The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

Each icon world Cup moment ever – save for Diego Maradona’s handball, Luis Suarez’s infamous goal-line clearance against Ghana or Iran’s Milan Mohammadi’s acrobatic throw-in attempt – has been propelled into the legend of football by what is worn on the feet of the player every four years: the humble football boot.

Over the years, soccer cleats have evolved from the default rigorous all-black leather constructions to cutting-edge technologies, with synthetic knits, ergonomic cleats and wild designs now very much in vogue for the current generation of players that will give the kick-off of the 2022 World Cup. Cup in Qatar.

Long gone are the days of gaming purists raising their eyebrows over brightly colored boots. Now you will see Lionel Messi take to the field in a super lightweight special edition adidas Speedportal ‘Leyenda’ commemorating his legacy as one of the game’s all-timers, Nike revealing a gold-tipped ‘generation pack’ for all their players to wear in this year’s tournament, and Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka will take to the pitch in Qatar wearing the first-ever stone island and New Balance collaborative football boot: a Furon v7 camouflage.

The game has changed for the better when it comes to football boots, allowing players an unparalleled amount of self-expression on the main tools they will create in November/December. But while a lot has changed on foot in past World Cups, nothing beats a good dose of nostalgia when thinking back to the boots that have already solidified their status in football folklore.

Legendary goalscoring antics of Pelé and Maradona wearing PUMA Kings, to Kylian Mbappé making history with a pair of Nike Mercurials, Hypebeast took a look at the most iconic World Cup boots of all time just before the FIFA Cup kicked off. world 2022. Let’s get into it.

Pele: 1974 PUMA KING

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When it comes to iconic World Cup football boots, the PUMA king’s reign has spanned decades, rather than single moments. After Eusebio finished the 1966 World Cup as PUMA’s top scorer – despite England’s famous home win – the 1970 tournament belonged to another legendary Brazilian: Pelé. Donning a specially designed pair – the ‘PUMA King Pelé’ – at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Pelé would go on to win the ‘Player of the Tournament’, scoring four goals in the process.

Ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing tactics at World Cups, Pele asked the referee to stop the match minutes before the final whistle in order to tie his shoelaces, with television cameras broadcasting a close-up image of the new King Pelé. the world. An iconic football boot was born.

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup is arguably the most iconic individual tournament in football history. As well as creating one of the most infamous moments in sporting history with his hand against Peter Shilton, he would also score what is still considered the greatest goal of all time against England in the same game. , while putting on a pair of PUMA Kings.

Gary Lineker: adidas Stratos 2000

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Gary Lineker may have been dropped from the proceedings by the man above him in this list, but his six goals in a pair of Adidas Stratos 2000s at the 1986 FIFA World Cup went down in the history of the Three Lions by becoming the tournament’s top scorer that year. While he still holds England’s record for World Cup goals (10), thanks in large part to his goalscoring prowess in the template, scoring a vital hat-trick to send his side into the round of 16 against the Poland. But he may not hold that record for very long. Fresh off bagging six himself in 2018, Harry Kane will be looking to emulate that number for The Three Lions in a pair of Nike Phantoms in Qatar, where he is just four goals away from matching Lineker’s feat.

Davor Suker: Latto Stadio Classic

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Dave Sucker. 1998. Not only blessed to be able to wear one of the best World Cup shirts of all time, but also one of the most underrated cleats. The Croatian striker scored twice in the group stages wearing the template, before netting against Romania, Germany, France and finally the Netherlands in the third-place qualifier. Lotto also likes the photo above. Checkerboard Gradient Kit. Retro collar. Sock band. Massive shin guards. And to top it all off, a pair of absolutely huge lime lotto tongues. This is the legacy of football.

Zinedine Zidane: adidas Predator

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Ah, Zizou. A god among mortals in his time – and his day, more often than not, happened to be every major international football tournament he entered, wearing his favorite Adidas Predators. By the time he arrived in 2006, Zizou secured the right to wear his iconic golden Predator Absolutes, which he donned to launch Italy centre-half Marco Materazzi into orbit after head-butting him in the final of the World Cup that Italy would win. But think back to the 1998 final and you’ll fully understand why The Three Stripes turned their Predators gold. A final with many legends in Roberto Carlos, Petit, Ronaldo, Desailly, Cafu and countless others, Zidane is the man who made this game his own and won France’s first ever World Cup on home soil and joined the immortality of football.

Ronaldo: Mercurial Vapor

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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R9 may have missed the mark in 1998, but four years later, locked and loaded with just a bang and the very first pair of Nike’s groundbreaking Mercurial Vapor shoe line, he achieved ultimate glory. Ronaldo Nazario really earned his nickname ‘El Phenomenon’ at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea, where he single-handedly dismantled Germany in the final and scored a brace against Oliver Khan, fully redeeming the last defeat of Brazil four years ago.

Xabi Alonso: adidas adiPURE

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Andres Iniesta might have won the Spanish World Cup that year wearing a pair of Nikes seen in the image above, adidas’ adiPURE model was the most common boot in the final the 2010 World Cup. And when it comes to infamous moments from finals in years gone by, there isn’t much more infamous than Nigel de Jong big Xabi Alonso boot in the chest while the duo both wore black and yellow adiPURE. Despite nearly having his ribcage broken by the Dutch defensive midfielder, Xabi would have the last laugh, when his midfield partner would score one of the most iconic goals in Spanish football history in the last minutes of the game.

Mario Gotze: Nike Magista Obra

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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It seems like forever ago that a wünderkid named Mario Götze scored a winner in extra time against Argentina in the World Cup final to make Germany world champions for the fourth time by putting on a pair of fluorescent Nike Magista Obras. But these shoes would go way beyond impact on the court. The left boot, responsible for scoring the winner of the match and breaking Argentinian hearts, ended up being auctioned off for 2 million euros, with all proceeds going to German charity ‘A Heart for Children’.

Kylian Mbappe: Mercurial Superfly 360

The most iconic FIFA World Cup boots of all time

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Kylian Mbappé instantly became world football’s latest golden boy wearing the Mercurial Superfly 360 at the 2018 World Cup. to score in a World Cup final, and with four goals in the tournament he was awarded the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player award. With his star rising as quickly as his sprint speed in the model ever since, Kylian will be looking to do it all over the next few months, this time donning his own pair of Mercurials.

Honorable Mention: Ronaldo Nazario Nike R9 1998 World Cup Special

While R9 would get their first World Cup in Mercurial Vapors in 2002, R9 would launch the Mercurial franchise in 1998, with the combination of silver, yellow, and blue on the boots still long in memory. R9 wore the famous pair of iconic boots at the World Cup, where he scored four goals as Brazil finished second, beaten in the final by a Zinedine Zidane-inspired France. But while the results are a thing of the past, the drip is forever. And R9’s Mercurial model from 1998 will always hold a place in lists of iconic football boots. Simply put, these are phenomenal – and rightfully a game-changer.

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