Umbro limped along, Puma roared back to life, Warrior said a silent goodbye, and the two giants, Nike and adidas, continued their fight at the top (with a lawsuit along the way) . All in all, 2014 with the World Cup and everything that came before and after it, was a huge year for boot fans. Today we take a look back to highlight our ten favorite boots of 2014.

Nike Mercurial Tropical Pack
Nike got into the swing of things with the release of the Mercurial Tropical pack. A limited edition release, the pack consisted of three rainforest-inspired Nike Mercurial Vapor IX. All three featured the same pattern on the upper, but differed in a base color of either blue, green, or orange. Due to the limited nature of this release we unfortunately didn’t see all that much of the tropical pack on the feet of professional players, but we imagine they look pretty sharp on pitch.

Copa Mundial Samba Editions
January of 2014 feels like a very long time ago. adidas kicked off the World Cup year with the great Copa Mundial Samba pack. Five classic Copa Mundial’s with a splash of Samba-inspired color to help everyone get into the World Cup mood. What’s not to love?

Under Armour Clutchfit Force USA
Admittedly this is a bit of a controversial choice, but Under Armour’s USA inspired Clutchfit Force encapsulated the feeling of national pride that a World Cup year is all about. A bold, no holds barred colorway that is as ‘American’ as a football boot will ever get, it was a massive shame that none of the USMNT actually wore this colorway during the World Cup.

Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7
Cristiano Ronaldo’s bespoke colorway released in October oozed elegance and class. While adidas have released an unprecedented number of “meh” colorways for one Lionel Messi, Nike seem to have put a lot more time and effort into the few they have released for Ronaldo. The result is stunning colorways like this, featuring a classic black base with a unique shimmering effect and a blue carbon fiber sole.

adidas adiPure 11Pro III
adidas ended the year in the ascendancy with the release of the completely revamped next gen adiPure 11Pro. With an ever shrinking line up of players wearing the boot adidas realized that they needed to reinvigorate the once hugely popular line. They have done so in incredible fashion, going back to the drawing board and coming up with a design that the original adiPures would be proud of. Featuring the return of k-leather, and a traditional design complemented by a well placed orange line running down the middle. If this doesn’t revive the 11Pro then nothing will.

Puma Arsenal Pack
Puma kicked off its first season with Arsenal in style with the release of a Gunners-inspired EvoSpeed and EvoPower. Utilizing the Tricks style of two different boots on either foot, as seen in the World Cup, the Arsenal pack looked nothing short of incredible when combined with the kit. We only wish others brands would follow suit and do the same when they start sponsoring big clubs – Manchester United themed adidas Predators next season anyone?

Nike Magista Obra
It would be criminal not to include such a massive release like the Magista Obra in a year-end list like this. Nike claimed that the Magista Obra was a complete game-changer and with a bold new design and some ground-breaking technology it definitely felt like it was. Six months on however, and things are looking iffy. The Dynamic Fit Collar has more or less flopped with a majority of professionals rejecting it and the NikeSkin upper on its own is not very ‘game-changing’. Nonetheless, adidas’ attempt to take away some of the shine from Nike by releasing their similarly-designed Primeknit FS mere hours before the big release of the Magista Obra does suggest that we will be seeing more of this type of technology from both brands.

adidas f50 adiZero Crazylight
Not to be outdone by Nike, adidas revealed the world’s lightest commercially available football boot ever with the impressive f50 adiZero Crazylight. Released first in March, with a colorway re-up just recently in October it is a boot well worthy of its name, coming in at an astonishing 135 grams, 20% less than the regular adiZero. The two colorways that have been released for the Crazylight go perfectly with the overall feel of the boots – a must have for any speed demon.

Puma King Top Italia
The Puma King is a boot synonymous with class, and the Top Italia is a manifestation of exactly that. Released in partnership with the Italian FA, the Top Italia was made to honor the 1982 World Cup winning Italian team. Featuring a beautiful brown leather upper contrasted with an Azzurri Blue interior, it was a great boot for the lead up to the World Cup.

The New Balance ‘mystery’ boot
Okay, admittedly it hasn’t actually been released yet and we still know very little about it, but New Balance has been the brand on people’s lips since the end of the World Cup. We’ve seen the mysterious black and white boots on the feet of some high profile players this season, including all of Warrior Football’s current line-up, suggesting that New Balance are going to be the real deal. With an expected unveiling early next year, we can’t wait to see what Warrior’s replacement has in store for us!