10_football)

He’s a keen Nike fan and his collection is pretty impressive!

 

Nike Magista Obra

 

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Year of Release: 2014

Worn By:  Andres Iniesta (Spain), Mario Götze (Germany), Paul Pogba (France), Christian Eriksen (Denmark), David Luiz (Brazil), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Blaise Matuidi (France)

 

In my first article, I will be talking about a modern classic, The Nike Magista Obra. The Obra’s were launched a couple months before the 2014 World Cup and because of this, the very popular CTR360 silo was killed off. The Magista Obra was designed by one of football’s great geniuses, Denis Dekovic before he traded the Swoosh for the famous Three Stripes.

 

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The Magista pushed the boundaries of innovation in boots and like many, I was sceptical. Nobody had ever seen a mid-cut football boot before and to be honest, it looked weird at first. However, this collar, otherwise known as Nike’s Dynamic Fit Collar, has become the symbol for innovation in football boots. When you see a collar like this on the field, you know that it is Nike’s very own technology.

The boot is completely seamless and is a one piece upper. What separates Nike from a lot of other brands in their willingness to be different and they definitely achieved it with the Obra. The upper is made completely from Nike’s Flyknit technology. Two layers of Flyknit are used. One to create a sock like fit, while the other is to provide a better touch and control thanks to the honeycomb texture seen on the upper. The Magista Obra has become one of the most popular releases that I have ever witnessed.

 

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Every color sells out, and it seems like everyone has a pair. The boots were especially popular after the World Cup, and it helped Nike’s marketing a lot when Mario Götze scored the game winning goal in the 2014 World Cup Final against Argentina wearing non other than the Nike Magista Obra.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short article about the Nike Magista Obra and be sure to read my next article coming out soon where I will write about the equally classic, Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly IV.

 

Be sure to keep an out on Arman’s Instagram page for more!

 

Boot Collectors: Episode 5 coming soon!

Boot Collectors: Episode 3 – Nike GS Concept 1 by vaporash

Boot Collectors: Episode 3 – Nike GS Concept 1 by vaporash

 

Hot on the heels come a new Episode from Ashdon Roberts (@vaporash). Ashdon is a keen Nike collector and he’s picked none other than the NIKE GS Concept 1 to start off! Neymar brought this boot to stardom during the 2012 Olympics! Great piece from Ashdon and we’re looking forward to his next one already!

Nike GS Concept 1

 

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Year of Release: 2012

Worn by: Neymar (brazil)

 

In my first article I will be talking about the amazing Nike GS Concept 1’s. They were initially launched in 2012 and were exclusively made to be worn by Neymar during the London 2012 Olympics. Neymar managed to notch himself a fairly decent goals tally wearing the Nike GS Concepts, on route to the men’s football final. A game in which Brazil narrowly lost to Mexico 2-1.

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The Nike GS Concept 1 was a limited edition release, and only 2012 FG pairs were available to the public to buy. 2012 pairs obviously signifying the year they were released. Each pair is individually numbered, with the pair in my collection being number 916 of 2012 made.

 

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The Nike green speeds are jam packed with technological advancements, and are some of the brands lightest ever football boots produced, weighing in at 160 grams. One of the most impressive and revolutionary features behind the GS is how they are engineered, with the boot mainly being made of recyclable materials such as castor beans, plastic bottles and polyester. I’ve had the chance to play in a pair of Nike GS Concept 1 before and performance wise I thought they were a cut above most other boots out there. Easily, they’d have to be in my top 5 favourite boots to ever wear, and I consider that quite a feat considering the number of different boots I’ve worn over the years.

 

One of my favourite things about the Nike GS Concept is the lightweight design and the stud configuration, the level of traction it offered was great and I thought the upper of the boot was rather soft and relatively easy to break in (always a plus). I wore my previous pair for quite some month and really enjoyed my time playing in them. Not to mention they look exceptional on feet as well, with the more traditional base colour of black and the loud bright colour of volt, creating an eye dazzling contrast of colours sure to impress many a person.

 

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Anyway I hope you enjoyed my write up on the Nike GS Concept 1, and be sure to be on the lookout for my next article, on the CR7 Safari 1 Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly 2.

