About Armchairref - Talking all things Football

I'm 24 years Old living in Cape Town and I'm absolutely MAD about football

Nike Maxim Ball

Take a look at the ball that’ll be blazing across Premier League pitches and this season

The new Nike Maxim was recently unveiled by the American Sportswear giants and features design and performance innovation that offer great responsiveness, touch and stable ball flight for accurate passing and striking. Also, the ball features a 360 degree sweet spot to allow consistent response off the foot.

The ball will also be used in Italy and Spain for the 2012/13 Serie A and La Liga  seasons.

 

Pantofola d’Oro Ascoli Euro Football Boots

While I profiled major football brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Lotto’s range for the upcoming Euro 2012 Championships, it seems there is a boot manufacturer who have tasked themselves with creating a boot that mimics the home and away colours of individual teams participating in Ukraine and Poland this year.

Pantofola d’Oro, an Italian manufacturer of football wear, has been manufacturing footwear since 1886. In the 50’s, Emidio Lazzarini took over the business from his father and started producing high quality, hand made football boots for Italian footballers and clubs.

Eventually, the quality of the boots increased rapidly, with many top footballers of that era opting for a pair of Lazzarini’s creations as their football footwear of choice.

The boots could be found on the soles of the likes of Fabio CapelloJohan CruyffJürgen KlinsmannRoberto ManciniMarco Van BastenDino Zoff and Paolo Di Canio.

The new and exclusive Pantofola d’Oro Ascoli Euro Range football boots, however, have been designed with home and away strips in mind for four continental teams. The ranges launched for Euro 2012 are Tricolore, La RojaGermania and Les Bleus which as you might probably be able to decipher represent powerhouses Italy, Spain, Germany and France.

With this new range, the Italians have remained true to their principles of quality craftsmanship and top quality leather. It’s hard to imagine another brand that could craft such footwear, as Pantofola d’Oro aren’t concerned with mass production and are instead happy to construct limited numbers of leather football boots.

Pantofola d’Oro offer unique crafting and construction, as every football boot that leaves Italy is still handmade. Of all the Italian brands, Pantofola d’Oro are the only ones left to be solely engineering their boots in Italy. Retaining techniques that have served the family for 125 years, the level of craftsmanship is there to see with the cut of the leather and quality stitching, to create a boot that’s designed to last a long time.

Juventus Away Kit 12/13

Juventus recently launched their new away kit for the upcoming season that will feature the brand logo of JEEP in what was announced as a 35 Million Euro, 3 year deal.

On the back of a highly successful season, the new kit will be seen on the backs of the ‘Old Lady’ squad as they not only aim to defend their Serie A title, but also stake their claim as one of Europe’s best when they make their highly anticipated return to Champions League football.

The team will play in a striking black away kit for the 2012/13 season that highlights the determination and hunger for continued success of the famed club. The kit draws on inspiration from the glorious past of the Italian champions and future successes to come.

The details on the jersey, shorts and socks are a tribute to the values on which the Club was founded.

The crew neck design is inspired by the 1941-42 Coppa Italia winning jersey. Under the badge: 30 SUL CAMPO. The inner neck graphic on the shirt is a club motto – “Vincere Non È Importante È L’Unica Cosa che Conta” (Winning is not important, it is everything).

The socks are also all black with ‘Juventus’ written in white.

With earlier reports claiming that Juventus would not add the controversial 3rd star onto their jerseys to mark their title winning season, it seems as if they’ve had a change of heart, with a third star now set to appear above the famous black and white badge.

 

Predator Lethal Zones vs. the deadly challenges video

A couple days ago, I profiled Adidas’ new Predator range with its 5 “Lethal Zones”. The video shows well knows Predator wearers being put through a series of unique challenges aimed at showcasing the boots capabilities

The ad features the likes of Angel di Maria, Xavi, Robin Van Persie, Sandro along with new boy Iker Casillas (who was previously under Reebock sponsorship)

Check it out

Fancy footwear @ Euro’s. What to look out for – Part 2

So, yesterday I profiled the Nike and Adidas range for the upcoming Euro 2012 Championships. But as you all know, these are not the only 2 big players on the market when it comes to awesome boots on feature at this years tournament. While some of you may be hard-line Nike and Adidas fans, there are others who might want to keep their eyes open for something else. Here’s a look at what they’ll be up against.

Puma

In the past couple years, Puma has really emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the footballing world, investing heavily in the sport even to the point where the CEO values the brands positioning within football over an ad-revenue generating machine like Usain Bolt.

Puma has also gone from sponsoring a handful of good players under their umbrella to boasting a list of household names and world stars on their books, luring them away from their contracts with giants like Nike and Adidas. This is evident with the likes of Radamel Falcao, Sergio Aguero, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Steven Pienaar all recently joining the German Sportswear brand after being with other brands previously.

Well known for its overwhelming presence in terms of African National team sponsorship, we’ll be able to see Puma in action on the backs of the Italian and Czech national team players. But it’s the boot’s we’re worried about. Here’s what you’ll be able to see this summer.

Puma PowerCat 1.12

Since its introduction in late October the PUMA PowerCat 1.12 soccer boot has caught the attention of many through its use by FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Cesc Fàbregas.

