By Brian Jennings – Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin started really paying attention to his boots when he was playing collegiately at Elon University, who was a Nike-sponsored team before he turned pro.
“I was wearing Nike Total 90-l wore three iterations of those,” Irwin tells 365.WorldSoccerShop.com. “We were a Nike school, but when I was younger I wore the all black Puma Kings. They were really comfortable.”
However with his graduation to MLS, an Adidas-sponsored league, he moved to the brand which is seen on all league kits. And while he is happy with his boots of choice Irwin admits he’s open to offers from boot manufacturers looking to sponsor his many shutouts. “I’m not someone who has a boot deal so I wear Adidas,” admits Irwin. “I’ve pretty much tried all the Adidas boots out and I was having some foot issues in preseason in my heel, so I tried to go back to what I was wearing.”
What Irwin was wearing in his first year with the Rapids was the Adidas Predator LZ TRX FG. However, his model of choice was redesigned towards the end of last season leading into 2014. “I don’t need the super light ones because goalkeepers are not really sprinting that much. I like something that’s got a little bit of heft to it for kicking and weight behind the ball.”
So, Irwin went back to his tried and true Predator’s and will stick with those for as long as he can. “As long as they keep making these I’ll be good. I wish I could get them in a black color. The new Predators-the green ones-were just way too bright for me.”
Another big part of the equipment stock for goalkeepers is their gloves. Here is where Irwin has latched onto company-sponsored models beginning last season. “I’ve signed with Uhlsport and they’ve sent out different models. Last year I reached out to them and I really liked the gloves they made last year so I just continued the agreement this year. One pair I was wearing last year was the Fangmaschine.”
However just this last week, Irwin began breaking in a pair of Uhlsport Eliminator Absolutgrip being released in honor of Brazil 2014. “These are their World Cup models I’ve been wearing in practice for a couple of weeks.” The fluorescent blue/yellow gloves feature Absolutgrip foam and Shock Zone for punching.
As far as his process in going through gloves, Clint likes to rotate pairs then find a lucky fan looking for a cool souvenir. “They send me some and I try them out. If I like them they’ll send me another fresh pair. Training on turf they’ll last 2-3 weeks maybe. In 4-5 games they move to a practice pair and I get a game pair and then another 2 weeks for the practice pair. What I’ve done is autographed a few pair and give them to people after games just because I don’t have much use for them and people seem to like them.”