It’s a massive week in the football boot world, so why not kick it off in the best way possible with a round of Soccer Reviews boot spots. We’ve sourced only the finest boot spots from this weekend’s action. From England to South America, which boot spots have made it through our testing process this week?
Banel Nicolita (Saint-Etienne) – Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII
Even though we didn’t officially unveil the Mercurial Vapor VIII until today, Banel Nicolita obviously didn’t read the memo from Nike that asked players to be patient and not to wear their shiny new Vapor VIIIs until next weekend. Even though Marco Boriello was technically the first person to debut the Bright Mango Vapor VIII (albeit it a little on the blackout side), Nicolita is still one of the first players to wear the boots in a competitive game.
Ryan Babel (1889 Hoffenheim) – Nike CTR360 Maestri II
Ryan Babel made the move back to mainland Europe after a relatively unsuccessful spell at Liverpool. During that time, Babel was an avid Mercurial wearer, but it seems he has marked his move to the Bundesliga by moving to a new pair of boots, as Babel now wears the CTR360 Maestri II. The CTR Maestri II is a really versatile boot and players all over the pitch are wearing Nike’s control boot, and the boot’s versatility is indicated by Babel wearing it.
Nathan Doyle (Reading) – adidas Predator adiPower
When adidas release a blackout football boot, it’s become somewhat as a tradition from the German company as an indication of the end of the line for that football boot. Unfortunately, the Predator adiPower, which has been one of the more successful boots adidas has released in the past few years, has received the blackout treatment. It’s going out in some style with the classy blackout colourway, and while players like Joey Barton attempted to blackout their adiPowers, Nathan Doyle is the first person we’ve seen with the genuine blackout versions of the boot.
Neymar (Santos) – Nike Mercurial Victory II
It’s not too often when we see a professional wearing anything but expensive, top of the range boot, but Neymar, now one of the two headline players for the new Mercurial Vapor VIII, and many of his team mates were forced into a turf football boots, and a pair of Mercurial Victory IIs in Neymar’s case. It was down to the pitch. Neymar were in Peru against Juan Aurich, and they play on a synthetic football pitch. So much like when the whole Barcelona team were forced into lower grade boots due to a frozen pitch, it caused the Santos team to change their footwear appropriate to the conditions.
Nicolas Anelka (Shanghai Shenhua) – adidas miCoach F50 adiZero (Custom)
After a big money move to China, and becoming the most expensive player in the Chinese Super League in the process, former Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka is starting in to life in Shanghai nicely. He’s seemingly marked it with a batch of customised miCoach F50 adiZeros, as Anelka has fashioned himself two different colourways, with one looking a lot like the Blue/White/Slime F50 adiZero which was released a bit over a year ago. But Anelka’s Black/Warning miCoach F50 adiZeros look like a very clean boot, and it looks like a colourway which would go down well if it was a general release boot.
Vujadin Savic (SG Dynamo Dresden) – Nike Mercurial Vapor IV
Nike’s Mercurial Vapor VIII is going to be the football boot on everyone’s lips this week, so it’s only fitting to feature a retro Mercurial Vapor IV spot. The Vapor IV was one of the most wanted boots on the planet when it was first released, and the Orange Peel/Dark Obsidian Vapor IV has gone on to become one of the most recognisable Mercurial boots of all time. While the Anthracite/Vivid Blue Vapor IV didn’t reach the same status, it was still worn by many big players when it was first released.
Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid) – adidas Predator adiPower (Custom)
While Nathan Doyle above showed us what a proper blackout Predator adiPower looks like, Lassana Diarra showed us this weekend what it looks like when you attempt to blackout the boots by yourself. There are clear differences between the two boots, with the white SprintFrame being the biggest difference. It’s also clear that Diarra’s boots started life as a pair of Black/Warning adiPowers. We wonder whether we’ll see Diarra in the proper blackout versions of the boot anytime soon.
Jose Nunez (Club Libertad) – Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly III (Custom)
When the CR7 Mercurial was released last year, the thick lines on one half of the boot and thin lines on the other half definitely made the boot stand out on the pitch. It was, however, a boot fit for CR7 himself. However, it seems Jose Nunez didn’t think the boot stood out enough on the pitch, as he discarded the grey laces that game with the boot in favour for some bright orange ones! To be fair to Nunuez, it does look good with the Solar Red Nike tick!
Julien Escude (Sevilla) – adidas adiPure IV (Custom)
While there have been a lot of players wearing the adiPure 11Pro, there is still a large number of players who have stubbornly stuck by their K-Leather adiPure IVs, with Frank Lampard being the highest profile player still wearing the boots. We think Julien Escude is sticking by his adiPure IVs as he’s gone through the effort to customise them in a classy White/Red colourway.
Krisztian Vadocz (NEC) – adidas Predator PowerSwerve TRX
Considering the Vapor VIII has now been released, we should probably start looking forward to the next major boot release, the next Predator boot. So a retro Predator boot spot is probably a fitting way to end today’s boot spotting article. Vadocz’s Black/Gold Predator PowerSwerve TRX boots have been kept in really good condition, and it’s always surprising to see a PowerSwerve TRX that is still in such good condition, despite the age of the boots.
That’s it for this week’s boot spotting. Thanks to Juano Granda for one of today’s spots too. What was your favourite spot this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.