Adidas Football Boots
Sportswear has become an integral part of the ability of the sportsman/woman in the last half a decade. In days past, a batsman would face a ball with just a peaked cap on his head for protection and a rower would drag along a solid wooden boat with solid wooden oars. Now we have a vast range of pioneering sporting equipment at our finger-tips and many argue that in the world of football boots, Adidas has created the biggest phenomenon of all time.
The Adidas Predator is the company’s Excalibur. It was the first football boot of its kind to claim it could actual change the way you kicked the ball and suggested the idea that the equipment would make you a better player on its own. Adidas is one of the largest football boot brands and the sport’s most iconic player, David Beckham, has scored dozens of a free-kicks wearing a pair and he wouldn’t be seen without them on the pitch. They are certainly more than just a few studs and a bit of leather.
History of Adidas
It’s an urban legend that the name Adidas comes from the acronym All Day I Dream About Sport. As nice as this would have been, it’s not the case sadly. The origins of the company are in Germany between the two World Wars and with a pair of brothers with the surname Dassler. They formed their own sportswear company but then fell out after the Second World War and split. One brother, Rudi, went off and formed the brand Puma while the other, Adolf, turned his name into Adidas (Adi-Das).
The company grew and branched out from just footwear to clothing and other equipment. But it lagged behind in the eighties somewhat and looked in even more trouble in 1987 when its founder Adi Dassler died. Adidas was taken over by French business wizard Bernard Tapie and given a real boost. But then it all fell to earth for Tapie and he ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1994.
Following Tapie, Adidas came under the control of the skiing specialists the Salomon Group and then in 2004 it was the turn of the Finnish company Amer Sports. It then bought out one of its biggest rivals Reebok in 2005 for a cool $3.8 billion.
It began as a footwear company and, although they are a leading fashion player in all areas, football boots are still their pride and joy. The new Adidas webpage shows an animated film with how it all began for Adidas.
The history of the Adidas Football boot
Who invented the football boots with studs? It’s a debate that has been as long-running as who invented the telephone. The argument is between the brothers Dassler. Was it Rudi at Puma or Adi at Adidas? Well it’s now considered to be Puma who were the first to pioneer the addition of screw-on studs to a boot. This was intended to aid with grip to a variety of surfaces but, even though Puma may have won that battle, Adidas weren’t far behind and would soon go on to win the war.
The original studs were hammered into the bottom of the boots and weren’t able to be removed but were generally considered pretty permanent. Footballers then had a collection of boots with varying size studs. During the 1950s, Adidas was the first to dream up the idea and put into manufacture a boot that had easily changeable studs. This would be the first move in what would become a regular participation into technological advancements in footwear.
In the World Cup of 1962, although the world’s most famous player, Pele, was wearing a pair of Puma boots, Adidas was now the dominating company in the sport and by the next World Cup tournament in England in 1966, it boasted a 75% hold on the game’s players. Adidas was now at the forefront of the industry and the sport and they started to score goal after goal with every model of boot after that.
Famous Adidas Boots
1979 saw kangaroos on the football pitch when Adidas created the biggest selling boot, the ‘Copa Mundial’. It was made from kangaroo leather and was therefore very light and easy to run in. It was designed to be the ‘belle of the ball’ at the 1982 World Cup and, with the likes of Diego Maradona and Franz Beckenbauer wearing a pair, it certainly proved to be. The style hasn’t changed a great deal over years and since has been re-released as a nostalgic but still worthy boot.
Here is a shot of the famous Copa Mundial.
The idea that a football boot could actually make the ball do something itself, as well the player, is something many players before the 1990s would have laughed at. It might have seemed insulting for the actual boot to be able to make the ball swerve in a direction rather than the player.
An Australian player Craig Johnston had the idea for a boot that made the ball move. It might have seemed daft to many at first, but it ended up being considered genius. He thought of the idea to attach rubber stamps onto the top (kicking-area) of the boot, so that when it connected with the ball, it would swing the ball in a certain direction because of the applied spin from contact. Test showed that the idea worked and Adidas snapped up the idea. In 1994 the Adidas Predator was launched and the world went mad for it.
