The 10 football boot collaborations we'd love to see come to life
After a year of football-meets-fashion collaborations, New Balance and Stone Island took it one step further. The legendary Italian label released its first-ever pair of football boots, cementing Stone Island’s footballing legacy by making the move from the terraces to the pitch. The boots achieved an even-more mythic status in the first England game of the World Cup, when Raheem Sterling managed to get the badge in as he scored England’s third goal. All of this got us thinking about the best brands who could release their own football boots, so here are 10 potential collaborations we’d love to see.
- New Balance
#1 Aries x New Balance Furon
Who it’s for: The rough diamonds, unpredictable and mercurial attackers.
Aries made the move into sports designing special-edition kits for AS Roma and New Balance recently, but that should just be the beginning of the brand’s foray into football. Building on that collaboration, the London-based label could bring its luxury streetwear aesthetic to New Balance’s Furon silhouette. Think loud patterns, animal prints and tie-dye sections, all adding up to create a terrifying design perfect for the unpredictable and mercurial attackers of the world. Yes, we mean Darwin Nunez.
- Getty Images / adidas
#2 Pharrell Williams x adidas X Speedportal.1
Who’s it for: The flair player.
Pharrell’s collaboration with adidas has been going on for years now, and the producer-rapper-designer’s Hu NMD line has proven a long-running hit for the Three Stripes. The PrimeKnit upper and plastic cages could be translated onto a pair of boots, while the colourful designs chosen by Pharrell for the silhouette would mean he’s the perfect fit for adidas’ X Speedportal.1. Beloved by players at this year’s World Cup and often adorned with a head-turning array of bright colours.
- Getty Images / Dr Martens
#3 Dr. Martens
Who’s it for: The reliable, no-nonsense centre half.
Hear us out. Dr. Martens actually have something of a footballing heritage, having sponsored some of the all-time great West Ham Premier League kits in the past. As well as that, the heritage label is known for its sturdy and rigid footwear – they were originally designed as work boots, after all – two words that could equally be applied to a dying breed of if-in-doubt centre-halves. We’ll cut to the chase: imagine Harry Maguire booting the ball out for a throw while wearing some Dr. Martens.
- Margiela / Reebok
#4 Maison Margiela x Reebok Sprintfit Pro
Who’s it for: The ultimate luxury player.
It’s been a long time since Reebok last made a football boot, but the brand signed with Botafogo earlier this year, beginning its reentry into the sport. What better way to build on that than by translating its flagship collaboration – with Maison Margiela – into the footballing arena. Some of the trademarks, such as the hand-painted finish or Tabi toes, might make them unsuitable for elite-level football, but they’ll definitely make the player stand out. There would be nothing practical about the boots, which makes them the perfect fit for an overindulgent luxury player. Think Dimitar Berbatov’s deft first touch and refusal to run.
- Tom Sachs / Nike
#5 Tom Sachs x Nike Tiempo
Who’s it for: The box-to-box midfielder.
In the past, Tom Sachs has said that he wants his Nike collaborations to be for everyone and to be worn in their daily lives. If he really wants his shoes to be worn out, he should be creating a boot for the box-to-box midfielders among us. There’s no one else on the pitch who covers as much ground, taking the ball from the back four and launching attacks down the far end. In the modern game, no one’s doing it better than Jude Bellingham, and we can see the young star wearing a pair of Tom Sachs’ functional and immaculately-designed boots.
- JJJJound / New Balance
#6 JJJJound x New Balance Tekela
Who’s it for: The Regista.
While New Balance might not be known as the biggest player in the football industry, it is undoubtedly the king of collaborations. After introducing Stone Island and Aries to the sport, the brand should bring the understated Canadian label JJJJound to football. In the past, JJJJound collaborations have included luxury materials, retro-inspired styling and subtle detailing. That whole approach makes them the perfect boot-maker for the most sophisticated of all roles: the Regista. Someone should get Pirlo out of retirement for this.
- NemeN / PUMA
#7 NemeN x PUMA King
Who’s it for: The brutally efficient goal machine.
NemeN has made some pretty out-there football kits in the past and has gained a reputation for experimental materials and techniques. All of this makes the Italian label a perfect, if unconventional, potential boot designer. Just think of it now. A pair of PUMA Kings in the brand’s metallic 3D mesh, or covered with its water-resistant membrane and coloured using its garment dyeing. NemeN’s futuristic design approach makes it the perfect partner for the player of the future: some sort of half-robot, half-human goal machine. Anyone spring to mind?
Who’s it for: The lower league journeyman.
Best known for its hiking, trail running and adventure sports footwear, Salomon has got 75 years of all-conditions expertise under its belt. There is, however, one challenge situation it has yet to design footwear for: lower league pitches. Think of a flash of Salomon’s brightly-coloured footwear in the middle of a mud-strewn relegation scrap or its functional expertise during a frost-covered FA Cup Second Round replay. At the slightly less-glamorous end of professional football, it's all about survival. Something that Salomon knows more than enough about.
- Stussy / Nike
#9 Stüssy x Nike Mercurial Superfly
Who’s it for: The fashion-conscious baller.
While Stüssy’s collaborations with Nike aren’t always the brand’s most popular, they’ve taken on an if-you-know-you-know quality. The next frontier for the legendary streetwear brand should be Nike’s Mercurial Superfly. The design could mix its Californian-inspired aesthetic with Nike’s most popular football silhouette, in the process creating the perfect footwear for the new generation of fashion-conscious footballers.
- adidas / Getty Images
#10 Wales Bonner x adidas Copa Mundial
Who’s it for: The football purist.
London-based designer Wales Bonner has created some of the most sought-after adidas releases in recent years, all through the way she looks to the past and reworks the brand’s classic silhouettes. There is one vintage silhouette she is yet to touch: the Copa Mundial. Think of the boot in an off-white colourway, finished with green detailing and marbled laces. It’d be a classy new twist on the Copa Mundial and would fit well with the retro inspiration for Wales Bonner’s takes on the Samba silhouette. The unflashy sophistication makes it perfect for football’s calm, experienced heads. Think of a Thiago moment of peace in a frantic Gegenpress, or that extra second that only Kevin de Bruyne can find.