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The Evolution of the Football Boot

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Recently, New Balance Football introduced a brand new range of football boots that have been designed to suit attack-minded players. Representing the latest development in modern design, these two boots serve specific purposes on the field of play and will be aimed at specific types of player.

This tells us two things about the marketplace as it stands in 2015. Firstly, there is a clear emphasis on the attacking elements of the game and the creation of hardware to suit specific player philosophies. In addition to this, we can also surmise that future boots will feature design nuances that make the ideal for specific types of player, from creative playmakers to goal scorers and dribbling forwards.

The Evolution of the Football Boot

These trends could not contrast more sharply with the market’s historical values, which were evident in the boots designed in the 1950’s. Required to be a good-fit, sturdy and suitable for all weather, formative football boots were made from leather and were incredibly heavy to wear. These quickly became outdated and were known to cause damage to individual players’ feet, and over time a far greater emphasis was placed on comfort and providing protection to wearers.

Once a basic design template had been established for safe, protective and comfortable football boots, however, manufacturers were able to get creative and focus on alternative aspects of the design. This means that while the fundamental design values that underpin football boots have not changed too dramatically in the last decade, other aspects have been amended beyond all recognition. The emergence of brightly coloured boots provides a relevant case in point, as does the introduction of technology and the concept of ‘knitted’ football boots (which are responsive to individual foot contours and designed to fit like a sock).

The Last Word

As if these innovations were not enough, we now have a situation where New Balance have introduced a variety of boots to suit the precise needs of different types of attacking players. From the strikers need for acceleration to the creative midfielders’ requirement for touch and close control, these new boots will herald a new age where players can select hardware that suits their fundamental philosophy as well as their position.

This only details a current trend, however, and the pace of innovation of the market means that it is almost impossible to predict future design developments.

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