In 1995, the second Predator was released and it was clear the brand was being taken seriously now. This was called the Predator Rapier. The Rapier was the first ever boot to give the option to the buyer of a different colour other than black. Red and white Predator Rapiers were sweeping the nation. After this, Adidas released a new Predator boot for every European and World Cup tournament. Here are a few different, recent models.
The Predator Touch
This took technology to the next level and once again showed Adidas as being the leading players in terms of football boot technological advancements. The Touch didn’t have actual screw-in studs on the sole but rather had Traxion studs, which were moulded onto the boot and were long rectangular shaped and not the regular cylindrical ones.
The Predator Precision
Released for the Euro 2000 tournament, these new boots were a combination of the old and new. They had the same friction-based technology on the top of the boot, with the moulded bumps to give the ball swerve, but the change came on the bottom when Adidas made the new Traxion studs adjustable again like the screw-in ones were for the many years before it. This meant that the whole rectangular mould could move up and down with a minor adjustment. But this was the first time Adidas slipped up a bit with the Predator as this adjustability didn’t work very well and some boots proved unreliable.
There is a magical area on the foot of a footballer known as the sweet-spot, and if connected with the ball it’ll fly off the boot at the most speed and with the most accuracy. Again, critics might not have been able to believe that a piece of footwear could help a player to find that spot, but Adidas once again planned to deny them.
PowerPulse was developed and then released in 2003. They contain two inner-soles, one with a weight of about 40g (made of a special tungsten powder) positioned inside and the other without any weight. It’s this balancing of weights that comes into effect when the ball is struck and means the maximum amount of force is transferred to the ball when kicked. This led to the manufacture of the Predator Pulse and the Predator Absolute.
Here is a shot of loyal Predator wearer Steven Gerrard and a Predator Pulse
The Predator PowerSwerve
More recently in 2007, the Predator PowerSwerve was released and this is perhaps Adidas’ finest hour when it comes to football boots. They had been making the Predator range for about 13 years and seemed to have looked at every angle for improvements, but then in walked one of the game’s most talented players ever, Zinadine Zidane, and the designers sharpened their pencils all over again.
Zidane had retired from football and gone into the world of football boot design. He tested hundreds of ideas at the Adidas HQ and, together with their top design team, conjured up the PowerSwerve boot. They went back to the original idea from Craig Johnstone and the little moulded bumps on the top of the shoe and injected them with hi-tech foam in the hope that it would grant the player more power, more control and more swerve on the ball…if he/she so needed it.
They tested the boot for weeks and Zidane kicked hundreds of balls, with many different prototypes, until they ended up with the boot we know now as the PowerSwerve. It has been proven to give 9% more swerve and 3% more power to a player’s game. It is a triumph for Adidas and football.
More to Adidas boots than The Predator
The Absolado might not be as expensive overall as the Predator but Adidas are just as proud of this boot. There are a host of different styles to choose from and many of them feature the Traxion technology from the Predator.
Adi Pure TRX-SG
A classic boot that looks like the direct descendant of the Copa Mundial. It has the same great design with all the new technology.
Modular F50 Tunit
The Modular F50 Tunit is the new thing for Adidas and one of the best footballers in the world at the moment, the Argentine Messi, is a proud wearer of the boot. If you imagine what Formula 1 tyres can do to their cars, then you are on the way to getting to grips with this. The new boot is totally changeable depending on the conditions.
You can change the upper, the chassis and the studs depending on the ground and weather conditions. You can chop and change all three of these elements of the boot and get the perfect boot for that particular game. Jermaine Defoe and Arjen Robben are currently sporting them.
Famous names wearing Adidas
Adidas have always been popular with the star names in football and today there is no exception to this. Here are some of the star players that don Adidas boots each weekend.
David Beckham, Kaká, Messi, Juan Roman Riquelme, Manuel Rui Costa, Michael Ballack, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Mark van Bommel, Simao, Alessandro Nesta, Daniele De Rossi, Raúl González, Juninho Pernambucano, Edwin van der Sar, Petr Cech, Anderson, Patrick Vieira, Derek Holmes, Dimitar Berbatov, Alessandro Del Piero, Robin van Persie, Cristian Chivu, Juan Arango,Xavi, Greg Tansey, Dirk Kuyt.