Words: Dan Sandison
Images: adidas Football
We love the Copa Mundial. It’s iconic, it’s hard-wearing, and we nicked the name of our magazine from it.
At some point during all of our faltering football careers we have digressed towards fluro, and to the synthetic, but we’ve always come back to Old Faithful and its enduring fold-over tongue. That being said, all things must pass, and the stalwart kangaroo leather clogger, first released in 1982 and cited by adidas as “the fingerprint” of their brand, was long overdue an update.
Having dropped the ‘Mundial’, updated the silhouette, and added some flashy colourways and futuristic uppers in recent years, adidas has finally given the Copa the makeover it truly deserves. Debuted by Paulo Dybala in the Juventus v Manchester United game, the new boot is a sleek, futuristic update. It features all the hallmarks of the boot you know and love, but now it doesn’t feel like it’s made out of lead when you play in the rain, thanks to an innovation that adidas is calling FusionSkin.
We travelled to Milan and caught up with Rob Ashcroft, Product Director at The Three Stripes, about what the future holds for a design classic reborn.
Sketches of the COPA 19 (via adidas)
“A leather boot to a consumer 30 years ago is very different to a consumer nowadays,” explains Ashcroft on blending adidas’ sporting heritage with new design language. “I think what we understand is that consumers are now driven by newness. The challenge with this was ‘how do you actually tell a new product story on a leather boot?’ because, within that, you have specific boundaries. With the previous incarnations before this new boot, we’ve evolved the story, but we’ve not really revolutionised it. And we thought that now was the time.”
“Some people just love the overall feel and fit of K-Leather,” he adds. “But the Fusion Skin upper gives you a softer touch and feel than traditional K-Leather, and it also gives you a reduced water absorption over ninety minutes. If you play in a wet country like the UK, then you understand that you can get soggy, wet, and heavy, and that’s going to affect your touch during a game. Having the 20% reduction means that you’re going to get the boot’s lightweight properties coming into play, and the overall touch and feel is going to be better.”