Over the past few seasons, brands have been introducing us to boots in a whole new, full bodied way. In the past, it was all about individual colorways, one new boot released at a time. Now, the norm is “collections” with several new versions released together in vibrant packs. It makes things a little more exciting as players get to choose from a wider variety of options and styles. Each new pack released has naturally changed the market as brands take things in new, unexpected directions.
No. 10 - adidas Carnaval Pack
Released: March 2014
Significance: First significant boots released to celebrate Brazilian culture prior to the World Cup kick-off.
As part of their build up to Brazil 2014, adidas introduced an incredibly vibrant set of boots that they labeled the “Carnaval Pack”. The release came with less than 100 days to first kick-off and was inspired by Brazil’s most iconic celebration. Each of adidas four main silos got the treatment - the adizero F50, Predator Lethal Zones, Nitrocharge and 11Pro, with each featuring a reflective treatment on the surface, designed to catch the light and spread it like Carnaval ticker tape. A feather-like design was also added on the heel of each cleat taking reference from the famous Carnaval costumes. It was a bold series to introduce and set a high bar for what adidas had planned before the World Cup kicked off.
No. 9 - Nike Stealth Pack
Released: July 2014
Significance: A refreshing, less complex pack that was released after a flurry of visually vibrant packs.
This long awaited set of releases came at the perfect time for everyday fans set to take on a new season. Pretty much every boot in the Nike arsenal was included, with the Hypervenom Phantom, Mercurial Superfly, Magista Obra and Opus, Tiempo Legend V and Mercurial Vapor X leading the way. For fans of more traditional looking designs, it was like Christmas right in the middle of summer! Post World Cup is an important time for brands, as fans wind down and look to establish their own connection with boots released on the market. After a fast paced series of wild and visually prominent releases were released in Brazil, this stealth series provided a refreshing break.
No. 8 - Nike Gold Pack
Released: July 2014
Significance: Nike provided the ability to create your own custom "gold" styled boots for the first time.
In an effort to beef up their customizable NikeID offering, the folks at Nike unleashed the ability to add a bold splash of Gold to their signature line-up of boots. The Nike Magista and Superfly took front and center of the range, with fans flocking to check out the exclusive colorways. Unfortunately, the additional price to actually purchase a pair proved too much for most, but the power move from the swoosh to get more media attention on the ability to create Nike ID boots worked a charm!
No. 7 - adidas Predator Remake
Released: July 2014
Significance: First time adidas revisited some of the greatest boots ever produced, in a very modern package.
Earlier this year, adidas announced that they were set to release 14 different remakes of the Predator Instinct before the end of 2014. This number is unprecedented for a single silo, and included in those releases was a set of three stunning remakes. Stepping back in time, they chose the original Predator, Predator Mania and the Predator Accelerator. Set as limited edition release – only 1,825 pairs of each – they set of a mass frenzy of buying as players chased down pairs. This strategy paid dividends with some tremendous attention paid to each release, although it only satiated the thirst of a small number of fans.
No. 6 - adidas Copa Mundial Samba Collection
Released: January 2014
Significance: A splash of color to the ever classic Copa Mundial? First time the range moved away from Black and White.
We caught wind of this wild adidas change up several months before their release and they caused a mass media of frenzy from fans wondering if they would actually mess with the classic range. Featured in a Blast Purple, Vivid Berry, Solar Blue, Solar Zest and Solar Slime, each has its own unique flavor and they definitely created some sound waves when players noticed the vibrant Copas in full HD color. Of course, there was a section of the market against the iconic boot receiving such a modern uptake, but most fans enjoyed the opportunity to bling it out in the fresh colorways.
No. 5 - Nike Flash Pack
Released: December 2013
Significance: Reflective technology was placed around the heel of the boot, to improve visual effect under lights.
Nike went white during the winter months, a bold move considering the pitches most players play on during this time of year. The “Flash Pack” collection brought reflective design to Nike’s four primary ranges. Each of the four boots featured a very unique silver reflective blocking design that speaks to the boot’s silo and was inspired by some of nature’s most magnificent creatures. The Hypervenom’s reflective area featured a reptilian-inspired graphic, while the Mercurial’s leopard-like print paid homage to the boot’s speed heritage. The Tiempo got a lion-esque leadership treatment, while the CTR360 takes its print inspiration from various birds of prey. This pack brought introduced fans to a new type of visual queue via reflective technology, and again demonstrated Nike’s keen ability to innovate.
No. 4 - Puma Tricks World Cup 14
Released: May 2014
Significance: One pink and one blue boot - had a dramatic appearance during the World Cup, raising the profile of Puma.
One of the most easily recognizable boots worn in Brazil this past summer came via an extremely unusual Puma collection. Rather than sticking with a single colorway on both boots, the designers at Puma came up with the concept of multi colored boots. Basically, your left foot will be shaded in Blue and your right foot will be striking shots in Pink. We have seen this on several minor releases of the past, but featuring them on the World’s biggest stage was a brave move. It paid off, and the evoSPEED and evoPOWER were very easy to spot in some of the highest profile games. These boots easily cemented and probably increased Puma’s stake within the top three soccer brands worldwide.
No. 3 - Nike Fast Forward Collection
Released: March 2014
Significance: Modern remake of some of Nike's most popular boots - long demanded by hardcore Nike Mercurial fans!
Another series of boots that fans had been screaming out for re-releases of over the past few seasons, and Nike answered in style. They used the Mercurial Vapor IX as the base for each release, choosing to modernize the performance of each version with a similar paint job to the original added to each. It was the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 versions that got a remake, with each associated to a significant time in the game. For example, back in 2002, Ronaldo (R9) was playing some of his best soccer and graced the pitches of South Korea/Japan in a flashy pair of chrome Mercurial Vapor R9. Ronaldo won the Golden Shoe during that tournament as the top scorer with eight goals. Nike keep it classy with subtle graphic references on the Vapor IX ’02.
No. 2 - Nike Elite Pack
Released: May 2010
Significance: One of the first sets of boots to focus on visual cues in game, each boot featured a similar Mach Purple design.
Prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Nike took an extremely bold move by unleashing a full series of boots in the same colorway, ensuring they were easily spotted by fans. Nike’s Elite Pack for South Africa became an instant classic, with four football boot styles colored in the same shades of Mach Violet and Total Orange – the Tiempo Legend, T90 Laser IV, Mercurial Vapor and CTR360 Maestri. Based on the concept of visual acuity, the colors were proven to provide the best contrast to the green pitch to better enable team-mates to spot each other. It worked and sales of each boot skyrocketed during the tournament.
No. 1 - adidas Battle Pack
Released: May 2014
Significance: Easiest boot to spot in Brazil this past summer, very effective in-game pack that was worn by the World's best players.
adidas put some extensive time and marketing into their signature line-up of boots worn by players in Brazil this summer, and it was a masterstroke. On release, there was a layer of negative attention placed on the Black/White designs that needed to be broken down by the German brand. With continued attention on their players and the positive performance characteristics of each boot – Predator Instinct, 11Pro, Nitrocharge 1.0 and adiZero f50 – opinions quickly shifted. By the end of the tournament, fans were talking about the boots and the marketing goals put in place by adidas were most definitely successfully achieved.