The last nook of the football gear world for our 2016 Boot-ies is the Indoor edition. With the first version of our awards for indoor boots was merely a coronation for Nike, last year’s awards actually showed the other brands making big strides (while still being a bit of a coronation for Nike). This year, we’ll be mentioning the best from each of the major brands and seeing if Nike still wears the indoor crown. As the weather continues to be chilly and the sun goes down way too early to be able to play without the aid of lights, it’s time to focus on the short-sided game.
While they seem to have been the last to join in, Puma has taken their toys and started to use them on their indoor boots. While the past (and still some of the present) is built on Puma merely turning their 3rd tier boots into indoor versions, the future is bright with the introduction of the Puma 365. The top tier 365 is crafted with the amazing evoKnit and is a stunningly comfortable shoe. Puma still need to tighten up the build and offer the shoe in both indoor and turf options, but it’s a huge step for the big cat. Sitting beside a version of the evoSpeed Ignite (an indoor specific variation of the evoSpeed) and the Invicto Fresh (the evoSpeed Fresh in an indoor package), the future is bright in the short-sided sector for Puma.
Best indoor option from Puma: evoKnit 365
The gap between Nike and everyone else used to be so vast that even adidas seemed incapable of giving the Swoosh a legitimate run for their money. However, the adidas that is poised to head into 2017 has finally started doing serious damage in the short-sided game.
By taking the X and ACE and slapping on indoor soles, it seemed like adidas would make a huge leap last year. However, they haven’t made the Nike choice to stick extremely close to the firm ground source material UNTIL the newest ACE 17 Tango PureControl. The new PureControl Tango is incredibly close to the ACE 17 PureControl FG but with the added benefit of more Boost! The Copa 17.1 Tango also is extremely close to the FG version, and that feels like the way for adidas to move forward: bring their FG success off the pitch with easy, small changes.
The X isn’t as strong as we’d like it to be yet, but adidas is poised to really fight for a bigger chunk of the off-pitch game.
Best indoor option from Adidas: ACE 17 PureControl Tango
It’s important to note that this isn’t taking lifestyle footwear into account, otherwise Nike would continue walking away with this battle for everything used off-pitch. However, the sheer volume of quality and options that the American giant offers means that, despite much heavier competition this year, Nike still is the indoor king.
By taking their FG success, adding only enough to combat the durability associated with indoor and turf, and using Nike’s talent for elite comfort under your foot, every indoor option from the Swoosh is a winner. The biggest negatives for Nike depends on who you talk to! Some folks WANT some differentiation in their short-sided and FG boots, some people prefer their short-sided boots to not cost over $100, and I want the Nike Premier in short-sided form.
The MagistaX oozes comfort and control, the SuperFly (MercurialX Proximo) almost forces you to make quick cuts, the HypervenomX is a fantastic boot to strike a ball with, and the TiempoX gives leather luxury to the non-FG side of the game. It’s still Nike’s world when we head indoors, but the space is certainly becoming more crowded.
Best indoor option for Nike: MercurialX Proximo II
What we closed last year’s Boot-ies with rings even truer for this year: “the best part about other brands attempting to take Nike’s crown is that the indoor market is only going to improve.” The Team Mundial does still exist, but its time to start trying the wonderful new toys that exist in the short-sided space. The game style of indoors is faster, tougher, and filled with thousands of split second reactions…each brand has toys to let you totally focus on your game (and make your teammates/opponents jealous). Let’s go 2017!