We took elements from past generations to develop the ultimate “power boot”.
The 90s and early 2000s were the golden age of the power boot. They were built like tanks and promised to give you the same artillery capabilities on the pitch. We played through the era of the adidas Predator and the Nike T90 series – all of which promised to give your that extra oomph when striking the ball.
Power boots went out of fashion for awhile but are slowly making a comeback in the form of the hypeworthy adidas Predator 20 and the Nike PhantomVNM. With the impending return of the power boot category, we thought to get ahead of the brands and develop our perfect power boot based on previously released boots across all brands.
This is the perfect BOOTHYPE power boot.
Power boot strike zone – adidas Predator Instinct
You can’t call it a power boot if you didn’t have the all important strike zone. This is where the magic happens. The rubber grips, the protruding fins that help you hit the ball harder/clean/with more curl.
The adidas Predator was the master of the power boot category so it makes sense it features here. Choosing across generations of the Predator was not easy but I had to plump for the striking elements of the Predator Instinct. It refined the LZ concept and had these large rubber strips across striking and control areas around the boot.
I loved how grippy the strips were when it came to bending the ball around the goalkeeper. And they stuck out quite a bit so you know they would be making some significant contact with the ball.
Upper material – Puma evoPower 1
Just as crucial as the strike zone is the boot’s upper which forms the base of the boot. Many of the early boots were made from rugged kangaroo leather though they were soon replaced by faux leather or synthetics completely.
One upper which changed the game for me was the Adaplite material of the Puma evoPower 1. The boot was based on the concept that you could get more power in your shot if your foot could bend downwards more naturally. Adaplite was accommodating, stretched well without losing its shape over time and was uber soft out of the box.
The best thing about the Puma evoPower 1 was the striking sensation you got from it which was lightly padded but still made you feel close and engaged with the ball. One of my all-time favourites.
Stud pattern – adidas Predator Mania
Studs patterns are usually quite plain and it’s rare that we have one that was quite defining for a generation of players.
The early adidas Predator boots carried a sense of danger and aggression and a big part of that was due to the infamous bladed studs they had. Everyone was afraid to be tackled by someone with these blades, but everyone wanted them. The blades added so much character to the adidas Predator line and aided in making it more than just a good power boot – it became a generational icon.
Soleplate – Puma evoPower 1
Not many soleplates can claim to give you more power but in the case of the Puma evoPower 1, it did exactly that. Soleplates are usually rigid but the evoPower 1 allowed for an easy downwards flex around the forefoot.
This was to facilitate the perfect shooting angle of your foot (with toe dipping downwards), which maximised the power and technique required to strike the ball with venom. A lovely, practical use of technology.
Power boot X-Factor – adidas Predator Pulse
Not just limited to function, the power boot must look the part. It needs to scream aggression, muscle and power. I duly considered the adidas Predator icons in the form of the Mania, Precision and the Accelerator – all of them had a good case to carry the mantle. The Nike T90 Laser 1 was a beauty and I thought that the T90 Laser 4 was the best looking of the series.
But for me, I think the adidas Predator Pulse had a profound impact on me. It improved on the design of the Mania and looked just a little bit sleeker with the curvature of the three stripes on the lateral side of the boots. It retained the studs from the Mania and the strike zone looked refined but had a mean streak about it.
Perhaps why the adidas Predator Pulse made such a big impression on me was that Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure wore them through the end of the 2003-04 as they romped to the title as Invincibles. And as an Arsenal fan, it didn’t get any better than that.
Did we miss anything in this list? Was there a power boot that should have been featured? Let us know in the comments below.