In case you were wondering, this past year turned out to be one of the most epic years we have experienced in the world of soccer cleats. There were a ton of new releases as well as new colorways and exclusive limited edition releases. Plus, there have been several new companies who entered the US market. In order to summarize things, I have broken the year up in to different categories with extra detail in each.
And once you are finished checking things out, please let a comment below and let us know what 2012 meant to you from a soccer perspective!
Top Boots of the Year
Lets kick things off with the big one – Top Boot of 2012. There were some fantastic releases this year and choosing a top boot is actually a tough one. And it wasn’t only the big guns pulling out the great releases, we also saw some of the lesser brands producing some tantalizing boots. Here is our Top 10 List for 2012 in pictures.
Colorways – The Good and the Bad
There were over 110 new colorways released from various companies through 2012, so there were plenty to choose from in this category. Of course, when it comes to design there is always controversy – as we have seen on our Colorways of 2012 – The Good and the Bad guide. Head over to check out what we rate to be the tops and the bottom when it comes to the all important visuals – then tell us where your vote would go!
The Gear Show on KickTV
If you haven’t seen our awesome new show yet, where have you been? In 2012, the guys at KickTV put Ben, of the OriginalWinger, and I together in front of a camera to produce a new show called “The Gear Show”. At first, it was a little daunting, but the partnership has grown and the show is receiving record viewship. As always, we appreciate your support on this one as the more people we have watching, the better opportunity we have of staying on the air (in other words let KickTV know you want to see more of us). Watch out for more fantastic boot review coverage in 2013!
Introducing the Nike GS (Green Speed)
In July, Nike introduced us to their most eco-friendly and lightest boot ever released – the Nike Green Speed. The buzz around that release was extraordinary, and the 2012 pairs sold out within hours. In fact, the following day they were retailing for over $600 a pair on eBay! Pretty insane. Novembers release of the Green Speed II didn’t quite raise the same heights, but they are set to sell out before the end of the year.
Messi Goal Scoring Spree – Hits 91!
Is this guy one of the greatest to ever play the game? I think that question answers itself, and as a result the popularity of the Adidas F50 adiZero has risen to an all-time high position. This year Adidas brought us some special Personalized Messi releases, fan inspired designs and even some cool graphics to illustrate what makes the little Argentinian especially magnificent this past season. Even if I am not a Barca fan, I am a soccer fan and that is the reason I love to write about and watch Messi play.
UEFA Player of the Year – Andres Iniesta
Some would call the decision to award Iniesta with the European player of the Year a controversial one, but lets be honest the guy is a magician. And since he took the coveted award, his boots are also worth a mention – he is a Nike CTR360 Maestri wearer. During his top performing year, he was wearing the CTR360 II but when he received the award, Iniesta had stepped into the CTR360 III and they are the boots that received most attention.
Light Gets Lighter
Companies continued the trend of producing lighter and lighter boots this year, with several new players entering the category. In this calendar year we were introduced to boots like the Puma evoSPEED SL (5.6oz), the Pele Trinity 3E K (6.3oz) and the Adidas 11Pro SL (6.6oz). These three boots actually make it into the Current Top10 Lightest Boots on the Market (well worth checking out). Added to that, companies like Under Armour and Asics also found ways to drop the weight of their ranges and are definite players to watch out for when it comes to this category in 2013.
New Brands and Exclusive Releases
This year, we introduced you to several new companies that hit the market, with some EXCLUSIVE releases included.
- For example, we were the first to bring you details of Munich’s introduction to the US. Their range of Futsal specific shoes have brought a completely new element to the US market and there is real excitement surrounding their availability.
- We also introduced you to the Ryal brand and then had the opportunity to test the La Storia – what a classic boot that is. No other US site has tested these boots to date.
- Then there was the Limited Edition release of the Pele Trinity SheOne and we were the only site in the world that had access to test a pair before they were released!
- Finally, we were also given the unique opportunity of owning a pair of Nike GS II before their release, compliments of Nike. That worked out really well as we were able to bring you an episode of the Gear Show, focused on the boot, right around their release.
All in all, I would say it was a pretty good year for exclusives!
SoccerCleats101 Sponsors 2 Players
This was something I had been wanting to do for a while, Player Sponsorship, and thanks to its success, I have some new things planned in this area for 2013! Our two new sponsored players are Zach Pollatsek and Ervindo René Lopez, and these two guys are perfect ambassadors for SoccerCleats101 and the game of soccer in general! Stay tuned for a follow-up post on how the guys are doing with their new gear.
Post #1000 – The Perfect Excuse for a Giveaway!
What an extra special landmark to achieve, and with it we had a pretty awesome giveaway.
Now we have our sites set on getting to 2,000 posts, while continuing to bring you the most comprehensive and in-depth coverage of soccer footwear. Without you guys, the readers, the site doesn’t exist. So we thank you for all you have done in 2012 and hope to see you here, on Facebook, Twitter and the rest during 2013!