In the boot world, every small step up that you can get on your competition may be the window of opportunity for you to make millions of dollars with a new idea. You come out with a boot plastered with some type of fin that should help the ball curve more in the air? Enter the Predator, T90, Wave Ignitus, Skreamer, and countless other boots that have jumped on that idea. You think boots should be lighter? Enter the Puma 1.815, the adiZero, the Vapor VIII, and countless others that have entered into the speed race. Now, Lotto will be watching as another company makes a lot of money with something that they introduced into the world of soccer boots…reflective uppers.
For those of you that only follow the big boot companies, the first company to truly go in on the reflective idea would come from Lotto and their Solista. Although Adidas and Nike have added more of an accent with the reflective technology, Lotto provided the Solista with an entirely reflective upper. Looking gray to most, the entire upper is practically blinding when it gets hit with a camera flash or a strong floodlight. A boot that was extremely intriguing and a boot that we would love to test here at the Instep, the press the release received was marginally less than the first member of the “big three” to enter the reflective market.
Adidas were the first to make some money from the idea that Lotto pumped into the market. Launched in October and dubbed “The Enlightened Pack,” adidas released a limited number of boots that were given the reflective treatment to wherever the three stripes were placed upon their upper. Surrounded by a classy blackout treatment, the boot had a great look without the reflective stripes. The only problem with the adidas release was that the reflection aspect did not seem to work with most of the sponsored athletes during their biggest games. Few, if any actual game pictures surfaced with the boots “lighting” up. Although the marketing aspect may not have worked, collectors scrambled for these boots and they will only increase in value as time marches on.
Now, Nike have entered the fray. With their own “Reflective Pack” in tow, Nike have taken a slightly different approach…with Lotto probably watching from the sidelines as the money will pour in to Nike HQ. Nike have decided to add their new “tech” to whiteout boots and different patterns matching different animal markings on all of their boots. Nike’s boots will not be unlimited, but they will certainly not be considered a limited release. The placement of the reflective portions on the heel might add to their ability to “glow” on the biggest stage, but they have yet to be seen on the world’s most recognizable pitches. The other big thought will be whether Nike allows their Tiempo athletes to switch out of the launch colorway so quickly…but money will inevitably flow in.
There will be another major step taken in the boot world and we will definitely see the rest of the boot world follow suit. This is the way of the world and there are two definite ways to look at this. Either you work for one of these companies and you feel like their success is at your own personal cost or you are a proud member of the boot enjoying public and every new technology means our boots will always be improving. For me, I’m just excited to be watching from the sidelines during this golden age…