A tribute to the best of the Euros.
The summer of 2020 was supposed to be one full of thrilling international competition, spectacular goals, and most importantly, exciting boot collections.
With the Euro Championship being postponed, we have also been deprived of some exciting boot colourway launches. However, that won’t stop us taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane. In the absence of this year’s Euro boot releases, we will explore the tournament’s most iconic boot releases. Without further ado, here are our Top 5 Euro Championship boot colourway launches.
EC08 Pack: Nike
We start with what is known as the first iteration of unified colourway launches: The Nike Euro 2008 pack, officially dubbed the EC08 Pack. Nike’s brilliant approach was to synchronize their boot colourways at a tournament to ensure that a Nike boot and athlete are instantly recognizable on screen.
Although the boots appear to be coated in slick black, it is actually a subtle shade of velvet brown with aqua blue trims. The earthy tones were an homage to vintage leather boots. Keeping in line with the retro theme, each shoe in the pack (even the Mercurials) is crafted with a premium K-Leather upper.
The collection consisted of the T90 Laser II, Tiempo Legend II, and the standout boot from this pack: The Mercurial Vapor IV. The Vapors were elite speed boots made of leather which was completely against the norm in 2008. This rendition of the Mercurial was made only for the 2008 tournament, and the Mercurial Vapor IV was the first speed boot with a lace cover, giving the speed boot an unrivaled sleek aesthetic.
Euro 2012 Pack: adidas
Next up, adidas stepped out with a lively colour pack featuring a vibrant blue/orange combination. After a conservative black/yellow colour pack for the 2010 World Cup, the Three Stripes decided to freshen it up with a much more noticeable collection for Euro 2012.
Simply known as the Euro 2012 Pack, the collection consists of the F50, Predator LZ, and the leather Adipure. The energetic orange and blue were incorporated in different ways for each boot: The Adipure was predominantly blue with light orange trims, the F50 was mainly orange with blue webbing along the upper, and the Predator was blue but with heavy emphasis on the orange with all of its control elements.
The Predator LZ had its inaugural launch in this collection, and was the first Predator that had a focus on “control” rather than the traditional “power” elements. The LZ had a much more lightweight build compared to past Predators, and was the first made entirely of synthetic, which was controversial at the time, but has now become the norm for the line.
Puma Tricks Euro Pack
Boasting a unique dual-colour for its boots, Puma’s Euro Championship collection was arguably the funkiest colourway launch in recent history, but I wholeheartedly loved it. Every once in a while, something has to burst through the door and counter the norm, for better or worse.
The Puma Tricks pack did just that. Every right foot was decked in highlighter yellow, every left foot in fluorescent pink, with the Puma stripe being the opposite colour on each foot. Talk about getting your eyes checked.
A relatively compact release, the collection consisted of only two boots. The evoPower 1.3 was one of the most underrated boots on the market. As an owner of a pair myself, I can attest that they were remarkable in their own right: A lightweight power boot with fantastic movement capability in its Duo-Flex soleplate and plush foam for a responsive touch.
The other half of the Tricks Pack was the infamous evoSPEED SL II, which was the lightest mass produced boot ever, and quite possibly the least durable. The boots came with a warning label that stated their lifespan would be approximately 10 matches.
With a daring colourway release, Puma still kept it simple with only two boots from the dominant speed and power categories. They stirred up conversation, marched to the beat of their own drum, and ended up succeeding.
Mercury Pack: Adidas
Looking like they just came out of a liquid chrome bath, the adidas boot pack for the 2016 Euro Championship was arguably the most anticipated of the tournament due to the boots’ laceless characteristics.
At the time, laceless technology had just been introduced to mainstream football and was all the rage. People clamoured over each other for this collection because it was the first unified release of laceless touch boots.
As a brand, adidas had reduced their silos from four to three, to focus more on design and quality. The three distinct green, blue, and red tones with the chrome finish was a recipe for success, being instantly recognizable from the pitch and universally acclaimed for performance.
The metallic finish highlighted the unique texture of each boot along with their distinct colour trim: The Purecontrol’s dimples, the Pureagility’s webbing, and the Purespeed’s streaks, each playing off of each boot’s respective category. Every boot’s fabric was literally made for its own identity, and that’s what made this colourway pack so special.
Clash Pack: Nike
Of all the colourways on this list, this has got to be my favourite. Clean, but also with a colourful twist, this pack also contains my favourite boot of all time: the CTR Maestri II. The descendant of the original control boot, the one that started a whole new boot revolution, and the true love of my life.
The Clash Pack, named after the colour-block design of the boots, consisted of the Total 90 IV, CTR Maestri II, Tiempo Legend IV and the Mercurial Vapor VIII. A two-tone colourway that featured a crisp white front half of the boot and then their respective coloured rear parts of the boots.
By distinguishing teach type of boot with its own colour, you could identify the specific boot the player was wearing and most likely the type of player they were: A cool blue for the CTR control master, an electrifying green for the T90 shot taker, a no-nonsense black for the Tiempo old-schooler, and a fiery red for the Mercurial speed demon.
With all the Nike boots being white at the forefoot, they were easily visible from afar and put on a lively show whenever they were on the pitch. A worthy champion of the Euro Championship colourways.