A brief history of Soccer Boots Cameron Kippen [email protected] u

History of soccer boots

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A brief outline of the evolution of soccer boots

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2. Prior to the 19th century in all probability smaller side games of football were played according to locally agreed rules. These went largely unrecorded. King Henry VIII (1491 1547) did pay four shillings in 1525 to have football boots made by the Royal boot maker. Although they did not survive the boots were thought to be ankle high and made from strong leather making them heavier than the normal shoes of the day. 3. Ball games were played in all the major English sublic schools and local boot makers customised engineers boots to the individual players feet. Early football boots extended above the ankle, to give support and limited protection in the rough and tumble games . Ball games were ill defined with robust physical contact, including hard tackles, encouraged as a form of character building. Boots were tightly laced with long laces, which wrapped around the ankle and often across the ball of the foot. To increase ground traction; boots incorporated studs (usually in the ratio of 4:2) 4. Once Association Rules were Established the exclusive Upper Class game of football became the pre occupation of the leisured working class. Rule 13 meant dangerous metal studs could no longer be worn and players sported leather cleats instead. 5. Outfits became more streamline than the previous decade, which may indicate a faster game but players still wore standard soccer boots (circa 1900). This is a successful West Australian team (circa 1912) sporting the latest fashions in soccer kit. 6. The English game spread quickly across the world. Acceptance of team outfits became the norm and adjustments for climatic conditions necessitated minor modifications. 7. In the UK Bozeat Boot Company Later Gola, (1905) ; in Italy Valsport (1920); and the German football boot maker Hummel (1923) which later relocated to Denmark all competed to produce boots. Adolf and Rudolf Dassler formed the Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik in Herzogenaurach in 1924 and began producing football boots in 1925. Adi Dassler is credited with introducing replaceable studs. 8. Players could wear screw-in studs principally through the innovation of Adi Dassler (co founder of Adidas). Studs were selected to suit weather conditions. Whilst there was some variation in the arrangement of stud patterns on the sole most professionals preferred the 4:2 or 4:3 ratio. 9. Continental soccer developed to such a degree domestic supporters demanded their players incorporated the same skills into local play. Improved travel extended competitions to include international fixtures. Crowds Were now entertained by more athletic moves, such as the bicycle (overhead) kick. Individual ball control became the major Focus and boots were worn very tight to the foot to allow players to feel greater control of the ball. 10. Adidas company was formed in 1948 by Adolf (Adi) Dassler after a falling out with his brother Rudolf. His younger sibling founded the Puma in the same year producing the Puma Atom football boot. Both companies incorporated interchangeable screw in studs Made of plastic or rubber for the first time. 11. Soccer boots were still worn above the Ankle and tightly bound to the foot by laces but when it became apparent long studs caused injury new regulations were enforced in 1951. Progressively synthetic materials replaced natural leathers and molded studs became available. Winners of the 1954 FIFA World Cup, West Germany all sported the new adidas soccer boots with screw-in studs. By 1958 at the FIFA World Cup, Sweden, the majority of players wore adidas boots. 12. Several more football boot makers joined the market with new brands and styling. These included: Mitre (1960), Joma (1965) and Asics (1964). Adidas remained brand leaders but rivals Puma scored a winner with Puma Kings and the personal endorsement of Bazils Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (Pele) in the 1962 World Cup Finals. 13. By now players had accepted the lower Soccer shoe and new boots were moderately lighter in weight which may have given some players an advantage. A much less physical game which was Better regulated was played with new soccer balls which speeded up play. New synthetic materials prevented water uptake and both ball and boots remained the same weight throughout even in the wildest weather conditions. 75% of the players at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England wore adidas boots. 14. Club sponsorships and personal endorsements became the norm with the photo opportunity a critically important marketing ploy. Companies concentrated on more attractive fashionable boots, often incorporating novelties, which sometimes appeared to ignore the risk of injury. Black boots were essential 15. Adidas continued to dominate Supplies and in 1979 released the Copa Mundial made from kangaroo leather. It would become the world's top-selling soccer boot. Several other football boot makers joined the competitive market including Italian football boot maker Diadora (1977). The next decade saw more companies join the competition with Lotto (Italy), Kelme (Spain) in 1982; and Umbro in 1985. 16. Soccer shoes encapsulated all the conventional wisdom of shoe making into a robust slipper. Yet the number of injuries to players increased causing major concern. Now the scientific community were engaged to analyse the biomechanics of players and their boots. 17. Craig Johnston (Liverpool) designed the Predator boot with specific intention to improve the sweet spot and give better ball control to the player. Eventually adidas released the first generation in 1994 . The new range incorporated polymer technologies and boot was design to allow a more flexible sole. More companies like Reebok (1992), Uhlsport (1993), and Mizuno (1997) began trading but it was Nike, the worlds biggest sportswear producer that made another significant impact with the light weight Nike Mercurial soccer boot in 1998. 18. Australian Football Rules was the only football code to meticulously record injury data . Data analysis revealed many knee injuries were caused by jumping and landing. Asics produced new blades patterns and the fashion caught on Adidas blades 19. Smaller companies continue to Make boots using new technologies offering novel properties. Emphasis is always on durability and weight. Nomis Sticky Boot Mizuno Wave Lotto Zhero Gravity 20. Puma, Nike and Adidas (incorporating Reebok) remain brand leaders but boots of the future will involve laser technologies with emphasis on customized footwear. There seems little to suggest however major manufacturers will give up their quest for novelty with protection from injury a lesser priority. 21. 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