Over the past twelve months there has been a revolution in the boots market, leading to the current boot rivalry for lightweight performance leather footwear. There's been many a debate not just in the SoccerBible headquarters, but in the boots community around the globe, over which of these boots will now be the preferred choice...
Whether it's Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry or Hulk, there's no denying lightweight leather football boots are a popular choice amongst the pro's. It seems the perfect match, you get the best of the natural touch, feel and comfort from the leather upper, and the speed and lightweight performance from the engineered outsole. The adizero, King SL and Neo are the market's leading boots, so here's a chance to compare all three.
It would be fair to say the adizero kick-started all the fuss over lightweight leather football boots back in 2010. When the adizero arrived at the 2010 World Cup through the likes of Lionel Messi, David Villa and Arjen Robben, they took the game and the boots community by storm. No-one before the adizero had considered a sub-200g mass produced leather football boot, now both Mizuno and Puma have dedicated their most celebrated boot ranges to delivering performance.
Being the most recent, it makes sense to look at the Puma King SL first. The 'King' is one of football's most celebrated boot ranges, and has championed the careers of Pele, Eusebio, Maradona and Cruyff, which makes you wonder what any one of those four players would have thought of the King SL? It doesn't quite break the 200g barrier though, as the King SL weighs-in at 225g, but it clearly inherits the craftsmanship of the 'King' range and is constructed using super-soft kangaroo leather.
Next up is the leader of the lightweight leather revolution, the adidas F50 adizero football boots. The current versions tipped our scales at exactly 200g, slightly heavier than the original adizero, but still that's not bad! The biggest innovation which will have opened rival manufacturer's eyes, is how adidas engineered their one-piece SprintFrame outsole, lightweight and with different flex and strength properties throughout.
Currently taking the crown for lightweight leather football boots is the Mizuno Morelia Neo, weighing just 175g! Unlike the adizero which uses a TPU outsole, the Morelia Neo outsole is engineered from a lighter Pebax material, and has an upper made from their famed soft K-leather. Like Puma, Mizuno are also using their most famous boot name for their lightweight leather boot.
Ranging from £150-160 (that's without the miCoach chip for the adizero), there isn't too much to differentiate between these lightweight leather football boots. And as lightweight football boots remain the most sought after on the market, it will be interesting to hear which boots are preferred by the boots community?
Now you've had a good look at the best of the lightweight leather football boots on the market, let us know which are your favourite and leave your opinions online, on Twitter and on Facebook.