A History of Adidas: classic football boots

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From fritz walter’s 1954 football boots, to lionel messi’s 2012 F50 cleats, designboom takes a look at the history of adidas with a selection of classic football boots from the past 50 years.

Ritz walter wore the shoe both prior to and during the 1954 world cup in switzerland. the shoe was resoled after the world cup. the argentinia was revolutionary. until that point, football boots were primarily designed to protect the foot. the boot, which was developed for the german national team, was the first to fulfil the requirements which still stand for football boots today: it was lightweight and flexible, and provided good contact with the ball and secure contact with the pitch. significant improvements included a narrower last and a lower-cut upper. the hard toe cap was dispensed with, the outsole was flexible and the boot featured easily changeable thread inserts, which were pressed through the insole and outsole from the inside (1952 patent), along with slim 18 mm nylon screw-in studs.

materials: the upper is made of box calf, the vamp and back lining of calf leather. the tongue lining and inlay sole are twill. insole and outsole are made of vegetable tanned bottom leather (vache leather).

fritz walter – adidas argentinia – 1953, football shoe worn at the 1954 FIFA world cup in switzerland
shoe size: 8,5 (uk), 436 gfritz walter – adidas argentinia, 1953 – bottom viewimage © adidas

uwe seeler – adidas achilles – 1965 football boot
shoe size: 8 (uk), 342 g
image © adidas

in february 1965, uwe seeler tore his achilles tendon. at the time, this would have usually signaled the end of an athlete’s career. adi dassler designed a special orthopedic shoe which enabled the athlete to play again as early as august of the same year. it was wearing this shoe that uwe seeler scored the deciding goal at the world cup qualifying match against sweden on 26 september. the heel construction with lacing and built-in cushioning takes the pressure off the rear foot and the achilles tendon and provides additional support. it has been worn by athletes suffering from problems such as bursitis, achilles tendon injuries and heel spurs. due to the integrated heel pad, the shoe had to be worn half a size up.

 

materials: the upper leather and lining are made of black, specially tanned cow hide. the heel seat insert is made of kangaroo leather. the pads are made of 10 mm foam. the insole is made of vegetable tanned bottom leather (vache leather). the pre-fabricated outsole is made of blue polyamide (nylon). the studs and the washers are made of aluminium.

uwe seeler – adidas achilles, 1965 – bottom view

bobby moore – adidas diamant – 1966, football boots worn at the FIFA world cup in england
shoe size: 7 (uk), 304 g
image © adidas

england’s robert (bobby) moore became world champion wearing this boot in london in 1966. the athlete himself was responsible for the unconventional choice of studs and the indentations on the ball studs. the boot was modelled on the “diamant” and produced on a special last which was created to replicate bobby moore’s foot.

materials: the upper leather and lining are made of black, specially tanned cow hide (water-repellent). the pads are made of 10mm foam. the insole is made of vegetable-tanned bottom leather (vache leather). the pre-fabricated outsole is made of blue polyamide (nylon). the studs and the washers are made of leather, nylon and aluminium.

bobby moore – adidas diamant, 1966 – bottom view

 

franz beckenbauer – adidas cosmos – 1970, football boot
shoe size: 7 (uk), 277 g
image © adidas

franz beckenbauer always wore his boots until they fell apart. as he usually played with the outside of his foot, he mostly wore through the upper leather around the outer ball of his right foot. the boot was made using a last adapted to match the athlete’s foot. franz beckenbauer has narrow feet and takes between a uk size 7 and 7.5. the crushed patent leather is very light, soft and smooth; it also repels water and dirt.

materials: the upper is made of black crushed patent leather, the back lining of calf leather. the facings are made of white cow hide. the replacement inlay sole is made of fabric padded with 3mm foam. the pre-fabricated heel counter is made of nylon. the insole is made of vegetable-tanned bottom leather (vache leather). the inlay sole is made of fabric padded with 3mm foam. studs and nylon outsole are made using high-pressure injection molding.

 

 

franz beckenbauer – adidas cosmos, 1970 – top view

 

 

adidas copa mundial – 1982, football boot
shoe size: 7,5 (uk), 306 g
image © adidas

 

 

the copa mundial is the most successful football boot produced by adidas. the upper has a pressure-free, integrated, stiff heel counter and a comfortably cushioned vamp. the pur outsole is flexible and highly resistant to wear and tear. the black studs are made of robust, extremely durable PUR.

 

materials: the upper is made of kangaroo leather.  the back lining and heel reinforcement are made of a PVC coated knitted material. the vamp pad is made of 3 mm foam, covered with self-adhesive nylon fabric. the tongue lining is made of foam/charmeuse leather.

 

 

adidas copa mundial, 1982 – bottom view

 

 

david beckham – adidas predator TRX SG – 2001, football boot
shoe size: 9 (uk), 358 g
image © adidas

 

 

this shoe was produced for the english national football player david beckham in the made to meassure area in scheinfeld (germany). a personalized lace was used. it was a wish of david beckham to stitch the name of his first son brooklyn beckham and his date of birth on the shoe. the 7 on the heel refers to his number in the english national team. the shoe is also stitched with the the english flag.

 

 

david beckham – adidas predator TRX SG, 2001 – bottom view

 

 

lionel andrés messi – adidas F50 – 2012, custom made football boot
shoe size: 8 (UK), 195 g
image © adidas

 

 

the F50 was custom-made for lionel messi in the made to meassure area in scheinfeld (germany).

 

 

lionel andrés messi – adidas F50, 2012 – bottom view

 

 

 

 

a history of adidas: football cleats
fritz walter – adidas argentinia detail – 1953, football shoe worn at the 1954 FIFA world cup in switzerland
a history of adidas: football cleats
uwe seeler – adidas achilles detail – 1965 football boot
a history of adidas: football cleats
bobby moore – adidas diamant front/rear view – 1966, football boots worn at the FIFA world cup in england
a history of adidas: football cleats
lionel andrés messi – adidas F50 front/rear view
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