A boot nerd’s wet dream – the BOOTHYPE team selects their favourites of 2019.
What a year for football boots. We were treated to some excellent new boots that range from the king of speed, the Mercurial Vapor 13, to the Mizuno Rebula 3 which seems to have made leather fashionable again.
Which boots were the best and which ones surprised us? Let’s dive into the best of 2019.
Most Underrated Boot – Mizuno Monarcida 2 Neo Made in Japan (MiJ)
When people think of takedown boots, they immediately pass it off as a shoddy model undeserving of any attention. Mizuno, the king of leather craftsmanship, thought otherwise. Due to the demand for a wider and more affordable version of their popular speed boot, the Mizuno Morelia Neo 2, they decided that their takedown model, the Monarcida, met those very needs.
It is the only takedown boot with the “Made in Japan” tag which means it gets their handcrafted treatment that promises supreme durability while keeping that glorious leather in the forefoot. The only difference is the use of a different synthetic material in the midfoot but you still get an excellent boot at less than half the price of the Morelia Neo 2.
Primadonna’s Favourite – Nike Mercurial Vapor and Superfly
There’s something about the Nike Mercurial series that turns players into a preening diva on the field. Perhaps its the idol worship of Mercurial superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar or… you know what? It’s definitely this.
Those who put on Mercurials always channel their inner Ronaldo – taking too many step-overs, gesturing rudely to their teammates for a poor pass and never passing to a teammate. But how can they help it? The boot wraps your foot like a glove and that anatomical soleplate makes you feel like you could take on the world. Just remember to look up and pass to your teammate once in awhile.
Best Limited Edition Boot – adidas Predator Mania
adidas are the masters of remakes and they have produced quite a few models this year. However, none could compare with their re-issue of one of the most iconic football boots ever produced – the adidas Predator Mania. This was the stuff of dreams for many of us in Asia who viewed the boot in the first and only World Cup in Asia in 2002.
The Predator Mania allowed us to bend it like Beckham with its rubber elements on the strike zone. This remake gave us an identical remake of that upper while replacing the bladed studs with the modern soleplate of the current adidas Predator and the inclusion of some (quite insignificant) Boost on the insole. One not to be missed by true boot collectors as 2019 comes to a close.
Best Colourway Set – adidas Input Code
We were surprised when adidas staggered out the launch of the boots from the Input Code pack. The German boot makers first launched the gorgeous X19 and Nemeziz 19 that was dripping in royal blue and gold. Months later, they followed it up with the classy Copa in flawless white while keeping the gold accents on the soleplate and three stripes. The Predator got the big gold treatment all across the upper and soleplate with the blue accents featuring on the Primeknit sock and stud tips.
We loved the Nemeziz and X the most from this pack but together, these four boots were the most beautiful things we laid our eyes on at BOOTHYPE in 2019.
Most Comfortable Boot – adidas COPA 19/20
I have never had a pair of boots that is as plush and pillowy as the COPA. That leather cocoons your feet and toes to make you feel like it’s being wrapped by clouds as you take every step. There are so many cushioned pads on the inside with the one beneath the heel a godsent. Every touch of the ball is also a delight as the leather helps cushion your touch while still keeping that contact close to your feet.
For those who are seeking comfort in a boot, look no further than the COPA. If you’re not sure which one to get, the 19 and 20 variants are practically the same so don’t fret about which one is the “better” one. Choose your preferred colourway and enjoy comfort of the heavens.
Best Barefoot Feel – adidas Nemeziz 19.1
From supreme padding to a razor thin sensation, this is for those who like the minimalist touch usually associated with speed boots. It was a tight call between the Nike Mercurial Vapor and the adidas Nemeziz 19.1 but the Nemeziz edges it for us. That raw feel of the ball was keenly felt when you strike the ball well and when you receive the ball at pace.
If you like the closest touch on the ball, the Nemeziz is the one for you.
Biggest Surprise – Puma Future 5.1
I was totally not sold when I first saw the design of the Puma Future 5.1 – and then I put it on. After many iterations of the Future that was bang average, the big cat pulled out one of their best boots since the first Evopower. The upper on Puma Future 5.1 is crazy soft and provides an elegant touch on the ball without compromising on the lockdown.
I would gladly wear this every day of the week and it’s a testament to the quality of the boot that it would be so high up the list despite my reservations about its aesthetics.
The Best Football Boot of 2019 – Mizuno Rebula 3 Made in Japan (MiJ)
There were so many candidates for the big prize. The Mercurial Vapor’s laser sharp performance and the Puma Future’s overall appeal weighed heavily on our minds. The implementation of Flyknit and Quadfit on the Nike Tiempo Legend 8 seemed like something from NASA. However, the Mizuno Rebula 3 (MiJ) takes the crown in 2019.
Mizuno finally sorted out the fit issues from previous Rebulas and implemented a luxurious leather upper for that elegant touch. Throw in their legendary Japanese craftsmanship and you’ve got a boot that is not only excellent but is also making leather boots great again. In a time where synthetics and knit have made leather look like the dirty stepchild of the footballing world, it is a testament to the Mizuno Rebula 3’s endearing quality that it has beat its more distinguished counter-parts to reign supreme.
All hail the Mizuno Rebula 3 MiJ.