The 10 Most 'Bling' Boots in Football
Not so long ago, footballers of all levels wore black boots. Any players who turned up wearing any other hues were making a profound statement of cockiness, and were therefore destined to be hacked down at every opportunity.
These days, of course, boots are worn in all kinds of fantastical designs from the Premier League to the park. This means that some of the game's superstars have had to wear some particularly "bling" efforts to distinguish themselves. Wolves midfielder Bakary Sako is no exception, as he will be turning out in some particularly extravagant boots this weekend.
Sako's diamond-encrusted kicks start our list of the 10 most "bling" boots in football history.
Bakary Sako's Wolverhampton Wonders
Bakary Sako may play for Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, but that doesn't mean he can't bring some glamour to proceedings.
The Malian will wear these hand-decorated Swarovski crystal-covered boots during Saturday's game against Brentford. The outlandish black and yellow design will undoubtedly get the Bees buzzing. (Sorry.)
Ronaldinho's Golden Delights
In 2005, at the peak of his powers, Ronaldinho starred in a viral Nike clip that became the first video on YouTube to reach one million views.
The doctored clip featured the Brazilian doing impossible tricks, apparently due to the special boots he was wearing. They featured real 24-carat gold in the Nike logo, a gold embroidered "R" and five stars on the heels to represent Brazil's World Cup wins.
They may seem demure by today's standards, but at a time when coloured boots were not prevalent, they were quite radical.
Mamadou Sakho's Crystal Amaze
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is so partial to ostentatious footwear that he even had a large pair of Nike boots sitting atop his wedding cake.
While at Paris Saint-Germain, the Frenchman commissioned an unusual pair of boots for his country's international friendly clash against Brazil. They featured 2,500 crystals on each foot and cost a cool £1,300 per boot.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Star-Studded Shoes
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has blink-and-you'll-miss-it pace, but there was no missing the French Gabonese winger in 2012 when he turned out for Saint-Etienne in a heavily customised pair of Nike Vapors.
According to the Daily Mail, it took 50 hours for 4,000 crystals to be placed on the boots, at a cost of £2,500.
The current Borussia Dortmund winger might have felt these were too excessive for a game, as he only wore them during a warm-up.
David Beckham's Gold Standard
For the record, the boots that Sir Alex Ferguson launched at Beckham's head were a much more demure affair.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Shiny Soles
Cristiano Ronaldo has won three European Golden Shoe awards, including one for his spectacular outing with Real Madrid in 2013-14. Hence, it seems appropriate that the Portuguese megastar has some actual golden shoes.
To celebrate an incredible season in which he won the Ballon d'Or and numerous other accolades, his swooshy sponsors released the "Nike Mercurial Vapor IX CR7 Special Edition" boots.
They featured white uppers to match his Real Madrid shirt and some very shiny golden soles, which defenders could take a good look at when he jumped impossibly high to score headed goals.
George Best's White Stripes
Back in the days when George Best was king of the football field—and king of the nightclubs—almost every player wore black boots. There wasn't really an alternative.
In 1974, however, Best shook things up with a pair of specially designed Stylo Matchmakers, which featured a white stripe running from heel to toe. It was quite a gaudy design for the era, and one that perfectly suited the legendary Ulsterman's rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
Alan Ball's Whitewash
The only player to outdo Best's footwear in the 1970s was Alan Ball, who became the first ever player to wear white boots in the 1970 Charity Shield.
The World Cup winner agreed to wear the boots when he heard the manufacturer were willing to pay a top star £2,000 to do so.
However, per Footy-Boots.com, the former Arsenal and Everton midfielder didn't get along with them too well:
To be honest lads they were crap, like cardboard, so I got the young apprentices to paint my Adidas football boots white. It was great, till one day it rained and the black came through. A not too happy watching Hummel rep saw what I’d done so I said goodbye to the two grand.
Marouane Fellaini's Warrior Skreamers
In the football boot realm, there's a fine line between "bling" and "hideous." Warrior Sports straddle this line with their Skreamer boot, as worn by Marouane Fellaini.
Not only are the colour choices on these boots quite arresting, but they have an unusual opening on the heel. Curiously, Warrior refer to this as a "gloryhole."
Sergio Aguero's Pink Polka Dots
Sergio Aguero could probably wear clown shoes and still be one of the most prolific strikers in the world.
At the 2013 FA Cup Final, the Argentinian debuted his most "bling" footwear to date when he sported a pair of Puma boots that were covered in red and pink spots.
The manufacturer used the catchphrase "blink and they'll be gone" to promote them, which seems appropriate for the manner in which the Manchester City star discarded the garish design.