Design Moment: Adidas football boot, 1953

The football boot designed by Adi Dassler for the West German team was worn during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where they beat Hungary in the final

The Adidas football boot designed in 1953.

The Adidas football boot designed in 1953.

 

The football boot designed by Adi Dassler for the West German team in 1953 was a game changer – it was worn during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland when the team, considered underdogs, beat the mighty Hungarians in the final.

Until then, the design theory behind football boots was that they should be primarily protective – strong enough to shield bones from the weight of that heavy leather ball and sturdy enough to deal with waterlogged pitches.

Dassler, who along with his brother Rudolf, had by then been making running shoes for two decades – a successful partnership that ended in the late 1940s when Rudolf went off to form Puma, and Adi began developing his own brand, Adidas.

Dassler was known for his refinement of spikes for running shoes and he brought some of that thinking into his football boot, which had slim screw-in studs. Rudolf also quickly developed football boots – the rivalry between the two brothers ran deep – his Puma Atom also featured screw-in interchangeable studs.

The new Adidas boots were lighter than previous versions – while still made of leather, synthetic materials were also used, and they were built on a narrower last and with a lower cut-upper. The original football boots – King Henry VIII had a pair – covered the ankle. Also, the hard toe cap was ditched to improve contact with the ball.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.