If you play any sport, you know that there aren’t many feelings better than getting some brand new equipment, especially as a kid (sometimes at great cost to my parents, suckers…) As I was packing my bag before my football match this weekend, I placed my boots in and realised that I have had a lot of pairs during my relatively short playing career. So I thought, why not take a look back over some of the best of the bunch. A warning to all you purists, this list may contain bright coloured boots. So if seeing a pair of orange boots on a Sunday morning is like a red rag to a bull for you, then you may be disappointed in me. However, there are certainly some absolute classics on this list. Here’s a list of the top ten boots that I’ve owned.
10: Adidas Predator Power Swerve
Now, I realise that these boots may not be the most memorable for a lot of you. However for me they are extremely memorable, although for the wrong reasons. I had these boots for all of one week, after wearing them to a training session or maybe a game I’m not sure, I left them on the door step to dry out. The next morning as I was about to leave to go to school I found the tattered remains of my brand new boots that had been nibbled by a fox. Gutted. That being said after finding a picture of these boots for this post I was surprised at how damn good they looked but even so these had to make it on to the list for that stupid fox alone.
9: Nike Air Zoom Total 90 II
These boots remind me of typical English Sunday morning kids’ football. Soaking wet, covered in mud and having two slabs of ice for hands, begging your Dad to untie your laces as you physically cannot move your fingers. At the time these felt like a very cool boot as they were my first Nike pair and with players like Paul Scholes and Totti wearing them they were worn by so many kids on those English Sunday mornings.
8: Adidas Predator LZ (David Beckham)
I can see you cringing already. These were the boots that I didn’t want to show you, but hear me out. Although these boots are an extremely bold choice, they were great like all Predators are. They also hold some great memories with them. These boots were the pair I wore during my first season being called up to first team men’s football. So to be called up to the first team despite wearing boots like these, I must have been playing well.
7: Nike Mecurial Vapour III R9
Arguably the most iconic Nike boots that have ever been made. The Brazilian Ronaldo made everybody want a pair of these. If you had these boots then maybe you’d play just a little bit more like fat Ronaldo at the height of his powers with that awful haircut at the 2002 world cup. If you saw someone wearing these boots on a Sunday you knew you could be in for tough afternoon.
6: Adidas Predator Pulse (Blue)
As these are one of many Predators on my list, I wont go into too much detail. But these make it onto the list due to the classy colour way. It’s such a shame that so many boot companies have moved away from understated, cool colour ways and seem set on going through the colours of a highlighter packet with each new release.
5: Adidas Copa Mundial
Remember number 8 on the list? Redeemed myself now haven’t I. A proper player’s boot. If you’ve never had a pair of Copa Mundials (or the Nike or Puma equivalent. Premiers/Kings respectively) I’m disappointed in you. Combining comfort with understated style these boots will never let you down. Need to win a 50/50 challenge then make 5 yard passes for fun? Get yourself a pair of these.
4: Adidas Predator Pulse (Black)
Near enough every Saturday I used to stare at the boot section in Sports Direct and wish I could wear the adults sizes as the kids sizes “weren’t real” and didn’t have the full patterns and features. After getting my feet measured in Clarks on that weird machine religiously, the day finally came and these were the chosen ones. With the famous three Adidas stripes wrapping around the bottom of my real leather boot I finally felt like all that waiting and constant feet measuring had been worth it.
3: Adidas Primeknit 2.0
These are undoubtedly the comfiest boots I have ever owned. Bought on an impulse with my student loan, I had to have these boots as soon I tried them on. They were that good that one of my closest friends also impulsively bought a pair too. We did happen to play in the same team and had “oooh boot friends” chanted at us for the whole year. Totally worth it. I still use these boots now when coaching although they have started to disintegrate but they were certainly faithful servants for a good few years.
2: Adidas F50 adiZero (Leather)
These are another rascal colour way. However out of all the pairs of boots I’ve had these felt best suited to my foot type. They were extremely comfortable and because they fit my feet so well it felt like I wasn’t even wearing boots. A fair few screamers were scored in these. After all, if you’re going to wear a boot as loud as these then you need to make sure you earn the right.
1: Adidas Predator Mania
My first ever pair of boots have to go down as the best. Not only did they start my obsession with football but they are such an iconic boot. The Predator has made a few appearances on my list but this is the boot that will spring to most people’s minds when the word Predator is mentioned. Some true greats have worn this boot: Del Piero, Zidane and a six year old Matt Tapley. These were the best thing since sliced bread and is only confirmed by the recent re-release of the early predator boots by Adidas. If only I could still squeeze into these.