The two leading brands in world of sports goods manufacturers, Nike and Adidas. These two have been fighting for dominance very hard for the past decade or so and in the process they have left a few of their adversaries way behind – specially in football, even more so in football shoes. Puma, Reebok and Umbro are all big brands but they are nowhere to be seen when compared to Nike and Adidas.
The comparison between the two is very tight. If Nike leads in one category, it trails in the other. If we judge them on kit designs, we can drag out some hideous kits from the past and on the contrary, they have produced some excellent kits in the past and the present.
In my opinion, Barcelona’s 08/09 home shirt and Manchester United’s 09/10 goalkeeper home shirt were excellent shirts by Nike and Spain’s 09/10 home shirt and the Real Madrid’s 09/10 Champions League away shirt (so much for that though) are a couple of examples of excellent shirts by Adidas.
But that’s not where it ends. When it comes to footballs, if Adidas gave us Jabulani for the World Cup, Nike gave us T90 Tracers for the 2010/2011 season.
And when it comes to the all-important football shoes, we have amazing collection on both sides. Since, this is a World Cup year both Nike and Adidas launched their best shoes (so far) months before the World Cup so they can be tested thoroughly and proved. Now that the World Cup is just around the corner, Nike and Adidas have both revealed their best shoes in the market currently. Which will be the perfect football shoe for you? Lets take a detailed look at them before we decide:
First up is Nike. Over the years we’ve seen some of the greatest players graced Nike’s footwear and do great things. The original Ronaldo, Figo, Luis Enrique, Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and many others have worn/wear Nike.
Lets take a look at the all new Elite series launched by Nike specially for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Each shoe is specifically made for a kind of players.
Nike Tiempo Legend Elite
The Nike Tiempo Legend is for the football players who like it classy. This boot has been worn by the likes of the legends of the past I mentioned earlier. Out of the current lot, Ronaldinho is probably the biggest player to wear them. That brings us to the type of player that should buy this.
If you have lots of tricks up your sleeves and you can execute them perfectly while going through defender after defender and you don’t let anyone touch the ball while you’re in possession of it. Then, this is the shoe for you!
It provides you the old-school comfortable fit with a leather upper that lets you to feel the ball on your foot so you can have maximum control on your touch.
Nike T90 Laser III Elite
Nike T90 Laser III is full of technical ability with an eye for goal. If you look at this boot close enough, you will see what I’m talking about. On the inside of the shoe, there are raised and angled fins which increase friction between your foot and the ball. What does that do? That allows you to add more spin to your passes and shoots.
So, if you’re the kind of player who likes to sit back and rotate the ball around and play that inch-perfect assist that unlocks the tightest of defenses. Plus, if you’re not shy of taking the occasional shot on goal yourself, this shoe has got that covered as well.
Dutchman Wesley Sneijder wears this shoe.
Nike Superfly II Elite
As the name suggests, Nike Superfly II is for footballers who like to run and by run I don’t mean just run, I mean running really fast. This shoe is all about speed, agility and powerful shots.
Two pressure-activated studs for better grip regardless of the conditions, ultra-thin Tejin synthetic outer layer for improved ball-control, 3D foam for added cushioning and a lower-profile sock-liner to reduce stud pressure.
In the modern day football, the need for speed is greater than ever before. A split second can make or break a player’s dreams. This has been proved time and time again by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nike CTR360 Maestri Elite
Finally, the Nike CTR360 Maestri. The ‘Maestri’ of the football shoes. Made for the ‘Maestri’ of the footballers. Players who orchestrate the game on the field. Players who build the foundation of the move. Usually these players are found at the heart of the midfield.
Dampening pods give outstanding first touch control, asymmetric lacing ensures expanded ball control surface, shape-correcting memory foam and injected instep pass pad for distribution of the ball. Direct-inject bladed studs for optimum traction and stability.
This shoe is worn by Cesc Fabregas.
Historically speaking, Adidas has never been too far behind Nike. The common misconception that Nike is far ahead of Adidas is not correct anymore, in my opinion. Because Adidas have managed to obtain some signatures that have a huge market value. Leo Messi, Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Zinedine Zidane, Michael Ballack and David Villa are all superstars who are currently in contract with Adidas.
On top of that, a number of top level clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, AC Milan, etc are also with Adidas and not only that, they’ve made a mark on the international stage with Argentina, Germany, France, etc.
Lets take a look at the 2010 World Cup specials in the football shoes section of Adidas:
The super-soft anti-slip finish on the perfect-fit K-leather provides excellent ball and add some mono-tongue construction and you have a clean kicking surface as well. Stud pressure distribution, extra cushioning in the heel and a lifted heel cap for stability and comfort.
Since the shoe allows for great ball control, delicate touches and clean shots on goal – it is suitable for midfielders who ply their trade just behind the strikers and they feel free to attack with the strikers. You don’t have to be a midfield to be eligible to buy this shoe though.
Out of the many players who wear this shoe, Kaka wears them.
The latest in the deadly Predator series, the Adidas Predator X. This has to be one of the best shoes ever. Footballing legend Zinedine Zidane has given his input on this one. A pair of this shoe was brought specially to him to take his input of every single step of the development of this shoe.
Although this shoe needs no further introduction but still, this shoe features accurate fit, better ball contact, power spine for improved power on the shot, efficient stud pressure distribution and asymmetric laces for a cleaner striker on the ball.
So basically, this shoe is made for a player who can create havoc for his opponents… like Zidane.
At 165 grams, the Adidas F50 adizero is the lightest football shoe ever created by Adidas. Wearing this shoe will feel like going bare-footed but only with all the equipment you need to maximize your performance. This shoe met the fastest shoe on the planet and raised the bar up a notch.
Sprint Frame Outsole is the lightest ever outsole allowing the player to accelerate quicker than his opponents. The light weight also guarantees a top speed that not many players will be able to match in their “superflies” (hint!). The leather upper ensures that even at high speeds, your foot will be comfortable and your ball control will be maximum.
The Argentinean phenomena Lionel Messi wears this shoe.