What a busy year 2010 has been, between the World Cup and a host of new and exciting (some would say interesting) releases. To finish out the year, I wanted to recap what I deem to be some of the top news stories and topics through posts that were featured on soccercleats101. In a sense, you get an opportunity to relive some of the best articles from the past 12 months before we move into 2011.
One of the most controversial soccer balls to ever have been created – the Jabulani was the official ball for the 2010 World Cup. Reaction to the release was extremely mixed, with the majority complaining about its unpredictable nature in flight. I had the opportunity to review the Jabulani back in January, shortly after its release. From day 1 I could tell that this ball was going to cause goalkeepers nightmares and actually nicknamed it the Tiny Dancer. If you need a ball, check out the Which ball to buy guide that included the Jabulani.
World Cup Spotlight
The World Cup in South Africa was always going to be an optimal time for companies to showcase their products to an enormous audience. And they didn’t disappoint! To start, we featured a full breakdown of who would be wearing what during the actual tournament, and it turned out to be pretty accurate!
The opening game between South Africa and Mexico was a wash with Mach Purple Nike soccer cleats, you could not help but stare in the amazement at how noticeable the boots were. Lesser known names also grabbed the spotlight throughout the tournament. Uhlsport’s goalkeeper gloves seemed to gain the most attention in terms of the No. 1 position, while Mizuno seemed to be the biggest winners through the performances of Japan’s Keisuke Honda. It seemed that the Wave Ignitus achieved overnight cult status – although on a negative note, they are still not available in the US. Diego Forlan was my player of the tournament as he led Uruguay to the semi-finals wearing the Adidas F50 adiZero.
To finish off the World Cup, I posted what I called A different kind of World Cup Summary, which in my opinion is well worth checking out one more time!
There is absolutely no doubt that the big 3 focused on one thing this year – lightweight soccer cleats! Nike owned the market for a while with the release of the Nike Superfly II, which weighed in at 7.8oz. Adidas took the title right around the start of the World Cup when they unleashed the F50 adiZero at 5.8oz. The boot shone at the World Cup, and many players like Nani and Gareth Bale have shifted to wearing them. But then there was Puma, who released one of the most incredible boots ever – the 5.3oz Puma V1.10 SL. I personally found the V1.10 SL to be a very high performing boot, although you do ultimately loose out on the protection factor.
The trend is set to continue in 2011 with Nike, Adidas and Puma set to fight it out for the right to have the lightest boot on the market!
Move Towards Designer
Another trend this year centered around colorful releases. Puma again took advantage of the talents of Kehinde Wiley, with a South Africa inspired V1.10 released around the beginning of the World Cup.
And then there is the latest extremely bold Nike release, the CR7 Safari. The initial reaction toward the Cristiano Ronaldo inspired boot seemed to be extremely negative, but over time there has been a positive shift in opinions. Even if the majority are against how the boots look, Nike received such a high level of attention for the release that they are not likely to really care!
With Nike’s success, I expect to see more designer boots hitting the market next year. I can almost guarantee we will see something quiet unique from Adidas soon!
What Happened to Pink?
The question everyone seemed to be asking in 2009 was “How can I get a pair of those Pink vapors?” We had to wait over a year before Nike released another similar release, although this time around the hype didn’t reach anywhere near the same levels. In theory, the color went from Berry in the Vapor IV to Cherry in the current Vapor VI. It really goes to show how influential an advertising campaign can be, and the effect it can have on sales!
Although thinking about it, maybe adidas Pink F50 adiZero release played a part in watering down the hype with the Berry Vapors?
Releases Designed for Legends
The day before the start of the 2010 World Cup kick-off, Pele held a press conference where he unveiled his new range of soccer gear, called Pele-Sports. The 1970 is the first high-end release from the company and is a boot that oozes class with a leather that goes through an amazing 150 step treatment process! A very exciting release to say the least, although I feel there is still work to be done in order to create a boot that is truly worthy of the man himself.
Another legend to be recognized was Diego Maradona, with the recent release of the Puma King Diego Finale. And what a boot these are! Maradona spent the majority of his career wearing Puma and had a pair on during the World Cup in 1986 where he really made his name. After testing, these turned out to be one of my preferred releases of the year!
Something I only started in the second half of the year was the series of “Just Arrived“ posts. When a new pair of boots comes in, instead of waiting to post images with the reviews I now post an image of them in their original box, before they go into testing. Going forward, every time a new boot arrives it will be added to the series as a way to update you guys on what boots are going into review.
I wanted to get some feedback on readers thoughts before posting this article. So, I put up the Your Thoughts on 2010 post. There was not a whole lot to it, and to be honest it doesn’t even compare to the end of year awards put in place by other soccer cleat sites – but I wanted to get a quick overview of what my readers were thinking. So, I appreciate that you took time to vote, and enjoyed reading your thoughts and comments. After giving you guys the opportunity to share your thoughts one thing is for sure – some of you are really passionate about soccer cleats…lol!
Boot of the year seems to go to the Adidas F50 adiZero, which I tend to agree with (although those that suffered broken studs might disagree!) They added a completely new dimension to the market and were extremely comfortable for such a lightweight boot.
Adidas got the highest number of votes as the company who made most progress in the US market, with double the votes of any other company. I would have added Mizuno to this category, and I am sure they would have received many votes, but they don’t sell directly in the US. I think Jacobs comment sums it up perfectly “I think by far Adidas made the biggest strides this year and also in the category of winning regular players and stars alike away from the Nike brand.” In my opinion that was on of the key shifts of the year.
And finally, it seems Nike’s decision to release the CTR360 Maestri II just before Christmas has paid off, with 263 people deciding it has the best design. This category was about design rather than performance. It is a really good looking boot and I have a feeling they are going to sell extremely well once they officially go on sale January 1st.
Finally, as a big thank you for supporting and visiting the site over the post 12 months (and for making it to the end of this post), I have a few pairs of Adidas F30s up for grabs in different sizes (check out this video). The full details of the giveaway will be posted this Friday (aka Christmas eve). Make sure to come back then to check out the competition and find out how to enter!