The final part of the 3 part series
An Additional brand that stands out from the crowd in interesting ways is Concave. People have often had a love/hate reationship with Concave’s signature striking element but a general refinement of the years plus a switch to the newer AccuStrike Railing System on the newest model of the Halo+ has gradually seen more people come around to the brand. Like Umbro, the sizing is also something that people should be made more aware of when buying their boots. There is a lot of hope that the brand will continue to evolve as time goes on which is why I suggest:
• Halo: The before-mentioned AccuStrike Railing System is an excellent addition to the boots and it seems to have paid off handsomely for the brand. The fact that the boots are available in a leather as well is also a big plus in my book. Since this boot is so successful, it is important not to go too crazy and release a lot of colourways, though this should be the silo that has most colourway releases given its popularity. See my review for more.
• Volt: Somewhat lost its way since being dwarfed by the newer Halo+, I’d argue that this line is important because it allows Concave to have a boot with knitted upper without compromising the popularity of the Halo silo. It would be nice to see the boot become even more stripped down and maybe have a knitted AccuStrike Railing System in future, which is something I think can be pulled off.
• Aura: This is supposed to be the more classic of the three lines but I personally think it doesn’t need to exist since if someone wants a leather boot they can just get the Halo with the leather upper. Should Concave want to keep this line and make it stand out more, I think it should have more leather on the upper or introduce some sort of lockdown element through the midfoot.
Even though Asics has mostly pulled out of the European market and completely from the US market, I think that their current line-up is strong enough to make a case for itself in Europe at the very least. Asics is not a small company and has the resources and reach should they decide to make an attack into the European market. It will just require them to be selective with their retail partners and a small bit of advertising. They do need to have an FG soleplate that will work on pitches that are slightly soft, as their current layout works great of turf and hard ground but suffers on muddy days. The line of the X-Fly, Acros and Iniesta’s Ultrezza are unique enough that I think they can have an impact.
Under Armour is hard to make a case for because I am not even sure what they are doing. The new Magnetico’s seem to available on their US site but there’s been no fanfare and even marketing to go with them. The continue to sponsor Memphis Depay but somewhat seem to just be running down the clock. The most import thing UA needs is coherent plan. Though, given how much they struggled across the company this year, it would be surprising to find out they didn’t give any funding to advertising for soccer and it even looks like they may have delayed shipping. I don’t know how much longer they will be in the market…
And lastly, we come to New Balance, who seem on a quest to shoot themselves in the foot every time they have built up any momentum. One year they’ll make improvements to one boot but seem to decide that at the same time they need to sabotage the other silo. They killed off the Visaro after they dragged it through the mud with Visaro 2 and released the excellent Tekela but the Furon managed to stay alive in spite of some of the mis-steps they have had with the silo. It will be interesting to see what next year holds, but a few general pieces of advice should be for NB to focus on one silo at a time when they decide to upgrade. Since they are losing the Liverpool sponsorship, maybe take that money and reinvest it towards some new designers or a new silo as well as some marketing. Lastly, I’m not sure the 442 needs to exist. It’s a nice boot, but it’d be better if the Tekela came in a leather variant instead (edit: JayC from BootHype pointed out that there is a Tekela leather model, its just has no marketing support). It’ll make the brand seem more focused.
A several article series but these are just some of the pieces of advice I have for the bigger and more well-known brands out there. A general piece of advice for all brands would be too cut down on limited edition releases and “disruptions” because it really has become far too much for the market to bear. I would be surprised if we see a few brands drop out of the market in the near future.
What changes would you make? Share these articles with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.