The Switch

The most iconic boots worn at the European Championship

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Guess who
Guess who / Claudio Villa/Getty Images
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The European Championship isn't just about the on-field action. It is also one of football's biggest fashion shows.

Since its very first iteration back in 1958, the tournament has played host to some iconic boots. In more recent times, manufacturers have realised the potential of the Euros, bringing out exclusive colourways and designs on the eve of the competition.

Below are seven of the best sets of wheels witnessed at the Euros so far...


1. Michel Platini's Copa Mundials (Euro 1984)

SOCCER-EURO 84-FRA-SPA-PLATINI
Back in the day everyone rocked Copas / STAFF/Getty Images

Forget about Michel Platini the hideously corrupt football executive and cast your mind back to the midfielder in his heyday.

It's Euro 84 and Platini's glorious bouffant remains completely still as he bobs and weaves around the edge of the box. After a while, his gorgeous thighs stop shifting and cock back in preparation for unleashing another thunderous strike on goal.

At the bottom of that pendulum-like leg is a black and white football boot. It's not flashy but it is sophisticated and the Copa Mundial remains a must for any humble bragging Sunday League player to this day.

"Yeah mate, I only buy Copas. Not sure why they're named after magazine, though?"


2. Wayne Rooney's Total 90s (Euro 2004)

Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville
Wayne Rooney, trend setter / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It's 2004 and Wayne Rooney is treating a major tournament like it's a kickaround on the streets of Croxteth.

Nutmegging French players, taking 40 yards passes from David Beckham down with a Cruyff turn and plenty of biting tackles, the whole thing is a joke to young Wayne.

His wheels for this first excursion on the grandest stage of them all? Nike Total 90s. The boots became a must-have for kids across the land who proudly wore them with bootleg jeans and a football shirt at every non-school uniform day for the next few years.

3. Zinedine Zidane's Predators (Euro 2000)

Claudio Villa Archive
ZINEDINE ZIDANNEEEEE ZINEDINE ZINDANNNNEEE SUPERSTARRRRR / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

There is very little left to say about Zinedine Zidane that has not been said 100 times before.

For a generation of fans, he was football, possessing a technique and first touch that made hearts melt across the world.

His feet's most iconic look were the adidas Predators he donned during Euro 2000. The boots have had plenty of colourways since then but you just cannot beat the original red, black and white.

4. Alan Shearer's Umbro Specialis (Euro 1996)

Alan Shearer of England and Winston Bogarde of Holland
Shearer kept it simple / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The top scorer at a major international tournament wearing Umbro Specialis?! You just would not get that nowadays.

Alan Shearer was not a flashy man and it made perfect sense that he donned a boot designed in humble Cheadle, near Manchester for Euro 96.

They may not have had many bells and whistle, but there was plenty of magic in those two slabs of leather. Shearer would finish with a tournament high five goals. We heard he even spray painted his golden boot black in tribute to the creps that had brought him so much success.

5. Gareth Bale's adidas X15.1s

Portugal v Wales: Euro 2016
Very nice / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It normally takes at least a decade for boots to become iconic. However, in the case of the wheels Gareth Bale sported at Euro 2016 it happened overnight.

Wales' run was the stuff of dreams and Bale was at the centre of everything. After being starved of major tournament football for so long, the Red Wall witnessed their side get all the way to the semi-finals.

Bale made a real effort for the tournament as well, wearing some tasty adidas X15.1s which had flashes of white camo all over.

6. Marco van Basten's Diadoras (Euro 1988)

Marco Van Basten
Classic / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Diadora. A name heard long ago. We wonder what they're up to now?

As much as Diadora's impact on the current game is reserved for first time five-a-side players who fancy going one level up from Sondicos, back in the day a pair of their boots were heavily involved in the greatest Euros goal ever.

You know the one. Marco van Basten. It's the final against Yugoslavia and the angle is impossible. It never would have happened without Diadora, so put some respect on their name.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo's Mercurial Vapors (Euro 2004)

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo crying tears of joy because of how beautiful his boots are / Ben Radford/Getty Images

Imagine the audacity of wearing gold Mercurial Vapors at your first ever major tournament.

It's confidence on steroids and it was so Cristiano Ronaldo.

Much like his boots, Ronaldo would light up the tournament, helping his side reach the final. Tears would follow when Greece defeated them at the final hurdle. Luckily, gold doesn't rust so his boots were fine.


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