We have hit a bit of a lull. We enjoyed the festival that the European Championships have provided, but we have now hit the awkward gap between the end of the EUROs and the start of the season. But we have been fortunate from a boot spotting perspective. The approaching start of the season has seen the odd pre-season friendly and teams returning to training, which has brought some very interesting boot spots to the table. Soccer Reviews has taken a look at the most interesting boot spots from this weekend’s football action.
Henri Lansbury (Arsenal) – adidas Predator LZ
We do see the occasional footballer who seemingly idolises David Beckham to the point where they copy the legend’s footwear, but we did not think many footballers would follow Beckham with his garish Pink/White/Black Predator LZ. Which is why we were very surprised to see Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury, someone who has been wearing DB Predators several times throughout his career, to be brave enough to wear Beckham’s custom footwear. We wonder whether the next DB Predator is going to be as adventurous and the current colourway.
Andre Santos (Arsenal) – Nike CTR360 Maestri III
The CTR360 Maestri III has definitely left a lot of people excited in anticipation of the launch of Nike’s latest ‘Control’ boot, but it seems several footballers have brought out their shiny new boots a bit too early. We saw three footballers wearing their CTR360 Maestri IIIs prematurely last week, and it seems Andre Santos decided to skip the proper launch of the boot by bringing the boots out for Arsenal’s clinching of the Markus Liebherr Memorial trophy. We have not seen any players in the alternative Red/Black/White colourway yet, but we will be keeping our eyes peeled for it.
Phil Smith (Southend) – adidas Predator LZ
The professionals always seem to be able to get their hands on a pair of boots pretty quickly, but it seems a lot of players are not budging from the Blue/White/Infared Predator LZ launch colourway to this season’s new offerings. Phil Smith seems to be pretty happy about the Gold/White/Black Predator LZ colourway that has been offered by the German company this season, beating many professionals to the gun by wearing the boots in a competitive game.
Kalif Alhassan (Portland Timbers) – Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII
We have always noticed that those living in America seem to get a pick at football boot colourways before those living in Europe, as we have noticed the new colourways for the 2012/2013 season are already available in some sections of America, but not in Europe. Kalif Alhassan is one of the lucky few who has already picked up the Seaweed/Challenge Red/Volt Vapor VIII. There are some slight differences between the Seaweed Vapor and the original Bright Mango Vapor, with the former having a slight leather-like finish to it for durability purposes.
Adam McGeorge (New Zealand) – Puma King SL
The White/Limoges/Ribbon Red Puma King SL was one part of Puma’s set of boots that they unveiled for the European Championships, but it has not been until after the EUROs that Soccer Reviews has found a player wearing them in a match. It is from a pretty unlikely source as well, with New Zealand U21 Adam McGeorge being the first player we have seen wearing the fresh colourway. We think the colourway looks fantastic on the Puma King SL, so we are surprised it has taken so long to find someone wearing the boot.
Fredy Guarin (Internazionale Milano) – Nike CTR360 Maestri III
Another player who could not wait a few more weeks for the official release of the Nike CTR360 Maestri III! While we expect to see the boot officially unveiled in the next week or so in preparation for a full retail launch on the 1st of August, Fredy Guarin gives us a little insight into what Nike have done with the new CTR360 Maestri III. While the changes to the upper is obvious, the new soleplate is something that has not been given too much attention. It is going to be interesting to see how the new TPU outsole will go with the professionals.
Tony Hibbert (Everton) – Nike T90 Laser IV KL
We often keep on the lookout for boot switches during the off season, and while Tony Hibbert moving from the adidas Predator adiPower to the Nike T90 Laser IV KL may not be a big name switch, it still deserves to be covered! Everton’s reliable full back may have been turned off the bright colours of the new Predator LZ, but with goal scorers Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres wearing the T90 range, Hibbert might have switched to the T90 to break his infamous track record of 0 goals in 253 appearances for Everton!
Josh Williams (Columbus Crew) – adidas Predator LZ
Yet another case where being in America leads to being able to pick up a new colourway before everybody else. While we expect to see a lot of professionals picking up the new White/Infared/Black this season, most of the stars wearing Predator LZs in Europe have not started pre-season training yet. It seems to be either that or they are reluctantly moving from the original Blue/White/Infared colourway. We think the boot looks brilliant on the pitch, which is why we think a lot of players will be wearing the boot come the start of the season.
Rodrigo Palacio (Internazionale Milano) – Nike CTR360 Trequartista II
It does not happen too often, but we love it when we see professionals wearing lower tier boots. We are used to seeing professionals around Europe wearing the top of the range CTR360 Maestri II from the ‘Clash’ collection (and some with a carbon fiber soleplate), but it is interesting to see Rodrigo Palacio in the mid tier Trequartista. The giveaway is with the placement of the blue half of the boot, it is a bit further back on the Trequartista than it is on the Maestri version.
Shane Duffy (Everton) – Nike T90 Laser IV KL
I have left my favourite boot spot this week right to the end, and it might be a popular boot spot in the eyes of our readers too! Shane Duffy, whether on purpose or by a pure accident, has coloured in the green half of his T90 Laser IV KL from the ‘Clash’ collection black. Without a cheeky look at the soleplate, you would be forgiven for thinking that Duffy is wearing a pair of Tiempo Legend IVs. But the faint outline of the ShotShield and the green heel on the base of the boot gives away that Duffy is wearing T90 Laser IVs.
That is it for this week’s boot spotting. What was your favourite spot this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.