More and more
One could say that instead of arguing for less product it seems I have been arguing the opposite point. And when it comes to smaller brands I am. I don’t think smaller brands are to blame for the glut of product available as I think that’s almost completely the fault of the bigger brands. To somewhat repeat myself, I think that the biggest cause of this issue is how many colourways are released every year. There are far too many colurways with far too little time in between releases. These days we are even seeing blackout colourways in the same model within the same season. Some older readers may even remember when the Mercurial Vapor 4 had almost 10 different colourways in one calender year!
Another problem is the release schedules. Boots not only get tons of colourways but they also seem to update or change models constantly. Currently, adidas and Puma are the worst culprits with some models changing within 6 months to a year! I applaud Nike because most of their boots have switched to a 2-year cycle. At the same time, they were almost the first brand to switch to a 1-year cycle and because of that the two other big brands (as well as a few smaller ones) also switched to a 1-year cycle. The only reason Nike changed back to a two-year model is because retailers were becoming overloaded with Nike product and were constantly asking for returns. The initial switch back to a 2-year cycle helped, but because so many colourways are being released these days, I think we are now in the same position.
So, to the next point, which is how this hurts boot buyers. Well, I think first off, we need to talk about hype. When a new colourway or model pops up there is a ton of advertising all over social media. If you follow a brand’s accounts or influencer’s pages the new product gets drilled into your brain. Sometimes they are so-so and sometimes they are awesome. It varies from person to person. And we get hyped for the new product. Nothing wrong with that, I’m the same way. Sometimes when a new product releases one might think “Damn I’ve got to have that” and so you go to your local store or online and grab a pair. But then two weeks later another colour or product comes out and now you’re left wanting that instead. So now do you then buy that new one? Those who have the money can, but many people can’t. So now you’re left feeling disappointed because you now have “old” boots.
Some people don’t care but from personal experience I’ve seen how disappointed people get when they feel left out or like they’ve been taken for a ride by the big brands.
The other way in which it hurts buyers is because of how quickly their boots seem to lose value. It sucks blowing 300 bucks on a pair of boots only to see it marked down within a few months because a new colourway has come out. Given that a lot of people have their parents help them buy boots, this is also frustrating to the parents who may decide that the next time it won’t be worth buying a high-end pair of boots. Which again drawing from my personal experience this has happened frequently.
Also, with the amount of waste that comes from producing football boots its not environmentally friendly. We should also remember that a large amount of product goes unsold and might even later end up in landfills, which further exacerbates the problem. This is something that all companies should come to terms with and figure out a way to solve these issues.
Here are things the big three brands can do to help alleviate this problem:
- Go back to two-year release cycles
- Cut back on the amount of colourways released
- From the big two especially, cut back on the amount of in-line silos
- Be more environmentally conscious of the waste produced
These are basic steps while at the same time being difficult to pull off.
As for boots I think could be eliminated:
- The Adidas X
Yup, not the Nemeziz. I just think the Nemeziz has a better “story”. The idea of using bands to wrap around your foot and give it a tighter fit is more interesting to me and I honestly think the Nemeziz would have much higher sales if they weren’t being cannibalized by the X. Inversely, I think the X kind of has a weaker story to it. I know it’s more like the F50s of old and its by far the more popular of the two but I just don’t think the boot has much to offer in terms of a “story”. The recent X 19.1 release seems to have made the boot even better but I just don’t think the Nemeziz would have as much trouble with sales if the X didn’t exist.
- The Nike Phantom Vision
I am honestly at a loss as to what this boot is for. Ok, so it has the Quad-fit system which does feel nice. But the new Tiempo is also includes that same system. Some people might point out that its “the playmakers boot” but the T90 models that released in the years before the T90 Laser series it was marketed as a power boot to compete with the Predators. Given that the Phantom Venom echoes the old T90s, it could very easily be marketed as a power/playmakers’ boot. The Phantom Vision is just a boot with a knit upper. Its honestly kind of boring to me, which I don’t normally expect from Nike. Its not really anything special and based on the resale market (here at least) there seems to be a whole lot of unsatisfied people.
- Puma – Keep on keeping on. The product has been significantly better in recent years. Just stop with the 6 month updates!
- Mizuno – MiJ product is top quality, really the best out there. Boots are excellent too. Bring back the Ignitus. And make more along the lines of the Ignitus 1 and 2s!
- Asics – You keep doing you. Ultrezza AI and the Acros look interesting
- Lotto – Re-release the original Zhero Gravitys. Its time.
- The rest – Well they don’t over-saturate the market. However, I will argue that they should do their best to not follow trends. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing an Italian artisan boot company release a boot with a collar. This will be the subject of another article.
But what do you all think?
Let me know in the comments below.
And if you missed part 1 check it out here: https://gaijinbootblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/16/too-many-boots-pt-1/
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