As innovation progresses it's inevitable that products will be resigned to the archives, football doesn't stand still and much like the players, boots & brands come and go. Throughout the last twenty years of football gear history, there have been some fantastic boots that have been hung up.
Considering the continued rumblings about the looming death of many a boot on the horizon, we decided it was time to look back on some of our favourite boots that were worn, cleaned and retired to that boot room upstairs. We've stuck our neck on the line and put them in order... that always goes down well...
10. Kelme FG Boots - Look, we really couldn’t narrow this down to one of their boots. Great kangaroo leather options and even a boot made out of “shark leather” have now gone by the wayside as Kelme, still a company that is very much alive, focuses on turf options and products for other sports. Seriously though... shark leather?
9. Mizuno Wave SuperSonic - While the world quietly covets any new Mizuno product that creeps onto the market, Mizuno was one of the first to find themselves catering to the crowds hunting for a “control” boot. With Mizuno’s everpresent leather upper coupled with memory foam touch pads near the forefoot, the SuperSonic made fans of any users, but struggled to cope with the Ignitus and Neo ranges.
8. Pele Sports Trinity - There haven't been many brands that have exploded onto the scene like Pele Sports. Not to mention the simple truth that many in the industry marked the Trinity as a game changer for the future of football equipment. Despite some early durability issues with the release, the innovative stud pattern and extremely impressive synthetic upper made up a boot that quickly won the hearts of anyone that slipped on a pair. However, along with the entire brand, the Trinity suddenly disappeared... never to be heard from again.
7. adidas TUNiT - Yes, the adidas F50 still powers on... but one of the biggest cult followings for a boot can certainly be claimed by the TUNiT series that the F50 was known for long before the ounces were shaved off. The ability to change your studs on the fly made it feel like you had three different boots all in one, and coupling the boot with interchangeable upper options made it feel like the ultimate boot for customization. The boss of versatility.
6. Umbro GeoMetra - The most recent casualty to make the list, the GeoMetra gave us everything we loved about the control boot craze and slapped it on a kangaroo leather upper. Not to mention the pass pad we would eventually see on the original LZ... it felt like too many saw this boot as a CTR rip-off to truly give it a chance. If not for the odd circular stud pattern that Umbro insisted to stick on the soleplate (that looked EXACTLY like the pattern from the non-elite CTR), it might have had a chance for survival.
5. Nike T90 - For many, the T90 stayed true to the power boot silo as the Predator slowly seemed to drift away. Then, when most of us realised the entry of the HyperVenom was inevitable, it still seemed unlikely that the T90 would make way for a boot being marketed towards agility. With a long history before the fins and pads existed, it is certainly tough for a boot to last so long without any of the major updates ever being anything other than well received. Still feels like Nike have never replaced the gap the T90 left.
4. PUMA PWR-Cat/V-series - Sure, the sheer quality of the evoPOWER and evoSPEED have left little room for mourning, but the PWR-Cat and V-series from PUMA always seemed like the choice of boots you snagged if you wanted to stand out from all the Swooshes and Stripes in the changing rooms. Despite odd sizing, both styles of PUMA boots created big fan-bases and always seemed to be the first to experiment with odd colorways (we remember the Tokyo uppers quite fondly). One of the few sets of boots that garnered decent replacements.
3. Nike CTR360 - The beginning of the “control” silo, the beginning of Kanga-Lite, and one of the biggest components of an arc that now has Nike standing firmly above their fellow competitors on the market. Each incarnation still has incredibly loyal fans that can be found scouring the internet in order to prevent the silo from ever actually dying. For us, the CTR III will always be an easy entry into our boot hall of fame and the original will always be connected directly to the 2010 World Cup. Much like the T90, there's still a gap for it we reckon.
2. adidas SuperNova - The much beloved SuperNova was almost a version of the Predator Mania that offered the kangaroo leather upper and Predator feel, but without any of the Predator elements on the upper. Despite the masses typically loving the Predator elements, it makes sense that some would prefer the Pred built with ultimate comfort. An adiPURE with a bit of extra bite.
1. Nike Ronaldinho Dois - For anyone new to the boot game, the Dois was one of the first big signature boots to exist on the marketplace. Plush leather with classic designs that appealed to anyone looking for a boot with an absolutely buttery touch and ridiculous levels of comfort. It didn’t hurt that the face of the boot was at the height of his powers, but this boot seems like it could have become successful in its own right. Nike, let's talk re-releases...
Got a favourite discontinued football boot? Shout it out below.