It’s the start of the season, student loans are rolling in and you’re feeling flusher than Roman Abramovich circa 2004. It can mean only one thing: a shiny new pair of boots!
Here at The Student Footballer we appreciate the finer things in life. We love the sublime; whether it’s a cultured left-foot, the perfect hat trick, or an opulent celebration. But of all these footballing eccentricities, our absolute favourite has to be a sparkly pair of boots.
With this in mind, here’s our guide (without the marketing spiel) to the best boots for newly-rich students this season. We’ve split the sections into the different areas most punters look to when buying new boots and provided a detailed description of our favourites.
Finally, we’ve liberally added Premier League comparisons, so the next time you totter off to float around on the wing in the “Mesut Ozil Role”, you can at least accurately claim you’ve got the same stash as your hero.
Seemingly the boot du jour for pros at the moment, the Nike Magistas reached their zenith when Mario Götze scored the winning goal in this year’s World Cup Final wearing them. The silo is targeted at ‘playmakers’ – or ‘anyone not in defence’ to you and me. They’ve been released in four colourways so far, with the recent ‘Turquoise/White/Orange’ arguably the most eye catching.
So they’ve got the necessary flair, but are they any good? Having worn them at a Nike test event this year, I can confirm that the Magistas are a comfortable, lightweight boot and that the thin outsole gives you close feel of the ball. Furthermore, if you go for the top of the range Obra, the sockliner gives a tight, snug fit.
However, this does feel like an aesthetic rather than technical addition, and I doubt it offers any assistance if you afflicted with dodgy ankles. The thin outsole definitely has disadvantages: they’re practically socks, so not ideal if you’re on a sloppy pitch against players more likely too lunge than John Terry on the pull.
That said, Jack Wilshere wears them, and surely he’s wizened up to his own metatarsal risk by now, so maybe they’re not too bad?
Overall, an aesthetically stunning boot that certainly does a job, but is perhaps too lightweight for the student footballer.
Alternatives: Adidas Predator; Puma EvoPower
Arguably, since Adidas lost their way with the Predator, the Adizero has run the show for the German boot makers. On price, the best speed boot on the market. New, ever-more colourful designs are released regularly (they’ve managed to convince Diego Costa into wearing the current ‘Neon Pink’ range) and previous colourways are usually well stocked online. Furthermore, Soccerbible’s ‘Boot League’ currently ranks it no.1 for goals scored across the top division.
The price and pedigree is there, so what’s the problem?
Don’t expect luxury comfort. The boots are cheaper than Nike’s or Mizuno’s equivalent and you can tell after 90mins. The outsole is pretty thin all over, especially on the side foot. If you take a knock, you’ll know about it for a while.
Nike’s speed boot (the ‘Mercurial’) suffers from similar issue, so if you’re top concern for a boot is weight not comfort, the Adizero is the obvious choice.
Alternatives: Nike Mercurial; Mizuno Morelia
Football is a rudimentary game. You run around, you kick things. Understandably, you do not require incredible tech to do this. With this in consideration, several ‘old school’ boots come to mind, aimed at the player who plays the ‘proper’ way.
If you’re just about getting the job done, there are a number of options: the Nike Tiempos and Puma King’s stack up well, each a simple leather boot with a range of colourways.
However, if you want a simple black boot, then you really can’t look further than the Adidas Copa Mundial’s, the world’s best-selling football boot. Worn by the likes of Maradona, Zidane, Matthäus, Kaka, Baresi, – you’re in good company with this one.
Alternatives: Nike Tiempo; Adidas Adipure; Puma King
For an insight into upcoming colourways, check out the feed over at http://instagram.com/puposecuador