Different countries and cultures have always fascinated me, I don’t like to stereotype but when you think of certain cultures you can’t help but think of certain things. For example, if you were asked to describe Italy the vast majority would say stylish and fashionable. Or when asked to describe Germany, common answers would be efficient and solid.
I was researching some football boots one day last week and I noticed an occurring theme; the cultures and the boots seemed to go hand in hand. I will try and do a little break down of some countries and the boots that originated in that country to support my theory.
Kicking things off, we have the United States, a common view of American’s are that they are colorful, innovative, loud and confident. Some of the most colorful boots we have ever seen have come from American companies. I will start with the biggest and most well known of American brands.
Nike was founded in 1964 and were originally a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS), Nike are still relatively new to the football boot market and never became major players until the late 90’s. Nike are now known as one of the big 3 along with Adidas and Puma in the footballing world. It is by far the most innovative company out of the three. Nike have never been reserved when it comes to releasing colorful and controversial colors. You only have to look at the new CR7 Mercurial launch and the Spring 2013 collection for evidence. The Tiempo line is Nike’s heritage range, with a classic K-leather upper and a classic look and feel, in true American fashion Nike have shaken things up and released their only remaining heritage boot in Sunburst/White/Total Crimson.
If you look across the whole Nike range, there is a vast array of bright and loud colors that really stand out, the Mercurial range has notoriously released some weird and wonderful colors and the ninth installment of the speed silo has certainly kept up this tradition with the launch Fireberry/Volt and Sunset and the recently released Neptune Blue/Volt/Pink.
Indoor football seems to be getting more and more popular these days and Nike as always have given the customer the option to purchase some of the brightest shoes known to man with the Elastico series.
Next to represent U.S.A are a newcomer to the football market in Warrior Sports. Warrior was founded in 1992 and specialized in producing Lacrosse equipment and apparel. Warrior only just entered the football market in 2012 and have made a huge impact on the market this season, particularly in the English Premiership. The Skreamer range is currently being worn by some big name players like Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and Everton duo Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic.
The Skreamer S-lite (pictured above) certainly stands out from the crowd, I have never seen such a sudden impact on the football market like Warrior have made this season. Some pretty impressive advertisement and even more impressive endorsements have turned Warrior into a major force in the football market. The design of the boots also has a lot to do with their rapid success, the original and striking design is eye catching to say the least.
The Skreamer K-lite version is also a striking design despite being black. With the blades designed to look like claws and a touch of spicy orange these boots also stand out. The custom job designed for Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy is another simple yet eye catching design.
Warrior is another example that an American companies confidence and brashness has led them to instant success. We also see alot of unique technology in the boots from the control/power elements in the upper to the soleplate. They have been bold enough to launch their first ever line of boots like nothing else on the market. It looks like Warrior want to continue to stand out with the release of the new Spicy orange/blue colourway.
To conclude this section and to add a little more proof to support my thoughts I am going to also give Under Armour an honourable mention. Under Armour were founded in 1996 and originally specialized in Base Layers, the company is now a huge player in the sporting world and entered the football boot market in 2009. Since then UA has made some pretty solid football boots and are making steady progress. Although UA’s growth does not seem to have been as rapid as Warriors they have still managed to make a significant impact on the market. They have also released some pretty unique boots and there seems to be quite a buzz around the new Spine Blur Carbon III. Under Armour are still considered newcomers to the football boot market and with this futuristic looking release UA are also trying to stand out.
To wrap things up I have found that the leading American companies are not afraid to take risks. They are loud, extravagant, colorful and love to be the center of attention. They are also clever, and understand the power of marketing, therefore I think there boots also reflect this statement. I mean no offense to anyone with these statements as each individual company is different but I am just going on the general perception of each country. Look out for the next installment where we will be visiting the wonderful country that is Italy.
Do you agree or disagree with my observation?