We are all familiar with the big companies that own a majority stake in the soccer market. Nike, Adidas, Puma, Umbro and Diadora are just a few of the top names that you will see on show when you decide to pick-up a new pair. But there is also a wide variety of lesser known brands that strive to take their own little piece of the market. For the most part, they look for niche areas or gaps in the market where they can make a name for themselves. Sometimes it is an innovative design, other times it is a step back to a more traditional, no-nonsense boot.
Either way, they don’t always get the credit they deserve for their hard work, so consider this a small shout-out to the best of the rest. Below is a short list of lesser known companies that I dug up. Check them out, and if you have a lesser known company you would like to suggest, leave their name in the comment section below!
Based in Germany, the Aspero Classic 2012 boot features a leather upper with Neokick touch control, and a ball control region right around the laces. It makes for a unique look, but their second installment or the 2012 edition is already being sported by players in the German league.
You might have spotted a new brand hit the US market very recently – Concord. This is the one boot on the list that you actually have the opportunity to get your hands on pretty easily. Their new Concord Techno range has heads turning and there is a buzz around the opinion that they might actually make it here. I haven’t tested the boot, but visually I can see why they have a chance!
Styled after the classic style of one of the best players to have ever graced the game, the Cruyff Match is about as authentic as you can get! Everything about the boot is built around the true ideals of the game. They feature a soft Italian leather upper and are a minimalist boot crafted to suit modern players. Unfortunately, they are not readily available to the US market.
Ok, so this is a pretty random inclusion, but FILA do have a few competitive soccer boots on the market, including the FILA Soundwave. Ultimately, these boots are never going to make it as a top player on the market, but we are sure to see sporadic releases from the 100 year old Italian company.
Hummel are a brand who have been making soccer boots since 1923! In fact, the Danish company released some of the first ever pairs. Currently, one of their mainline releases is the Hummel Old School, and as you can see from the picture, they definitely hold an old school look! Gotta love the traditional fold over tongue. Currently, none of the boots are available in the US.
I really can’t tell you a great deal about Manriquez boots other than they are a Mexican brand that have been around for 40 years. The first time I saw them was a few years back when my buddy Roro was wearing a pair in the PDL final (check the image in this post). The boots feature a leather upper and the more modern releases have a fold over tongue with an elastic underwrap. I did find some on a local Mexican site in a White/Yellow colorway.
Most players associate Mitre with soccer balls, but what you might not know is that they also have a range of soccer cleats. The main staple in their arsenal is the Mitre Rafale, a boot that features a soft leather upper and is designed for increasing speed, accuracy and feel with the ball. You also get a very unique visual that runs across the side of the boot! Mitre are an English company and have been around since 1817.
This is the one boot on the list I have had the opportunity to review – the Lazzarini Canguro – and as a result I can tell you about the quality they offer! These are the classic boot, they ooze that old-school style with plenty of modern Panfofola d’Oro crafting. Again, these are another pair that need to be ordered from overseas. It is a pity, because if they were available here in the US, I have no doubt they would sell really well.
Growing up, I remember boots from French company Patrick were seen as “cheap”. But, in recent times they have upped their game with some refined releases including the Patrick GoldCup. The K-leather upper on these looks extremely supple and the overall look of the boot is very much Copa-esque! This is one of the boots on the list that I am interested in picking up for review real soon.
Brazilian company Penalty created a unique way of releasing their latest Penalty S11 PRO boot with the help of Victor Valdes and a QR code. The soleplate on these boots features a Celeron soleplate and a Tenvis technology upper (both unique to Penalty). A very ordinary looking boot that can’t be found on the US market – but if Victor Valdes is wearing them, they must have some quality to offer!
Here is an interesting one – Tiebao are a Chinese company who actually manufacture boots for other companies, but somewhere along the line they decided it was time to create their own line of boots. Performance wise, there is no way these boots should be used as a game boot – at most they should only be considered as a training boot. Finding a pair might prove extremely difficult as Tiebao only seem to sell wholesale.
If you play in South America (Brazil or Argentina specifically), one of your top options comes in the form of Topper, and they have a solid selection of boots. We are highlighting the Topper Velocity, which is a speed boot designed to give quick players maximum speed. I haven’t heard much else about the company, but their boots look sharp and if their website is anything to go by, they have money to invest in their products!
Featuring one of the wildest designs you will find on the market, the Zygo Deztruct is a boot packed with power. They are designed using strategically positioned, yet extremely odd looking pods along the front of the boot. Control and power are the key attributes focused on with this release. Zygo are based in Australia and are quickly becoming a top player on the market there.
And that is the list! There are plenty of other companies out there, so if you have any more that we might have missed leave details below. After checking them all out, the big question is which company or pair of boots do you like best?