 

A huge thanks to Ashdon Roberts (@vaporash) for the great piece! Early next week we’ll be bringing a pretty iconic boot in Ep.4! Stay tuned!

 

Leave us a comment on what we should cover in the Boot Collector Series!

Boot Collectors: Episode 2 – Adidas Predator TOUCH

Boot Collectors: Episode 2 – Adidas Predator TOUCH by Red Devil Del

 

A week on from our first release comes the next episode of Boot Collectors. Derek Lyon (@Red Devil Del) talks us through the Adidas Predator TOUCH from 1996! 19 years ago today David Beckham scored his iconic wonder goal from the halfway line! This article bring you back to a great time with some fantastic memories! A great read!

 

Adidas Predator Touch

 

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Year of release: 1996

Worn by: Paul Gascoigne (England), David Beckham (England), Zinedine Zidane (France), Alessandro Del Piero (Italy), John Collins (Scotland), Didier Deschamps (France), Paul Ince (England), Alberto Belsue (Spain), Teddy Sheringham (England)

 

In my last article I wrote about the boot that started my obsession with football boots and why it was so influential in revolutionising an emphasis on footwear technology used in terms of enhancing players performances.  I am actually going to skip past one boot in the Predator family, The Rapier, released in 1995 as the boot was very similar to the original 1994 version, with only some subtle differences.

 

This review is about, in my opinion, one of the most classic looking Adidas boots; the Predator Touch.  The Predator Touch was released prior to the 1996 European Championships and was worn by many of the star players during the tournament.  The boots themselves were the first on which Adidas introduced the fold over red tongue, which very quickly became established as one of the iconic aspects of a Predator boot.  In my previous article, I spoke about the Predator Eyes being an key image, however, from the Touch boot onwards it became the tongue that many people adored seeing on the famous boot.  The primary function in terms of technology was claimed to be that the fold over tongue enhanced the striking area of the boot, as it completely covered the laces to ensure a much truer strike on the ball.  With regard to appearance, there were 2 very distinctive tongues available.  One simply had ‘adidas’ emblazoned across it, whilst the other boasted ‘adidas MADE IN GERMANY.’  The main difference came down to where the boot was made.  Germany and China were the 2 countries producing the boot and it was considered by many that the Germany productions were of a higher standard.  For example, claims were made about the leather being softer and the general finish of the boot being to a much higher, more pleasing standard.  I have owned both types of boot and, to be honest, looking at them, there were very few differences, if any.  The look of the boot was identical (apart from the obvious writing across the tongue).  When running my hands over the boots I couldn’t tell the difference.  Perhaps the actual performance of the boot was slightly different, or there were differences in how long the boots actually lasted, but I cannot accurately comment on these observations, as I only ever played in the ‘Made In Germany’ versions.

 

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In my opinion, Adidas seemed to get the weight of this boot correct.  Yes: compared to today’s boots they are heavy, but the structure of the boot was so much better than seen with the earlier versions of the Predators.  The Touch boots were my first pair of Predators, and also the pair that me completely hooked as a player on them.  They were bought from a catalogue that allowed my mum to pay them off at something like £1.59 a week for about 18 months!  It seems crazy now, but I guess back then, being at University, I had no idea how the Predator was going to be my boot of choice for my future in playing, teaching and coaching.

 

After releasing the Predator in 1994, Adidas were looking to improve the technology in the Predator fins and they were successful in doing this on the Touch.  Instead of simply covering the whole front of the boot in the rubber fins, Adidas separated them into 3 different strike zones.  These zones were arranged in a way that intended to improve contact on the ball, further enhancing the greater power and swerve for which the Predator range was now famous.   Although the tongue now covered the laces, Adidas included a strip of fins around the lace eyelets so that should the tongue move, players still benefitted from a true strike on the ball.  These newly placed zones meant that an increased amount of kangaroo leather could be used in the upper, resulting in a superior fitting boot when compared with the previous Predator models.  All of the technology described here were really just subtle differences from the original launch.  Perhaps the most spoken about feature added to the boots was the sole plate.  Adidas surprised everyone by releasing a brand new sole plate on some of the ‘Made In Germany’ models, which consisted of 10 rubber blades positioned strategically across the sole plate, designed to enhance a players grip.  Adidas branded this the TRX (Traction) sole plate.  It was a development that proved to be extremely popular with players. Adidas further enhanced the performance of the grip when releasing the an updated version of the Touch the following year in which they had added another 4 rubber blades. They added a further 2 to the heel and then split the 2 centre blades in the forefoot in half, moving the position of them so that greater grip could be achieved. The new placement of the blades allowed players to turn faster and increased the support for the foot on the ground.

