Will we ever see a player quite like David Beckham again? The English midfielder revolutionized the game, particularly in regards to marketing and off the field exploits, a way that no other person could. Soccer Confidential salutes one of the game’s greats by taking a trip down memory lane by looking at all the personalized adidas Predator cleats he has had over the years.
In the early 2000’s, adidas realized that David Beckham was the most marketable figure in the game and that fact combined with his incredible on field success meant they began to reward him with his own bespoke pair of Predator cleats. What started out as an experiment has paid off like no one could ever have imagined as the DB Predator range has proven to be one of the most successful collections the market has ever seen.
When Beckham made the jump to the continent by joining an adidas sponsored Real Madrid Galacticos outfit, the manufacturer produced an iconic pair of the adidas Predator Pulse. Released prior to the 2004 European Championships, Beckham wore the cleats throughout the tournament as well as the majority of the next campaign for club. Only 723 pairs were produced; the reason for that number being that his number for England and for Manchester United was 7 while he changed to 23 for Los Blancos.
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Following the success of the DB Predator Pulse, adidas worked very closely with Beckham on the Absolute range as the two came together to release a variety of limited edition colorways. While his Pulse cleats featured the now almost legendary thumbprint design, his Absolutes were riddled with outrageous tribal designs and even dragons. One of the most famous of the Absolute colorways was the vibrant blue, silver, and red paint job that was so far ahead of its time in regards to loud colorways and designs.
The Predator Powerswerve was one of the longer lasting adidas Predator cleats and this allowed for adidas to cook up a number of signature David Beckham colorways. The Englishman was playing for the LA Galaxy at that point and heading the fight to make soccer important in America, and at the forefront of his crusade were some colorways that perfectly matched his new team’s kit. Ranging from a predominantly white upper with gold detailing and vice versa to a dark navy blue colorway with gold accents, none of the adidas Predator Powerswerve DBs disappointed. After he joined AC Milan on a short loan stint in order to keep himself fit and in line to earn a call up to Fabio Capello’s England side, adidas produced a special Climacool adidas Predator Powerswerve. While still a Powerswerve, this new model featured Climacool technology designed to keep Golden Balls’ feet cool.
The next cleat in the renowned adidas power range was the Predator X. Although David Beckham unfortunately missed out on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, adidas produced an England inspired red and white colorway of the cleat for the iconic sportsman. This was then joined by an inverse predominantly white colorway with red accents, and the DB range once again welcomed animal designs with a dragon featuring on the instep. adidas released one of the most subtle DB Predator designs as well in the form of a white and navy blue colorway with minimal branding on the cleat.
The Predator range really started changing with the release of the adiPower Predator cleat in 2011, as it began to be more focused on increased control than power. One thing that did not change however was the release of David Beckham Predators; in fact, he was lucky enough to be honored with two special colorways. The first of the two was a gold and red colorway, but what made this DB Predator different than any other was that it was an actually different cleat than the standard Predator. Featuring a synthetic upper in contrast to regular model’s Taurus leather upper, a special colorway wasn’t the only thing that separated the DB Predator from the market adiPower. While the difference was minimal, it did make the DB adiPower Predator more unique than it would have been otherwise. The synthetic upper once again featured when adidas released another DB adiPower Predator, this time in a bright purple and green colorway.
The Predator LZ and its five lethal zones provided David Beckham and his golden feet with technology that didn’t even exist when his first bespoke pair of Predator cleats was produced. That said, the former Manchester United star changed with the times and was gifted with two personal LZ Predator colorways. The first was a divisive pink and white colorway that could be seen from a mile away, but they will probably find a place in David Beckham’s personal collection as they helped him secure an MLS Cup in his last attempt with the LA Galaxy. After making a move to French champions-elect PSG in the January transfer window, we saw the release of a DB colorway that perfectly matched the team’s kit. He sported this navy blue, red, and white colorway in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona.
One day after their official release, adidas produced a bespoke pair of Predator LZ IIs for the last competitive match the legend would ever play in. Although they did match his PSG kit nigh perfectly, adidas produced a pair of cleats that commemorated his country in a white, red, and blue colorway. Similar to most of his cleats, Beckham had the names of his children stitched onto the upper.
We at Soccer Confidential want to thank David Beckham for the many things he did for the game we all love. Please let us know below or on our Facebook page which of the David Beckham adidas Predators were your favorite.
The World Soccer Shop blog was launched in 2000 as Soccer365.com. The U.S. based soccer daily website focused on the news and stories on the beautiful game with freelancers based around the globe. SoccerConfidential.com was launched in 2013 to fill the need for news on the expanding soccer apparel and cleat market. With our relationships with all the top soccer brands, we became the authoritative voice on the subject. In 2014 the Soccer365.com and SoccerConfidential.com site were merged into the new World Soccer Shop blog. This story was originally published on SoccerConfidential.com.