Like spinning tires in mud over and over again
Shout out to @SFGSoccer on Instagram for the article idea
In the past few years there has been a lot of releases that are either remakes or colourway call-backs to boots from the past 20-odd years. This has been a boon for a lot of people who didn’t get to experience these boots which they first launched, as well as for people who are wanting to wear their old favourites without the trade off of wearing 15-odd year-old boots. Even some of the newer releases and models make references to older boots, like the Phantom GT using the same last as the original Hypervenom. The flip side of this is that in some ways, it doesn’t always feel like the market is progressing much.
The past can often be a safe haven in times of trouble and especially given how this year has gone it makes sense. However, relying on the past too much can limit one’s vision and I feel like at the moment this is something some of the bigger brands are struggling with. Some people might point out that the Predator is one such boot but I’d argue since the Predator has (mostly) always been about having a grip element of some sort, its still progressive in other aspects, like the lighter weight and the upper material.
Currently, there seems to be somewhat of a struggle as to what the next direction of the market should be. It’s almost as everyone is waiting for someone else to make the next big move. Adidas has hinted at this with the launch of the X Ghosted and bringing synthetic speed boots back to the forefront of people’s minds and if the rumours are true, Nike will be doing the same with the next Vapor. But outside of those and the previously mentioned Predator, there doesn’t seem to be too many big moves.
When Nike launched the T90 Laser remake last year, there was a hope that power boots would become a thing again since at the time it was rumoured that a proper Predator was coming back. Instead, Nike killed the line closest to a power boot, the PhantomVNM and gave us the GT. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn’t the only one who was hoping to see what Nike would do to make a modern power boot.
It’s true that a lot of new boots are coming out but for the most part it is the honing of current tech rather than working on something new. Given the pandemic, this hangover will surely continue until next year and it wouldn’t be surprising to see brands pin their hopes on the 2022 World Cup for the next big piece of breakthrough tech.
There still are a lot of boots on the market that are too similar to each other. Almost every brand seems to have a variant of a boot with a knit upper functionality and they’re not too different. With the amount of the money these brands have and the kind of research and development departments they have, it kind of gives the feeling of “That’s it? That’s what you’re going with for a new silo?”. It would be wrong to call it lazy, but unimaginative might not be too far of a stretch. Let’s see something crazy. They have the tech, they have the money, time to wow us.
What do you think of the lack of perceived progress from big brands? Make sure to share this with your friends and follow me on Instagram and Facebook!