Players switching their football boots always happens in the summer. But there are some spots that nearly cause me to fall out of my chair, and I can definitely put this latest boot spot in the same category. For as long as I have grown up, whenever I think Steven Gerrard and football boots, it has always been seeing the iconic midfielder sporting his various adidas Predator football boots as he dominates from the park from midfield. Yet the Liverpool talisman has perhaps (sensationally, might I add) caused the biggest boot spotting story of the off-season in sporting not just the Predator, but two other very different boots over the course of three days.
We might as well start from the top. Liverpool are currently on tour throughout the Asia-Pacific as part of their pre-season tour, and this week they arrived in Melbourne, known as the world’s sporting capital (what’s that? Yes I am a Melbournian, no I am not biased, what are you talking about). Liverpool held their first training session on Monday at AAMI stadium, and while no direct photos of Gerrard were taken, Gerrard was seen lurking in the background of a few photos in the Nike CTR360 Maestri III.
It is fair to say that a week ago, no one would have predicted that one of the most famous players to ever pull on a Predator would ever be seen in the Nike CTR360 Maestri III. Yet strangely, in the very same training session, Gerrard was later seen wearing the adidas Predator LZ II whilst the team was in the middle of it’s ‘cool down’ session. Why did Gerrard wear the Nike CTR360 Maestri III when he had the Predator LZ hidden away? No one really knows. It could have been something as simple as Gerrard leaving his Predators at the team hotel and the CTR was just a quick solution as someone went away to get his boots, but the Englishman was certainly quick to change back into his trusty Predator boots.
Or so we thought. Tuesday saw Liverpool hold an open training session at the MCG, where they would take on Melbourne Victory the next day. But Gerrard did not come out in the Predator LZ II. It was not even the Nike CTR360 Maestri III, but rather the adidas adiPure 11Pro. For a man who has always been there as the face of the Predator range, it is interesting to see Gerrard representing the boot that, let’s face it, is definitely adidas’ Achilles heel at the moment. The adiPure range has faltered since the controversial decision made by adidas to ditch the K-Leather upper in favour for Taurus leather, but all eyes were on Gerrard as to what boots he would bring out come Wednesday night.
It was the adiPure 11Pro that came out on top for Gerrard, and the midfielder had a dazzling game for Liverpool. While he was deployed in a CDM position, he wowed the Melbourne crowd with some spectacular aerial passes as he provided the true definition of the box-to-box midfielder with some terrific defensive work and the first goal of the game after starting the play himself with a terrific through ball (I should know, I was at the game!).
But from a boot perspective, it was strange to see Gerrard in anything but a Predator. Gerrard has worn 10 generations of the Predator since he burst onto the scene in the Accelerator, and while many have been left saying the current LZ is no longer a Predator boot, I personally cannot see Gerrard wearing anything else because I have not known any different. Not only that, Gerrard has certainly had a preference for black football boots throughout his career, and seeing him in white boots is certainly something within itself. It is certainly a situation worth keeping an eye on.
What boots do you think Gerrard will be wearing come the start of season in mid-Ausgust? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.