Embracing the 2000s in Football Boot Evolution:
What better way to head into the New Year than with a look back at some classic boot releases. The Athletic posted an absolutely captivating series on iconic silos, breaking down releases from the last 3 decades; 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.
If you want to get the full scope of the three-part series – it is incredibly pieced together with a lot of details – you will need to head over to part 1 on The Athletic.
Here, we wanted to give you a glimpse into the 2000s, and what the experts choose as their top releases. An era marked by groundbreaking designs and memorable football moments!
To select the top boots, The Athletic enlisted four experts:
- Wessel Rietveld, a Dutch boot collector and former academy player
- Ben Warren, who runs BW Boots UK
- Noah Cavanaugh, a U.S. footballer and YouTube channel owner passionate about football boots
- Bryan Byrne, former professional footballer and founder of Soccercleats101 (that would be me!)
Iconic Boots of the 2000s:
Mizuno Wave Cup (2001): Aesthetically stunning and technologically advanced, this boot became a symbol of Rivaldo’s brilliance in the 2002 World Cup. Its kangaroo leather and compact wave technology offered a “barefoot feeling” while ensuring comfort and performance.
Adidas Predator Mania (2002): A design marvel that combined elegance and functionality. Famous for its three stripes and elasticated tongue strap, it was the boot of choice for legends like Zidane and Beckham, especially noted for Zidane’s volley in the 2002 Champions League final.
Nike Mercurial Vapor I (2002): Revolutionizing the concept of speed boots, these were designed like a cross between football boots and running spikes. Made famous by Ronaldo and Thierry Henry, they were known for their light weight and innovative NikeSkin.
Nike Air Zoom Total 90 III (2004): Synonymous with Euro 2004, these boots offered a unique combination of power and comfort. They were worn by stars like Rooney and Roberto Carlos, remembered for their iconic “90” imprint and asymmetrical lacing.
Nike Air Tiempo Legend (2005): These boots were all about Ronaldinho’s magic. They combined aesthetics with advanced features like a ventilated tongue and Zoom Air soleplate. Ronaldinho’s own white and gold version remains a standout.
Adidas F50.6 Tunit (2006): Innovatively designed for customization with interchangeable studs and innersoles, these boots were a favorite for their versatility and were prominently featured in the 2006 World Cup.
Adidas adiPure (2007): A classic throwback with a modern twist, these boots were loved for their kangaroo leather upper and Traxion technology on the soleplate. Kaka’s performance in the 2007 World Club Championship remains a highlight.
Nike Total 90 Laser 1 (2007): Known for their rubber ‘shot shield’ and bold design, these boots were synonymous with power and precision, perfectly fitting for players like Rooney and Torres.
Nike Mercurial Vapor IV ‘Rosa’ (2008): These pink boots caused a stir for their bold color and were a trendsetter in football boot design. Worn by players like Ribery and Bendtner, they were known for their speed and sleek design.
Adidas Predator PowerSwerve (2008): A blend of style and functionality, these boots are remembered for their SmartFoam and dynamic powerpulse chamber, offering enhanced control and power. Beckham’s 100th cap with these boots is an iconic moment.
Nike CTR360 Maestri I (2009): A boot that emphasized control and precision, with features like dampening pods and an injected pass-pad. Worn by maestros like Fabregas and Iniesta, it’s remembered for its elegance and performance.
Mizuno Wave Ignitus (2009): These boots stood out for their Mukaiten panel, aiding in unpredictable ball movement. Keisuke Honda’s free kicks in the 2010 World Cup showcased their effectiveness.