The evolution of the football boot - from the Predator to a knitted 'all-in-one' boot and sock

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will be wearing a pair of knitted boots against Manchester United - but have things gone too far?

A football boot should be a simple object. A good fit, to help a player's control and touch, and decent studs so they don't slip over.

But from starting out as something that protected the foot, somewhere things got weird.

One of the most obvious developments was the coloured boot, something derided upon it's introduction but now commonplace on the football pitch. Black boots in the Premier League are almost as rare as a coherent Manchester United performance.

In terms of technology, it really got going when adidas introduced a boot that most thought roamed the South American jungle, messing with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his crew of mercenaries - the Predator.

A pair of adidas Predators A pair of adidas Predators The revolutionary boot, which brought new ideas in terms of design and aesthetics, opened the door to further advances.

But recently things have just got silly.

With the World Cup looming, the big manufacturers - adidas, Nike, PUMA - are all vying for our attention, and it seems 'revolutionary' boots that appear to make no sense at all are the way forward.

Last week we were introduced to the 'knitted' boot. Rather than made lovingly by a grandmother and with something like a big sheep or Father Christmas on it, it was created by adidas and Luis Suarez will be wearing them. It's called the Samba Primeknit and apparently it 'fits like a sock'.

The adidas Primeknit boots that will be worn by Luis Suarez The adidas Primeknit boots that will be worn by Luis Suarez  

Nike are also part of the knitting circle - using 'Flyknit technology' to create the Magista. Those ones will be worn by Barcelona's Andres Iniesta.

Nike's Magista boots, held by David Luiz Nike's Magista boots, held by David Luiz  

This is what Nike had to say about the Magista in the press release: "Born from four years of R&D in the Nike Sport Research Lab and with feedback from some of the world's best attacking playmakers, including Barcelona's Andrés Iniesta and German forward Mario Gotze, the Magista is designed to enable devastating creativity in a game where space is at a premium."

Wow! A pair of these and it sounds like even this writer could be beating the best centre-backs in the world.

Knitted footwear appears to be the way forward - and adidas have even unveiled something that manages to take the concept even further - 'the world's first knitted all-in-one football boot and sock hybrid'. It might look like a Wellington Boot, but all the kids will want a pair of Primeknit FS.

The adidas Primeknit FS - providing an all-in-one boot and sock The adidas Primeknit FS - providing an all-in-one boot and sock  

With all these new releases, it would appear there is a common goal (aside from selling as many as possible). It would seem all this technology is driven at making the boot as close as possible to an actual foot.

But there is another version already on the market - and it costs nothing - and the world's best football nation are big fans. It's called going bare foot, and five World Cups suggests it hasn't done Brazilian kids any harm.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada