Like everything in this world, football boots also underwent a huge change over time. According to records, such boots were first introduced in 1526 by King Henry VIII. Cornelius Johnson, the personal shoemaker of the king, made a pair of boots for him and it cost 4 shillings. The royal boots were made of strong and high quality leather. The ankle high boots were heavier than the normal shoes of that time. Let us now take a look at evolution of football boots over time.
We will now move forward 300 years to find out how the boots looked like in the 18th century. The game started gaining tremendous popularity throughout the UK. However, the game did not emerge as a serious profession and was considered something for recreation. Players used to wear leather-made and hard boots. Those boots had long laces and steel toe caps. Those also had metal spikes as such design helps increase ground stability and grip.
Following the introduction of rules and regulations in the late 18th century, slipper style shoes were introduced for the players. Studs were allowed but those were round in shape. The leather studs were also called cleats and used to be hammered into the boots earlier. Those boots had a weight of 500 gm. The boots were up to the ankles to increase protection for the footballers. They had six studs on the sole.
Evolution between 1940s and 1960s
We will now try to understand the revolution in the design of football boots during the era. Its design underwent remarkable changes after the World War II due to cheap air travel and more international matches. The South American players started using flexible boots that got increasingly popular among others. The football boot manufacturing companies shifted their attention to production of lighter boots as those helped the players improve their skill of ball control and kicking. These boots were more than just protective footwear..
Variations in 1970s
Technological developments during sixties made a significant change in boot design that saw introduction of lower cut in the football history. This design helped the players to pick up high speed. Football king Pele started wearing famous Puma boots in 1962. However, Adidas became the leader in the industry manufacturing football accessories. Majority of the players wore Adidas football boots during the FIFA World Cup in 1966.
Changes in 1990’s
Adidas came up with revolutionary design during this period by introducing Predator that made a fine blend of technology and styling. The design earned immediate and worldwide success. Polymer extrusion technology added more flexibility to the sole whereas a bladed structure covering the entire sole replaced conventional studs. Those changes ensured more stability in the boots.
Advanced Look in 2000’s
With continuous development in technology, the football boot manufactures started shelving off more advanced designs. It led to fierce competitions among the three big brands namely Nike, Puma and Adidas. The modern-day boots are designed to give the footballers enhanced protection while helping them feel relaxed during the games.