One of these is not like the other
With the recent explosion in remakes over the past half decade, and especially in the past few years, there has been a sea of change happening in the boot collecting community. Now more than ever, older styles are becoming more widely available to a new generation of collectors. In the past, many collectors had to contend with the chance that their boots would begin to fall apart over time due to age. With the rise of remakes, this is not as much of an issue. At the same time, the reseller market has given more people the chance to own older classics, with a lot of boot sellers managing to find deadstock of boots like the Predator Mania and the adidas F50.
This all means that collectors have two different directions to go when it comes to collecting. They can try for older styles or grab a remake of an older style, and sometimes people will do a mix of both. And there are many questions we can ask about this. Like if it makes sense to collect the originals when a remake is available, or does a remake or the original have a higher value? Is there a point of buying an original when the remakes are guaranteed to last longer because of age and build quality?
A problem with collecting older boots is that often they were not originally made to be collector’s pieces. Many of them were designed to be normal retail models to last a season or two and the expectation is that people would then move onto the next boot. Because of this, long-term durability was not as much of a concern. While there were limited edition boots appearing as early as 2000, as is the case with the adidas Predator Precision that came in silver with a tin case, limited editions were few and far between. For the most part, even if a boot was limited edition, there was not much more to it than a colour-up of the normal retail model.
Since they were essentially retail models, this meant that as time moved on there would still be the issue of long-term durability. A lot of boot tech at the time was not as much focused on long-term durability as one might think. Again, it was to sell the boots and then move onto the next season. While we can definitely see this type of thinking with the current boot market, limited edition boots are more focused on collector’s than they used to be in the past. Sure, there are a lot of limited editions that are just the retail models in different colours, as it was the case in the past, the rise of remakes shows that the companies are more focused on collectors than they were before.
Technology has also come a long way over the past twenty years to the point that even boots from a decade ago, like the first adiZero, can still handle being worn because the materials and build quality made the boots more durable than previous series. The way boots are put together these days ensures that there are less parts that go wrong when worn. Of course, a lot of this depends on the condition of the boots when they are bought. A very used pair of Mercurial Vapor VIII will not have a lot of life in them, but a new pair will be more likely last a good bit longer. Well aside from the studs probably, as they are a gamble with those boots.
When it comes to value though, things are all over the place. Recently, remakes have tended to fetch a higher price than the originals because remakes can be worn without fear of the boots collapsing after a session or two. The time factor also plays heavily here. When speaking to Derek of DLBootroom fame, he mentioned how a few of the older pieces of his collection are slowly coming apart even though he just has them on display. Thus, there is the constant battle of trying to keep the boots stored in a room that does not vary too much in temperature or light, as too much of either can lead to the boots breaking down. That durability issue is not an immediate cause for concern with newer remakes.
Though not as big of a factor, there is also the fact that remakes tend to have better performance than originals do. This is not just because the materials are newer, but because the soleplates tend to be modern ones. It is true almost every remake uses the soleplate from a current in-line boot, which have the newest tech to aid performance. Newer soleplates are also far lighter than the originals, which helps with the overall performance since they tend to be less “clumsy” than the originals. Obviously, there are a few exceptions, like my beloved Mizuno Wave Cups, but the soleplate on those is on a different level and shows how tech forward Mizuno was even back in 2002.
But the point still stands that overall, remakes are better than the originals. A good example would be the Nike T90 Laser remake that popped up a while back. There are not a lot of people who would take the original soleplate over the newer, lighter soleplate that came from the Hypervenom Phantom 3.
Looking at the originals versus remakes argument from this angle makes it seem like the answer to questions of which has more value, or which has more collectability, is pointed towards remakes. The build quality is better, they’re designed to played in. Even though they are based on older designs the performance is higher since modern conveniences, like more responsive and lighter soleplates, means that the remakes tend to stack up better overall.
However, there is still the issue that not every boot has been remade or is available. Many fans of the first two models of the F50 from 2004/2005 or boots like the Predator Powerswerve (like me!) do not have anything to collect but the originals, and the same can be said for fans of older Nike boots as Nike do not seem to be interested in remaking boots, but only doing throwback colourways. So, while there might be some price competition between remakes and originals with boots like the Predator Mania, other boots are not subject to this.
And you might wonder if this even matters in the conversation of originals versus remakes, except that even for boots that have been remade, certain colourways have not been remade. And I know that for some people, they prefer to have the originals with an original colourway over a remake with a new colourway that never appeared on the originals. The Predator Mania come to mind with this. Although they are very popular and highly sought-after Japan Blue Mania was given a remake, the Lunar Mania has yet to receive one and the Champagne Mania only was released with a synthetic upper.
To some, this does not matter since at the very least people can experience the originals through remakes. But this is not enough for some people. Like the F50 X Ghosted collection released last year had a lot of brand new colourways, but some people were disappointed with some of the original colourways that were released. Personally, I was hoping for at least one Messi colourway, like the 2014 Battle Pack one since he was player of the tournament at the World Cup in Brazil.
In spite of this exception, I think overall we can still conclude that remakes should be valued (and thus sold for) higher than the originals. They are more aimed at collector’s, are more durable, and the performance is better. They will be able to sit on your display for much longer without fear that the boots will begin to fall apart just because you dared to look at them or touch them without wearing some sort of white gloves. You can take them out for a few matches are even a whole season, and as long as you treat them well enough, there is a higher chance that you will be able to put them back on display without the worry that they fall apart in the near future. So, if you are trying to figure out whether to buy and original or its remake, your best bet is to go for the remake.
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