By Rob Carey
As football has become a billion-dollar industry, the focus on the football boot and the amount of control the player has on the ball has drastically increased.
But how has this changed over the years? In this article, we will be looking at the evolution of adidas football boots and how this has changed the sport over the years.
1925 – The Fußballstiefel
This was one of the first-ever football boots produced by Adidas and was specifically designed to protect the foot from injury throughout the course of a football game. They were not the most agile of sports boot, but they did feature a steel toe cap with a soft upper material made of cowhide. The sole-plate was made out of vache leather with the studs nailed in as near as possible to the edge of the shoe. Though these shoes were one of the first of their kind, the weight was anything but helpful as they weighed a total of 438 grams.
1930 – Adidas Blitz
This was the first of its kind to be used for a range of sports such as Football, handball and hockey and featured a very similar design to 5 years previous with a supple cowhide upper. However, the design differed to years past as late strips were used to distribute even pressure more than standard studs. The sole also features a steel shank as well as vache leather on the soleplate for durability. This was the beginning of using studs in football and bought about a new wave of specially designed shoes to work alongside the player for ultimate performance.
1937 – Meisterstück
Just 7 years later, Adidas released the Meisterstück. This was the first time that box calf leather was used in the production of football boots to create a more rigid upper for more control. Additionally, stud strips were designed for grip by mimicking the pattern featured on tractor tyres. This not only worked to distribute weight evenly, but it also allowed for better grip on hard surfaces as well as the vache leather that hardens over time. This created the perfect football boot for any fans of the sport and also set the tone for what was to come in terms of football boots when looking at football sites as well as other elements.
1949 – Jugend
Just 12 years later came the revolutionary low-cut design. Though the design was different, the supper was still made of soft cowhide whilst the soleplate was made of vache leather. This not only meant that the shoes were durable, but this also meant that the cowhide can be manipulated to make shoes that differ in sizes. This also featured the use of colour for the first time to make a boot that many would enjoy wearing out on the field.
1950 – Samba
Skip forward one year and we were graced with the birth of one of the most popular shoe ranges of all time. With a design specially made for hard surfaces as well as the iconic three white stripes featuring on the uppers, this was the beginning of years of outstanding designs to follow. This shoe did not feature any studs and was lace front to make it adjustable for additional comfort.
1954 – Argentina
This classic football boot set the standard for what players could expect from their boots in the coming years. With the new calf leather uppers as well as a light material all round, this was the boot designed for agility and power. In addition to this, the steel toe cap was also removed, making the shoe significantly more comfortable when out on the field. The final major change that came with the design of this iconic boot was the screw in stud system. This has since been used in all football boots even in the modern era, allowing for you to replace the studs when they become worn down.
1966 – Diamant
This was another lighter yet robust boot that was worn in 1966 by the England world cup team. This saw the popularity of the brand increase drastically. This had a flex zone as well as added traction and flexibility in the front of the foot.
1994-2004 – Predator Range
The predator range impressed football fans since day one as it featured brand new rubber teeth that had never been seen before. These were implemented into the design to help add swerve on the ball as well as additional control for the players. Throughout this range, there were also a variant of colour options as well as asymmetrical lacing systems to help improve control on the ball as well as overall aesthetic appeal.
2006 – F50.6 Tunit
This brand-new football boot came with a huge promise of being useable on any surface in any condition and they did not disappoint. This was one of the first shoes to use a synthetic material on the uppers and was the catalyst that sparked a major change in the industry.
2011 – F50 adiZero Prime
This shoe was another game-changer within the industry as this allowed Adidas to compete with other major contributors such as Nike and Puma. This boot shocked the world weighing only 150 grams. This then paved the way for lightweight powerful football boots from Adidas that would continue to revolutionise the industry and see them compete as one of the many leading brands.
2014 – Samba Copa Mundial Pack
This was the first of its kind to have a knitted upper sole with the same classic design as the original samba. With a simple design as well as laces, this shoe was a sign of things to come when it comes to the new wave of football boots you have come to expect.
2019 – Adidas Virtuso Pack
Flash-forward to the latter half of 2019 and we have seen a huge change in the way that football boots are manufactured. With no more laces and a more streamlined design, this classy white design with brand new studs is worn by some of the world’s best players, allowing them to home in on precision and ultimate gameplay.
Whether you are a fan of football or you are new to the sport, there is no denying that the evolution of the boot is one that has revolutionised the way that the sport is played in modern-day.