Whether it’s a U-7 match or the top of the Premier League, there is an overwhelming trend in current soccer boot design that can be summed up in one word: bright. Colors with names like Volt, Slime, Electricity, Warning, Orange Peel, and Cherry combine with lightweight microfibers to give athletes the flash that they desire. Nike, Adidas, and Puma have taken over player’s feet and not have not left much room for the “heritage” boots.
Enter Pantofola d’Oro, an Italian company with roots that extend to the 1880s and that has manufactured handcrafted football footwear for more than 60 years. The company combines the softest kangaroo leather with classic design cues to create a timeless look that is extremely comfortable for the wearer the entire time.
The company was founded by Emidio Lazzarini in the 1950s in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. It didn’t take long for Lazzarini to sponsor a team as Ascoli Calcio 1898 began wearing his boots. The Pantofola d’Oro name came about when Juventus legend John Charles said “these aren’t boots, they’re slippers – golden slippers,” about his Lazzarini boots.
The shoes have been on the feet of some of world soccer’s greatest superstars including Garrincha, Fabio Capello, Johan Cruyff, Jürgen Klinsmann, Roberto Mancini, Marco Van Basten, and Paolo Di Canio but haven’t been able to break into world’s top leagues recently apart from Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters.
Never mind the fact that Messi isn’t being paid millions to wear these, the Pantofola d’Oro boots are likely the classiest pair of cleats in the world at the moment and one of the few that just look comfortable. If they didn’t have studs, you could probably wear them out for a night on the town.