Creative Soccer Culture

Global Boot Spotting

We’re dipping into the archive once more for another dose or retro Boot Spotting, and this week it comes with a World Cup theme. Plenty of golden boots on offer, both in a colourway sense and in terms of tournament top scorers. Ready? We start in France, 1998…

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Davor Suker (Croatia) Lotto Stadio Classic

Ronaldo's signature Nike R9 Mercurial may have stolen all of the headlines at the 1998 World Cup from a boot perspective, but it was the humble Lotto Stadio Classic that took the plaudits, earning golden boot status on the feet of Croatia's Davor Suker with 6 goals. One of the absolute classics and still available today in a remastered version.

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Ronaldo (Brazil) Nike Mercurial Vapor

Speaking of Ronaldo, and he arrived at the 2002 World Cup with a point to prove, a new haircut, and a new pair of boots. Those boots were the Mercurial Vapor. Interestingly, Ronaldo sported two variations of the Mercurial Vapor, with the famous chrome colourway only coming out for the semi-final and final. But El Fenomeno well and truly banished the demons of '98, scoring in every game bar one, and earning the golden boot.

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David Beckham (England) adidas Predator Mania

By 2002, the boot battle had really begun. But the king at the time was undoubtedly the Predator in Mania-guise, and on the feet of David Beckham in that stunning 'Champagne' colourway, there wasn't a more iconic combination.

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Zinedine Zidane (France) adidas Predator Absolute

The Predator Absolute was a thing of beauty to admire in its normal guise, but with a full gold paint job and on the feet of Zinedine Zidane? Forget about it. Never available for retail, the golden edition was far more of a fitting tribute to the Frenchman than was his infamous final act in the game.

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Wayne Rooney (England) Nike T90 Supremacy

Going into the 2006 World Cup, there were few more exciting prospects than a debutant Wayne Rooney. As one of Nike's leading men by this point, he came into the tournament in the fourth-generation of the Nike T90 series, the Supremacy, but after recovering from a knee injury, he didn't quite deliver.

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Bakary Kone (Ivory Coast) Mizuno Wave Shinken

Following the immense success of the Wave Cup, which featured prominently on the feet of the likes of Rivaldo in the 2002 tournament, the 2006 tournament saw the next evolution in that phase with the Wave Shinken. It was worn by several players, including Ivory Coast's Bakary Kone.

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Samuel Etoo (Cameroon) PUMA V1.10

Used by Samuel Eto'o for the group stages of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the PUMA V1.10 featured a strong gold look combined with red accents. The former Barca man was the main advocate of the boot at the tournament and the idea was for him to switch into a green accented version for the knockouts, however Cameroon didn't make it that far. He did score in them against Denmark though.

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Fernando Torres (Spain) Nike Total 90 Laser III

Switching from the standard Elite pack that Nike had supplied for the 2010 tournament, Fernando Torres, one of the main faces of the T90 series at the time, donned the "White/Obsidian/Gold" colourway of the Total 90 Laser III for Spain's Last 16 match against Portugal, a game the eventual tournament winners won 1-0.

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Tim Cahill (Australia) adidas Predator X

For the 2010 World Cup, adidas rolled out a simple yet effective black and yellow combo across their four silos. The Predator X was the tenth incarnation of the iconic boot range, hence the X, and they featured a redesigned Predator Element and an energy return system that was supposed to bring more power, swerve and control to every kick. Tim Cahill didn't seem to disagree, scoring against Serbia in them.

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Yasuhito Endo (Japan) Umbro Stealth Pro

When Michael Owen suffered his injury at the 2006 World Cup, Umbro were short one star player, as the England hitman never fully recovered to reach the heights that he was once at. So it fell to other players to represent the Double Diamond's silvery Stealth Pro, and Japan's Yasuhito Endo stepped up, scoring against Denmark.

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Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Holland) Nike Hypervenom Phantom I

For its 2014 World Cup pack, Nike paired its four silos up for a two-way split. The Hypervenom was paired with the Mercurial in an eye-catching "red/neon/black" paint job. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar found the net from the spot in the 94th minute in them to send Holland past Mexico and into the quarter finals.

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James Rodriguez (Colombia) Adidas F50 adizero

Starting with a golden boot and ending with a golden boot. James Rodriguez earned the coveted award for finding the net six times in his warrior-inspired "Battle Pack" F50s, in which the F50 featured alongside the Predator, 11Pro, and Nitrocharge, in an eye-catching black and white colourway.

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