After 21 years, the most iconic football boot has been retired. When adidas launched its Predator boots in 1994, kids everywhere turned to mum and dad to fork out over £100 for the meanest looking football boot ever invented. The original advert described the footwear as: “100% legal, 0% fair”. The rubber fin covering was supposed to provide better ball grip as well as more swerve and power when shooting. It was debatable the actual difference this design made, though. It was more likely you would be left with a sense of guilt as the boots your mum skinned herself for were left to go mouldy because you didn’t clean them after your last game, and it went two weeks until you next took them out your bag because you couldn’t play due to waterlogged pitches. And then you lost a stud.
When Chris Kemp’s mum bought him his first pair of Predators, she paid £2.50 a week for them out of the catalogue, sparking his love for ‘Preds’ which has lasted to this day: growing in to a collection of 130 pairs. “I only really started my Instagram (The Pred Collective) about nine months ago and it just blew up,” says Chris. “It seems like everyone has a lot of love for vintage adidas and Predators in particular. We exhibited at the recent Laces Out! trainer festival in Liverpool, which sort of confirmed that, as there were hundreds of people coming over to the stand during the day asking questions.” So, here are the top 10 favourite boots from this Pred head’s massive collection including some rare issues and famous original owners.
10. Japan Blue Mania
Famously worn by: Japan’s Zoro mask wearing centre-half Tsuneyasu Miyamoto
Chris says: 2002 World Cup rare special edition. The blue on them up close is something else.
9. Original Predator Accelerator
Famously worn by: Zidane destroying Brazil and bagging two in the World Cup final (with his head, though)
Chris says: One of the most famous Adidas boots produced to date.
8. Blackout Sample Manias
Famously worn by: Nobody
Chris says: these were never actually released, but just look at them, they are incredible.
7. Beckham 100th England Cap Powerswerve Sample Boots
Famously worn by: Beckham against France in Paris.
Chris says: Again, Becks the legend. Enough said.
6. Steven Gerrard 100th England Cap LZ Boots
Famously worn by: Gerrard against Sweden in Stockholm.
Chris says: I’m extremely fortunate to have these, he’s an absolute legend, even if I am a Forest fan.
5. White Beckham Champion’s League Precision
Famously worn by: Beckham for that free-kick against Greece.
Chris says: Nuff said.
4. Predator LZ #Unleash Boots
Famously worn by: Limited release
Chris says: Only five pairs were made to show the five different zones on the boot and only available to competition winners.
3/2. Predator Instinct Tongues and Eyes
Chris says: Both of the above were limited to 30 pairs and never on sale to the public so I’m lucky to have both.
1. Predator Accelerator Electricity, Black, Poppy Red
Chris says: This is basically my Holy Grail boot. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a brand new pair last year thanks to a friend of mine @reddevildel9908
Follow The Pred Collective on Instagram: @thepredcollective