Ranked! 5 greatest football boots of all-time
There was a time when football boots were rather plain. Black was the norm and nearly every football player wore the same footwear. It was pretty dull, but over the last two decades, there has been an evolution in football boots. No longer are black football boots the go-to footwear for players. Modern boots are flashy and many of the greats of the past would have worn them had they been available.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that Danish football boot maker Hummel decided to make a non-black boot. Hummel designed a white boot that led commentators to nickname the players who wore them as ‘twinkle toes’. It wouldn’t be until much later that other colours would be adopted by shoe companies. The influx of colours has led to players -- both professional and amateur -- to express themselves on the pitch. Brightly coloured boots are no longer strictly for goal scorers or fleet-footed wingers.
Years ago, players gladly wore free boots supplied by a shoe company. That is no longer the case as shoe companies pay football players vast sums of money to wear their boots. In 2017, it was reported that Cristiano Ronaldo is paid £6.2 million a year to wear Nike boots. It is the highest figure of any modern day player. Surprisingly, Mario Balotelli is the second highest paid player when it comes to footwear. The Italian striker earns £5.1m thanks to his deal with Puma.
A lot of boots have hit the market over the years, but here are the 5 greatest to ever be worn on professional football pitches.
5. Nike Air Mercurial
The Nike Air Mercurial stormed onto the world football stage at World Cup '98 in France. The boots adorned the feet of the world's best player at the time, the original Ronaldo. The Brazilian was unbelievable at his peak and the Air Mercurial helped showcase the pace and power of the No. 9.
4. Puma King
The Puma King is the original boot created by the German company. The boots have been worn by some of the world's greatest players including Eusebio, Pele, Diego Maradona, and Johan Cruyff. According to lore, Cruyff even refused to wear the Netherlands' Adidas produced kit and had a special one made with just two stripes on the sleeves because he was dedicated to Puma. The boots still resemble the original ones worn in the 1960s, but Puma updates them with new technology. Since the 1980s, the King has stayed true to the design that both Maradona and Cruyff wore.
3. Nike Tiempo Premier
The Nike Tiempo Premier debuted in 1994. It was released in time for the World Cup in the United States and was Nike's real coming out party in football... errr, soccer. The boots have a classic look with white Nike swooshes on the sides of black kangaroo leather and molded studs on the soles. Greats like Romario and Paolo Maldini donned the Nike boots and helped the company's rise into football clothing.
2. Adidas Predator
The original Adidas Predator was released in 1994. It was a revolutionary boot that promised players would put swerve on their free-kicks, passes, and shots, in essence, they would bend it like Beckham. In fact, Beckham's rise in the late 1990s as a football superstar coincided with the popularity of the Predator. The two are synonymous when it comes to football boots. The Predator cost £100 when they were first released in 1994, which was a high price back then. Taking inflation into account, the original Adidas Predator would cost more than £193 in 2018.
1.Adidas Copa Mundial
The Adidas Copa Mundial is considered the best football boot ever created. Although it isn't worn by many professionals today, the Copa Mundial is one of the most iconic and aesthetically pleasing boot ever made. Without the Copa Mundial, Adidas would have never designed the Samba, which has become its most popular selling shoe of all-time. Made with kangaroo leather and rubber molded studs, the Copa Mundial is the epitome of what a football boot should look like.