With a World Cup less than twelve months away adidas are picking the pace right up. Mats Hummels becomes the latest player to test drive a next-generation blackout boot as the Bayern Munich defender laces up in a silhouette that is expected to spearhead the Three Stripes into Russia next summer.

Hummels appears to be wearing the same boot that Ivan Rakitic recently tested, the only difference being that Hummels' blacked out boots feature laces. On first inspection the boot takes cues from the ACE 17.1, with a knitted collar design and modified collar construction. But, most interestingly, the prominent grooves on the instep and forefoot of the boot suggest adidas have some alternative plans for their next generation control silhouette.


With the World Cup just around the corner we can expect the next few months to be littered with next-generation sightings as brands begin to tease their new projects and let their players become accustomed to their party pieces. For now, adidas have drawn first blood and they'll be doing all they can to stay in pole position with a project that's currently under-wraps but is nailed on to turn heads along the road to Russia.


Ivan Rakitic (above) has already trained in a laceless version of Mats Hummels' black-out adidas football boots, and we can expect a number of other influential adidas players to join them in the coming months. A landmark year awaits and as with any World Cup countdown, anything goes.