Old Boots and all.
After lots of rummaging around looking for a small piece of my youth, I found an old of pair of my football (soccer for my American friends) boots. These boots didn't just rekindle a desire to get back out there and play again - goodness knows what horrific damage I'd do to my body. But these boots stood and still stand for something much more than that.
The Adidas World Cup boots introduced for the 1978 World Cup are classic design icons and influenced what every player wears today. The black and white sole with red studs was the first time anything ever as brave, distinctive and literally out of the box (in more than one sense of the world) had ever been done before. Made from kangaroo leather for extra lightness - they never seem to help me jump any higher.
In many respects and forgive the pun again, these were game changers. Like Apple and Steve Jobs, Adidas did not just embrace the Germanic Bauhaus, function equals form design attitude with these boots, they knew that players wanted something more, they wanted style. To be able to wear a pair of boots like this you had to be good, like Muller, Beckebauer and Kempes and live up to the expectation of all they stood for. Either that or or you needed a lot of money.
Along with the new boots came the Adidas Tango Ball (I kept one of these too), another much talked about classic. This ball took it's inspiration from the deep passion, emotion and elegance of Argentina. This pattern was used for five consecutive world cups and still in my opinion is yet to be beaten.
This was the year that Adidas really hit the nail on the head and reached their design apex. I wish the same could be said for the shameful England football team who never even made the finals that year, and have since failed followed a similar pattern in in every other tournament since. Perhaps us Brits are to "Stuck Up and Fuddy-Duddy" to be stylish enough to be wearing boots like these. They never really did the job for me either, but at the very least my feet may have looked the part.
When I see the players of today wearing boots all colors of the rainbow, there's probably even a rainbow colored pair out there for all I know. I yearn for the simpler, more classic, iconic days of when I pulled on my Adidas World cup boots, rolled the sides of my short shorts up to display as much thigh as possible, pulled on my skin tight shirt, stroked back my mullet over my ears and stepped on to the field ready for action and looking the business.
Next week I may rummage some more and perhaps review my blue paisley patterned Marks and Spenser Y-Fronts from 1972.