King Henry VIII’s football boots were listed within the Great Wardrobe of 1526, a shopping listing of the day. They were made by his personal shoemaker Cornelius Johnson in 1525, at a cost of 4 shillings, very same of £100 in today’s money. Little is known about them, as there is no surviving example, nevertheless the royal football boots are known to have been made of strong leather, ankle high and heavier than the normal shoe of the day.
Football Boots – The 1800’s
Moving forward 300 years saw football developing and gaining popularity throughout Britain, but nevertheless remaining being an unstructured and informal pastime, with teams representing local factories and villages in a burgeoning industrial nation. Players has on their hard, leather work boots, that have been long laced and steel toe-capped as the initial football boots. These football boots would also have metal studs or tacks hammered into them to boost ground grip and stability.
As laws become incorporated into the game in the late 1800’s, so saw the initial shift in football boots to a slipper (or soccus) style shoe, with players of exactly the same team starting to wear exactly the same boots for the initial time. Laws also allowed for studs, which needed to be rounded. These leather studs, also known as cleats, were hammered into early football boots, which for the first time moved far from the earlier favoured work boots. These football boots weighed 500g and were made of thick, hard leather going up the ankle for increased protection. The football boots would double in weight when wet and had six studs in the sole. The football boot had arrived…
Football Boots – The 1900’s to 1940’s
Football boot styles remained relatively constant throughout the 1900’s around the end of the second world war. Probably the most significant events in the football boot world in the initial area of the twentieth century were the formation of several football boot producers that are still making football boots today, including Gola (1905), Valsport (1920) and Danish football boot maker Hummel (1923).
Over in Germany, Dassler brothers Adolf and Rudolf formed the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in Herzogenaurach in 1924 and began producing football boots in 1925 which had 6 or 7 replaceable, nailed studs, which could be changed according to the weather conditions of play.
Football Boots – The 1940’s to 1960’s
Football boot styles shifted significantly after the end of the second world war, as air travel became cheaper and more international fixtures were played. This saw the lighter, more flexible football boot being worn by the South Americans being thrust onto the planet stage, and their ball skills and technical ability amazed all those who watched them. Football boot production shifted to creating a lighter football boot with the concentrate on kicking and controlling the ball rather than merely producing a bit of protective footwear.
1948 saw the formation of the Adidas company by Adolf (Adi) Dassler after a falling out together with his brother which was to create the cornerstone of football boot maker rivalry for the preceding years around today. Brother Rudolf founded the beginnings of the Puma company in 1948, quickly producing the Puma Atom football boot. This resulted in interchangeable screw in studs made of plastic or rubber for the first time, reputedly by Puma in early 1950’s nevertheless the honour can also be claimed by Adidas (Read the Story on Footy-Boots). Football boots of times were still within the ankle, but were now being made of an assortment of synthetic materials and leather, producing and even lighter shoe for the players of the day to display their skills with.
Football Boots – The 1960’s
The technological developments of the sixties bought a momentous step-change in design which saw the lower cut design introduced for the first time in football history. This change allowed players to maneuver faster and saw the likes of Pele wearing Puma football boots in the 1962 World Cup Finals. Adidas, though, quickly emerged as the market leader, a position it claims until the present day. In the World Cup Finals of 1966, an astonishing 75% of players wore the Adidas football boot.
The seventies began with the iconic 1970 World Cup Finals which saw a sublime Brazilian team lift the trophy with Pele again at the helm, this time wearing the Puma King football boot. The decade itself will soon be remembered for the way in which football boot sponsorship became popular, where players were being paid to wear only 1 brand. In terms of design and style, technological advancements produced lighter boots, and a variety of colours, including for the first time, the all-white football boot.
In 1979, Adidas produced the world’s best selling football boot the Copa Mundial, built of kangaroo leather and built for speed and versatility. Although Adidas remained dominant, some other football boot makers joined the fray including Italian football boot maker Diadora (1977).
Football Boots – The 1980’s
The greatest development of recent times in the look and technology of football boots was developed in the eighties by former player Craig Johnston, who created the Predator football boot, that was eventually released by Adidas in the 1990’s. Johnston designed the Predator to provide greater traction between football boot and the ball, and football boot and the ground. The style allowed for greater surface areas in the future into experience of the ball when being hit by the football boot, with some power and swerve zones within the striking area allowing the ball player to generate greater power and swerve when hitting the “sweet spots” ;. https://gpr24.pl/artykul/pruszkow-na-wakacjach/1324900The eighties also saw football boots for the first time being made by English company Umbro (1985), Italy’s Lotto and Spain’s Kelme (1982).
Football Boots – 1990’s
1994 saw Adidas release the Craig Johnston designed Predator with its revolutionary design, styling and technology making it an instant and lasting success. The Predator right now featured polymer extrusion technologies and materials allowing for an even more flexible sole in addition to the conventional studs being replaced with a bladed design covering the only real, giving an even more stable base for the player. In 1995 Adidas released their bladed outsole traxion technology which are tapered shaped blades. Puma hit in 1996 with a foam-free midsole football boot, known as Puma Cell Technology, to which Adidas responded again, this time with wedge shaped studs in exactly the same year. The nineties saw new football boot producers Mizuno release their Mizuno Wave in 1997. Other new football boots came from Reebok (1992) and Uhlsport (1993) with others also joining the ever increasing, lucrative and competitive market place. Most significantly the nineties saw the entry of Nike, the world’s biggest sportswear producer, immediately making an impact with its Nike Mercurial soccer boot (1998), weighing in at just 200g.
Football Boots – 2000+
As technology advanced still further, the applying of the brand new research and developments were noticed in the years into the brand new millennium right around the present day and this has resulted in a reinforcement of the market positions of the big three football boot makers and sellers, Puma, Nike and Adidas (incorporating Reebok since 2006). Fortunately, there still remains room available in the market area for the smaller producer that does not have the big money endorsement contracts at its disposal, such as Mizuno, Diadora, Lotto, Hummel and Nomis.
Recent developments since 2000 have observed the Nomis Wet control technology creating a sticky boot (2002), the Craig Johnston Pig Boot (2003), shark technology by Kelme (2006) and the exceptional design of the Lotto Zhero Gravity laceless football boots (2006) which underpin the successes these smaller makers can achieve by producing specialised and technologically advanced football boots offering a definite differentiation from the produced in higher quantities products of the big three. Laser technology in addition has helped to produce the world’s first fully customised football by Prior 2 Lever, which can be probably the most exciting and innovative of the recent developments.
Since the debate rages with regards the lack of protection written by modern football boots, and the repercussion with regards to player injuries, there seems little to declare that the major manufacturers are going to stop their quest for the lightest football boot for an even more protective one. The proliferation of big money sponsorship deals, namely Nike Ronaldinho, Adidas with David Beckham and Reebok with Thierry Henry, has turned into a huge factor that drives the success and sales of a basketball boot maker, but is viewed as at a cost of injury and stagnation in football boot research and development. All we are able to predict money for hard times is integration with sensor technology, lighter and more powerful football boots and more outlandish designs and styles.