The world of football boots seems to be forever changed as we venture further into 2015. Unless you went back to the early 1900’s (or stumbled back into the shinguards that you used when you play soccer at the age of 8), you would never have seen any type of football equipment that extended up above your ankle. You mean to tell me something extends up? And it isn’t the sock?
However, now that the two biggest brands in world soccer have both ventured into the world of the collared boots, the question now becomes two-fold: Will collars stick around? And, if not, which brand will ditch the idea first?
The question about the longevity of collars is a difficult one. On one hand, it seems to be helping companies rake in massive amounts of dough. On the other, boot tech and preferences are constantly circling around and back to the forefront (as we recently saw with carbon fibre soleplates). The best idea would be to think that the collars will be present in the boot world for some time to come, but that its presence will be greatly diminished in the future. If the collar was really the game-changer that it has been presented as, then we would wager that every brand would have joined up by now. With Puma and the other boot brands still seeming unlikely to add anything to the ankle region of their boots, it seems likely that the collar is not a permanent fixture.
The second question seems to be equally as perplexing. Our first thought would be that the three stripes would move on first. They only have one boot utilizing the tech, and the X 15.1’s TechFit collar isn’t exactly a major part of the boot (as demonstrated by the leather version of the X not possessing a collar at all). However, the build of the current ACE and the company’s constant flirting with Primeknit (and the materials compatibility with a collar) makes us think that more adidas collared boots are on the horizon.
For Nike, we definitely think that their next generation will be collared. The drawing for the newest HyperVenom make it look like everyone in the design/production team saw that boot as being collared throughout development. Because of that, Nike will probably stay within that vein as they update the Tiempo, Magista, and SuperFly. The biggest reason why we think that Nike will actually end up being the first to depart from the collar is because of their history. After getting to the top of the game, Nike has constantly departed from the territory of their competitors and made big changes to their own line-ups. The most surprising thing the Swoosh could do would be to say that they’ve created boots that are superior to their previous items despite losing the collar…so, naturally, we completely expect Nike to do just that.
The world will have collared boots for another few cycles of boot updates and brand changes. However, we think that Nike will have moved on by the next World Cup and that adidas might follow soon after. Although, it is still insane to think that something viewed as such a massive change in the boot world might not last four years…but the boot world has certainly proven that it is always changing and always evolving. Just thinking about the boots that will be on display in Russia during 2018 is an exciting prospect…but, will they have collars?
What are your thoughts? Are the collars a fad? Are they here to stay?