As a player, there’s not much to enjoy about pre-season: sweaty summer nights spent dragging your sorry behind around laps of a football pitch while your manager barks out instructions from the comfort of his deck chair. Eurgh.
But it’s not all bad: for FFT, the new season means a fresh pair of boots to tackle the season head-on. Because if we can’t play-make like Pogba or finish like the finest, we’re going to try to look good while we fail, goddammit...
1. Nike Phantom ROC
Nike’s newest boot and one of their most innovative to date, with an evolved Flyknit upper that helps provide a precise touch for key contact areas of your feet.
It’s one of the first data-driven products which has been shaped with insight and analysis from top players, and includes a hidden ‘Ghost Lace’ system for clean striking. At least that’s what you hope.
Worn by: Kevin De Bruyne, Philippe Coutinho, Christian Eriksen
Buy the Nike Phantom ROC at Pro:Direct Soccer here
2. Adidas X Team Mode
The third generation X boot from Adidas enjoyed the most stunning of debuts in the Champions League final thanks to Gareth Bale’s outrageous acrobatics.
The preference of top players is this traditional laced version, built for speed and acceleration. A lightweight speedframe outsole includes strategically-placed studs which, coupled with the super-thin speed mesh upper, gives the boot a minimal feel. A real contender for the fastest boot around.
Worn by: Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria, Marcelo, James Rodriguez
Buy the Adidas X Team Mode at Pro:Direct Soccer here
3. Nike Mercurial ROC
The boot that took the World Cup by storm returns for the new domestic season. Nike’s pinnacle boot is designed for acceleration, speed and the quickest players on the pitch with its split sole plate, lightweight flyknit upper and revised collar for snug lockdown.
The Mercurial has been around for 20 years, and the latest edition pays tribute to those who have learned their skills on the concrete and taken them to the pitch.
Worn by: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Alexis Sanchez, Kyle Walker
Buy the Nike Mercurial ROC at Pro:Direct Soccer here
4. Adidas Predator Team Mode
The Predator is back – and this version pays homage to the classic black, white and red colourway we know and adore.
No longer a heavy power boot, the Predator 18+ aims to master control with cutting-edge tech such as Adidas’s patented Ultraboost cushioning, Primeknit laceless collar for the ultimate fit, and those iconic Predator vamps across the toe box. A modern legend.
Worn by: Paul Pogba, Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic, Dele Alli
Buy the Adidas Predator Team Mode at Pro:Direct Soccer here
5. Puma Future Uprising
Puma’s attempt to disrupt the dominance of the big two brands comes with this unique take on a laced boot, introducing NETFit which offers seemingly endless lacing possibilities.
The Future also features an evoKnit sock to give support and comfort around the ankle, and is a sophisticated choice for pre-season and beyond.
Worn by: Antoine Griezmann, Marco Reus, Marko Arnautovic
Buy the Puma Future Uprising at Pro:Direct Soccer here
6. Mizuno Morelia Neo Blackout MIJ
Mizuno know a thing or two about craftmanship, and these Morelia Neo boots come highly regarded with their ‘Made in Japan’ touch. This means ultimate fit and unrivalled comfort via premium Kobe leather: 24-hour lasting and intricately produced.
Worn by: Maya Yoshida, Shinji Okazaki
Buy the Mizuno Morelia Neo Blackout MIJ at Pro:Direct Soccer here
7. Nike Tiempo ROC
While the Tiempo Legend may not have reached as many generations as its Mercurial stablemate, its bloodline can be followed right back to the first Nike football boots, and as such represents their football heritage in more ways than one.
A boot named Legend has a lot to live up to, and this seventh edition of the famous Tiempo line delivers. With Flyknit introduced for the first time alongside a premium k-leather forefoot, this boot is a sophisticated choice.
Worn by: Sergio Ramos, Harry Maguire, Virgil van Dijk
Buy the Nike Tiempo ROC at Pro:Direct Soccer here
8. Adidas Nemeziz Team Mode
The Nemeziz has had a bold facelift with a modification of its higher Agility Knit collar – and it’s all the better for it. The boot of choice for Lionel Messi has a foot-hugging construction that’s inspired by a boxer’s hand tape, allowing for flex and function without restriction of movement.
Couple this to a lightweight Torsion outsole and you’ve got a boot that packs a punch in looks and performance.
Worn by: Lionel Messi, Roberto Firmino, Juan Mata
Buy the Adidas Nemeziz Team Mode at Pro:Direct Soccer here
9. Puma ONE Uprising
You want fast without compromise? Enter the Puma ONE, a lightweight boot thanks to its Rapidsprint outsole which provides unrivalled acceleration (it says here).
Designed to fit perfectly around the foot with a combination of evoKnit sock extension and FUSEFit material, it effortlessly offers more feel of the ball than its competition.
Worn by: Romelu Lukaku, Olivier Giroud, Sergio Aguero
Buy the Puma One Up Rising at Pro:Direct Soccer here
10. New Balance Furon
For deadly finishing and decisive accuracy, this is the boot for you. The fourth generation Furon enhances the previous model with a new layer construction and frame design for a superior fit.
The feel around the front of the foot is lovely, and the tongue-less upper design gives a clean, comfortable fit. Sadio Mané will enjoy these on his rampages.
Worn by: Sadio Mané
Buy the New Balance Furon at Pro:Direct Soccer here
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