 

The original 10 blade sole and the second edition 14 blade sole

 

The ‘improved’ traction may have come at a cost though, as, very quickly, people began to report injures, deeming the increased traction to be the cause.  It seems strange to say this, but players claimed that the grip was too good and, where a normal round stud would ‘give’ a little, the blades were not allowing this natural movement.  These claims were all unfounded and it seemed that players experiencing the improved grip for the first time found it strange to work with.

 

The Predator Touch was the first Predator to be released in different colour ways.  The classic Predator colours of black/white/red were released first and it was very noticeable that red was becoming a more dominant colour than we had previously seen on the ‘94 and Rapier releases.  Next, Adidas did something that hadn’t been seen before – they released a white football boot!!! The Predator Touch TRX white/black/red was released and, to this day, I remember putting the first player I saw wearing them up in the air in a game due to the fact he thought he was good enough to wear white boots.  Whilst many might not understand it now, in 1996 boots were black: pure and simple.  A white boot broke the ‘norm,’ and players wearing them were perceived to be a bit full of themselves.  Alessandro Del Piero wore them, but teamed with the Juventus kit they looked amazing.   After the release of the white boot, Adidas went on launch a 3rd colour way in the stunning red/white/black boots.  In fact all 3 colour ways look outstanding.  For a long time, I thought that Adidas only made 3 colour ways, and, in a way, I was right.  They only ever released 3 colour ways to the general public.  However, a couple of professional players received specially made blue/black/white Touch boots.  I have only ever seen one pair of these on eBay years ago.  They were well worn and looked in very bad condition.  I still kick myself for not just buying them, as they would look great in my collection!    Blue obviously broke away from the traditional colours associated with the Adidas Predator, but one player who wore them was Gazza.  He was playing for Glasgow Rangers at the time and the blue boot was a spot on match for their playing kit.

 

All 3 released colour ways

 

 

The Adidas Predator Touch had a few classic moments that, as a Scotsman and Man Utd fan, I will never forget.  The first moment happened at Euro 96 in a game between Scotland and England.  Scotland were trailing 1-0 and had a penalty to equalise the game.  They missed the penalty and England went straight on the counter attack for Gazza to score a goal.  A bouncing ball was played up to him; he flicked it over the head of Colin Hendry with a beautiful touch before striking the ball past the Scottish goalkeeper.  The goal was followed by the famous ‘dentist chair’ celebration and remains one of the greatest England goals I have seen.

 

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The second moment is one I am sure everyone has seen: David Beckham scoring from the half way line against Wimbledon on the first day of the 1996/97 season. Beckham struck the ball from a yard inside his own half, lobbing Neil Sullivan. Adidas couldn’t have asked for a better advert for the latest Predator boot.  The goal was shown all around the world, demonstrating the claims of more power in abundance.  Funnily enough, the boots Beckham wore that day were not actually made for him.  The boots had the name ‘Charlie’ on the tongue, as they were intended for Glasgow Rangers’ Charlie Miller.  Some say Adidas sent the boots to Beckham by mistake.  Others say it was so that Becks could try them out for himself.  Whichever is true, it materialised into a great move by Adidas as from that moment, Beckham became a life-long Predator fan.
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These 2 goals summed up the Predator boots perfectly.  Both had been struck with power and precision, as well as having an extra touch of class about them.  This encompassed everything Adidas were trying to promote with their third generation of the Predator silo.

