The Boots That Got Away

This Valentine’s Day, we pay tribute to the near misses, the loves of our lives could have been.

We are all lovers of football boots here at BOOTHYPE. Collectively, we’ve played in hundreds of boots over the years and we have been privileged to have owned them all. These are the loves of our lives. 

However, it is not uncommon that one of these very boots slip through our fingers. Perhaps they were a limited edition boot that sold out too quickly, or even a boot we should have gotten until it was too late. 

This Valentine’s Day, we’d love to commemorate the loves that should have been, the tragic near misses. Boots that we should have owned but slipped through the cracks. BOOTHYPE and our friends from Football Boots UK teamed up this Valentine’s to explore the boots that got away.

Ian Ebbs (Football Boots UK) – CR7 “Rare Gold” Mercurial Superfly IV

Working at Football Boots UK, I get my hands on my fair share of football boots, but there is one pair for sure that got away – the “Rare Gold” Nike Mercurial Superfly IV from January 2015 to celebrate Cristiano Ronaldo winning his third Ballon d’OR. There was something so special & exciting about them that I haven’t felt for a launch before or since.

Limited to only 333 pairs, I missed out on the sale at Nike and unfortunately, reseller prices were crazy on eBay. I ended up finding a pair on eBay about two years later for about $700 and nearly snagged them, didn’t do it right away and regretted it when they’d gone again shortly after.

They were released in the soft ground version, with gold metallic studs, just adding an extra premium feel to them.

I’d love to see Cristiano Ronaldo win another Ballon d’OR just to see what Nike would produce for him, but I don’t think they can beat the Rare Gold Mercurial Superfly IV.

Andrew Lockhart (Gaijin Boot Blog) – Hummel 8.4 PIO FGX

The “Versaci” football boot, its unique design and attention to detail meant that this has been one of my most sought after boots for years.

I got into collecting only a few years after these released but the fact they were limited edition and from a smaller brand means that I have never seen one for sale. Anywhere. Personally, for me it’s the very definition of a “Unicorn” boot. If I ever get the chance, I will snap these up immediately.

Andrew Lockhart (Gaijin Boot Blog) – adidas F50 2004


Probably the boot I’ve missed out on the most. It seems like every time I find a pair and decide to buy them, I just miss out on them.

The first time this happened was actually when they first released. I was in my last year of High School and my dad told me he’d splurge on some boots for me. I had my heart set on some Vapors but they guy at the shop told us about a soon to be released adidas boot that was going to be incredible. When we returned during the week of its release, they sold out.

I needed boots quite badly and ended up getting a pair of Mercurial Vapor II K leather instead. There were several times when I missed out on the original F50s but the most annoying was last year when I got outbid on a pair by $2. Two. Dollars! I’m still not over it. I am currently trying to grab a pair right now, so hopefully my search will end.

I ended up mostly sticking to Vapors for several years after I got those Vapor Ks and I didn’t stop until until the Vapor 4 released and I picked up the original Lotto Zhero Gravity. I always wondered if I would’ve stuck with the F50s for a bit if I had got those instead.

Resident Boot Nerd – Nike Mercurial Vapor 1

Photo: Classic Soccer Cleats

The boot that started my love affair with football boots. These were revolutionary for its time and wouldn’t look out of place today. That uber thin Nike skin upper, its sexy sleek looks and that glass soleplate was a pre-cursor to the snappy carbon fibre tech that came a few years after. It was puppy love for me at the age of 16.

These were not cheap but more importantly, I didn’t feel worthy wearing these boots due to my poor technique and shy demeanour on the pitch. Wearing these meant I would stand out and 16 year old me was not ready.

There were two colourways that caught my eye. The chrome ones that were worn by R9 were stunning and one of the consolations was that I bought myself the takedowns due to budget constraints. The one that I really missed out on was the launch colourway in this olive/black sheen which Nike dubbed “cinder”. I played a lot more street soccer back then and I noticed in a shop, the indoor variant of the Nike Mercurial Vapors in cinder going for 50% off.

It was a now or never moment. Unfortunately, never have I regretted a decision to not buy a pair.

Jay – Nike Mercurial Superfly IV “Tech Craft” AG

Like most fat boys who got picked last in football games, the Mercurial silo always had that prettiest girl in school vibe to it. You dreamt about rocking it on the pitch, wished you had to courage to wear it on as a defender, but you always pinched yourself awake (or in my case, the boots pinched my feet till it blistered), safe in the understanding that the Mercurials were for the cool kids in school, not you.

All that changed for me with the release of the Nike Elastico Superfly. In a moment of madness, having recently started playing 7 a side football on a poor quality astro pitch, I took the plunge and went for the best turf boots out there at the moment, those Elastico Superfly. Thankfully, thanks to Flyknit’s unique ability to provide some level of comfort while breaking in, I managed to get the boot to mould to my feet without any blisters. They turned out to be one of my all time favourite boots, to the point that when the Superfly IV came, I REALLY wanted a pair as well.

But I didn’t just want ANY Superfly, the Superfly 4 Tech Craft AG was unique that it had a leather upper, as well as an AG-R tooling, but not just ANY AG-R tooling… an AG-R CARBON FIBRE tooling, making it probably Nike’s most technologically advanced boot at that time, featuring all of Nike’s big guns – Flyknit, Flywire, Carbon Fibre and Tech Craft leather. Unfortunately as a University student at that time, the boots were far beyond my budget, and I comforted myself with an equally excellent pair of Mizuno Morelia 2. Someday though, I’ll get my hands on one of them.

Got a boot that you always wanted but never got? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. For me, it was the nemeziz 17.1, which I loved from the release. I recently bought a pair in the sky stalker colour way so i’m very happy


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