RICHARD ORD: The boot-iful game comes at a price...
Took our Isaac, aged 12, for his first pair of football boots this weekend.
Not bad going considering he’s been playing the game since he was seven years old.
He’s had football boots before obviously, (we don’t insist he play barefoot) but not new ones. That’s the curse of the younger brother … hand-me-downs.
The top shelf of his bedroom cupboard is full of his older brother’s discarded footy boots. From child size three through to adult size 12s.
Every time our Isaac complained of his boots being too tight, it was a quick trip to the secondhand boot shelf to sort him out a “new” pair.
For some reason, however, there were no size sixes. Maybe Isaac, in desperate bid to get his first ever new boots, had preempted our trip to the secondhand shelf and chucked his bro’s size 6s. We may never know. Anyway, he was clearly excited at the prospect of the new buys. My wallet was less keen.
He had his eyes on a pair of boots which sounded more like a spacecraft from the new Star Wars movie than shoes for kicking a ball. The Hypervenom Phelon II clearly caught his eye. Well they would. The boots are sold in zebra print with a couple garish orange Nike ticks thrown in. At £65 a pop, however, I don’t expect zebra print, I expect genuine zebra. With ivory studs. And snakeskin laces.
The attraction is obvious. Sports Direct had a kaleidoscope of football boot offerings all vying for attention.
If only my work shoe shopping expeditions were as exciting. Office shoes. Available in any colour. As long as it’s black. Okay, so some men push the envelope and buy brown, but office shoewear is as safe as it comes.
Perhaps, I’d share his excitement if the sports marketing mentality were applied to dress shoes.
As well as the rainbow of colourful designs, the sole option could be explored further. With footy boots, there’s a sole for every pitch. Long studs for heavy conditions, pimpled sole for gym flooring, moulded studs for artificial surfaces, etc, etc.
Perhaps Oxford Brogues would have more appeal if they came with ribbed soles for greater traction on linoleum flooring or rubber studs for plush boardroom carpets. They could pimp up the names too. Maybe Hush Puppies loafers would have more appeal if they were called Strontium Sevens …. and came in racing green.
Shoe and clothes buying for adults is deadly dull. All office colours are muted. Like those worn by everyone in The Walking Dead. Which, to me, is counter-intuitive. Surely, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, people would be more extravagant in their dress. After all, they’d have the run of every high-end retail outlet going. Instead of going for washed out greys, surely people would opt for more uplifting, bolder tones. Canary yellow or fuchsia pink, for example.
Anyway, our Isaac got his boots. A wallet-friendly £20. Luminous orange, naturally.