For those of you who aren’t football boot geeks like I am, you probably won’t know much about football boots or even notice what the players are wearing most of the time.
Mesut Özil used to be sponsored by Nike and at Real Madrid, wore the Nike Mercurials (I’ve even got a photograph of a signed pair I saw at the Real Madrid stadium tour a few years ago) but in the year he joined Arsenal, he joined Adidas and this season has been wearing the Adidas Ace 15 Primeknit. All you really need to know is that they cost in excess of £250 and are one of the premium models Adidas make (along with the Messi and X range).
Anyway, Adidas have released a brand new boot called the Ace 16+ Pure Control and Mesut Özil is the man who is pioneering the range as it were (along with other Adidas footballers no doubt) and the boot features “laceless technology” – basically meaning the boot has no laces to you and me.
Since the days of the Nike Tiempo Pro and the Adidas Predator range (proper football boots) which were more substantial and classic in my opinion, we are moving closer and closer to a sock-type football boot. Football boots are getting thinner and thinner and whereas most football boots were made of leather, they are now made of a fabric called Primeknit (Ace or X range by Adidas) or Flyknit (Magista Obra and Mercurial Superfly by Nike).
And that is a worry. The obsession with a lighter boot means footballers are more likely to get injured, simply because the material is very thin. Most modern (premium) boots are made from a sock-like material and that’s not great if you’re an attacking player who is likely to be the subject of tough tackles from defenders. I have a pair of Nike Mercurial Superfly’s and let me tell you, when someone comes in late and stands on your foot with their studs, it bloody hurts!
Don’t get me wrong, modern boots have their advantages but now Özil doesn’t have the laces area he is more likely to get injured, either from a late challenge or even worse, rolling over his ankle. With old boots you had something tough and that could support the foot / ankle, whereas these days you don’t have that.
Could I be paranoid? Let’s hope so!