I will put my hand up and say that it has been difficult to get by in these past few weeks without European football, especially now that the Confederations Cup is now over and done with. But there are signs of hope, with quite a few teams returning for the pre-season and a few friendly matches being played, the new season will be upon us in less than 6 weeks! It also means, with the new footballers bringing out their shiny new football boots, that the boot spotting dynamo can be started up once more! With boot spots from all over the planet, check out the spots that caught our eye this week…
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) – Nike HyperVenom Phantom
We always expected to see one or two players make the switch to the newly released Nike HyperVenom Phantom, and we always expected to see Nike wanting to push the HyperVenom into the hands of their attacking midfielders. In this sense, it does make sense that Nike have given Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the new HyperVenom for the new season, a season in which a few Arsenal fans are expecting the young gun to shine for the club. The ‘Ox’ wore the CTR360 Maestri III the last time we saw him in a competitive fixture, which was when he scored the equaliser for England in their friendly at the opening of the Maracana stadium.
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) – adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 (Custom)
We may have seen him only a few weeks ago in the regular adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 in a charity game, but it seems Manuel Neuer has been spotted training for Bayern Munich in a blackout version of the Nitrocharge 1.0 as Bayern Munich swung into the pre-season. It is always difficult to make out the details of a blackout boot, but the mesh midfoot and what appears to be the Energysling running across the boot does indicate Neuer is wearing the Nitrocharge 1.0. It is strange that Neuer is wearing the blackout model of the boot even though the boot has already been released, we wonder how long we will see the shot-stopper in the boots.
Paul Pogba (France) – Nike HyperVenom Phantom
It seems another player has been taken away from the CTR360 Maestri III in favour of the Nike HyperVenom Phantom. Much like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Paul Pogba is another midfielder who has made the switch into the HyperVenom. Strangely, every player we have seen wearing the HyperVenom on the pitch has been wearing the Black/Bright Citrus launch colourway. We have not seen a single player in the alternative Black/Fresh Lime/White colourway or the gorgeous ‘Stealth Pack’ Dark Charcoal/Crimson colourway. We wonder who will be the first player in our boot spotting not wearing the mainstream launch colourway…
Kolo Toure (Liverpool) – adidas Predator LZ
Kolo Toure started training with his Liverpool teammates for the first time this week, and it seems that the defender may have forgotten to update his boots inline with the new start on Merseyside. The Ivory Coast footballer is still wearing the launch colourway of the original Predator LZ, which he has been wearing since September last year. Perhaps the defender’s 6 month suspension last year has thrown him out of his ‘new boots’ cycle (yes, I am sure there is such a thing!). Either that or Toure is not quite ready to switch into the bright green LZ II…
Danny Hollands (Charlton Athletic) – Nike CTR360 Maestri I
We love our throwback retro boot spots, and while they normally entail of old Mercurial or Predator boot spots, it is nice to take a look back at the boot that started the ‘Control’ boot craze. The then new silo was released in 2009 and was debuted by Cesc Fabregas in Arsenal’s 6-2 mauling of Blackburn where the captain scored a goal and provided 4 assists in what was a great advertisement of the boot. While it is not known when the next CTR will be released (it is rumoured to be in the next 12 months or so), it is still great to see the original CTR still being used today.
Alex (Chicago Fire) – adidas Nitrocharge 1.0
With Nike releasing their ‘Stealth’ pack and adidas also showing off a number of predominantly black football boots, it seems the companies are going back to their roots and releasing boots looking their traditional best. The Black/Electricity/White Nitrocharge 1.0 has been spotted on the feet of a few other MLS footballers besides Alex (who actually wore F50 adiZeros at the start of this season), but it has been interesting to note European footballers have been sticking to the launch colourway of the boot. We will be keeping an eye out for anyone else daring to try the beautiful Black/Electricity/White colourway.
Simon Mensi (Livingston) – Nike Premier
The football boot companies can have their blackout boots, but very few boots ooze class as much as the new Nike Premier. A modern take on the timeless leather football boot, we always knew there would be one or two professionals who cannot resist the stunning Premier, and Simon Mensi is the first we have seen in the new boots. There are one or two professionals wearing the adidas Copa Mundial in Europe’s top leagues (Jeremy Toulalan comes to mind), so we wonder whether we will see the same support for the Nike Premier considering Nike wants the boot to go head to head against the traditional Copa Mundial.
That is it for our boot spotting today, what was your favourite spot this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.