With the introduction of the Flyknit collar on the current SuperFly IV and Magista Obra, the future of boots seems poised to either embrace the major change or to simply acknowledge it as a “phase.” The current rumbling that creeps into our ears on the ground says that a few collared products may soon follow from outside the Nike umbrella, but the question still remains: Is the collared look here to stay and encroach on the entirety of football boots?
The simple answer to if we will see the end of boots WITHOUT a collar is no. Too many players and professionals are not enamored with the collared boots and even Ronaldo has adjusted his SuperFly away from the collar we see on the retail version. While all of the reviewers here at The Instep have fallen in love with the collar, there is a large percentage of players that do not see the benefit. Add in that the materials necessary for a collar are currently only being used in higher end models, and the trickle down to 2nd and 3rd tiers may never happen.
The current issue is that the collar is only used with boots made out of a material that is similar to what the collar is made out of. The Magista and SuperFly simply flow from their Flyknit uppers into the Flyknit collar, but future collared boots may require two separate pieces…meaning that the break-up in the material flow means that most boots will avoid a collar. Boots like the Tiempo, 11Pro, Copa, Premier, and other similarly built boots may never lend themselves to a build complete with a collar.
If upcoming boots with a collar are made in such a way that the collar just looks attached to the boot and not one complete and flowing material, fans may not be so willing to accept the addition and it may not bring the same comfort. One of the biggest fears for the Nike “experiment” would be whether it was comfortable…if a collar hits the market that does not match the comfort of the boot, it will be quickly tossed aside.
Other brands seem content to watch Nike’s newest outing pass them by, with Puma and others happy to improve their boots without dabbling in the “collared” world. Players seen testing upcoming brands show upcoming silos with zero additions around the ankle area. While Nike may maintain a SF and Obra with a collar, it feels unlikely that they will want to shift the collar around the rest of the brand. While extensive testing and reviews show extreme differences between the SuperFly and Magista Obra, there was a lot of worry about the boots being too similar. If more and more boots get slapped with the collar, more and more will worry that some boots will be too alike to warrant more of them on the market.
In closing, the collar seems destined to extend a short way outside of the SF and Obra. However, it is unlikely that it will extend much farther. It also feels like Nike will only be attached to the collar for however long their boots are made out of a Flyknit material. An amazing innovation, but the future will probably see the collar as one more amazing step in boot technology that helps us get to something even better. Have you gotten to test a collared boot yet? Like most boot tech…you need to try it…before we move to something even more amazing.