Football players don’t bring anything with them onto the pitch except for their kits and their boots. And given that their kits are picked out by their team, choosing their own boots becomes instrumental in how they play.
With this, sports brands wanted to make this World Cup special with new collections dedicated to the players representing their countries.
These are The GAME’s favorite boots from each brand—plus, the players who are sporting them.
1. Nike Air Zoom Mercurial
The Air Zoom Mercurial is one of Nike’s most popular football boots. Available in two versions, the Labor XV and the Superfly IX, this year, Nike released a new edition of the iconic models for the World Cup.
The ‘Generation’ Pack features sleek-looking football boots. With the Metallic Copper finish, contrasted by the black and white, they are subtly striking. And when speedy players like Kylian Mbappé are sprinting on the pitch, the bright pink hue on the sole of the shoe flashes anyone behind them.
Who’s wearing them: Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes
Fun Fact: Kylian Mbappe will be sporting a new version of the Mercurials for the knockout rounds. They feature a tri-color heel—the colors of the French flag.
2. adidas X Speedportal
If Nike has the Air Zoom Mercurial, adidas has the X Speedportal, one of the brand’s most well-loved football boots. And similar to the ‘Generation’ pack, adidas also released a limited edition colorway for this World Cup.
The ‘Al Rihla’ pack contained three new boots, each pair featuring the same color scheme as the World Cup’s Official Match Ball. For the X Speedportal, the bright neon colors and graphics match the team blue base of the shoe.
Who’s wearing them: Son Heung Min, Joao Felix
3. PUMA Ultra Ultimate
This year, PUMA released their ‘Fearless Pack’ which included new colorways to their staple football boot collection.
The Ultra Ultimate is our favorite of the pack. The bright orange color, which PUMA refers to as ‘Fiery Coral,’ lends the boots a bold look. And when players like Antoine Griezmann are zooming on the pitch, they definitely look fiery.
Who’s wearing them: Memphis Depay, Antoine Griezmann, Antony
4. New Balance Stone Island
Ahead of the World Cup, New Balance released their new collaborative collection with Stone Island. Taking New Balance’s Furon v7s and Stone Island’s ‘In Motion’ camouflage print, the limited edition football boots are one of a kind.
In addition to the football boots, the brands also released more merch to go with them: a full football kit set plus a new look to the 574s. Even non-football players can sport this look.
Who’s wearing them: Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling
5. Mizuno Morelia Neo III β
Finally, we have Mizuno’s ‘Azure Blue’ collection. All three boots in this pack sport the same color scheme in different variations. Our favorite is the Morelia Neo III β.
The bright colors of copper and teal blue are meant to represent the sea and the sand—two natural elements abundant in the World Cup’s host city, Qatar. The tribute played out beautifully on the Morelia Neo III β.
Who’s wearing them: Yuki Soma
Which pair is your favorite?
Banner image from French Team on Twitter.