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RANKED! The 50 best football boots ever

best football boots ever
(Image credit: Future)

What are the best football boots ever? It's a question that has long plagued us at FourFourTwo.

You never forget your first pair of boots. Whether they were brand new ones that a shop worker had to get down from a high shelf or battered old ones that your older brother once wore, the mere design of footballing footwear can leave a lasting legacy.

And you don't even have to have worn a style of football boots to have fond memories of it. Whether it was a specific colour that caught your eye, the boots that scored a particular goal, sometimes a good idea - whether a flash of white, a leather upper or a golden sole - lasts forever.

RANKED! Every Premier League kit this season from worst to best

Over the past century, the football boot has evolved from that most necessary of equipment to play the sport to a fashion statement, an edge over opponents. Boot rooms around the world have been populated with plenty - but on our list, we've considered only the most iconic...

List compiled and written with Ed McCambridge

The best football boots ever

50-41

50. Umbro Speciali: Reissue, 2010

Umbro Speciali

(Image credit: ProDirect)

Most iconic colourway: Red
Other colourways:
 Black, white
Stars who wore them:
John Terry, Darren Bent

Around the turn of 2010, while the likes of Adidas and Nike were pumping out an array of electric blue and camouflage boots built for speed and not much else, Umbro bucked the trend by reissuing a this 90s masterpiece - the same material, stitching and durability, but now in bright red to celebrate England's World Cup journey. Lovely jubbly. 

49. Adidas Predator Mutator, 2020

Adidas Predator Mutator

(Image credit: Adidas)

Most iconic colourway: Black/red/white
Other colourways: 
White/black/gold, all black, black/white/pink, blue/white/red
Stars who wore them: 
Paul Pogba, David Alaba, Georginio Wijnaldum

A boot instantly recognisable as those Paul Pogba could be seen galloping about the Old Trafford turf in; the big Frenchman sending sweeping 50-yard passes out to the corner flag and putting midfield rivals on their backsides with a wiggle of the hips. Predators were once typically the boot worn by midfield engines, but, by this stage, they'd become the boot of the swaggering playmakers. 

48. Adidas X17+ Purespeed, 2017

Adidas

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Gold/black
Other colourways: 
White/sky blue, turquoise/navy, 'ocean storm'
Stars who wore them: 
Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez, Gabriel Jesus

These boots were gold. Need we say more? Oh go on then... The gold was one thing, but the shimmering fish scale texture and laceless uppers made them all the more alluring. A boot built for a king - or a pharaoh in Salah's case - that was all about speed and arrogance. 

47. Puma v1.06, 2004

Puma boots

(Image credit: Puma)

Most iconic colourway: Red/white/black
Other colourways: 
'Grass', black/white, camo, white/black/red
Stars who wore them: 
Robert Pires, Samuel Eto'o, Alexander Hleb

Puma gave us plenty of classics in the 2000s: the sleeveless Cameroon tops, the World Cup-winning jersey from Italy and, of course, these bold boots. Supported with plasticky heels but with that same Puma King swoosh design, these were a great update on the classic.

46. Under Armour Speedform Spring, 2016

Memphis Depay

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Orange (tulip pattern)
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Memphis Depay

Too jazzy? Memphis Depay's typically Dutch tulip-covered boots caused a stir when the now-Barcelona attacker had his ill-fated Manchester United spell. The colourful efforts were out there alright, but were one of many all-over-print boots at the time.

45. Adidas Predator Absolute, 2006

Adidas boots

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: White/gold/black
Other colourways: 
Black/red/white, navy/silver, red/white, gold/white
Stars who wore them: 
Zinedine Zidane, Steven Gerrard, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard

These puppies were everywhere at the World Cup in 2006, with a "back to front" version worn by Zidane in the Berlin final. The Frenchman's predominantly gold pair were rooted into the turf as he sent a head butt into the chest of Marco Materazzi. An iconic boot through association, as well as pure style. 

44. Lotto Campionato, 2002

Lotto boots

(Image credit: ClassicFootballShirts)

Most iconic colourway: Bronze/black
Other colourways: 
Silver/black, green/silver, black/white
Stars who wore them: 
Cafu, Andriy Shevchenko

The Ballon d'Or winner had Lotto boots, back when Andriy Shevchenko was declared winner of the prize. These particular boots were rare: not your usual black but still classy enough that your dad would like them. And that copper colour? Pretty unique. 

43. Puma Future Z 1.1, 2020

Neymar

Most iconic colourway: White/yellow
Other colourways: 
White/red, black, blue/pink
Stars who wore them: 
Neymar, Luis Suarez, Dimitri Payet, James Maddison

While Puma had been a major player in the boot market for years before this release, this may have been the moment they overtook Nike and Adidas as the coolest manufacturer on the planet. Neymar had recently been snared from Nike, and the Brazilian's debut custom boot oozed samba magic. 

