It’s that time of year where the Instep staffers roast some chestnuts on the open fire and start delving into our favorite boots of the year. Sometimes it really doesn’t matter what’s under the hood or how a particular boot performs, it’s all about how the shoes look in your hands, on the screen, and on your feet. So let’s see what all the brands were able to offer when the technical specs stopped and the design began. It’s time to honor the best colorways of 2018.

Honorable Mentions

New Balance “Horizon Pack” – If you’re going to slap bright, eye-searing yellow on a boot, you’re going to have our attention. Add in the fade to black, and you’ve got something truly drool-worthy. Whether you’re talking about the Tekela or the newest Furon, we’d take several pairs of either. New Balance used to reserve their best colorways for limited edition fare, but 2018 has seen them really start to kick everything into high gear.

Nike HyperVenom Phantom III DF “Game of Gold” – The only thing that could have made this colorway better would have been if Nike had removed the collar. The slight creep-in of the gold on the striking surface of the HyperVenom III and the gold Swoosh was a winning combination. The best colorways that pass through my hands are always the ones that are the hardest to actually wear, simply because you don’t want to ruin the look and get them dirty! Which is mainly why a whiteout boot is usually at the bottom of my list for colorways. The only reason I wasn’t a fan of this collar is that every blackout boot with the extended collar ends up looking bulky and heavy. I wish that Nike had actually used this set-up as a full general release for all their boots.

Puma Future “Road to Glory” Gold/Black – Sneaking in right under the wire, and continuing my 2018 trend of gold/black, the Puma Future for this last pack is glorious. For a boot that seems to have such an obvious pattern, the decision by Puma to make the colorway almost be two-toned blocks that slice through almost half of this boot makes the gold heel absolutely glow against the jet black of the forefoot. I hope that these boots see much more of the pitch than most releases like this. For me, it would be a great way to ring in 2019 to see these boots dominating the feet of Puma athletes across European pitches throughout January.


Nike Premier II – The most behind-the-scenes boot on the market might easily take the cake as having almost a half-dozen show stopping colorway releases during 2018. A homage to the Euros in 2000, the white/gold Ronaldinho Tiempo look, blackout, completely navy blue, a fantastic red/grey look, blue/white, and black/blue Premier II marked releases that had little to no fanfare while all looking incredible. Add in that ordering six pairs of the Premier II would run you less than two of the current “elite” options on the market, and it doesn’t get much better. It will be very interesting to see what Nike does with this boot in 2019, but we’d love some more great looks and a few references to boots gone by, maybe even the 2010 World Cup boots.


Mizuno “Premium Collection” Rebula 2 V1 MIJ (Black/Gold) – It feels like it is a bit of a pattern in this year’s colorway awards with the black and the gold. The leather on all the Mizuno MIJ editions instantly makes each boot look incredible, but when the boot is mainly black with only gold accents, everything screams for the boot to instantly enter my gear bag. The back half of the Rebula’s materials even make it look a bit like carbon fiber, making this look even better. We’d bring in Mizuno MIJ boots whether they looked like something left in a public bathroom stall, but the brand crafts gorgeous looking boots while still offering the best leather on the entirety of the boot market. Every boot lover’s Christmas list definitely included these.


Adidas Predator Accelerator Remake (Electricity) – This boot and colorway, ever single time that adidas decides to recreate the look, is something that immediately is a winner. It doesn’t hurt that it’s been gorgeous since its original use, but nearly every time the colorway comes around the release sticks out in my mind. The Predator X in the Electricity colorway was the best of the bunch, the Predator 18+ is the best in this colorway, and this remake makes me regret deciding to purchase a house, vehicle, and the necessary items to survive (it doesn’t, but I definitely have a moment of at least thinking about the decision) instead of buying these boots. One day, I’ll convince adidas to not release these boots in such ridiculous numbers and in a way that wouldn’t force me to live off rice cakes forever. Until then, I’ll just praise them from afar.


Tags: , , , , ,