SPORTS DRIPS: International football boot industry booming
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Welcome to the first edition of our SPORTS DRIPS feature.
We will be looking at the latest sportswear trends from sports around the world and from time to time we will drop into the past to give you that nostalgic feel on some of the legendary sports gear from all the brands that have been dominant in the market across various sporting codes from running to basketball to football.
The focus will be on how the technology and design impacts each sport and we will also be letting you know which icon uses these items.
So our first edition we will focus on football as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) kicks off with the MTN8 this weekend. We will be taking a closer look at some of the latest football boots released for the upcoming season by Nike, Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, and Umbro, as these are available within the South African market.
The income generated from just football boots is excess of $24 Billion worldwide in 2019 according to Forbes Magazine.
Football boots have developed dramatically over the past few years using very scientific research. The equipment has become lighter, more durable to make sure players are performing at their peak and making the game faster and much more exciting.
The boots are also customised and made according to the specifications of certain players like Cristiano Ronaldo's Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly or Lionel Messi's Adidas Nemeziz. The football boot sponsorship game is also extremely lucrative for these big brands with companies paying major endorsements with the biggest players in the industry.
The biggest move this season was Neymar moving from Nike to Puma after 14 years.
Some of my favourite past time football boots: Diego Maradona’s Puma King which he wore in 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cups, Brazil's Ronaldo 1998 Mercurial Vapour, Jomo Sono's Puma and the infamous Adidas Copa Mundial from 1979 made from Kangaroo leather which still sells for around R2000.
The PSL tends to follow international trends with players wearing the same equipment as the rest of the world so we look forward to see what the PSL players will be dripping this 2020/2021 season.
These are some of the latest football boots for the upcoming season:
Nike has launched the Phantom Elite which seems to be popular in Europe. We might see Samir Norkuvic from Kaizer Chiefs dripping the The Mercurial Vapour superfly has a few new colour ways which are very cool worn by Ansu Fati playing for FC Barcelona. This superfly retails for around R4500 in stores.
Adidas has a new colour way for its Predator worn by our Bafana Captain and new Orlando Pirates signing Thulani Thlatswayo , these retail for R 4200 and the Copa 2020 full leather could be a hit for our grounds emphasing the comfort and control and The Adidas X which is worn by Liverpool’s Mo Salah which retails for R 4200.
Puma's Future netfit or Ultra was popular with our league champions Sundowns’ Themba Zwane and our Bafana Striker Percy Tau, the new Puma Ultra will be the lightest football boot on the market weighing just 90g. Retail price are around R3200.
Under Armour has the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness boot which was used by Trent Alexander Arnold and Memphis Depay in their international games this week. These are not yet available in SA and we might see them in Under Armour stores soon.
All these prices are really high but there are generic prices and boots for each market. Nike, Adidas and Puma have lower priced models which look similar but are not made with the same material as the products used by the professionals.
Keep an eye out for our next edition coming soon!
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