From the looks of it, the boot is quite eye popping and I particularly like the design of the sole-plate. The famous PUMA Cat remains on the inside and outside uppers of the PowerCat 1.12 accented in gold/red. The new version of the boot has the Cat on a red background on the outside to really make it stand out, a welcomed touch for the iconic logo.

The boot is a comfortable fit and slides onto the foot effortlessly with enough breathing space, while the bladed stud configuration allows for some good traction. The boot is most suited to midfielders who fancy the accurate pass or powerful shot from range.

Puma evoSPEED 1

Puma’s other boot offering this summer, the evoSPEED 1, is one is designed with simplicity but intended to perform and, like the Adidas F50 range, is geared more towards speed, acceleration and flair.

Designed around the principal of ‘light, flex & fit’, the goal of the Puma evoSPEED 1 is to create one of the single best performing lightweight soccer shoes on the market today.

Using an all-new single-piece synthetic upper, the evoSPEED 1 offers an exceptional feel for the ball, whilst moulding seamlessly with the players foot for an excellent fit.

While Sergio Aguero is the main face of the boot, you’ll be able to spot these on the feet of Mario Gomez at this years tournament

Lotto

Lotto has a long tradition in Italian football and is known around the world for staying true to Italian football values. They may not be as common or as well know as their previously mentioned counterparts, but they’ve certainly got some stunning boots worth mentioning.

Lotto Stadio Potenza II

This boot has already landed on pitch, after appearing in the Italian Cup final with Napoli’s Christian Maggio. Now the boots are ready to play a part in Italy’s pursuit of Euro glory this summer!

The Lotto Stadio is one of the classic football boots to be found in the game, a benchmark of quality leather performance and craftsmanship. The name ‘Stadio’ isn’t out of place, when being mentioned among such greats as Copa Mundial, Tiempo, King and Morelia.

Lotto Fuerzapura III

With a unique style and a soft comfortable K-Leather upper, the Fuerzapura series has made giant strides since first being launched in 2010. The boots feature a well balanced combination of technology and traditional boot design. With a higher concentration on quality leather, the boot has made its way onto the European scene with performances notably coming from Serie A.

Lotto Zhero Gravity II

The Lotto Zhero Gravity II 100 football boots are out there on their own in terms of pioneering, and are a boot that always generates debate amongst the boot community. Now 10 years on from the original concept, Lotto’s laceless boots are as popular as ever and this new design with Risk Red/White colourway has a certain Italian cool about it.

These next generation Lotto Zhero Gravity 100 football boots are a more eccentric design than the previous incarnation and are simply unmissable on any football pitch! They certainly grab attention, and if it’s innovation you’re looking for then Lotto scores top marks by designing a boot with no laces. At a time when vibrant colours, innovative tech and speed boots go hand-in-hand, Lotto have delivered on all fronts.

Lotto players to look out for  – Christian Maggio (Italy), Federico Balzaretti (Italy) and Morgan De Sanctis (Italy)

Now that you’ve had a look on what’s in store, which of the profiled boots would you choose. Here’s to spotting some cool boots and watching some great football over the coming weeks.

Fancy footwear @ Euro’s. What to look out for – Part 1

With Euro 2012 slowly approaching, managers, players and fans alike are waiting in bated breath for the first kick off. But while we’re all anticipating goals, glory and fancy footwork, here’s a taste of what some of Europe’s best footballers will be donning on their feet this summer

Nike

Some of the world’s best players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique will step out in this new collection of boots, deliver striking style and performance for this summer’s tournament.

Nike’s Mercurial Vapor VIIICTR360 IIT90 Laser IV and Tiempo Legend IV boots will feature a color clash design of traditional white with a bold second color signifying each boots style to stand out on pitch.

Nike Clash Boot range

The boots where debuted by Nike players in Munich on 19 May and will continue to be worn throughout Euro 2012 and beyond

Adidas

Similarly to Nike, Adidas boasts some serious talent. The German sports apparel brands has had a long and fruitful association with the European Championships and is responsible for kitting out some of the worlds best teams and players.

Fans of the brand have become accustomed to expecting top quality, eye catching boots and at Euro 2012, fans can expect to see 3 types of adidas boots on show, namely the Adipower Predator LZ, adiPURE 11pro SL and the F50 miCoach

Adidas Predator LZ

LZ (as in Adidas Predator LZ) stems from the 5 lethal zones on the boots and will be the first Predator boots with miCoach capability. Predator wearers to look out for at the Championships are Steven Gerrard, Robin van Persie and Xavi.

The adiPURE 11pro SL features a mixture of K-Leather (Kangaroo Leather) and SprintSkin Material for the upper. The K-Leather is in front of the boot while the SprintSkin Material is in the heel. This boot weighs 180 grams. The boot can be spotted on the likes of Xabi Alonso, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phillip Lahm.

Preferred by the speedsters of world football, the F50 adiZero Prime miCoach weighs in at 145g (or 5.1oz), making them the lightest boot in the market. It was the first boots with a brain technology and also one of the fastest in the world created by Adidas. Players to look out for – Ashley YoungDavid SilvaSamir Nasri and Arjen Robben

When it all comes down to it, I gotta say, I’m happy to stick with the tried and tested Adidas range. The brand has made huge leaps in terms of boot technology and innovative design. Which would be your favourite

Watch this space for Part 2 of Fancy footwear @ Euro 2012.