42. Puma evoSPEED 1.2 Tricks, 2014

Puma football boots

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Pink/white & turquoise/white
Other colourways: 
Blue/orange & orange/blue
Stars who wore them: 
Cesc Fabregas, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann

Literally everything in the world of football boots had been done by the time Puma began reinventing the wheel with these ones. What if... it was cool to have odd boots? They certainly stood out and you wouldn't miss them on the field. 

41. Umbro Zypro, 2002

Wayne Rooney

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Gold/black
Other colourways: 
Black/white, black/blue/white
Stars who wore them: 
Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Henrik Larsson

Who could forget the sight of a schoolboy Wayne Rooney thundering one past Arsenal's David Seaman in these on his 2002 debut? The boots were perfect for the young Wazza, resembling a hand-me-down, street footballer's take on a golden slipper. 

40-31

40. Lotto Pu Vento, 2001

Lotto

(Image credit: ClassicFootballShirts)

Most iconic colourway: Black/green
Other colourways: 
Black/silver, gold/blue
Stars who wore them: 
Cafu, Edu, Andriy Shevchenko

Lotto boots scream nostalgia, of Serie A in the 90s, of classy strikers, bullet train full-backs. Who could forget scuffing up the silver bits on these ones. This pair is arguably the most recognisable of all the manufacturer's efforts. 

39. New Balance Furon, 2020

New Balance

(Image credit: New Balance)

Most iconic colourway: Red/silver
Other colourways: 
White/silver, blue/orange
Stars who wore them: 
Sadio Mane, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling

New Balance's Furon of last year is perhaps the greatest-ever Mercurial Vapor that Nike didn't make. It's light, stylish and comes in great colours - if it's good enough for Mane and Saka...

38. Adidas Supernova, 2005

Patrick Vieira

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Black/silver
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Patrick Vieira, Frank Lampard

The Adidas Supernova is an intriguing football boot. It was a standalone release, with no upgrade or rework later on, designed to capitalise on the Predator Mania's success, only go more minimal. 

These black and silver beauties were short-lived but ultimately the last "proper old-school football boots" before Adi revisited the Copa range. A moment in time, indeed.

37. Nike, What The Mercurial, 2016

Nike What The Mercurial

(Image credit: Nike)

Most iconic colourway: Errmm... that one
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
-

What do you do when you've made dozens of iconic Mercurial boots? Well... put them together into one product. Nike have done this kind of thing with shirts, too - Arsenal and Manchester City both got mash-up kits when they left the American manufacturer - and this special edition boot brings back all kinds of memories. 

36. Nike Phantom Scorpion, 2021

Nike Phantom Scorpion

(Image credit: Nike)

Most iconic colourway: Silver/black
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Rodrygo

The Nike Phantom was already cool enough before Nike created a Scorpion version or honour the famous adverts of the early-00s. The shimmering, scorpion-embossed silver and black creation became an instant classic, despite being worn by kids too young to remember Cantona's epic Hunger Games style-football tournament. 

35. Lotto Zhero Gravity, 2006

Luca Toni

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: White/gold
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Luca Toni, Andriy Shevchenko

Lotto is a brand that players of the 80s would love - so when the company started a research and development centre to make a new "Zhero Gravity" boot, you could understand if eyes rolled. Thankfully, these white/gold efforts were beautiful and one we still look back on fondly. 

34. Adidas X Ghosted, 2020

X GHOSTED

(Image credit: Adidas)

Most iconic colourway: White/gold
Other colourways: 
yellow/black, red/white
Stars who wore them: 
Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Gabriel Jesus

The X Ghosted boots were released last year - but they're space-age. They're beautiful, inspired by track athletes and birds of prey and they're so light they almost float. Not to mention how beautiful they are too: a boot fit for an Egyptian king (among others).

33. Nike Mercurial Vapor X, 2014

Nike Mercurial Vapor

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Coral/yellow
Other colourways: 
Green/red, orange/white
Stars who wore them: 
Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Eden Hazard

Sometimes, the colour of a football boot is enough to spark memories. That's true of 2014's coral Vapors which were worn by the great and the good in the blazing Brazilian sunshine. They looked fantastic, they were lighter than ever and they stand alongside most Vapors since. Bravo. 

32. Adidas Predator, 1994

Adidas boots

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Black/red/white
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Paul Gascoigne

Back in '94, Adidas brought out the first ever Predator. By adding rubber parts to the upper of the studs for improved power and finesse, the German brand had invented something that had never been seen before. It is now a cornerstone of the football boot world. 

31. Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly II, 2010

Nike Mercurial Vapor

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Silver/orange
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba

The silver and orange colourway is iconic now. These were first shown to the world in an incredible Nike ad featuring Roger Federer, the greatest players on earth and Homer Simpson. They don't look as good now as they did then - they look better.

