Today, the black soccer cleat or the football boot, is a staple when playing the game. However, the soccer cleats that we know today hasn’t always been like that. The soccer cleat has evolved from a pair of boots that King Henry the VIII of England wore. From there, the pair of boots evolved to the cleats that even average people can now wear. If you’re interested in knowing how they evolved over time, here’s a brief history:
Tudor Period of England
The predecessor of soccer cleats came from a pair of leather boots made by Cornelius Johnson for King Henry VIII. It’s important to take note that there is no record at all as to whether King Henry VIII was an enthusiastic soccer player or not. However, his handmade boots served as the inspiration for modern day soccer shoes. In the next 300 years, the game of soccer became really popular and shoemakers started making modifications to further fit the game (such as including nails at the bottom).
Eventually, the English Football Association implemented a rule in 1863 banning nails or iron plates in games because of safety reasons. In 1880, leather studs were used instead. The official use of leather studs in games only became recognized when the English Football Association implemented it in the rulebook during 1891. These are the direct ancestors of the modern soccer cleats.
Soccer cleats evolved during the 1900s, specifically the 1920s. The changes were made by Adolf and Rudolf Dassler during the year 1924 in Germany. They formed the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory and created the Adi, which is the first pair that they created. This was the early predecessor of Adidas, as we know today. Internal conflicts lead to the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory closing down. Rudolf then branched out and created the brand Puma.
1970s was a time when soccer cleats received the most professional endorsements. Many companies created more cleats to fit more competition needs. Companies such as Hummel and Everton came out with their own cleats following the World Cup.
In the 1980s, football boots were made with more emphasis on flexibility and trying to find the lightest soccer cleats. This was to allow the players to have better control and speed on the field. This was popularized by player Craig Johnston who was looking for the ideal boots to have a good “feel” of the field and the ball. In 1990s, the Adidas Predator was created based on this idea.
Eventually, Nike joined the market and got a huge share of the soccer cleats market. Though Nike specialized in creating running shoes, they innovated their existing running shoes to fit soccer. One of the most popular Nike cleats was Nike Tiempo, which was what Brazil players wore in the World Cup of 1994.
Today, soccer cleats have evolved, possessing all kinds of innovative features such as extra grip, softer padding, and others. What started out as a pair of black boots from King Henry VIII became a staple in one of the most popular games in Europe. Today, you need these cleats if you’re going to streak down the field and score a goal.