on 5 March 2011
These boots have been around forever, and their design and quality have stood the test of time. Back in my youth I wore these boots (and I am now in my 40's!!) My daughter plays football to a high level, and all through her early years it was Blades this, Predators That, and she always thought this boot and the Soft Ground World Cup version were rubbish, because they are what Dad wore! lol. Finally after years of telling here that boots today are poor quality and plastic, she agreed to try them. She is now aged 18 and wont wear anything else! The soft leather gives perfect sense of touch to the ball, and the sturdy sole plate and conventional stud arrangement allow for confidence and stability. They may be pricey in some places, but if the leather is looked after the will last and out perform any of their rivals.
Following a long spell out of football (mostly due to college and university), it feels great to be getting back into the swing of things and making the most of these long, warm days... I guess some people will never fully understand what it means to be running around and kick a ball about for hours on end!
It was also time for new footwear. Like many others, I've made some great mistakes in the past and purchased boots without fully appreciating what makes a good boot in the first place. I honestly feel for younger players more than ever now because the large sports companies - Nike, Adidas and Umbro - are marketing new products as the be-all end-all factor in how good a player you can be. It's quite mind boggling really to think that an extra slither of rubber on the side of a boot will increase ball spin, or that a 'Speed Frame' (a piece of plastic running down the centre of a boot) will make you faster. Don't like your insole? Now you can select from the many insoles provided with a boot; one to make you faster, one to give you "more power", and another that balances the two.
A good example of this futile mix between looks, performance and marketing are the Adidas F50's. My first pair were bought roughly 7-years ago, but after a matter of weeks the ridiculous hessian outer had bobbled, the leather had not moulded to my foot, and the scarily clumsy X-TRAXION stud system was giving me awful pressure around my feet. It taught me one lesson; don't judge a boot by its poster.
I wore a few more pairs following the F50's, but this time round I was older, a lot wiser and understood the values of real leather. Enter the Adidas Copa Munidal.
What more is their to say about these boots? Go on to ANY website - shopping or blogging - and you will find nothing bad said about this footwear. Introduced in 1978, these boots immediately strike the owner as being tried and tested right out the box. The lack of sophistication in it's design is almost complex, for how can a boot that is constructed with so few materials be better than up-to-date technologies and features?
Perhaps the answer lies in that very question. The problem today is that Nike and Adidas are under constant pressure to design new products every year, so that;
A] Mr. Footballer can be see on TV and in promotional material with 'the new boots' (immediately making the previous product obsolete).
B] They can outdo their competition.
This is why boots are not getting any better - because any changes to the design are controlled by how appealing they look when worn by top footballers. The Adidas Copa Mundial, conversely, almost makes a rather effortless statement that it's the brain controlling the feet which makes good play, not the colours of the plastic.
Putting the Copa Mundial's on for the first time is akin to wearing an old pair of slippers, for they immediately feel broken into. Comfort is simply an understatement. Some players will recommend wearing these boots in a hot shower to shrink the leather and allow them to mould around your feet, but this isn't a necessity.
The boots are fairly narrow, but no more so than a pair of Nike Mercurial Vapours. Considering I have wide feet, the Copa Mundial's have stretched and allowed my feet room to spread out, which only makes me wish I had taken some other advice - buy these at least half a size smaller than your other boots. The leather will stretch over time to accommodate your foot size.
I can only heap praise on the kangaroo leather used for these boots, as it is the softest and most supple I've ever felt. Quite simply, the leather allows you to feel the ball in a way that can't be matched even with 'modern' products such as the Nike Tiempo's. Although skill is quite obviously important, you're going to strike the ball and control it much, much cleaner with these boots than any other; that is something I guarantee.
But obviously this luxury-leather comes at a price, for the durability isn't the same quite the same as other products on the market. This isn't a fault of the leather - more the fact that it is so thin so that your touch is spot on. Regular splashings of dubbin and leather products will prolong the life of this boot's upper, but keep in mind that care is needed. This is perhaps the only area in which synthetic boots lead the way, for they can literally just be cleaned with a garden hose!
Mind you, where's the fun in taking care of your own pride and joy?
The Adidas Copa Mundial is essentially the hard/firm ground version of the original 'World Cup' boot, also released around the same time. Both products have exactly the same upper, inner, and only differ on the baseplate. I've compared both boots and personally I'd go for these Copa Mundials as the studs are more flexible for our all round use (especially in this climate).
Theirs not much more to say really, except that players such as Maradona and many more from that era all wore these boots for a reason - they offer the best touch and amount of comfort that you're ever going to see in football boots. So grab yourself a pair today, get down the park and imagine you're in World Cup '82! As the commentators would say... "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL....."