As we all know, right about now we should be one week away from the kick off of Euro 2020. Of course, that’s now not happening, but it’s been replaced by the welcome return of domestic action across the continent, as the major leagues seek a conclusion to the 2019/20 season. And the major brands have adjusted their plans accordingly, repurposing their tournament packs for this final flourish of football.

Since 2010, it has become something of a tradition to release new packs for tournaments, with brands wrapping their current roster in uniform colourings so that they – along with the players wearing them – stand out on the pitch. And this year was no different. For the likes of Nike, adidas and PUMA, planning and preparation for the Euro 2020 will have been underway for months, stretching on to possibly even years, only for the unthinkable to put paid to it all. But rather than waste all of that time and effort, the packs have instead been utilised for the return of the domestic leagues across Europe, still boasting the unique traits, stories and approaches that each brand had used.


The 'Uniforia Pack' was the first to drop, with an artistic theme that has been running across all of adidas’s products ahead of the tournament, including the Official Match Ball, also named ‘Uniforia’. The pack celebrates the unity and euphoria-inspiring power of both football and art, with both possessing a shared ability to evoke creativity and self-expression.

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The starting point for each design was a bold white base, mirroring an artist’s blank canvas. Each canvas is brought to life with a luminous colour palette, with brush stroke design sparingly applied in the style of abstract artistry methods for an impactful and handcrafted aesthetic. And they certainly tick the “standing out on the pitch” criteria.

More than that though, it’s also a nice approach. The Three Stripes are in the fortunate position of holding the sponsor rights for the competition – hence the official match ball –and so they have been able to tailor the story surrounding the boots nicely to tie in with the overarching theme. This has also spilt onto the shirt designs for the various nations for which adidas are the kit suppliers.

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Next up, Nike released the ‘Neighbourhood Pack’, presenting the Mercurial Vapor and Superfly, Phantom VNM and VSN II, and Tiempo Legend in a silver paint job – representing the trophies the players were playing for – with pops of red and black throughout. The running theme explored the locations of the world’s biggest stages and the fact that these are also home to the world’s most notorious hot beds of street football. It aimed to show the journey from street to stage and how it corresponds with the locations on the boots.

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It’s a well thought out angle, encompassing the key locations from not just the Euros, but from Copa America too. However, with the silver bordering on grey, this is not the standout colouring that we’ve come to expect from the Swoosh. Not that that’s a bad thing – just look at the popularity of the stunning ‘Victory Pack’ from the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

The real attention grabber on these boots though is the debut of the Lightning Swoosh – a disjointed take on the standard Nike logo that’s been modernised with a more aggressive aesthetic. It has since made its way on to the Air Jordan 1 Mid “Swoosh on Tour” edition, and you can guarantee it won’t stop there, with Nike set to continue the globe trotting theme that’s at the root of the Neighbourhood Pack.

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And most recently, PUMA have launched the ‘Rise Pack’, and you can’t argue with them being eye-catching. The idea behind the dazzling combination of NRGY Peach and Fizzy Yellow was to see players rise up (see what they’ve done there) toward glory, overcome new challenges, and chase their dreams. Mmm, not quite feeling that. They were also supposed to celebrate players brilliance as they spark and illuminate the pitch (better) and they feature a chrome outsole to highlight the players pursuit of silverware (jackpot).

Tech-wise, like the other two brands’ offerings, there’s nothing new here, so it’s just the colour upgrade. And for that, they’d certainly be recognisable on the pitch, bringing a different dynamic to both adidas’ and Nike’s pack looks. Job done.

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Though these boots are denied the attention grabbing showcase that would’ve been Euro 2020, they will still all get their moments to shine, albeit on the smaller stage of domestic competition. Having said that, there’s still a Champions League final to be played, and Nike, adidas and PUMA will all be desperate to have one of their pack be the boot to grab the spotlight, signing off on the season in style.