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Nostalgia: Five of the best pairs of football boots from the previous 15 years

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Last week, we compiled a list containing 10 of the nicest football kits to ever feature in the Premier League since its inception in 1992. It got some fairly critical feedback, to be fair, but it's all a matter of opinion, isn't it? Those who disagreed were completely wrong, though, and that's final.

Anyway, this time around it's the boots turn, oh yes. Football boots, glorious football boots. They've sort of lost their way a bit in the last five years or so, with manufacturers seemingly just churning out a constant flow of new designs to keep things 'fresh' and 'interesting'. Truth is, they're just not what they used to be. With most pairs now costing upward of £200 and looking like a toddler has been let loose with a crayon on a blank canvas, it's fair to say that the glory days are now firmly behind us.

The 90's was a great era for football boots, with Italian brand Lotto storming the market with a whole host of different simple-yet-effective designs, which saw loads of Saturday League has-been's thinking they were the next big thing in Serie A whilst spraying some questionable passes across their local dog shit-ridden playing field.

Adidas also produced some fantastic boots, with the early edition Predators kicking off something really special for the German manufactures. Ronaldo, the original one, scored a bucket load of goals wearing the very first pair of Nike Mercurial's in the late 90's, and looked well cool doing it.

The turn of the century came and 2002 saw the best boots in history made - the Adidas Predator Mania. Available in an array of different colourways, Beckham's cream/red/black version were quite simply unbelievable. They'll never be beaten, that's a fact. This list is dedicated to boots from 2004 onwards however, the previous 15 years only. They're all Adidas and Nike, cos, well, they're just head and shoulders above anyone else really. If you've got any suggestions though, be sure to let us know on @FootyAccums. Be polite, please.


Images: classicfootballshirts.co.uk

2009 was a memorable year for the Premier League, as one of the greatest players to ever feature in the division left for a fresh challenge on foreign shores. Manchester United's Portugese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for £80 million, breaking the world record transfer fee at the time, and would go on to become the Spaniards best ever player.

His boots at the time? These sensational Nike Mercurial Vapors, made for football's pace merchants, nobody else. CR7 wore the red and silver version first - you know the ones, then moved onto electric blue before lacing up these beauties. They were the boots he wore on Fifa 09 - one of the best Fifa games ever to exist - which is probably why we remember them so fondly. Went really well with the white and black Madrid kit, too. Definitely could not wear these if you weren't rapid, though I imagine plenty of you tried.


adidas f50
Image: classicfootballshirts.co.uk

Arjen Robben cutting in from the right hand side, curling a perfect shot into the top-bin with that wand of a left peg. Over and over, and over again. In that glorious mid-noughties blue and gold Umbro kit sponsored by Samsung, the last kit Umbro would go onto produce for the Blues before a 10-year partnership with Adidas.. i'm rambling.

These boots looked fantastic. Shame, that after about two months they just completely fell apart. if you were ever lucky enough to own a pair then you'll resinate with the heartache that went when the black plastic protecting the mesh just started to break and fall off after a few weeks of constant wear on a shite pitch. Doesn't matter, though, cos for those two months you looked the business, didn't you.

3. NIKE TOTAL 90 LASER - 2008

Image: Soccerbible
The 2019 remake version are a thing of beauty. Image: footyheadlines.com

Shot power was an absolute joke in these. So much surface area to play with. They helped your touch, too, even on the very worst of pitches. Could clip the ball perfectly into the channel in these, before joining the attack, shrugging off your man and absolutely leathering one right into the stanchion, or onto the nearby road.

Wayne Rooney was a madness in these, right at the very top of his game, banging them in week after week for United. Such an angry young man, was Wayne, but he positively channelled his aggression in these boots, twatting the ball as hard as he possibly could into every orifice of the goal whenever the opportunity arose.

Nike have just released an upgraded pair, pictured above, for those who fancy rolling back the years and becoming the NO.1 target for a broken ankle down at Goals on Thursday night. Very flash; very, very cool. Yours for just £210..

2. NIKE CTR360 MAESTR - 2008

Images: footballshirtculture.com

These boots were so effortlessly cool. A simple design executed to perfection by Nike in 2008, we'd do anything for a re-release in the near future. Red and black is a great colourway, everyone knows that. Adidas had years of fun partnering the two colours with their ongoing series of Predator boots, but Nike have also teamed them together to create some very special boots over the years, with Wayne Rooney's Total 90 Laser's deserving of an honourable mention at this point.

These were the top dog's, though. Nobody who possessed an ounce of pace wore these, they weren't supposed too. These were for the deep-lying playmakers who sat in the centre circle pulling strings for 90 minutes each week. If you lined up against a player wearing these you'd shit yourself; not only was he going to ping the ball 50 yards every time he got it, but he was also going to smash you really hard (but fairly) in the challenge, too. Great.

The ever-classy Iniesta wore these for a brief period of time, as did Javier Mascherano. But the player we instantly think of when we see these is James Milner, in that fantastic Nike Aston Villa kit with Acorns written on the front of it. You know the one, Nicky Shorey wore it for a bit, so did John Carew. Great boot, great memories.


Image: classicfootballshirts.co.uk

After much deliberation, here's our winner. It had to be an Adidas Predator; such a consistent boot, but which model? Well, the 2008 PowerSwerve version just couldn't be looked past for us. An iconic boot, worn by the likes of Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Xavi and Kaka, these will go down in history as one of the best football boots ever produced. Another boot not made for the pacy wingers of this world, these were for the dead ball specialists.

The amount of whip you could get on the ball with these was almost incomprehensible, while flashbacks of Gerrard catching one so sweetly on the half-volley from 25 yards out rushes through our minds when we look at these. Adidas got it so right here, from the standard black/red colourway to the white, navy and lime green Champions League edition, they oozed class. Perhaps the nicest version were the black and white one's pictured on Stevie G above this piece of text, but we'll let you be the judge of that one.

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