On Wednesday, I headed down to LA for what was set to be a celebration event for Nike and US soccer. Competing for a third World Cup title in Canada this summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) are set to wear a brand new kit that is different to anything we have seen before. Set in the backdrop of a Hollywood studio warehouse, Nike delivered the new look with the help of Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Tobin Heath.
Right throughout the media assembled, the opinions were extremely positive toward the new jersey as it was unveiled, with it’s simple yet very sleek appearance combining fresh inspiration and modern styling. I’ll cover more about the kit in a post tomorrow.
But, there was something else on show that set the event apart and has the potential be one of the most monumental positive catalysts toward the Women’s game; Nike released a boot pack specifically for female athletes!
This is the first time we have ever seen a brand focus on the women’s game in such a fashion and it is about as revolutionary as it gets. In the past, we have been inundated with signature men’s releases and limited edition boots. On the opposite side, Women’s boots were simply released as an after thought and all pro female athletes were left choosing between the boots of their counterparts. In other words, they were wearing men’s boots.
This signals a new era in the footwear industry and is very likely make us all a little busier as we cover what is being released to market – for that I won’t complain. When I spoke with Sydney Leroux Dwyer about the new pack, she couldn’t hold back her excitement at the statement that this sets and the opportunities it sets forth for female athletes as they look to create a career in the game. With so many female athletes playing across the country, it only makes sense that they should have the choice to wear boots specifically developed for their foot shape and style. And leading players should play a role in that choice, impacting the decision process behind designs and the technical aspects of the boot.
For the first time, Nike also created a tournament pack of women’s footwear, that includes all four of Nike’s cleat types – Mercurial, Magista, Hypervenom and Tiempo – in a stunning color combination designed in concert with the USWNT home uniform. The cleats combine flashes of Volt yellow with a striking ‘Blue Lagoon’ color, a nod to the famous lakes of tournament host nation Canada.
I had an opportunity to check out the Superfly, Tiempo and Magista at the event, with the Superfly standing out as the winning design. So much so, that I’m not afraid to admit it is a colorway I’d love to wear myself! My request to have a pair sent out were graciously denied by the Nike folk, and Sydney Leroux who wasn’t interested in trading for some old Vapors that I have at home. This pack sets a statement and I fully support the direction Nike has taken. I’m looking forward to seeing some more exclusive designs like these in the future (from Nike and other brands too!)
Going back to my conversation with Leroux for a second, she pointed out the fact that the fit of this boot is more specific to her needs and coupled with the mid-cut collar, it makes for her “perfect” boot. In fact, she pointed to the fact that the introduction of the mid cut collar has been so positive, she doesn’t see herself wearing boots without it again in the future. As we know, the market changes and her opinion could change with it, but that is some serious rave reviews for the style and performance of the current Superfly silo. I also questioned her as to why we have seen Dom Dwyer wearing some Nike boots in recent weeks. She assured me that this is something that is not going to be permanent and he will most definitely be back in Adidas boots – ensuring she continues to have the better taste in choice of boots!
That is just my take on the release of the pack and the new colorways – always interested to hear what you guys have to say and what you think of the designs? Hit up the comments with anything you have to add.
One last note, the Women’s jersey is actually going to be sold in both Men’s and Women’s sizes. Again, something we have never seen done before! Both will be on sale tomorrow, 4/23 (I’ll update with a link when they go live) and the boot collection will also be available on soccer.com.