words // Zac Dubasik

We've seen quite a bit of World Cup focused footwear as of late. But the problem with cleats is, unless you're on the pitch, they don't do you much good. All of the major brands know this, and to allow all fans to celebrate the World Cup, we've seen releases like adidas’ Battle Pack, and Nike’s Mercurial and Magista collections.

This isn't a new trend though. We've seen soccer-inspired colorways for years. Today we are taking a look back at some of our favorites. Check out the following collection and let us know how you'll be celebrating the World Cup.

Shoe: Nike Zoom FC
Year: 2004
Inspiration: Manchester United

The Zoom FC is a fitting start to out list, considering the model – while designed for skateboarding – was inspired by soccer. This edition was created with the colors of one of the sport’s most popular teams, Manchester United, and features the club’s badge on the heel.


Shoe: Nike Dunk SB
Year: 2005
Inspiration: Boca Juniors

A skate shoe once again provides the base model for our next entry. This time the colorway was created to honor the Boca Juniors, an Argentine team based in the La Boca area of Buenos Aires.


Shoe: Nike AF1 Premium
Year: 2006
Inspiration: Ronaldinho

Released in an era where Air Force 1’s popularity was at an all-time high, it was only fitting that one of Nike’s biggest international stars – Ronaldinho – would get his own model. Featuring his native Brazil colors, and soccer inspired graphics, the Ronaldinho AF1 released as part of Nike’s Collection Royale pack, which also honored athletes such as LeBron James and Serena Williams.


Shoe: Nike Air Footscape Woven
Year: 2006
Inspiration: USAMNT

In 2006, Nike released multiple packs honoring World Cup countries, including Air Maxs and AF1s. The standouts though were the woven Footscapes, which included the usual suspects, like Mexico and Brazil. Out pick from the series was the U.S. edition, which features a subdued upper along with red laces, and the teams logo on the insole.


Shoe: adidas TS Commander
Year: 2009
Inspiration: Chelsea FC

As you’ll see shortly, soccer colorways of current hoops shoes have become a bit of a ‘thing.’ One of the earliest examples was inspired by Kevin Garnett’s love of the sport, as well as being a longtime fan of Chelsea FC. This TS Commander released at Bodega in Boston, along with a matching scarf and CFC Garnett jersey.


Shoe: Nike Zoom Kobe 6
Year: 2011
Inspiration: FC Barcelona

The FC Barcelona edition of the Zoom Kobe 6 combined Kobe’s passion for the sport of soccer – which he’s recently called his favorite – with Nike’s top team. The shoe features the team’s colors, along with their crest inside the tongue.


Shoe: Nike Air Max LeBron 9 Low
Year: 2012
Inspiration: Liverpool FC

In 2011, LeBron James invested in a minority share in Liverpool FC. From there, it seemed inevitable that we’d see a colorway honoring the connection.


Shoe: Kobe 8 System MC
Year: 2013
Inspiration: Mercurial Vapor 9

Soccer kicks have played into the design language of the Kobe line dating back to the 4. So, it was a natural connection for the line to launch a colorway paying tribute to the Mercurial Vapor 9: the Mambacurial.


Shoe: adidas Rose 4.5
Year: 2014
Inspiration: Lionel Messi

In 2014, adidas release a model inspired by their highest profile basketball star – Derrick Rose, with a colorway inspired by their highest profile soccer star – Lionel Messi. The result was this multi-colored Rose 4.5.


Shoe: Nike SB Lunar Gato
Year: 2014
Inspiration: Brazil

Earlier this year, Nike Skateboarding built on the soccer inspiration of their past by releasing a collection of World Cup colorways of the Lunar Gato. The Brazil edition featured a green upper in suede and mesh.