Pre-season isn't just a time for arduous fitness and training exercises. It gives players (non-contracted ones anyway!) a chance to test out new football boots for the upcoming campaign. This looks to be the case for Dutch international and Ajax full-back Gregory Van der Wiel.
The highly rated defender has switched allegiances from Puma to adidas, whilst remaining within the speed silo category. The former Puma v1 representative has made a surprising step away from Puma's headline speed boot, setting foot in the F50 adiZero as Ajax undergo pre-season.
Since changing from the adidas Predator Absolute to Puma's v1.06 in 2007, the Ajax full-back has enjoyed huge success for both club and country, attracting attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. He was even Puma's only player in the starting 11 of either side in the 2010 World Cup Final, wearing the Puma v1.10 JB Final football boots!
For now, it looks like Van der Wiel has put his Puma days behind him as he marks the start of the 11/12 season with a new pair of speed boots – the adidas F50 adiZero! This will come as a blow to Puma, who look to have lost one of their most promising players in the wake of the new Puma v1.11.
The adiZero is becoming a potent weapon for the modern day full back, whose attacking duties are just as vital as their defensive roles. Van der Weil joins Barcelona's Dani Alves, Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao and many other full backs to utilise the super lightweight adidas boots.
What do you make of Van der Wiel's new boot choice? Would you rather start the 11/12 season wearing the F50 adiZero or Puma v1.11? Have your say online, on Twitter and on Facebook. A shout-out to Youri de Jong for this great spot!