30-21

30. Adidas F50 Adizero, 2010

Adidas

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Yellow/black
Other colourways: 
Blue/white, gold/black/white
Stars who wore them: 
Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben, Dani Alves, David Villa

Pretty soon enough, the F50 just became Messi's boot. That's what happens when you're that good - but also when you hold one aloft after netting in a Champions League final. This iteration was particularly nice with the three stripes wrapping around the heel. 

29. New Balance Furon: Bambaly edition, 2018

Sadio Mane

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Green/yellow/red
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
Sadio Mane

What's so nice about the Bambaly Furon from New Balance is that it pays tribute to a star who you wouldn't usually see custom boots for. Messi and Ronaldo have had their special editions - and Sadio Mane getting one is a lovely touch. These are quintessentially Senegalese. They still look awesome. 

28. Adidas Predator Accelerator, 1998

Adidas boots

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Black/red/white
Other colourways: 
White/black/red
Stars who wore them: 
Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Pierro, David Beckham

Adidas were getting bolder, the three stripes were getting bigger and these were the boots that Zinedine Zidane won the World Cup in. They're not the cleanest design in terms of Predator looks but they're one of the most memorable. 

27. Nike CTR360 Maestri III, 2014

Nike CTR360

(Image credit: Nike)

Most iconic colourway: Red/white/black
Other colourways: 
Yellow/black/white, blue/white/black, red/black/white
Stars who wore them: 
Andres Iniesta, Jack Wilshere, Sami Khedira

In 100 years from now, future humans will take one look at the Nike CTR360s and inform you that they were made in 2014. They feel so of that era – to the extent that suuuurely everyone on the planet had a pair of these in the mid-2010s? Simple, cool, durable and in a range of colours, they ticked all the boxes. 

26. Adidas F50.6 Tunit, 2006

Adidas

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Blue/green
Other colourways: 
Yellow/blue, grey/silver, white/blue, red/white
Stars who wore them: 
Lionel Messi, David Villa, Lukas Podolski

The chop-and-change studs project from Adidas in the mid-2000s may have died a death when everyone lost their screw-in studs on the grass - but these boots are still beautiful today. Adi's answer to the Vapor, these came in superb colours, they were lightweight and they felt fantastic. Bring them out today and they'd still be a hit. 

25. Adidas Copa Sense, 2021

Adidas Copa Sense

(Image credit: Adidas)

Most iconic colourway: Black/gold
Other colourways: 
Red/white/coral, silver/purple/pink, white/pink
Stars who wore them: 
Jude Bellingham, Joao Felix, Paulo Dybala

These boots are already classics, despite barely being a year old. The Copa Sense is moulded with the vintage leather of Adi boots past, while using a typically-showy stud plate. The result is something masterful. They're absolutely gorgeous. 

24. Nike Mercurial Vapor III, 2006

Nike Mercurial Vapor

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: White/yellow
Other colourways: 
Yellow/green, red/white, blue/grey, white/red, volt/white
Stars who wore them: 
Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo

The Vapors were evolving. Gone was the heel panel, replaced with a halftone fade: these were the boots that Thierry Henry ripped Real Madrid apart in the Bernabeu and he looked every inch the superstar. Ronaldo, naturally, had some Brazil-coloured ones for the World Cup, too.

23. Nike Hypervenom Phelon II, 2016

Nike Hypervenom

(Image credit: Getty)

Most iconic colourway: Bronze/black
Other colourways: 
White/volt/pink, grey/orange
Stars who wore them: 
Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Miroslav Klose

Mercurial Vapors are supposed to look smooth, fluid and free - but Nike's 2016 Hypervenoms were spiky and abrasive. These boots were something different for the American brand and were perfect for speedsters everywhere. 

22. Adidas Copa Whiteout, 2014

Adidas

(Image credit: Adidas)

Most iconic colourway: All-white
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
-

"What's cooler than being cool?" Outkast first pondered. The answer is of course taking a classic like the Copa Mundial, with all its rich texture, nostalgia and downright football 'eritage and spraypainting the whole thing white. 

These special editions came out in 2014 and are extremely rare. They're unicorns of the football boot world: something you always knew should exist but couldn't possibly. Ice cold, indeed.

21. Adidas F50 Adizone, 2011

Adidas

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Yellow/purple/red
Other colourways: 
Orange/black/white, white/sky blue/red
Stars who wore them: 
Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale

Acid yellow and purple is certainly a statement, with the 2011 F50 Adizone resembling a couple of Chewits that had melted together in your school blazer. The design of the F50 has always been a favourite at FFT Towers. This pair, worn by Messi, Bale and school kids across the nation, were up there with the best of all.

20-11

20. Mizuno Morelia, 1986

Mizuno

(Image credit: PA)

Most iconic colourway: Black/white
Other colourways: 
-
Stars who wore them: 
David Platt, Aldair, Gianfranco Zola

It's hard to know what that Mizuno symbol actually is but somehow, it's burned itself into the consciousness of every football fan from about 1975 to the present day. The common black-and-white Mizuno boots are retro, hard-wearing and stylish - they're part of the footballing tapestry.