Football boots: the evolution of soccer in footwear

Football boots used in the 1900's. (1900) by FIFAThe Football Museum

First steps

The beginning of football practice was marked by the adaptation of the clothes to the needs of the new sport. Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, both men and women played with leather boots, footwear commonly used in social and work routine. The climatic conditions of cold and rain in the British lands, however, did not collaborate for the use of the traditional boots during the game: the leather doused and the smooth soles provided slides.

Pair of black victorian girl's boots, used with women's football. (1890)The Football Museum

One of the first female boots used to play football in the late 19th century.

Original photograph in sepia of Harrow Footer team (1871)The Football Museum

Facsimile of the Minute Book of the Football Association (1863) by Football AssociationThe Football Museum

Since the first official meeting of the Football Association in 1886, in the United Kingdom, rules have been consolidated to organize and disseminate football practice both inside and outside the country.

In this document, it was agreed the mandatory use of shoes and banned the use of nails in the soles unless they were covered with leather.

Football Boots (1930) by FIFAThe Football Museum

New models

Years later, in the 1920s, the German brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler created models close to what we now know as football boots. Using leather, steel studs and nails on the sole, the accessory was lighter (from 1 to 0.5 pounds) and with a shorter barrel. The model also had interchangeable latches depending on the type of field.

Casa Sportman advertisement (1913) by Fon Fon NewspaperThe Football Museum


Football gained popularity in Brazil in the early twentieth century, and the Brazilian press would soon announce the sale of sports accessories, such as the ones by Casa Clark and Sportman in Rio de Janeiro, and Casa Fuchs in São Paulo.

Advertisement of the football boots model Marcos Carneiro (1915)The Football Museum

It became fashionable to honor the stars of the time with models of boots. For example, the "Shooteiras à Marcos", for the goalkeeper Marcos Carneiro de Mendonça of Fluminense Football Club. Mário Filho, a Brazilian writer and journalist and one of the main football enthusiasts in the first half of the 20th century, recorded the custom in his texts.

Replica of a football boot (1930) by Museu do FutebolThe Football Museum

Marcos Carneiro de Mendonça, the first goalkeeper of the Brazilian national football team. (1921)The Football Museum


The personalized football boots with the names of players used of their soccer attributes in order to associate with the qualities of the accessories.

Letter about the launch of the Friedenreich football boots (1919) by Pequeno Jornal NewspaperThe Football Museum

Following the Rio fashion, in 1917, it launched the boot of a "crack" from São Paulo: Arthur Friedenreich from Club Athletico Paulistano was the honoree of time.

Football boots of Flamengo players (1945) by Sport Ilustrado NewspaperThe Football Museum

After being champin for three times, Sport Illustrated magazine brought in its pages the football boots of the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo players , 1945.

Replica of a football boot (1950) by Museu do FutebolThe Football Museum

Pelé celebrating the conquest of the 1970 FIFA World Cup (1970) by Lemyr Martins/Placar/Dedoc AbrilThe Football Museum

The marks shine on the feet.

During the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, companies Adidas and Puma, two giants of sports equipment, agreed not to carry out marketing actions with the Brazilian player Pelé, the star of that tournament. Puma, however, did not fulfill the deal.

News about the use of Adidas sporting goods (1970) by Revista do Esporte MagazineThe Football Museum

When betting their chips on the popularity of the player of the Brazilian team, Puma carried out a publicity campaign for its soccer boots, dribbling in this way, the German factory Adidas, supplier of sports materials of the Brazilian Confederation of Sports, CBD.

News about the contract signed by Pelé and Puma (1970)The Football Museum

First Brazilian goal in the 1970 FIFA World Cup Final (1970)The Football Museum

Before the match between Brazil and Peru, valid for the quarterfinals of the tournament, Pele asked the referee to postpone in a few seconds the start of the game to tie his boots, which were Puma. Thus, the whole world watched, on television, the King of Soccer tying his Puma football boots, in what was the first World Cup broadcast live and in color on the TV ... The dispute between sports brands in football fields was consolidated.

Nike Tiempo Premier football boot 1994 (1994) by NikeThe Football Museum

Basic black

The FIFA World Cup held in the United States in 1994 definitely marked the entry of the American company Nike in the field of football. Brazil, as the four times champion of the tournament, became the target of new strategic sponsorship, signing the largest contract between a sports equipment company and a national football team for the period. The Brazilian players' boots helped popularize a boot model that would become a classic: the black and white Tiempo. It was the last World Cup final played with all players wearing black football boots.

Football boot Predator (2008) by Museu do FutebolThe Football Museum

The era of colors

Little explored until the mid-1990's, the multicolored boots will set the tone from now on. The origin of the colored boots is associated with a 1970 event: English midfielder Alan Ball, representing Everton Football Club, entered the field against Chelsea with white cleats as part of a marketing move by Hummel sportswear company. Ball paraded in the field with his pioneering boots in a gesture that would be imitated in Brazilian lands by the player Casagrande without much adhesion between fans and players.

Visibility for Women's Football (2015-07-13) by Foto Minas Panagiotakis | Getty ImagesThe Football Museum

From the 2000s we entered the golden era (and also silver, green, etc.) of the colored boots.

Hypervenom Phanton football boot (2013) by NikeThe Football Museum


The technologies of materials and production of boots are in constant evolution. Recent models with higher barrel, for example, offer more stability to the athlete. The process of innovation is continuous and counts on the participation of the players for the improvement of the accessory. Testing of samples and prototypes is done with boys who play on the streets and school blocks, to world stars.

Adidas Messi 16 Plus football boot (2016) by AdidasThe Football Museum

Football boots in a global era

The personalized soccer boots with the names of the stars of the moment ... in the 21st century, technology and marketing put, on a global scale, a custom that had been fashionable in the early twentieth century in Brazil. Guarded the proportions of this story, the idea remains: to wear a boot of a great idol is to dream of playing, maybe one day, just like him!

Credits: Story

Governador – Geraldo Alckmin
Secretário de Estado da Cultura – José Roberto Sadek
Secretária Adjunta de Estado da Cultura – Lúcia Camargo
Chefe de Gabinete – João Manoel da Costa Neto
Coordenadora da Unidade de Preservação do Patrimônio Museológico – Renata Motta

IDBrasil Cultura, Educação e Esporte
Organização Social de Cultura gestora do Museu do Futebol
Conselho de Administração
Presidente – Carlos Antonio Luque
Vice Presidente – Clara de Assunção Azevedo
Diretor Executivo – Luiz Laurent Bloch
Diretora Administrativa e Financeira – Vitória Boldrin
Diretora Técnica do Museu do Futebol – Daniela Alfonsi

Exposição virtual “Chuteiras - a evolução do futebol na ponta dos pés”

Curadoria, pesquisa e textos – Aira Bonfim e Fernando Breda
Apoio à seleção de imagens – Camila Aderaldo e Julia Terin
Edição de imagens – Rafael Lumazini
Edição final – Daniela Alfonsi

Realização do Núcleo do Centro de Referência do Futebol Brasileiro – CRFB – do Museu do Futebol
Coordenação – Camila Chagas Aderaldo
Pesquisadora – Aira Bonfim
Assistente de Pesquisa – Fernando Breda
Bibliotecário – Ademir Takara
Assistentes de Documentação – Julia Terin e Dóris Régis
Estagiárias – Ligia Dona e Nivea Souza

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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