What an incredible busy boot year it has been, with brands fighting to make their mark in what is now an extremely competitive market. From new colorways to the introduction of several new brands, there was a daily onslaught to keep fans fully engaged. There were days when several new releases would hit at one time, making it challenging to just keep up!
And then there was a host of incredible iconic remakes that sent fans into a frenzy. Some sold out within minutes, while there are still some others that are available right now. All received plenty of media attention right throughout social media, producing plenty of noteworthy moments.
We wanted to take a look back at the 2019 year of boots to see what made the headlines. If you have any big stories you think we missed, add them to the comment section below!
The Beckham x Zidane Collection
Back in March, this story was the talk of the boot world, as David Beckham and Zinédine Zidane teamed up to create one of the most iconic remakes packs in the game. There was the introduction of a modern Predator 19+ “Gold” Beckham X Zidane, and then the pair of remakes that sent fans into a spin; Predator Precision Beckham ’01 and the Predator Accelerator Zidane ’98.
adidas launched the super exclusive, limited collection “25 Years of Predator” Pack to celebrate the history of the iconic silo.
Megan Rapinoe Special Ballon d’Or Boots
After having a pretty spectacular season, capped off by leading the USWNT to the World Cup title this Summer, Megan Rapinoe won her first Ballon d’Or award. Nike celebrated her accomplishments by presenting Rapinoe with a special edition, commemorative boot made specially just for her.
Using the Nike Mercurial Vapor 13 silo, Nike added a glorious Pink and Gold colorway that draws inspiration from Rapinoe’s signature hair color and the trophies she has won. Her first and last name appear prominently on the lateral sides of the boot, with “Just Do It’ on the medial side. The heel counter and sockliner carry the four stars Rapinoe and her American teammates proudly sport on their national team jerseys.
You might also recall that earlier in the year, Alex Morgan reached a huge milestone by scoring her 100 international goal for the US women’s team. As Nike tends to do, they created a very cool pair of custom boots to mark the achievement. Morgan will receive a pair of the PhantomVNM, while will go along with 100 super exclusive pairs released in the US.
This Year In Remakes
And then there were some incredible remakes that hit the market. We’ve talked about some of them above, but this year produced a lot more unexpected and iconic throwback releases than expected, feeding fans with a fresh dose of nostalgia. For me personally, it was the T90 Laser 1 remake (seen above) that lead the charge, bringing back that special power boot feel. Added to the 25 Years Of Predator, adidas introduced an X506 remake, a new take on the COPA, and the final remake of the year; Predator Mania Red.
Nike Take On Camo
Back in May, Nike decided to drop a Camo style release on the feet of key players such as Virgil Van Dijk. It was somewhat of a surprise to hear the boot underneath the razzle-dazzle pattern was actually the more tradition Tiempo Legend silo. But, the design quickly became a hit, so much so that Nike decided to drop them as a limited edition release. The upper featured a 3D style, distorted black design, intended to hide the key details of the boot. They easily drop in as one of the best releases of the year!
New Brands and Boots!
Through the year, we had 2 new brands jump onto the US market, and 1 established brand that decided to give indoor shoes a try. Unozero and Legacy were first to strike, both dropping new releases within a few weeks of each other. Then Senda dropped their indoor shoe after running a successful kickstarter campaign. What was new to the market definitely catered to the more traditional player, each taking leather uppers and intricate detailing to an entirely new level.
In the past few weeks, Unozero announced that they had become the official boot partner of the UPSL, United Premier Soccer League. I’m pretty sure this is a brand that has a lot more to prove in 2020!
“Victory” World Cup Boots
If there was one area of huge progress this year, it was on the women’s side of the game and the boot options made available. Case in point the boots released for the Wold Cup by Nike. First there was the Victory Pack and then there was the World Cup “Victory” Pack, the first worn at the tournament and the latter presented to celebrate the Women’s success. All U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Nike athletes were presented with commemorative four-star Nike boots as a celebration of the U.S. team’s victory in Paris.
The World Cup Victory Pack features the newest star emblazoned with a flag-inspired background, while the colorway is a golden modification of the gray Victory Pack boots worn on-pitch by the athletes during last summer’s tournament.
New Balance x soccer.com
As part of the 25th anniversary of SOCCER.COM’s website, New Balance delivered an absolutely delicious, very special edition Tekela v2. It was 10 years after the company was founded as Eurosport, when a future thinking decision was made on Nov. 14, 1994 to secure the SOCCER.COM domain.
Design wise, there boots are absolutely hot! Featuring a Risk Red and Silver styling, this colorway symbolizes all of the shared values between both brands. Both are proudly family-owned and American-born. There is an entire SELECTION of intricate detailing right across these boots that makes them one of a kind. Flip them over and you’ll see the words “innovate” and “inspire” on the soleplates as a representation of those values guiding the company at every step and present at New Balance, too. As a nod to their parents, who fostered a teenage dream of starting a soccer business, the Moylans’ parents’ initials are found on either aglet (lace tip).
We were lucky enough to receive pair number 30 of 94, and they will hold a long standing place in our collection with pride!
Not that really effected us here in the US, but the 93rd and final version of GLITCH dropped in October. adidas decided the time was right to complete the lifecycle of the testing ground boot with a striking design on the interchangeable boot pack that draws inspiration from the gods of Greek Mythology, as tribute to the modern-day Gods of Football. A fitting way to retire the range.
It is unfortunate that we never had the opportunity to experience the series here in the US. There was a strong rumor that adidas were going to introduce them here during the 2018 World Cup, but it never transpired. Why the decision and where they go next is pretty much unknown. We just have to sit back and watch as adidas continues to innovate and moves into the next stage of their evolution!
Limited Edition Releases
There were a host of really awesome limited edition releases this year, some proved super successful while others not so much. All brought something new and unique to the market, giving players more options to choose from. The only downside with that is sometimes the prices tend to be blown sky high, meaning they are not as accessible unless you have plenty of money to drop on a boot you might not wear a whole lot. Check out some of the key releases below!
– adidas X99.1
– Puma FUTURE “Grizi-10-Years”
– Mizuno Morelia Neo II “Beta”
– adidas Nemeziz 19+ LE ADV
– Nike Mercurial Vapor “Tech Craft”
– adidas Predator 19.1 Leather
– adidas Nemeziz Spiderman
– Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 CR “Shuai”
– New Balance Furon v5 “Maagum”
Nike Change Direction (sort of)
Late this year, Nike introduced their latest Mercurial line-up in the form of “Dream Speed #001.” What makes these so different is the fact that they are intended to be a player wide release to be worn by players. This includes Cristiano Ronaldo, putting him in a boot that is not his own signature release for the first time in a while. He has, on occasion, worn boots outside of the CR7 story told through boots. But he hasn’t been as involved in the release of any of those boots as he was with these.
Each boot in the series will feature a unique design that is an interpretation of speed, unveiled one at a time during the next several seasons. The first Nike Mercurial Dream Speed edition follows the theme of the DNA of speed. It outlines technical details found in a Mercurial schematic, such as perforation patterns, registration marks, crop lines, color codes, a scale ruler and other graphic elements that show how the boot is built. The bold blue colorway takes cues from blueprints.
To finish up, there was a new player that received his own custom release; Kylian Mbappé. This is something we have been waiting a while for, with the green and gold design celebrating his home district of Bondy. Raised text on the gold Swoosh reads Nike x Mbappé x Bondy.