Sunday, September 06, 2009

Little boots

I wasn't the only proud and nostalgic Dad in JJB Sports today looking for a pair of suitable football boots for one of my lads. But what I hoped would be a happy Dad n' Lad experience turned into a dreadful traipse around the moral maze.

Having found no size 2 boots at all in the Adidas factory shop at Pear Mill in Stockport, JJB was our obvious next port of call.

All the choices at JJB are branded - no problem with that, and he's just grown out of a pair of classic black Adidas. In fact, here are the choices.

As he's 10 I have to confer some decision making to him. But, as a responsible parent I had a list of minimum demands - moulded studs, not screw in, and a budget limit. And of course they must fit and be comfortable.

I would *prefer* him to wear plain black boots. The aberration of showbiz footballers wearing white and silver and yellow is a curse of our age. But, that is my prejudice.

We've never had issues before over label chasing, and it is only with boots and trainers that there appears to be any kind of peer pressure. And frankly, given my own predilication for classic old school Adidas wheels I have no right to any real estate on the moral high ground.

So, there was an Umbro boot - good enough for John Terry and Michael Owen, I said - at about £15. But it was synthetic. The average price of a normal and perfectly adequate pair of leather football ones is - ahem - about £25.

He wanted some blue Adidas F50 I TUNiT, as worn by Lionel Messi. They are bright blue and the adult ones cost £124, according the the JJB website. The young lad in the shop told us they don't have them in kids sizes, which was a relief, because it cut off that line of enquiry. Subsequent research has confirmed this. But no, apparently two lads in the team have them. "Just like Messi, Dad." We then had a ridiculous stand off. Eventually we came away with a pair of black Adidas. There's a greivance lingering, but I won't budge. If someone has paid £70, or £124 for kids boots then they are mad. But I suspect boasting.


Steve Wheatley, who played truant at The Academy of Football said...

I love this blog piece, a taste of what lies ahead for many of us who clearly love their sons and their football.

My boy Ben has just started Year 1 & a little way off being boot brand aware but it will come. I bought him his first Adidas Predators as soon as he could fit in them but frankly they were really a trophy for Dad. So nearly tied together & hung from my rear view mirror, where his Mum has his first shoes.

I've recently got involved in coaching again as joint manager of Roach Dynamos u17s, so I've had the boot buying experience this week but for myself.
A recommend a trip to Sports Direct. Mike Ashley might be blowing millions at Newcastle but he knows how to sell bargain boots.

Unknown said...

This branding issue is something I have feared creeping up me but I am amazed that my youngest who is so concerned that he has the most recent replica shirt doesn't seemed concerned about the boots. He seems happy with what I suggest providing that they fit.I'm just waiting for when that changes as I am sure it will....

George Dearsley said...

Nice pair of Kipstas from Decathlon about £12. Ideal.