 

The RRP of these boots in 1996 was £129.99, which, back then was seen as a substantial price tag on a pair of boots.  The Predator Touch, Made in Germany with the TRX sole plate is arguably the most sought after boot for collectors today, in all conditions.  You can often find a used pair online, with prices varying from £50 to £250, dependant on colour and condition.  For collectors interested in BNIB condition boots, prices can be extremely high.  The standard, made in China, black Predator Touch with the Cup or Liga sole plate can sell for around the £300-£450 mark.  In other colour ways prices can go even higher.  As the Made In Germany model with the TRX sole are so sought after, prices can range from £500 to £1000, also depending on the colourway.  In my experience, the white colour way is most people’s favourite, but the red is by far and away the hardest to actually find BNIB.  Prices for the White Touch can go crazy in auctions, and I have seen one pair go higher than £1000, although I do think that is too high for these boots.  The red Touch can also pull in this type of money in the world of collectors.

 

It was at this point on the Predator timeline that an increasing number of professional players could be seen sporting them in the world’s top leagues.  The Touch is deemed by many to be one of the ‘truest’ Predator boots, given the Tongue, as well as the more prominent red included the colour way of the boot.

 

My next write up will be about the Adidas Predator Accelerator, which was created for the 1998 World Cup and also happens to be my favourite boot of all time…see you then!

 

David Beckham – Halfway line Goal!

 

 

Paul Gascoigne Goal vs Scotland

 

A huge thanks to Derek Lyon (@Red Devil Del) for this trip down memory lane! Next up is Ashdon Roberts!

 

Boot Collectors: Episode One | Red Devil Del – Adidas Predator 1994

 Boot Collectors: Episode One | Red Devil Del

 

In our very first episode of our Boot Collection series comes from Boot Collector Red Devil Del (Derek Lyon)

Derek has chosen in our opinion the boot that change everything forever! The Adidas Predator 1994.

 

 

Adidas Predator 1994

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Released: 1994
Worn By: Paul Gascoinge (England), John Collins (Scotland), Glenn Hoddle (England), Ronald Koeman (Netherlands), Christian Ziege (Germany), Abedi Pele (Ghana).

 

 

In the first of my write-ups about the classic football boots of years gone by, I have decided to focus on the boot that started my obsession: the Adidas Predator.  I will be discussing how Adidas’ technology in this boot improved on that which was already in the boots many people were wearing up until the release of the Predator.

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First, however, a little history: Despite the emerging trend, companies were not previously obsessed with weight.  Pre-1994 the boots major companies were producing were generally being made for comfort and durability. Because of this, the only upper anyone really wanted was kangaroo leather.  Many companies were therefore producing standardised football boots with leather uppers along with, the now classic, 6-stud pattern on the sole plate.  At this point on the football boot timeline, the most iconic boot worn by many players was the Adidas Copa Mundial, which, to this day, is arguably one of the most comfortable football boots ever made.

 

Roll forwards to 1994 and the release of the Adidas Predator.  For the first time a boot had been made which involved an advance in technology, which emphasised performance over comfort.  Introducing the predator fins, positioned on the front of the boot, Adidas claimed the boots could generate more power and swerve on the ball.  The famous slogan, “100% legal and 0% fair” was born as part of the advertising campaign, and remains well known throughout the world of football boots.  I can still remember the first time I saw a pair of Predators in my local sports shop and looking at them in awe.  At nearly 100GBP, they were well out side of my price range.  The idea of a boot costing this amount of money really was something the world had never considered before, and yet despite this, people were determined to get a hold of a pair.

 

The first goal to be scored in the most talked about football boot of the time couldn’t have come in a bigger game.  On the 30th April, it was Rangers v. Celtic and John Collins stepped up to curl a beautiful free kick into the keeper’s top right corner from the edge of the box.  His celebration included clear gestures towards his Predator boots, so I think we can safely assume he credited them with a share of his success!

The Adidas Predator was released with 2 different sole plates; Cup and Liga.  At the time, this was the equivalent of the soft- (Cup) and firm- ground (Liga) options.  The original Predator did not include the now iconic fold over tongue, although we did see the introduction of the famous predator eyes, which appeared above the writing on the tongue.  The boots even came in a box decorated with the name ‘PREDATOR’ as well as the eyes splashed across the front.

