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Evolution of the football boot continues with Adidas' knitted boot/sock hybrid

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March 13, 2014

The EUR 300 Samba PrimeKnit (top left) will be released on Monday, March 17, 2014. No price or release date has yet been set for the all-in-one boot/sock hybrid Adidas PrimeKnit FS (top right), but it will go on sale during 2014. The inset is a pictorial history of Adidas' most important football boot releases over the last 50 years.

The EUR 300 Samba PrimeKnit (top left) will be released on Monday, March 17, 2014. No price or release date has yet been set for the all-in-one boot/sock hybrid Adidas PrimeKnit FS (top right), but it will go on sale during 2014. The inset is a pictorial history of Adidas' most important football boot releases over the last 50 years.

Image Gallery (26 images)

Adidas always saves its best for a World Cup year and when it showed a knitted football boot last week, we figured that the radical departure represented by the Samba Primeknit (top left) was this year's bombshell. Now the German company, which made its reputation designing purpose-built sports shoes, has gone one massive step further by combining the boot and sock into what it believes will be the football boot of the future.

While acknowledging the all-in-one knitted boot/sock hybrid is a concept model, Adidas is currently working with top players around the world to finalize development of the product and plans to release the Primeknit FS later this year. Adidas claims the hybrid design provides a bespoke lightweight barefoot-like second-skin with vastly improved “feel” and a perfect fit from toe to calf.

Though the world’s first purpose made football boots were custom made for Henry VIII (being cataloged in the royal wardrobe of 1526), humans have been kicking a ball in organized sports for thousands of years. Games similar to soccer were played in South America 3200 years ago and in China 2200 years ago, as well as in ancient Greece and pre-colonial Australia, and though England likes to call itself the home of football, a strikingly similar game was introduced to the British Isles by the Romans 2000 years ago. In all such ancient games, the footwear of choice was bare feet.

No footwear quite allows the “feel” or “touch” of a football quite like bare feet, and many of the world’s best players across football’s many codes, learned their exquisite skills using solely the tools of nature. Though traction is an issue in wet conditions, one of the biggest advantages of playing barefoot is that feet don't get waterlogged and progressively heavier as do leather football boots in inclement conditions.

The knitted Adidas Samba PrimeKnit

Enabling soccer players the feel of bare feet was precisely the idea behind Adidas’ launch of the Limited Edition Samba Primeknit knitted football boot last month.

The PrimeKnit has been in development for two years, with the development team based in Adidas' Headquarter in Herzogenaurach (Germany) under the lead of Martin Jobst and Stefan Tamm.

The fit experience of the PrimeKnit was inspired by the running shoe, which became the base for further analysis based on the specific needs of the footballer, particularly the number of lateral movements and direction changes.

The Samba PrimeKnit employs just one yarn which is knitted to construct the entire upper boot. Traditional boots have always been constructed from several pieces, with overlay and underlay, while the PrimeKnit reduces the amount of materials to a single knitted layer and in so doing, reduces the weight of the entire boot to just 165 g (5.8 oz).

The all-in-one boot/sock hybrid Adidas PrimeKnit FS

Adidas believes the all-in-one boot/sock hybrid Adidas PrimeKnit FS is the football boot of the future and that its "sock silhouette" design will provide a bespoke second-skin feel that will offer the perfect fit from toe to calf and vastly improved “feel” compared to boots with traditional overlays, edges or laces.

The one piece design and strong light yarns of the Primeknit FS is claimed by Adidas to provide new levels of flexibility and comfort with stability and strength equal to that of conventional boots. Each yarn receives a polymer coating that ensures water resistance.

The €300 Samba PrimeKnit will be released on March 17, 2014. No price or release date has yet been set for the all-in-one boot/sock hybrid PrimeKnit FS, but it is expected to go on sale during 2014.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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7 Comments

Hmm are these going to be washable - like throw it in the washing machine - as with socks they get washed between game - if it is attached to the boot - isnt that going to be pretty horrible in a short time?

myale

Obviously inspired by "Shoelace" the great Michigan Quarterback who refused to tie his shoelaces and probably a great responsive solution to that problem. They should do something for him!

Bill

Lewis Dickens

I sure hope it never follows the footsteps of stray and lost washing-machine-socks.

Osnat Lustig

Can they be thrown in a washing machine? If not there will be potential serious hygiene and stinky feet issues.

Facebook User

The origin of french perfume goes back to the disguise of pretty stinky body ordor, or so I hear. Next, Addidas will foray into a high end men's fragrance business. Hope Addidas will ask the public to come up with the name.

kamaaina

myale and Ken O'neill, no worse odor issues than conventional shoes if they are allowed to air out between uses. ANY shoe will develop odors if they are not aired out. They people that will buy these will buy two pairs and rotate their use.. I keep two pair of Red Wing work boots and I am not rich by any scale.

Noel K Frothingham

Clever, but I would hate to have an opponent's studded sole tromping on my instep!

The Skud
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