With qualification (for the most part) done and dusted and the World Cup (very quickly) approaching, soccer fans are about to be hit with an onslaught of brand new gear. We're talking new boots, balls, kits, and much more. This week, SB Nation Soccer is in Portland, Ore., at the US Headquarters of adidas to see what the German sportswear giant has on tap for the world's biggest sporting event. We'll be spending Thursday on site to see and experience adidas' plans firsthand, but until then, we've got a small taste of what's to come.
On Wednesday, adidas announced a pair of brand new kits for two of its more illustrious sponsorship properties in the German and Spanish men's national teams. Both kits eschew style and class in overall understated looks that build on tradition with modern touches throughout. With that said, adidas isn't just making cosmetic design changes; it is bringing some very cool innovations to what is perhaps the most visible part of the game.
When we were in London back in May to see what adidas had planned for the future of the game, we made mention of a full kit that weighed all of 630 grams. That's the shirt, shorts, socks, boots, and shin guards weighing slightly more than a pair of adidas Copa Mundial boots. While that was a conceptual look at what we may see in the sport in the next few years, it seems that adidas are bringing some of the innovation to the forefront this year.
The new Spain and Germany kits, as well as the rest of the adidas kits that will be shown off ahead of the world cup, weigh a whopping 40 percent less than what the teams wore for the 2012 European Championships which, in its own right, was very light. Per adidas, the weight reduction will allow "the world's best players extra freedom of movement and comfort, while retaining resilience and durability" over the course of the 2014 World Cup.
As for the design, we're seeing some pretty stark changes to what the teams wore in 2012. They are, in this writer's opinion at the very least, for the better. The Germany kit will see Die Mannschaft wear a big, black, crimson, red, and yellow chevron on their chests rather than seeing an all-white kit with red and gold details. According to the manufacturer, the new look is inspired by "a sense of understate brilliance, and the value placed in quality and hard work and makes reference to industrial architecture." The look harkens back a bit to the great 1990 West Germany side that won the World Cup.
Spain, on the other hand, will don a slightly darker shade of red than they have in years past with vertical crimson stripes running up and down the torso. Gone are the yellow and blue details that have adorned the Spanish kit over the last few cycles and in comes a lot of gold detailing, something that adidas say symbolizes the "current golden era of Spanish football."
These two kits are just the beginning of what is sure to be a lot of awesome new gear. Stick with us for all of it over the next few days.