A lot the articles mentioned is this blog have focused attention on the constant releases by brands and how’s it’s a big issue. So far, I haven’t really mentioned much in the way of solutions, outside of suggesting which lines should be killed and that less colourways should be released. Today I would like to be more specific. I’ll be focusing mostly on more popular brands, so smaller brands like RetroStar Classic, Adler, Ryal, UnoZero, Yasuda, and the like won’t be included.
There is no other place to begin than with Nike. They have been the most popular and best-selling brands for several years now. Of course, with so much product being released and having the global span that they have, it’s understandable. But as I keep hammering on about, it can and should be better. Here are my suggestions:
• If they must insist sticking with 4 silos than the colourway releases should be more staggered.
• Mercurial: Kill the Superfly. JayMike and Josh from SR4U are right, it’s not unique anymore. Let the Vapor live. But this is the one silo that colourways could only slightly cut back since it’s the brand’s most popular boot. That being said, they still need to cut back by about 4-5 colourways a year
• PhantomVSN: If they’re going to keep it, change the name and make it more tech heavy. Right now it’s just a knit boot with Quadfit. Should maybe have 3-4 colourways per year, at most.
• PhantomVNM: Also has a dumb name. It also feels like it doesn’t have much of an identity. Nike should go more aggressive with the strike zone. Make the boot a bit heavier too so it has more punch. A wider option would be nice too. Maybe 5 colourways a year at most.
• Tiempo: Just make a classic leather boot, guys. Or drop all pretense and go with a synthetic upper like ya’ll have so badly been wanting to do for years. As far as colourways, 2 a year and keep them classy.
Next up is adidas. The brand gets a lot of flak from many people and while some of that may be coming from the fact that people expect them to be more like Nike, I think the older among us remember when they were the dominant brand and are wishing that they would do stuff to make them strong again. Personally, I fall into the latter camp (again it’s preferable for adidas to go with 3 silos):
• Predator: Make it a real Predator again. Go slightly heavier, make a modern version of the Power Spine. Go aggressive with the power elements. Make it low cut. And always offer a leather option. Predator is still one of the two most recognizable names in the adidas brand so around 5 colourways a year is ok. 6 if they have a leather model too.
• X: The X has been the most successful of the drastic changes to the adidas lineup beginning in 2015. I had mentioned before that this line could be killed off because it doesn’t have a strong story. It seems that next year will have a strong release for the X and because of that I think the biggest change adidas needs to do is make sure it has a story, a reason to exist. Lean more into the F50 vibes. Around 4 colourways a year would be perfect. Maybe move Messi into them because…
• Nemeziz: Adidas should go crazy with these. Their wildest experiments and ideas should go into this line. Give it to the youngest and most exciting players adidas has under their sponsorship. Make them really stand out from the crowd. 3 colourways a year would probably be plenty.
• Copa: The current Copa 20+ and the preceding 19+ are excellent boots that show one of the paths forward for leather boots, which makes it difficult to criticize them too much. However, the fact that 19.1 shows needs for improvement means the line can be improved. A good way to do this it to finally bring the iconic Copa Mundials into the modern era. Make them lighter, create a modern version of the soleplate without straying too far from its roots. It’s time. Again 2-3 colourways a year is plenty.
• Lastly, not every boot needs to have a laceless version, especially given that the X 19+ and the Nemziz 19+ perform worse (in some opinions) than their younger 19.1 siblings. Only offer a couple of silos in a laceless option.
Puma is probably one of the more difficult ones to figure out what to do when they themselves don’t seem like they know either. The constant updates to the Ones and the Futures makes many peoples head spin and it smacks of a brand low on confidence in their own product. At least the new King is nice and they seem to be smart with it since only one colourway has been released so far, but it does make the boot seem like a one off. But:
• One: There are some rumours that there is another update coming next year and hopefully one of the things that changes is the name because it’s confusing for customers. And let the boot actually sell through before deciding to launch a new colourway or new style. 3 colours a year max. Puma needs to focus on product sell through most of all.
• Future: At lot of people have said that it was a mistake for them to take away so much of the customization with the laces and I agree. The Netfit system is an underrated piece of tech and new releases should not take away from the tech. But that can’t be the only part of the boot. The forefoot needs to be narrowed slightly too. Again, only 3 colours a year and keep the same style for more than a year!
• King Platinum: Keep making it. Two colourways a year is perfect. A bit more structure through the midfoot would be nice too.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of Mizuno. Some people might assume that means that this would stop me from adding any kind of criticism, but if you’re a fan of something you shouldn’t be afraid of criticizing it. Even the things you like can always be improved for the better. Of course, first and foremost I would love another Wave Ignitus and more Wave Cups.
• Rebula: Somewhat the main series for Mizuno’s tech these days, it’s been somewhat up and down over the past few year releases. As I and others such as Boothype’s JayC have pointed out, it’s really only this generation that Mizuno have nailed their formula for the Rebula. They should continue with the current or a similar last for future releases and I would be careful with how many colourways they release a year. Keep the leather the same because it’s always fantastic and sets the bar for everyone else.
• Morelia Neo: Like JayMike had mentioned in a previous episode of the Boot Nerds podcast, drop the Morelia name from the line and let the boot be free to start changing, especially with the soleplate. The tech included in the Beta versions, like the KaRVO tech and weave on the sides of the boot should be added to the regular models. Again, be aware of not releasing too many colourways in one year.
• Morelia: Next year is the 35th anniversary of the Morelia’s so I am sure we will see several limited edition releases and the like to celebrate. Outside of anniversary years, 3 colourways a year is perfect, especially given that the black colourway is always available. I personally would like to see a suede or faux suede liner added to the heel as well. The leather is probably the best of the market outside of the Rebulas.
That’s it for part 1!
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Photo credits: Kishispo/Kemari87