1800s: During the 19th century football became extremely popular in Britain. People who played would wear their heavy and hard work boots to play. These were the first ever boots with the steel toe cap at the front, long laces and ankle support. These boots also had metal studs or tacks put in the sole the bottom so the players would have more stability on the pitch. In the later part of the 19th century the first ever football-specific boot was designed, made of thick and heavy leather which ran right to the ankle for increased protection, the first boot weighed 500g and would double in weight when it was wet.
1900-1940: Between 1900-1940 football boots style stayed very basic. They remained so during the inter-war years, despite many famous football boot producers, such as Gola, Hummel and Valsport becoming evermore popular.
1940-1960: After the Second World War, the designs of the football boot changed dramatically and really started to make an impact on the game. The South Americans designed a lighter and more flexible boot. This design was focused on increasing good control and better kicking power rather than a more protective boot. In 1954 Adi Dassler introduced screw-in studs which gave the Mannschaft a tangible advantage during a rain-lashed World Cup that year. That Adolf was the first to come up with screw-in studs is disputed by his older brother, Rudolf Dassler, founder of Puma.
1960s: In the 1960s football boot technology really took a huge step, which saw many football boots designed with a lower cut. These enabled the best players in Europe and South America to move faster and change direction quicker. Mitre, Joma and Asics joined the fray.
1970s: The 1970s and the 1980s saw many great advances and changes in the football boot design. The 1970s saw technological advances produce lighter boots and a variety of colours. In this decade, football boot sponsorship deals really took off. Adidas made huge strides out in front as the market leader. At the end of the decade, in 1979, it cemented its status by releasing what has gone on to become the best selling boot of all time; the iconic and timeless Copa Mundial. During this time period, some of the most common types of natural leather came into production: kangaroo leather, calfskin and full-grain/cow leather.
1980s: Arguably the most popular and dominant boot of the past two decades, the Adidas Predator, was designed by Australian maverick Craig Johnston. Umbro, Lotto and Kelme got in on the act in this decade.
1990-2000s: In the 1990s this saw manufacturers introduce new different types of sole to increase the balance of the player. The Predators saw their eventual release in 1994 and enjoyed instant success. In the first decade of the 21st century laser technology was introduced to produce the first fully customised football boot in 2006.
2010s: In the era of the modern game that sees the tempo of matches becoming faster and players more technically inclined, manufacturers introduce new advances in technology including lighter footwear made from alternative materials.
Chicago Soccer Store
2901 S. 49th Ave.
Cicero, IL 60804
Page modified by Edgar Garcia, May 13, 2014.