One of the most interesting parts of running an independent soccer footwear website is the fact we have solid relationships with all parts of the market. From brands to retailers, PR companies to consumers, we get to directly correspond with all categories. It gives us a unique insight into the industry and how everything comes together. The market is continually evolving, with new brands popping up and others deciding to call it a time. Pele Sports, ASICs, Warrior and more have tested the waters and moved on.
With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at how things currently stand, with our top 10 list of boot brands battling it out in the US right now.
No. 10 – Joma
Over the past few years we have seen Joma come and go in waves, with different style boots pushed at different times. If you are pitching anything right now, it would be their indoor line-up including the Super and Top Flex. But their FG line-up is very minimal right now, with now much outreach to US consumers.
They do have a US website, if anyone is interested in seeing what they currently have on offer.
No. 9 – Umbro
When we were at the USCAA convention in LA a few weeks back, we met with some Umbro reps who were excited to announce the double diamond is set to make a US return. This is something we have heard several times before, but you have to think with the right marketing strategy, the Umbro brand can really make inroads here. They have the name, and more importantly they have the boots! UX-Accuro, Medusae, Velocita and Speciali Eternal – boots for every occasion of the week! But given the fact Umbro abandoned the US market over 2 years ago, we hold out hope that they actually make a comeback.
You can only currently find the latest Umbro boots available in the US via their official website.
No. 8 – Concave
Here is the one brand on the market making an active push into the US. It seems that 2017 will be a major moving year for the Australian based brand, as they have hit the ground running with available content for US consumers. We have access to all 2017 model releases, and will be sharing exclusive details on each right as they are released. And their range of boots all featuring the patented PowerStrike Technology, offering players something very different. I’d expect a rise on this list for Concave when we revisit this list in the future.
If you are looking to explore the Concave line-up, check the official Concave website.
No. 7 – Diadora
There hasn’t been a whole lot of action in recent months, with the reinvented Brasil Italy being the last boot of note, released last summer. The Italian brand has a very recognizable name and styling, but that could be their downfall as they struggle to adjust to an ever changing market. There is strong rumors of a new speed boot and advanced performing soleplate in the works, but we still have a while before it drops.
The best place to find or keep up new Diadora releases is via soccer.com.
No. 6 – Mizuno
If there is a brand on this list with huge potential, it is Mizuno. The Japanese brand produce some of the best boots available on the market, yet their downfall is the lack of market visibility. When they reentered the US market, there was a huge buzz. But since, they have done very, very little in the way of marketing. If they were to pick up a few MLS players and use them to promote the incredible line-up of boots they have on offer, it could produce very positive results. It is such a shame we can’t put them higher on this list, because boot performance is absolutely top quality.
On the plus side, lack of exposure has resulted in boot prices dropping as retailers look to move inventory. You only have to look at some of the incredible prices on soccer.com a perfect example.
No. 5 – New Balance
With every new release, New Balance seem to be moving in the right direction. But they are not there in terms of performance just yet. I’m always impressed with the number of press releases received from different PR agencies when NB release something new. They definitely work hard to spread the word to US consumers, definitely a positive. If boot performance was there, the brand would have huge market value with the potential to crack into the top 3.
Check everything currently available in the NB line-up at soccer.com.
No. 4 – Under Armour
Given the Under Armour are a US based brand, you’d expect they have some advantages in the US market. Over the past year, we have seen them release some excellent boots that have put them in contention to be a top 3 contender, but their media presence has just been OK. A big PR event to showcase what the boots have on offer would be a real winner, especially if they were to include the high profile MLS players they currently have wearing the boots!
Find everything currently available in the UA line-up at soccer.com.
No. 3 – Puma
Puma continue to be a very stable brand in the US, keeping US consumers updated with everything they have going on boot wise. From their camo style releases to highly visual colorways, there is always something belonging to the Cat to cover. My only issues lies in their speed boot line-up, and lack of a push to connect with consumers encountering issues with the boots. If anything, outreach to help consumers feel like they were able to give feedback and help the brand create more durable products might be an excellent tool to create bonding relationships. Are they close to the top 2? No, definitely not, but they are not really threatened to lose their spot at #3 either.
Find everything currently available in the PUMA line-up at soccer.com.
No. 2 – adidas
Since their decision in 2015 to completely retire and replace their line-up of signature boots, the brand has tore a streak through the market and won over an entirely new set of fans. From Primeknit to PURECONTROL, they have pushed boundaries and focused more on fit and performance to help enhance what a player has to work with. PR wise, they are a bit of an anomaly and at times difficult to comprehend. For example, the just released Camo Pack. You’d expect a plethora of images and details to help promote the extremely unique release. But there wasn’t really a whole lot shared. It is also a shame that we haven’t seen Glitch released stateside either.
No. 1 – Nike
In reality, the difference between Nike and adidas is very minimal, but Nike continue to push boundaries in terms of PR and ways to really showcase what they have on offer. They have found a winning formula for connecting with consumers, like for example via the Nike Soccer App – an ideal platform to showcase ideas and details on boots. Plus, the likes of Magista and Hypervenom have an edge performance wise on anything the 3-stripe has to offer right now.
As the soccer market continues to grow in the US, the number of brands looking to take a piece of the pie increases. Some make a statement, others just look to survive, while the rest fall to the wayside and become another member of what is an extremely challenging market. As we go through 2017, this list is sure to change. Hopefully those changes increase the options available to US consumers!
Are there any brands that have stood out for you guys in recent times, or others you would like to see higher on the list?