Nostalgia Series: classic Adidas football boots! Which one is your favorite? 👟🤔

ISSUE 029

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Now… onto the newsletter! ⏭️

The Brand with the Three Stripes has been crafting some of the most iconic boots for nearly a century. 😳

They’ve supplied many legends of the game over the course of football history, including Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Kaka. 🌟

Did you own any Adidas boots growing up? If your memory doesn’t serve you right, keep reading as we take a look at some of their most successful releases over the years. 👇

Football boots: most of them come and go, but some of them live on to reach icon status.

If you grew up watching the beautiful game, you more than likely recall the boots that your childhood idols wore. You might remember them for different reasons.

Maybe they scored a hattrick in them.

Perhaps they put on a defensive masterclass, diving in with crunching slide tackles the entire 90 minutes.

You might even associate a pair of boots with a bad memory; maybe your favorite player lost a final in them and from that day on you can’t stand seeing those boots because of the unpleasant flashbacks that they give you.

Regardless of how we remember them, what’s clear is that boots are a fundamental piece of football culture. Most pro footballers remember their very first pair, and you probably do too.

It might have been a birthday gift, or maybe it was passed down from a parent or an older sibling. You might vividly remember going to the store and picking out the pair that stood out to you the most, a design that lives rent-free in your mind to this day.

Football boot culture lives on today, but for those that grew up with a never-ending fever for getting their hands on the latest releases and boots worn by the legends of the game, you’d probably agree that nostalgia is always the way to go.

In today’s issue, we’ll be feeding you the best possible nostalgic experience, starting with none other than the Brand with the Three Stripes.

In this special 29th edition of the Plei newsletter, I take you on a trip down memory lane, highlighting some of the most memorable football boots of all time by Adidas. 👇

👟1️⃣ F50

Name the first player that comes to mind when you hear F50.

If you didn’t say Lionel Messi, you are an elite football fan.

Although worn by the likes of Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Gareth Bale, Ashley Cole and others, it wasn’t until the Argentine genius donned them, scored all those goals and won his first few Ballon d’Or’s that the F50 actually became a true household name.

What set the F50 apart was its obsession with being light on its feet. I'm talking Sprintweb and Sprintskin kind of magic – materials that made you feel like you had nothing on your feet, except, you know, the coolest boots in town. It genuinely felt like the reason you could pull up quick movements and fancy footwork was because you had the F50s on,

As a result, it was the go-to Adidas boot for speed demons and dribblers.

The F50 made its debut just before Euro 2004. It featured a kangaroo leather upper and a synthetic heel with the leather covering the laces for a bigger strike zone. Upon its release, it didn’t really have a huge impact.

That would come just a year later with the F50+, which featured a web-like design in a number of eye-popping colorways.

For an extra nostalgic kick, you might recall these boots appearing in the legendary football movie “Goal II: Living the Dream”.

Over the years, Adidas kept updating and upgrading the F50, dropping one iconic design after the other. Eventually Messi started wearing them, essentially turning it into his boot and no one else’s.

Funny enough, Messi actually wore Nike’s early in his career, before getting locked down with Adidas in February of 2006. His love story with F50 began not long after that.

The F50 has been discontinued since 2016, with the X line taking its place.

My favorite boot of all time is actually the colorful 2014 Messi F50 AdiZero, which I had as indoor versions. I’m pretty sure I still have them. At least I hope so.

👟2️⃣ Predator

One of Adidas’ most well-known boot lines, the Predators have truly come a long way. We say that because if you compare any of the recent releases to what they used to look like 30 years ago, it’s like night and day.

Some of the most iconic Predator releases were pretty bold for their time, and it made sense that legends of the game got their hands on them.

We’re not really complaining, because they look a lot meaner nowadays, with many of the new editions featuring a spike design all around the upper and outsole.

But we can’t neglect the nostalgia that the Predators of days past provide.

The Predator made its debut in 1994 in a black, red and white colorway. It was revolutionary in the fact that it added rubber parts to the upper of the studs for improved power and finesse, something that had never been done before by any bootmaker.

Then came the Predator Accelerator in 1998, released in time for the World Cup of that summer. Adidas decided to maintain the already recognizable red, black and white colorway, but this time providing a much bolder design. Zidane famously won the tournament wearing these.

Two years later, the Predator Precision was released, this time with new technological improvements and new colorways. You might recall David Beckham with these on.

2002 was the year everything changed for Adidas. That year they released the Predator Mania (refer to the first photo in this section), which to this day is the most iconic Predator boot of all time. Once again featuring the red, white and black colorway, this boot was worn by a long list of superstars during that year’s World Cup, including Beckham, Zidane, Del Piero, Raul, Rui Costa, Ballack, Xavi and many others.

As FourFourTwo puts it, “Predators were cool before the Mania came out in 2002, but not this cool.”

Flash forward to modern times, and the Predators continue to run the market for Adidas. And we can thank future greats like Jude Bellingham for keeping the legacy going.

In Real Madrid’s 4-2 win over Napoli a couple weeks ago, the midfielder put on a MOTM performance in (at the time) unreleased Predators, which just dropped today.

👟3️⃣ Copa Mundial

A timeless boot so undeniably timeless that the design lives on today.

Yes, Adidas is still producing Copa Mundial’s. Will they ever go out of date? Probably not. The first ever edition of the boot was released in 1979, and since then different editions have been worn by multiple all-time greats of the game, including Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Zinedine Zidane.

While it is today one of the best-selling boots of all time, you won’t really find anyone besides referees donning them on the pitch. They simply don’t stand a chance when compared to the boots that pro footballers wear nowadays and all the technology that is packed into them.

The Copa Mundial is so iconic that we genuinely believe that Adidas wouldn’t be where they are today if not for this boot. With this release, they actually managed to make a black and white striped shoe look good despite its blatant simplicity. And it continues to be an inspiration to much of the products that Adidas releases today. Retro at its finest.

The Copa Mundial's continued presence, even if predominantly worn by referees or those who appreciate a classic aesthetic, highlights its ability to transcend generations. For those that know, know that It's not just a football boot; it's a symbol of the sport's rich history as well as Adidas' everlasting impact on the beautiful game.

Above all, it’s a reminder of the enduring appeal of timeless design in an ever-evolving world of sports fashion. In short, the Copa Mundial stands as a testament to the notion that true classics never go out of style.

That’s it for the 29th edition of our newsletter! 😅
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