Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this June 7, 2014 photo, Spain’s Andres Iniesta is seen wearing his Nike Magista cleats after the playing of the national anthems during an exhibition soccer game against El Salvador, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Boots on the ground: A look at World Cup cleats
Soccer » Shoes pink and blue, homage to Brazil, boots that glow and Superfly, too.
First Published Jun 10 2014 04:51 pm • Last Updated Jun 10 2014 04:51 pm

Portland, Ore. • Nike, adidas, Puma and other shoemakers are all trotting out new and innovative looks for this summer’s World Cup. Gone are the old-school black boots like the fabled Puma Kings worn by Pele.

Legend has it that Pele was paid $125,000 for his deal — a paltry sum by today’s standards — to wear the boots starting with the 1970 World Cup. The contract was sealed in the final between Brazil and Italy when Pele asked a referee for a moment so he could tie his shoe — guaranteeing that the TV cameras were pointed at his Pumas.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Now shoe deals are part of the game for every star and even some average players. Cristiano Ronaldo wears Nike. Lionel Messi wears adidas. Puma and Mizuno have their own athletes. So when the World Cup opens in Brazil on Thursday, there will be a clash of competing cleats on the pitch with everyone trying to get a leg up on the other guy.

Here are five things to know about the boots on the ground in Brazil:

What the heck? Puma is pushing the envelope by putting its athletes in one pink shoe and one blue shoe. Apparently, this will make it easier to tell which foot that player delivers goals with: Pink is right and blue is left. Look for Spain’s Cesc Fabregas and Italy’s Mario Balotelli in the boots. "I have to be honest, the first time I saw the Tricks boots, I thought the Puma guy was mad," Balotelli is quoted as saying. "But when I realized he wasn’t, I was already excited."

Shoes or socks? Nike’s statement for the World Cup is its new Magista and Mercurial soccer boots that use the company’s fly-knit technology, which basically looks like cleats attached to a pair of socks. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be wearing the Mercurial Superfly, a high-top version with a cool name. "The way we think about product innovation is really about serving athletes and really about how we can help people reach their true potential," said Phil McCartney, vice president of global soccer for Nike. "I think the product we’re going to have on the pitch in the World Cup is a really good example of that. It’s a four-year journey we’ve taken to really help our athletes reach their potential in what will be the biggest moment of their careers and lives."

Adidas goes retro • Adidas is offering the back-and-white Battle Pack collection of four different cleats, featuring prints that are supposed to pay homage to Brazil — the only pop of color is the trademark three stripes in neon orange. An exception was made for Messi, who gets the star treatment with his own design and a bit of added Argentina blue on his F50s. "It’s the biggest tournament on the biggest stage. It’s win or go home. It’s black or white. So that’s why you see the black and white execution on the shoes," adidas merchandise manager Peter Hong said.

Golden boot • The top goal scorer at the World Cup receives the Golden Boot award. But at least one player will already have his golden boots: Mizuno has designed special gold-and-black Wave Ignitus 3s for Keisuke Honda of Japan. It’s only fitting for a player whose nickname is "Emperor Keisuke." There are rumors that Nike may put Brazilian star Neymar in a pair of special gold HyperVenom cleats, but the Oregon-based shoemaker would not comment about possible World Cup "surprises."

Shine a light • Ecuador goalkeeper Maximo Banguera will be wearing Lotto Solista boots that have a special skin that reflects light, which the Italian shoemaker claims causes the shoes to "glow" in direct sunshine or under bright lights. We’ll let you be the judge. There are a number of YouTube videos demonstrating the effect.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.