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In terms of technology, the rubber fins at the forefront of the boots were the place that the ‘magic’ happened.  The idea being that the fins would give superior grip on the ball, hence producing more spin and generating greater power.  During their advertising campaign, Adidas’ claims were 10% more power, and 20% more swerve.  The technology, produced by ex-footballer Craig Johnston, had the football world talking non-stop about the new boots. Could a piece of equipment really give a player so much more of an advantage?

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At the time the Predator was released I was playing in Puma Kings.  It wasn’t until 2006 that I had the opportunity to test out the 1994 advertising claims.  By this time I had played in a range of Predators, including the Touch, Accelerator, Precision, Mania and Pulse.  (I suppose I had been well and truly brainwashed by the Predator silo!).  When I wore the original Predator for the first time, in all honesty I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, which was a shame, as it was so exciting that I had managed to track down a pair in good condition, I couldn’t wait to try them at training.  Ironically, I had been really envious of anyone who had them back in 1994.  I quickly realised that the technology and comfort of boots had moved on substantially, and so trying a 12-year old pair of boots left me unable to see exactly what everyone had raved about.  The first thing I noticed was the weight of them.  They were so heavy!  Now before I go any further, I should make it clear that I am not a speed boot fan that believes that shaving off an extra 5 grams is going to make me Usain Bolt.  However, the weight of these boots was something that made them hard for me to like. In 1994, the weight was acceptable by everyone and I’m sure it wasn’t an issue at the time.  12 years later though, it was a different story.  From my personal experience I would argue that the ‘extra power’ is negligible.  However, in terms of producing swerve, I have always felt that the boots do produce a greater amount of curl when compared to a conventional boot.  One of the tips given by Adidas was for players to invest time training in the Predator boots to become accustomed to the extra power and swerve, as these could initially cause a few wayward passes.  As with all new technology, players adapted their playing styles and, after getting to grips with the changes bringing about the many advantages that Adidas claimed, the results truly were outstanding.  The sole plate was solid, making them extremely rigid, which also took some getting use too after playing in more modern boots.  The sole plate carried a striking design which formed another performance enhancing feature of the Predator, containing technology known as P2E or Pressure Point Elimination.  This technology was meant to prevent pain coming through from the studs on the sole plate when playing on harder ground.  The claim was that P2E gave you the sensation of walking barefoot.  This may sound crazy in todays football world, but as someone who wore boots in the 1980’s studs coming through the sole plate and hurting your feet was a very real problem!  The rubber fins on the front of the boot are something I still really love the look of.  The fins did cause a great deal more spin on the ball, an outcome I’ve always likened to the face of a golf club striking a golf ball and creating spin.

As a collectors item, the Predator 1994 really is a must for anyone who wants to see where the evolution in football boot technology really began. As I previously stated, in 1994 these boots retailed at around the 100GBP mark.  In today’s market they can sell for approximately 250GBP-400GBP when their condition is brand new in box (BNIB).  This price reflects the fact that the boots are a great collection item; after all, they show us where the Predator line started.  However, they don’t hold their value as well as some of the more sought after Predator Touch, Accelerator or Mania football boots, which I will be writing about in the very near future.

 

If you had a pair of Predators in 1994, the opposition were worried about every strike you went to take.  Free kicks on the edge of the box were only ever going to be taken by the guy with Predators on!  Adidas had created a boot that every footballer knew of and, more importantly for Adidas, people were finally buying into the concept of performance enhancing technology in boots.  Most players can remember their first pair of Predator football boots.  The price didn’t deter too many people, as they wanted the best available…and these really were the best!  There is just something so iconic about them.  In the Predator, Adidas produced a football boot that people will no doubt be speaking about for years to come.

 

My next write up will be about the Adidas Predator Touch, and some of the great moments that the boot will always be remembered for, so until next time have a great start to your football season wherever you are and hope you enjoyed this first write up about the Adidas Predator.

 

 

So that’s it! The very first episode of Boot Collectors. Massive thanks to Derek on a fantastic opening article. Stay tuned next month for Derek’s next piece.

 

Going forward for the coming season we have assembled a cracking team of contributors:

Derek Lyon@Red Devil Del

Chris Kemp@ThePredCollective

Ashdon Roberts@vaporash

Jorma Seabourne –  @jorma_xiv

Arman Virdee – @armandinho10_football

Keep an eye out for the next Episode!