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The Death Of Black Boots Khazmin Juma'in
Friday, 25th May 2012 @ 14:26:41 PM
Football boots sure are getting colourful these days. They come in fluorescent pink, purple, "salmon", "bright mango" (isn't that a fruit?), electric blue and possibly more hues than a Skittle pack. Even in our current June '12 issue you'll see a collection of rainbow-hued boots on page 118. Whatever happened to good ol' black?
When I was growing up, if you wore a pair of boots that weren't black, you had better be a good player. Otherwise, everyone would be kicking you black and blue. I think that's because at the time, the only professional stars who dared to wear white, or any other colour on the field, were the flair players. They were the only ones cocky enough to get away with it.
Even today, I can understand if someone like Lionel Messi pulls on a pair of orange/yellow adidas Adizero F50s or Cristiano Ronaldo and his flashy Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly III, but you don't want to see someone like this guy in the video below pulling on a pair of white boots like he's all that and then falling over his two left feet!
I've only ever owned two pairs of football boots -- and they're both black. My first was a Pro-spec; it was cheap, it was good enough and it was black. My second was from Diadora -- at the time endorsed by the legendary Roberto Baggio -- and it had supple kangaroo leather as one of its selling point. Colour? Black, of course. I didn't need flashy boots. I just needed boots that were comfortable and helped me play.
Nowadays, function and form both go hand-in-glove. The boots we've featured in our June issue are all really stylish but they were also designed to assist your game on the pitch, incorporating all sorts of materials and various technologies to do so. In fact, I've been told that there is a science behind these "loud" colours. On the pitch, a player relies on peripheral vision to pick out a teammate because you don't have a lot of time to dawdle on the ball. A blur of colour is probably all you can spot out of the corner of your eye, like when someone's making an overlapping run outside you. Seeing that flash of purple or yellow against the green grass is one way you can look out for movement on the pitch. This interview on football magazine FourFourTwo offers some interesting insights into what goes on behind the development of these new boots.
Maybe it is time for me to get with the programme. At the very least, I can use those colourful boots to blind my opponents from the sidelines.