They're the ultimate football boot for any no-nonsense player. Following adidas' recent drop of black-out editions to the adiPure 11 Pro and adizero miCoach line-up, football's black-out phenomenon continues to sweep the game.
They're the coolest boots in football and some of the hardest to come by. There is a certain mystique about all black football boots, which originates from prototypes. In recent years, black-outs have become real fan favourites and continue to be in high demand.
As a new season approaches expect to see a flurry of non-contracted pro's defy the colour trend, bringing a range of black-out boots to the pitch. Whether they're the work of a black-marker or an official brand release like Sammi Ameobi's f50's, black-out boot-spots are always some of the most noticeable.
Along with the classy style they bring to the pitch, the great thing about blacked-out football boots is the call out they bring to the boot's performance features, focusing you on the quality of the boot. Most brands have thrown their hat into the black-out ring, but rarely do we get a true all black boot.
As you look down the list of past black-out releases, adidas have continued to be the leading brand. Time and time again, adidas have delivered exceptional blacked-out football boots, with few better than the adiPower Predator.
In 2011 Puma released limited numbers of the hugely popular v1.11 black-out. They made their way onto the feet of a handful of professionals before being replaced by the standard in-line colourways. It was a popular move by Puma to help launch the v1.11 and one that we'd love to see brought to the Puma evoSPEED.
Mizuno may be more traditionally inclined when it comes to their boot design. But with the launch of the Morelia Neo, the Japanese brand followed the colour trend set by speed boots, releasing both green and purple editions. We're yet to see a full black-out from Mizuno, but the Black/Red Morelia Neo boots were popularly received.
When you're talking about traditional black football boots, no brand does it better than Pantofola d'Oro. Although they've expanded their boot catalogue with new colourways, the Italian company began their re-emergence with all black leather uppers, making them a huge hit with players after an old-school answer to a modern boot.
Nike continue to make us wait for another true black-out football boot. Despite constant cries for a black-out Mercurial, Nike are yet to match adidas on the black-out front. In 2009 the brand released their first “black-pack”, consisting of the Mercurial Vapor V, Superfly I, T90 Laser II and Tiempo Legend III.
For the start of the 2012/13 season, Nike have once again taken a darker approach to each of their four silos, including what some consider to be the best looking Mercurial in recent seasons. Nike's black colourways tend to go in cycles, so expect Nike to follow this collection with something considerably brighter!
What's your opinion on black-out football boots? Should we see more brands follow in adidas' footsteps and release all-black boots to the public? Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.