The new year is set to bring with it a raft of next generation updates to some of the most popular boots on the market, as brands look to tweak their existing lineups to perfection. Here we round up all prototypes currently being tested on the training grounds, giving you an idea of what to expect in terms of new releases in the coming months.

New boots go through a lengthy design process from start to finish, which includes rigorous testing to iron out any creases. This last part normally takes place on club training grounds towards the end of the development, as the pros are utilised to give the new boots a run out and feedback their opinions – it’s them that’ll be wearing them after all, so makes sense. What this also does though is give us the opportunity to check out what’s on the way. These prototypes are normally always blacked out to hide any major tech upgrades, but we can still get a good feel for what to expect.

Over the last few months of 2021 we saw players from all the major brands testing out upcoming releases, meaning early 2022 should be full of updated silos, all ready for the women’s Euro 2022 and the first-ever winter World Cup at the end of the year. So let’s check out what’s coming up…


adidas Predator

Set to be the 18th version of one of the most iconic silos in the history of the game, the next Predator looks like it will draw a measure of inspiration from a previous iteration, with what is set to be a fairly radical redesign from what has come before. This one has been on the training grounds since October, and if previous releases are anything to go by then we're expecting an official launch imminently...

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PUMA Future Z

PUMA's latest update to its Future silo has been seen on training grounds since September, with even Neymar giving them a run out. They look to have a fairly significant reworking in the upper, while the 'Z' soleplate of the boot's current name is likely to continue. The other key innovation of the Future, the FUZIONFIT compression band in the mid foot  is also likely to still be present, although we'll have to see how or if it's been tweaked. The forefoot looks to have a raised texture, likely to help with grip and control on the ball. Another that should be on the way sooner rather than later.

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Nike Mercurial Superfly

Listed as the Mercurial Superfly because that's what was seen on the feet of Kylian Mbappé in PSG's first training session of the year, but we obviously expect it to arrive alongside it's life partner, the Vapor. Despite the near perfection of the previous two iterations, that hasn't stopped Nike bringing in what looks like some fairly significant changes. Bound to be big, this.

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Under Armour?

Memphis Depay was spotted in a mystery blackout boot during Netherlands back in November. The Dutch star has seemingly been without a boot contract since his deal with Under Armour expired, however he has continued to wear the American brand a fair bit in recent months, so our money is on this being a next-gen boot from them.

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Nike Phantom

This is the newest spot on the list, and comes somewhat out of the blue... Inter's Roberto Gagliardini trained in what looks to be a next generation of the Nike Phantom. The midfielder usually wears the Phantom GT, so stands to reason that it would be a next generation off that boot, particularly as it doesn't look anything like a Mercurial of Tiempo. Only other option is that it's something completely new from Nike, but we're sticking with it being a new Phantom.

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New Balance Tekela

Jack Wilshere was made a free agent in the summer and is currently training with Arsenal, and while he does so he's also testing out what looks to be the next generation of New Balance's laceless boot, the Tekela. In terms of what’s new, the collar certainly seems higher than its predecessor, likely to provide a better fit and a more locked down feel. There also looks to be some raised texture in specific contact zones, the assumption being that New Balance have looked to improve ball control and accuracy. The Tekela has always been criminally overlooked by the vast majority of professionals at the top of the game: could this next generation upgrade be the version to change that?

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adidas COPA

It wasn’t much of a secret that what Arthur had in his hands at the JTC back in September was the new COPA, with the wording plastered down the side in contrasting white – no blackout prototype here. It was also fairly obvious from the silhouette what the boot was; pretty unmistakeable, with its curvy upper. As for what we’re getting, it’s tough to tell exactly from the one image on offer, and it's not been spotted anywhere else since... curious.

Keep locked on this space for all the latest boot spots, news and drops.