Sometimes the new year is a perfect opportunity to get yourself into a fresh pair of boots. We are hitting 2014 and once the cold snap currently hitting the country moves on, a lot of you will be shopping for something to wear for the spring season. But ensuring you select the right pair for your personal playing style can be the tough part. Lets be honest, the market is at max capacity with new releases and it can be daunting deciphering where you should be looking and what boots make most sense.
With that, here are a few of my top tips to consider as you look to pick a new pair to wear in 2014.
Match Your Playing Style With a Category of Boots
In order to narrow down the market selection, it is best to figure out what playing style your position is in and match it with a category. Obviously, not all players can be defined this way but for those that are really in need of fresh direction it is the way to go. Take this as a general guide, with plenty other boots that would suit each position.
Goalkeepers – Heritage or Power. Heritage will provide stability keepers need during a game, while the option of a power boot is ideal for striking goal kicks. The new Tiempo IV is already a top option, while the Adidas Predator LZ seems to be the most obvious power boot worn.
Outside Backs – Heritage, or something Lightweight. The adiPure IV or the Tiempo V are top options, as well as the King for those Puma fans out there. Another great option is the leather version of the evoSPEED 1.2, but it does lack that extra protection across the forefoot. If you are a Leighton Baines style full back (who likes to take set-pieces) find a pair of Predator LZ.
Center Backs – Power. The T90 Laser IV was a top option before the arrival of the agility focused Hypervenom, something that seems to have disappointed a lot of fans. You could stick with the new Hypervenom, but the best option is really the Predator LZ as it is lightweight and offers center backs an optimal level of hybrid performance. Watch out for the upcoming evoPOWER release also!
Defensive Mids – Heritage or Control. This is a position where you can delve into other types of releases like the Diadora Evoluzione, the Nike Premier or the Umbro Geometra range. All of these options are balanced and provide some protection and durability. Simply put, you want a more traditional boot that features modern upgrades.
Center Mids – Control. It is important for center mids to have a very focused boot and something like the Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 seems pretty ideal. Created for the “Engine”, they provide top performance for lateral movement in game. Another tasty option is the Warrior Skreamer S-Lite, loved how they performed but I’m disappointed not to have seen more pro players currently wearing them.
Attacking Mids – Control or Lightweight. Pretty much anything geared toward a playmaker makes the list here, and it can be extensive depending on your exact style of play. The Nike CTR360 Maestri is obviously the most specific option and a top performer. When it comes to lightweight, the Vapor, adiZero or evoSPEED are pretty ideal, with the Diadora DD-NA and the Asics DS Light X-Fly providing alternative options.
Wingers – Speed. The evoSPEED 1.2 or the Vapor IX are my top options in this department. Wingers need something that is lightweight but offers clean touch and control. Another option that I really love is the Mizuno Morelia Neo, although they are on the more expensive end.
Strikers – Power or Speed. Depending on your playing style, there are two ways you can go here. For those who value power, the Nike Hypervenom and the Mizuno Wave Ignitus are the way to go. For speed, look no further than the Adidas F50 adiZero and the Nike Vapor IX – worn by Lional Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo respectively. It doesn’t get much better than that.
New Releases = Older Model On Sale
We are often brainwashed by marketing involved with a new release and the fabulous technology it offers. Players can quickly forget that the previous model was the next best thing up until now, and that can result in some amazing missed opportunities. For example, I was a huge fan of the Adidas adiPower Predator before it was replaced by the Predator LZ and on many occasions I pointed out amazing deals on the boots. Amazingly, it took well over a year for the adiPower to disappear from the market – if you never owned a pair I feel sorry for you. They were worth their weight in gold! Take a modern approach and look at the latest Tiempo V release – it is a top class boot bbut it comes with a huge price increase. When it comes to value for money, I wouldn’t throw the Tiempo IV out of bed for bringing in a little bit of mud.
Moral of the story; consider older models as they are available at greatly discounted prices and in some cases can offer a better all-round package!
Don’t Be Afraid of A Deal
And that is exactly why we try to keep our “Steals and Deals” page updated. Make sure you use it! Also, if you spot any good deals we always appreciate if you share it with us.
We also have the best deal currently available for players to take advantage of. Our friends at WeGotSoccer have given us an exclusive 25% off code that is good on any boots in their sale section. It means you are getting a deal on top of a deal! The code to use is SC101X25 and the place to look for boots is Right Here.
Mid-Tier Options – Nike Are Leaders
Without a doubt, Nike rule the roost when it comes to mid-tier releases. Their ability to produce top performing economical options is currently miles ahead of the other brands. Right now, they have 5 options on the market for players to choose from, which are:
Legacy – Newest mid-tier on the market, younger brother to the Tiempo V. Retails around $100.
Veloce – Younger brother to the very hot Vapor IX. Retails around $110.
Trequartista – Younger brother to the CTR360 Maestri. Retails around $100.
Phatal – Younger brother to the Hypervenom, most expensive mid-tier option at around $130.
Premier – Nike’s competitor to the Copa Mundial, just released, very modern boot. Retails around $110.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
Whether it is hitting up a blog like SoccerCleats101 for advice or shooting out a tweet to friends, never be afraid to ask fellow players for their feedback on boots. On many occasions, it is commentary from readers that gives me new understanding about new boots and you might be surprised at how accurate fellow players opinions are. And trust me when I say there is never a shortage of people who want to share their thoughts! If you need help, feel free to leave a comment below or hit us up on Twitter where I’ll RT the best comments with fellow readers.
Consider These Deals
Adidas F50 adiZero at adidas.com (normally $220, on sale for $110)
Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 at Soccer.com (normally $220, on sale for $140)
Nike Vapor IX at WeGotSoccer (normally $220, on sale for $135 with code SC101X25)
Nike Mercurial Veloce at Soccer.com (normally $130, on sale for $91)
Adidas adiPure 11Pro at WeGotSoccer (normally $160, on sale for $94 with code SC101X25)
If you guys have any additional tips to offer, hit up the comment section below!