Today, even the smallest developments in technology can make all the difference. They are tools created to gain an advantage – to be faster than the opponent. To have the advantage in agility duels. To select the upper angle and beat the goalkeeper.
But how have football boots evolved in the passage of football history? Take a look at the evolution through time.
The first development of football boots
Football gained popularity in the 19th century. For players at that time, any footwear was worthwhile – as long as it offered protection. They were considered useful for skin protection and to help with some heavy work.
They were not considered to be attacking weapons. But only as a shield, to stop rivals avoiding the damage of abrasive challenges by the ball.
The boots were equipped with steel toe cap and the first versions of nails for stability due to conditions. They were made of pure leather, although in rainy conditions they could weigh up to one kilogram.
Soccer boots advanced little through the 1800s and into the mid-20th century, although after World War II, development began to accelerate.
After World War II
South American countries took the first important step in development by giving their players a head start on the field by creating a lighter boot. The intention was to help players become more mobile, faster and able to break free from the clutches of opponents.
And that’s what happened. The boots were no longer used primarily for player protection. Now they were weapons used to create an advantage in competition.
Nail tacos were introduced into the boots as soon as they were invented by European countries, with the future giants of the Adidas and Puma boots entering the market for the first time in the hands of two enmist German brothers – Adi and Rudolf Dassler.
1960/70 – The battle begins
By the 1960s the threat had evolved in a good and true way. The boots were under constant innovation from the leading manufacturers in the market, the biggest change was an alteration in the shape of the boot in the 60s.
The leading boots became cheaper, aimed at comfort and new improvements for the mobility of the player. Boots became lighter. This meant the beginning of a technological battle in the boots.
The following decades saw different coloured boots being introduced to the market, now taken on in a battle to be the best in sales and on the playing fields.
Everything was aimed at increasing the productivity of players on the field of play in the last years of the twentieth century. Adidas had gained great success with its 1970 World Cup boot range, but it was in the 1990s that the Adidas Predator changed the game.
The Predators were the beginning of an era in which fine margins were at stake. Adidas had raised the bar, designing his boots to improve the friction between the foot and the ball – all in order to make a little more of a difference in controlling, passing and improving the accuracy of the shot.
More than ten designs were created from the Predator range, although many of them were left behind.
The turn of the century – 2000
The new century brought with it a revolution in boot design. Nike entered the market and launched the lightest boot ever created in the 1998 Cup.
The different types of reed – to increase balance – were brought to market, although laser technology was proposed in the 2000s to help the world’s best players get the boot to fit them perfectly.
Soccer boots are now made to fit like a glove. As if they were an extension of the foot, with the aim that they fit the player as naturally as possible.
Perhaps the best player who has ever set foot on a football pitch, FC Barcelona’s Leo Messi, has demonstrated most of his magic with the Adidas F50 boot range.
The game of Messi is based on agility, strict control, precision shooting and power. A range of boots has emerged in recent years to change the game, and now we have come to a point where a small modification can make a difference.
Today’s football matches are faster, and players like Messi are much more technically gifted. The boots have to adapt to the new times and that’s how it happened.
The latest advances
In the last year, different boot materials have come onto the market. Before the 2014 World Cup, the point boots became the best. Even the addition of a sock-neck that helped players to Obtener greater subjection.
Nike’s latest boots, Hypervenom II, have recently gone on sale, proposing that in addition to being fashionable, they are the boots of the future that can help in direction changes, acceleration and getting away from rivals.
These will be the boots of the future. But in a market of constant innovation, the threat will continue to evolve.