Nike and Adidas are continuing their rivalry in spring and summer, this time doing battle on the new high-top, knit, sock-included soccer boot field.
Adidas fired shot number one when it introduced “the world’s first knitted soccer boot” in its Samba Primeknit boot. The preemptive strike tried to counter Nike’s hype machine in which it released YouTube ads of players wearing a blurred out mystery boot that would “change the game.”
Both brands then released their signature high-top, knit, sock-included boots on the same day, with Nike getting theirs out a couple hours ahead of adidas.
Nike released the Magista, a $300 boot that features a high top sock liner, a feature that is seen in some American football and baseball cleats. The upper is made out of 3D textured knit, which provides power, control and accuracy.
Nike’s VP of Sports Performance Footwear, Phil McCartney had this to say of its new boot:
“With Magista, we’ve designed a shoe that feels like an extension of the player’s body. This isn’t a boot that just goes on your foot, it’s a boot that works with your foot. By eliminating distractions, players are free to unlock their potential and creativity.
“The Magista’s mid-cut Dynamic Fit collar is not just a visually compelling innovation, it’s designed to create heightened feel for the ball and enhance the player’s touch. The mid-cut allows the foot, ankle, and lower leg work together as a single unit, emphasizing their natural movements.”
Not more than two hours later Adidas released for the high-top cousin of its Samba Knit, the Primeknit FS. The boot also possesses an all-knit upper, but unlike Nike’s possesses a full crew sized sock attached to the boot. Unlike anything soccer has seen before, the boot brings an all-in-one option to the game for the first time.
Unlike the Magista, which is ready to hit retail, the Primeknit is a limited edition and still being worked on for competition use.
So though it looks as though the war isn’t over, it appears Nike has won the first battle, with adidas releasing its unready Primeknit almost in retaliation to Nike’s massive launch.
It will certainly be interesting to see how many, if any, of these far-out boots make appearances on big name players’ feet in Brazil this summer.
Mario Gotze plays with the new Magista in a new looping Vine by Nike
Nike’s New All-Knit Magista boot featuring an embedded high-top sock
Adidas’ Primeknit FS is their attempt to best Nike’s Magista, but is still being tested
Adidas Samba Primeknit, the world’s first all-knit soccer shoe