The Top 10 Football Boots of All Time

Andres Ehrli@@ehrliCorrespondent IIIJune 29, 2011

The Top 10 Football Boots of All Time

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    Football is about scoring goals and kicking a ball with your feet. Every person that has kicked a proper football barefoot knows the painful experience that can come with it. 

    That's where football boots come in to do their job.

    Since the earliest days, players have worn boots, but the ones you will see on this list have been worn by the most emblematic players to ever play the game. They also represent the best technological upgrades that have led the boot industry to where it stands today.

    These are the top 10 football boots of all time.

10. Adidas F50

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    Released: 2004

    Iconic Wearer: Arjen Robben

    Other Wearers: Hernán Crespo, Ashley Cole, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Simao

    Today's Version: F50 Adizero Prime

    Why it's on this list:

    The first thing you'll notice about this boot is exactly what made it revolutionary: It has no laces. It actually does, but they are under the upper of the boot. 

    Eventually everybody would find out that covering the laces isn't that good at all, but in 2004 for a boot to conceal its laces was absolutely revolutionary stuff. 

    Its apparently primordial features wouldn't be groundbreaking at all, but the ones underneath the hood would eventually lead to perhaps the most ground-breaking boot today, which will be featured later on this list. 

9. Puma V1.06

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    Released: 2006

    Iconic Wearer: Samuel Eto'o

    Other Wearers: Peter Crouch, Mauro Camoranesi, Freddie Ljunberg, Emmanuel Eboue, Yaya Touré, Seydou Keita, Aliaksandr Hleb

    Today's Version: Puma V1.11

    Why it's on this list:

    It might look a lot like a normal boot today, but the weight and look for 2006 was completely unusual and revolutionary. In fact, it was the lightest boot ever made when it debuted at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. 

    In a time where power boots were in vogue, the Puma V1.06 transformed the market and eventually made every other major brand shift to where they are today: creating lighter, faster boots. 

8. Nike Air Zoom Total 90 II

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    Released: 2002

    Iconic Wearer: Luis Figo

    Other Wearers: Roberto Carlos, Wayne Rooney, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Paul Scholes, Marc Overmars

    Today's Version: Total 90 Laser III

    Why it's on this list:

    Nike's first pure power boot, it featured a whole ad campaign that in itself was quite historic. The design and its name are meant to give a player comfort the whole 90 minutes without losing power or accuracy, and the off-centre lacing was completely revolutionary at that point in time.

    The inclusion of air in the sole, although short-lived, was also remarkable in its own right. 

7. Mizuno Wave Cup

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    Released: 1997

    Iconic Wearer: Rivaldo

    Other Wearers: Aldair, Pablo Aimar, Thiago Motta, Roque Santa Cruz

    Today's Version: Wave Ignitus II 

    Why it's on this list:

    Getting a world-class player like Rivaldo to put on an unknown brand like Mizuno is a hard task, but once the Japanese brand did that the Wave won its place on this list. 

    The most revolutionary aspect of this boot was the configuration of its studs. The "major" brands went on to copy them, while Mizuno continues to use a very similar arrangement to this day in the boots that Japanese all-star Keisuke Honda famously wears. 

6. Nike Mercurial SL

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    Released: 2008

    Iconic Wearer: Cristiano Ronaldo

    Other Wearers: Asafa Powell, Didier Drogba, Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Nani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Dani Alves 

    Today's Version: Nike Superfly III

    Why it's on this list:

    The grandchild of a boot you will see later on this list, this boot featured the addition of carbon fibre technology, and it was (for a little while) the lightest boot ever made.

    At first it was advertised as a conceptual boot, with its eventual evolution in the market to the fly-wire clad Superfly we've all grown accustomed to see on CR7's feet.

    It was the first boot to introduce a carbon fibre sole-plate, and it started the race to make the world's lightest boot that every brand in the world is still competing for. 

5. Adidas Copa Mundial

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    Released: 1979

    Iconic Wearer: Franz Beckenbauer

    Other Wearers: Mario Kempes, Michel Platini, Paolo Rossi, Berti Vogts, Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, Franco Baresi  

    Today's Version: Copa Mundial (yes, the same one)

    Why it's on this list:

    The best-selling boot of all time, the Copa Mundial is still being sold today on sporting stores worldwide.

    Made of kangaroo leather, the Copa Mundial were the lightest boots ever made and were made to exploit speed and versatility. In that regard it is considered the first "modern" boot, and would be years ahead of its competition and still competes favorably in the market today. 

4. Adidas F50 Adizero

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    Released: 2010

    Iconic Wearer: Lionel Messi

    Other Wearers: Arjen Robben, Nani, David Villa, Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlán, Luis Suarez, Benzema, Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Lavezzi, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Thomas Müller, Lukas Podolski, Gareth Bale

    Today's Version: F50 adiZero Prime

    Why it's on this list:

    This version of the boot finally threw away all the bells and whistles the F50 line had for years and went for the most vital thing in football today: speed. With a lightweight upper and a ground-breaking sole-plate, players are flocking towards this boot because simply put: It's the most revolutionary boot in quite some time.

    The newest version, adiZero Prime, made this boot even better, and it seems to have a good hold on the speed boot market. 

3. Nike Air Mercurial

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    Released: 1998

    Iconic Wearer: Ronaldo

    Other Wearers: Thierry Henry, Roberto Carlos, Denilson

    Today's Version: Mercurial Superfly

    Why it's on this list:

    Specifically engineered for Ronaldo, the Air Mercurial were the world's best boots on the best player in the world's feet.  

    These boots changed the boot industry forever towards a speed and lightweight market that wasn't important to anybody before their release and that is the dominant one today. They were also Nike's first incursion into the synthetic material for uppers. 

    In other words, just as R9 revolutionized football, the Air Mercurial revolutionized football boots as we know them and are a big legacy of what we see today on the pitch. 

2. Puma King

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    Released: 1970

    Iconic Wearer: Pelé

    Other Wearers: Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Diego Armando Maradona, Lothar Mattheus, Paul Gascoigne, Didier Deschamps, Mikel Arteta

    Today's Version: Puma King XL

    Why it's on this list:

    Like Pelé, they're definitely not called the King for nothing. They were O Rei's boot of choice as he won World Cups with Brazil, and as such they instantly have a place in history. Especially if they also fueled the adidas-Puma rivalry. This was also the boot that started boot sponsorship deals. 

    But more than the history itself this boot was one that introduced the concepts of weight (they were lighter than ever before) and design to the football boot world, introducing colored boots (all white) for the first time.

1. Adidas Predator

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    Released: 1994

    Iconic Wearer: Zinedine Zidane

    Other Wearers: Raúl, Kaká, David Beckham, Xavi, Patrick Vieira, Xabi Alonso, Alessandro Del Piero, Rui Costa

    Today's Version: Predator Adipower

    Why it's on this list:

    The boot that defines modern football is the Predator. It's as simple as that. 

    It's also the top selling boot worldwide today. 

    The idea behind this boot was to increase power and spin by adding fins to the boot, an idea featured in almost every single boot on the market today. It also featured the red details and the three white stripes that we see on every Predator from 1994 to this day and that features on almost every match you see. 

    If all the other boots in this list have made strides to evolve football, the Predator has to be the highest point in evolution a football boot has achieved.

    For now, at least.