We are getting closer and closer to the start of the season (less than 4 weeks to go!) and while the odd international friendly is being played, the majority of clubs have played a few pre-season friendlies or at least got back to training. We have the Olympics coming up as well, which has provided us with a few quality boot spots. As usual, we have tracked down only the best boot spots from around the world for our readers, but which spots made the cut this week?
Neymar (Brazil) – Nike Green Speed
We had to kick off our boot spotting with arguably the biggest boot release for the 2012/13 season so far. When the Nike Green Speed was released, Nike hinted that there would be a mystery player wearing the boots. After we saw Neymar wearing what turned out to be black out versions of the boots, it came as no surprise he would be exclusively wearing the boots during the Olympics and the start of the 2012/13 season. We will definitely be keeping an eye on Neymar and his personalised pair of Nike Green Speeds during the Olympics, were you lucky enough to grab a pair?
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) – Nike Tiempo Legend IV
Manchester United gave their new ‘Gingham’ home kit it’s first show in a competitive match this week in South Africa, but that was not the only Nike product that was given it’s first unveiling against AmaZulu FC. Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard showed off Nike’s latest Tiempo Legend IV colourway, this time in a flashy Black/White/Red colourway. We thought the colourway would look very similar to the Black/White/Orange launch colourway, but the intense red definitely stands out on the pitch and it looks fantastic with Man Utd’s new home kit!
Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua) – Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII (Custom)
After having a raucous rock-star welcome at Shanghai airport, it seems Didier Drogba is settling into his new life in the rich Chinese Super League. While Drogba left Chelsea wearing the bright mango Mercurial Vapor VIII, we noticed that he has amended his footwear in his first training session with his new team mates. We are not too sure why Drogba has blacked out his bright mango pair of Vapor VIIIs, but could it be a sign that the ex-Chelsea star is having issues with his Nike contract due to his move to China?
Connor Wickham (Sunderland) – Umbro GT II Pro
While Nike and adidas are currently in the middle of showing off their wares for the start of the 2012/13 season, Umbro timed the launch of their new boots near the end of the EURO 12 tournament, meaning many people missed the launch of the new boot colourways. But Umbro have handed out their new boots to their sponsored players, with Sunderland’s Connor Wickham wearing the new Prism Purple/White colourway during Sunderland’s pre-season friendly in South Korea. The boots definitely look sharp on the pitch, but we thought this would have been a perfect match on the feet of Kyle Walker in Tottenham’s purple third kit had Umbro released the boots a few months earlier.
Jay Spearing (Liverpool) – Nike CTR Maestri III (Custom)
So many footballers have prematurely broken in their CTR IIIs this weekend, it is so common that we did not even bother with putting up your run of the mill CTR Maestri III in this week’s boot spotting. So we wanted to find a CTR Maestri III with a difference, and Jay Spearing has provided that with his shoddily customised CTR Maestri IIIs. It is quite clear Spearing has tried to black out his Maestri IIIs by himself, but it will be interesting whether he will continue wearing this boot into the new season.
Bebe (Manchester United) – Puma evoSPEED 1
We keep our eyes peeled for not only the new boot colourways during the pre-season training and friendly matches, but also players switching their footwear for the new season. While he did not have too much of an effect on the 2011/12 season, Manchester United fans will certainly be hoping Bebe can make an impact on the new season. He will be doing so in the new Puma evoSPEED 1, with the Portugese forward making a move from the Nike Mercurial Vapor range.
Martin Juhar (Slavia Prague) – Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII
While adidas have released their full range of boots for the new season, Nike is strangely yet to officially unveil their new boots for the 2012/13 season. But it has not stopped the occasional player getting their hands on the new boots early. While Oliver Konsa in the Estonian league was the first footballer in Europe to wear the boots in a competitive game, Martin Juhar has been able to get his hands on the seaweed Vapor ahead of many European footballers. We will have a comparison article soon between the new seaweed Vapor and the old bright mango Vapor VIII, so keep an eye out for that.
Maya Yoshida (Japan) – Mizuno Wave Ignitus II
The Mizuno Wave Ignitus II is probably the pair of boots that everyone wants to wear one day, simply because of that famed ‘Mukaiten’ panel. We do see the occasional Japanese footballer wearing the Wave Ignitus II, but this is certainly a colourway we have not seen before from the Osaka based company. We are not too sure whether Yoshida is wearing a customised pair of boots or if he has prematurely leaked a future Wave Ignitus II colourway, but we will certainly keep an eye on the situation.
Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) – adidas Predator LZ (Custom)
Are the Predator LZ colourways a bit too garish for your flavours? No problem, just do what Jon Flanagan has done. Footballers blacking out their boots with a texta is not something new, but it is often obvious that the footballers have rather amateurishly tried to black out their boots. We can definitely see that with Flanagan’s efforts, but we have to admit the black LZ with the red laces actually looks quite good!
Milan Skoda (Slavia Prague) – Umbro Revolution X II
There are times where we may have to admit that we cannot work out a certain boot spot. This is one of those moments. We could not work out what Milan Skoda’s boots were, but the design on the instep suggests this is not a boot from any of the big companies. But Chris. A deciphered the mysterious boot spot, and it turns out they are a whiteout pair of Umbro Revolution X II. Released way back in 2007, the line on the instep matches that of the Umbro Revolution X II, as well as the heel counter and the faint marking of the Umbro logo near the toes on the instep of the boot.
Kenyu Sugitomo (Japan) – Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII (Custom)
We knew that the new soleplate on the Vapor VIII would have come with it’s critics, but we have not seen too many players who have opted to customise the soleplates on their new Vapor VIIIs. However, we have to admit that Kenyu Sugitomo’s Vapor VIIIs feature the most extreme soleplate customisation we have seen on a Vapor VIII so far. It seems the design of the soleplate is inspired by the Nike Super Ligera, a boot that is only available to the Asian and Oceania football markets. It is an interesting customisation, but Sugitomo is not alone in customising the soleplates of their Vapor boots, with Nagatomo and Miyaichi known for customising the soleplates of their Vapor boots.
Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddin (Kelantan FC) – adidas miCoach F50 adiZero (Custom)
We love it when footballers go out of their way and customise their own football boots from NikeID or miadidas, and Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddin has definitely customised a very nice White/Red/Black pair of miCoach F50 adiZeros that we have fallen in love with. We do not expect this to become a regular release colourway from adidas, but we think this would be a colourway that would be very popular with the boot community.
That is it for this week’s boot spotting. What was your favourite spot this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.