Not only has this summer been a crazy one for transfers, but we have also been treated to a wide array of new boots from several key brands. It is always an exciting time when new boots are released and there is sense of pride at being able to educate yourself on the latest and greatest to hit the market. Each company brings the no-nonsense lectures and beautiful images of the boots – then we go out and buy them!
For those of you that want a snap-shot summary of this summer’s releases, we bring you the 10 Best Soccer Boot Releases This Summer.
No. 10 – Diadora Cambio PU
"Think Outside the Shell"
This is about as “outside the box” as you can get on a boot release, or should I say outside the boot! Historically, Diadora has always played things pretty safe and focused on the primary ideals of a boot like comfort and protection, but this is a boot that offers a unique type of technology like we have never seen before.
Rather than slipping your feet into the boots and tying up the laces, this release features interchangeable insoles that you first take out, slip your foot into, and then slip both inside the boot. Basically, it is like placing a slipper inside a rubber PU shell. The concept is definitely different and outside the box, but there is still a full layer of execution that needs to take place in order for the boot to be a real hit.
No. 9 – Warrior Gambler
"Deal With It"
Being that the Warrior Skreamer made such a successful splash when they were introduced to the market, a lot of pressure was put on the young American brand to deliver with their follow-up. What we got was a very mixed release that does have some benefits to offer, but not enough to wow the everyday player. The one area where Warrior has been successful is in signing high profile, young players to endorse their boots – Marrouane Fellaini and Thomas Ince being two of the players you will see wearing these.
Built to be a control boot, there is an abundance of technology used throughout the boot. The primary zone is named the Ace Plate, which sits along the instep. Its intended purpose is to deliver killer passes, in much the same way the ECZ does for the Umbro Geometra. You also get a high roller zone along the strike zone, an outsider zone for quick control and a fully loaded heel shield, to protect you from nasty tackles and keep your ankle locked in place.
No. 8 – Umbro GeoFLARE Pro
"Designed for the Firestarter"
Umbro’s presence on the US market has sort of dwindled over the past 12 months following their split from Nike. But that hasn’t stopped the Diamond brand from producing new boots and more diverse technology. The GeoFLARE is built from a lightweight microfiber upper and the cleat features an enhanced re-ground rubber print allong the toe to help control the ball in wet weather. Control is pushed further by the embossed medial pass pad, created purely for enhanced ball dampening and control.
We are yet to see the full effect of the GeoFLARE releas, but initial reaction from players has been very positive. Umbro are experienced in producing forward thinking boots, and again this visually enhanced release is sure to push the boat.
No. 7 – Diadora Evoluzione 2 K
"Class and Luxury Combined"
The second version of the Evoluzione features some important updates that move the performance of the boot forward, while the visual look has also been improved! We know that Diadora excel in the comfort department and again this is a boot that doesn't disappoint.
The upper of this boot is Water resistant ultrasoft kangaroo leather that features a special “touch control” finish. This comes in the form of an embossed texture through the forefoot of the boot. It is actually very minimal in nature, but players will appreciate the extra level of grip it provides on the ball. Another cool feature is the inclusion of a leather style heel counter, where Diadora has emblazoned their name in true confident fashion! Turn the boots over, and you will notice that this boot featured Diadora’s patented NET Breathing System. If you are looking for a boot that releases warm vapor without allowing anything in through the soleplate, this could be a quality boot to consider.
No. 6 – Lotto Solista
"Light Up Your Game"
Inlcuded on this latest Lotto release is a bizarre piece of technology that really shouldn’t play any role in your performance. It is a coated layer through the upper that makes the boots shine brighter under lights. Basically, it produces a reflector effect under flashes of light.
The single-piece upper is made entirely of high quality microfibre, with a smear reflector effect. Being that there is no stitching included, you get a clean boot with a smooth, natural touch on the ball. The TX sole, a new concept, features 12 two-tone TPU studs with double geometry to provide excellent traction both on landing and turning.
No. 5 – Diadora DD NA
"Lightweight From the Beginning"
There were four different boots released by Diadora this summer, but the DD NA GLX 14 is the one that stands out as a top performer. The name of the boot is actually the DD NA, with GLX 14 standing for the type of soleplate and stud configuration used.
Key with this boot is the fact they are designed with speed in mind. We haven’t seen this from Diadora before, yet they have definitely got it right on this release. They compete with the lightest boots on the market by weighing in at 6.4oz. In order to make it work, Diadora has employed some ultra-thin, but very strong support paneling on the inside of the SuprellPro3L upper. It works really well and they are a top performing speed boot that players should consider checking out.
No. 4 – Nike Premier
"Timeless Look With the Latest Technology"
Many currently consider the Premier to be one of the most ingenious releases we have seen in a while. Fact of the matter is we were overdue a boot to compete against the ever popular adidas Copa Mundial. This is a very ordinary looking boot that offers an extremely classic look in a very modern package. Visually, the inspiration from the boot came from two sources: the iconic 1994 Tiempo Premier.
The premium leather used for the upper sets the benchmark for softness and feel for leather-based boots, and the transitional flex in the sole plate provides a firm midfoot combined with a flexible and responsive forefoot. The sole plate's design also provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces. I will be the first to tell you there is a lot of positives to note about the Premier that makes them one of the more attractive heritage releases we have seen in a while. And the fact that Nike has developed them with intent to keep them “as is” for an extended period also creates an air of confidence around them.
No. 3 – Mizuno Wave Ignitus III
"A Deadball Revolution"
There is something about the Mizuno Wave Ignitus that really gets players excited. Included on the upper is a ton of top class technology and a very mechanical, robot like look. Mizuno boots are not readily available on the US market, but that has stopped the brand from creating a legion of loyal followers here.
This release features a Mukaiten panel on the medial side of the boot that is intended to deliver incredible 'non-spin' movement. On the vamp you get a Tatekaiten zone that gives vicious top spin and wicked moving shots. The final piece of the puzzle is the Yokokaiten quarter panel, which provides wicked side spin to the ball. There is a learning curve with the technology included on the boot, but having seen them used to strike deadballs, players wearing them can be highly entertaining to watch.
No. 2 – adidas Nitrocharge 1.0
"Nitrocharge Your Game"
adidas defined a whole new player with the release of the Nitrocharge and it has actually proved to be a very smart move. Where other brands are continually focusing on the attractive, attacking style player, adidas choose to take a more defensive stance by creating a boot for the “Engine”. And, they have also attracted a list of very relevant players to wear the boots – including Steven Gerrard who has been wearing them for the past few weeks.
Across the forefoot of the Nitrocharge, you will notice that there is a vivid streak of flashy color. This is the EnergySling and it is in place to offer lateral support as the engine moves through the game. Toward the rear of the boot, adidas employ a mesh to decrease the weight of the boot and provide a more comfortable, natural feel for running long periods during a game. There is also an added layer of padding to help in times when you are involved in some crunching tackles!
No. 1 – Nike Hypervenom Phantom
"A New Breed of Attack"
Has there been a more successful boot release in the past decade? Nike has got it right with this boot and their marketing expertise played out right in front of our eyes from the initial steps of the boots release. Focusing on Neymar was a genius move – he set the Confederations Cup on fire with his displays and was soon on a plane to Barcelona, joining up with one of the best teams on the planet.
In terms of performance, these boots are all about agility, with the soleplate key to how they benefit pacey players in game. The upper is absolutely unique, with a honeycomb, dimpled pattern providing a very different type of touch and control on the ball. The material used is actually a mesh, with ACC technology also layered across the upper. It seems that many top stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Wayne Rooney joining Neymar in sporting the range.