The new year continues to bring a flurry of new releases as the FA Cup third round took centre stage in England, while the rest of Europe slowly wakes from its winter hibernation. Limited editions, custom colourways and the odd surprise switch. Time to see who made the cut...
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) adidas ACE 17.1
Roberto Firmino's short cameo against Plymouth Argyle wasn't enough for Liverpool to avoid an FA Cup third round replay in Devon next week. The Pilgrims battled to a 0-0 draw at Anfield against a young Liverpool team, although Firmino joined the action late on wearing a blacked out pair of adidas ACE 17.1 boots. Not to be mistaken for the new 'Chequered Black' option that features white stripes. Does that signal the end for Firmino and adidas? Highly unlikely. Chances are his current contract has expired and will be renewed shortly. In the mean time, he's blacked them out to let adidas know you don't get much for free in this day and age.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7 Vitórias
Cristiano Roanldo debuted his latest limited edition signature boot against Granada at the weekend. The Real Madrid man was laced up in the Mercurial Superfly CR7 Vitórias to be presented with his Ballon d'Or at the Bernabeu and typically marked the occasion with a goal in a 5-0 win. Back to work with a bang for the big man. Just 777 pairs will hit the shelves later this month. Get ready.
Greg Halford (Cardiff City) Concave Volt+
Greg Halford was handed his first start just days after signing for Cardiff City in the January Transfer Window. Halford was in action in the Bluebirds' 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat at home to Fulham wearing the black and gold Concave Volt+ colourway. Sharp aesthetics on a boot with the most unique shooting tech on the market.
Chris Lines (Bristol Rovers) adidas LZ II SL
Chris Lines took things back to July 2013 at the weekend as Bristol Rovers hammered Northampton Town 5-0. Lines was sporting the adidas Predator LZ II SL at the Memorial Stadium, a boot that was given the SL treatment by adidas to take the weight down to just 199g. The 'Lethal Zones' coated in a multi-coloured finish to stand out on the black upper. Not many of these still knocking around on pitches.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) Nike Hypervenom Phantom III
With Neymar moving back to the Mercurial line, Nike are in need of another young talented frontman to fly the flag for the Hypervenom silo. It appears the Swoosh may have identified Marcus Rashford as a potential candidate to take the reins. The Manchester United striker was training in a blacked out pair of third-generation Hypervenom Phantom boots this week before reverting to the Superfly to score in United's FA Cup third round win over Reading at Old Trafford.
Jess Fishlock (Melbourne City) adidas ACE 16+ Purecontrol
One of the most underrated colourways of the first generation adidas ACE 16+ Purecontrol boot was the women's specific drop, worn this weekend by Melbourne City's Jess Fishlock. A crisp white upper was met with bold black stripes and a metallic green soleplate for an all round smart display.
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) Nike Magista Opus II
Andres Iniesta has taken his customisation game to new levels by wearing an edition of the Nike Magista Opus II that bares little resemblance to the stock model, other than the 'Dark Lightning' colourway. The textured upper of the standard release is replaced with a smooth finish for the Barcelona midfielder, who has also added an old Tiempo Legend soleplate to his footwear. You can't argue with Andres Iniesta, the man knows what works.
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) Puma evoPOWER 1 Vigor Camo
Olivier Giroud's fine form in front of goal continued on Saturday evening as his late winner secured Arsenal a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Championship side Preston North End. The Frenchman has been hooked up with the Camo version of the next-generation PUMA evoPOWER, that's due to launch in the coming days, and he's gone on to bag two goals in two games courtesy of a late equaliser against Bournemouth and a winner at Deepdale.
Steven N'Zonzi (Sevilla) Nike Magista Obra II
Steven N'Zonzi continues to be a wanted man as his impressive performances have helped Sevilla up to second place in La Liga. N'Zonzi has been wearing a blacked out edition of the Nike Magista Obra II since late 2016. Before that he was wearing the launch colourway of the second-gen boot, which signals his contract with Nike is still up in the air. In the mean time he's trimmed off the Dynamic Fit Collar to create a blacked out lo-cut Opus silhouette.