Sure, the football boot world changes ridiculously often with companies claiming to have the next big boot to revolutionize the boot world, but for once, a company has released a boot that genuinely sees the general public take a step back and say ‘wow’. The Nike Magista launch certainly did that, and many are still getting over the fact that Nike (okay, and arguably adidas with the Primeknit FS on the same day) releases the first ever football boot and sock hybrids, bringing a brand new definition to a one-to-one fit for football boots. There is no denying how cool the idea is, but there is something about the Magista that may mean the boot CANNOT be worn in a game. Plan on getting the Magista? Definitely check this out.
The ire of my article is centered around the sock extension that races up over the ankle of the wearer. This extension cannot be removed from the boot, and the wearer still wears a football sock as normal underneath the boot. The sock ultimately means the wearer’s foot is locked into the boot, and in conjunction with the Flyknit upper, gives a true feeling of a second skin that has had tongues in the boot world wagging. This sock, of course, is the same colour as the rest of the boot, which is yellow in the case of the Magista headline colourway. Yes it is awesome, and boy oh boy, can I not wait until I use the Magista for the first time.
So what is the problem behind it? Surprisingly, there is a chance that the Magista cannot be worn in a game as it may breach law 4 of the Laws of the Game. Law 4 touches on player’s equipment, and law 4 specifically states that “if tape or similar material is applied externally, it must be the same colour as the part of the stocking it is applied to.” In other words, anything that covers your football sock, whether it be a shin guard retainer or sock tape, it must be the exact same colour as the sock it is covering. This same interpretation has been applied to anything worn underneath your football socks, which is why if a player were to wear Trusox in a match, it must be consistent in colour with your overlaying sock.
It may seem like FIFA are being a little bit fussy when it comes to the application of Law 4, but having such a picky law is all about ensuring consistency between uniforms. A side reason for having a consistent sock colour is to aid referees. Referees (and linesmen) often identify any throw ins, corners or goal kicks by looking at the sock colour of the two players who touch the ball last. If a player wore black socks but had (for example) white tape around the ankle and the opponent had full white socks, it may cause confusion for a referee who only gets a split-second view as to who to give a throw in to. Sounds too nit picky? Probably, but every little thing does help as a referee.
With this base, we can start to apply it to the Magista. Remember how I mentioned that Nike intend the Magista to be worn over the playing sock? This would rise up around to the ankle area of your foot, and it is a material which is worn externally over the stocking of the wearer. This is where the problem arises. Unless your football sock is the exact same colour as the Magista, it will mean that the sock will not be the same colour as the part of the stocking is it applied to (straight from the LOTG right there).
I understand that it is a part of the boot which is not specifically stated in the LOTG, but applying the same logic that has seen players forced to wear Trusox the same colour as their football socks (which relates to the exact same area of the foot), the LOTG do suggest that the external sock of the Magista clashes with the rest of the sock, therefore meaning that the Magista cannot be worn in a game. By applying what is already in the LOTG, players will either need to wear a Magista colourway matching the colour of their socks or wear tape covering the upper part of the sock down to the heel area. Yes it all sounds nit picky, and clarification will need to be sought from FIFA about the external sock, but it is certainly something to keep in mind for those with an eye on the Magista.
We will attempt to gather more information on the matter, but have you still got your eye on the Magista? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.