With recent news that Adidas will be coming out with a 99 gram F50 and with other boot companies created amazing new products, we have to wonder when the boots will reach a zenith. In other products, Nike have really only changed the color set-up of their match ball over the last four years and it seems that only adidas keep updating their ball just so that they can erase the fact that they once produced the Jabulani. With the fact that a lot of football related products seem to be as great as they could possibly be, it makes us here at the Instep wonder how much farther these companies can go.
In regards to the boots, most companies haven’t really reinvented the wheel recently and have only attempted to improve the fit of new models. The newest Vapor stuck with most of the same aspects, but the fit of the boot was definitely improved from the VIII to the IX. The newest F50 had minimal changes, with many even claiming that it didn’t have enough changed to make it be a NEW F50. Although the drop in weight down to 99 grams will be huge, which may just be for a special release and not a change to the entire F50 range, the total look of the F50 remains the same. Although we typically see some major changes in a World Cup year (2014), the fact remains that most of the boot companies may have hit a big wall.
What do they do when they can’t improve or change anything besides the paint job?
Well, boot companies will never feel the need to drastically change durability. Their job is to make a little money and they won’t want their boots to last for a decade, meaning that your best hope for a long-lasting boot will probably remain with the adidas Copa or the new Nike Premier. In fact, if boots keep edging closer to being as light as possible, the durability aspect may soon become an expecting issue. Where most boots are held to a two season standard before being considered durable, boots may move closer to lasting one season in order to be considered durable.
The one thing that tech may actually become interesting with is on boots like the Predator, NitroCharge, CTR360, and PWR-Cat. Where some of the shooting or playing tech on these boots are seen as small add-ons and not really pieces that will drastically change or improve your game, the possibility for a boot to be released that really does affect your game remains. A boot that adds some significant power, a boot that actually aids the curling of your shots, or a boot that somehow aids touch or control on a boot seems like a bit of a fantasy. However, with the strides that companies have made, the future may hold something truly brilliant.
With equipment, the task seems a bit different. Nike’s main match ball and the Adidas CL ball seem to be as close to possible to perfect as a ball can get. The companies will continue to try and create a ball that flies true or that cannot be knuckled, but it doesn’t seem like there is much room for improvement. As someone that has tested all of the big match balls and as someone that thinks they are already almost perfect, have we reached a point where the balls will only look different but will never feel different? Perhaps…then again, companies are so afraid of recreating the adidas Jabulani situation that they seem to be staying with something that works for as long as possible…meaning that companies may be more afraid than anything.
If companies continue to improve, we may truly enter into a fantastic era of equipment. However, with the great state of current equipment, we have to wonder if we have gotten close to a ceiling with most of these companies. One thing is certain, we will definitely be talking about the current line of boots for a long time. Make sure that you get out there and enjoy some of what is currently on offer!