A useful guide to buying classic football boots

Whether you long to wear the classic football boots of your youth one more time, or you simply admire the timeless nature of a classic adidas predator with a red tongue, the most daunting part of doing so is going out and buying them. In this guide, we’ll take you through what you should know before you begin your search and decide on the ones for you.

Football has a cult following unlike any other sport, and that has resulted in rare football boots fetching big money in online marketplaces. This can be a turn-off for first time buyers of classic boots, but it needn’t be.

Value still exists and we’ll delve into how you can decide what you should be paying. We’ll also take you through a list of tips to help ensure that you’re satisfied with your purchase and that they fit just like you remember.

How much do classic football boots cost?

The price of classics can vary wildly depending on factors such as rarity, scarcity, what football icons wore them, and the condition of the boots in question.

Zinedine Zidane holding a pair of Adidas Predator Mania 2002 as part or a promo shoot

For example, Adidas Predator Manias from 2002 were a unique and eye-catching design at the time, with a fold-over tongue supposed to provide clever striking of the ball. On top of that, players like David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane came to the fore as the world’s elite, and went on to be the superstars that defined a generation of football players.

Such status inevitably leads to strong emotions and nostalgia in people who grew up with this generation of players, and perhaps in a bid to relive those times, they seek out the very thing that made them memorable: the boots.

As kids, we all looked at our idols in professional model boots and yearned to wear the very same. As kids, however, our aspirations were often deeper than out parents pockets.

As we grow older, and we earn our own cash, we chase the dreams of our youth through the classic football boots that we so dearly remember.

All that in mind, a 2002 edition of the classic Adidas football boot, the Predator Mania, will regularly fetch in excess of $\£1,000 on marketplaces like Ebay.

Of course, this is the very high-end of the scale. Boots like the Nike Total 90 Laser I will evoke memories of a young, swashbuckling Wayne Rooney making his way to Manchester United as a teenager and turning Old Trafford into his personal playground.

The Total 90 Laser I that was synonymous with Rooney was similarly revolutionary in the footballing world of its time, featuring a strike zone on the upper that made you feel like you were striking a volley that sent shivers down your spine every time you just saw it.

Although a sought after classic boot, they still don’t fetch anything near the Manias, and will typically set you back £/$300-400 on the online marketplaces.

Where can you buy classic football boots? 

While the cost of classic football boots is something that can be dealt with, actually finding the boots you’re after can be a total other story. The core function of a football boots is to play. And as such, that makes them a product that typically has a limited lifespan.

As a result, finding a pair of football boots from a bygone year that are still in decent condition can be the bigger challenge. As such you have 3 options when finding the football boots your after:


A screengrab of classic football boots listed on eBay

Yes, good old reliable (or sometimes the very opposite) is the most common source of retro football boots. As folks take to clearing out old attics and cupboards, long-forgotten footy boots get resurrected and offered up to the Ebay Gods.

While most of these are typically used boots, there is occasionally the odd gem that are brand new in their original box with tags and in original condition.

IF you know exactly what you’re after, it can be worth setting up ‘Saved Search’ notification on Ebay to let you know when a pair you’re after has been listed.

Dedicated Football Boot Dealer 

A screengrab of platimnumboots.com website homepage.

Such is the popularity of old football boots, there are any number of football boot dealers that specialise in stocking discontinued editions of football boots.

Platinum Boots plays its part in this regard and offers both new and used classics in a range of sizes.

Call us a football boot plug, a sourcer, magician. 

Whatever it is, years of experience in buying and selling boots has given us the ability to provide a top service that our customers seem pretty happy with.

Social Media Boot Plugs 

A screenshot on a hone of a profile on Instagram

If you have a penchant for a retro football boot and you’ve spent any time on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok in recent years, you’ll probably have seen any number of boot retailers flogging their wares on there.

The ‘boot plug’ has become the epitome of a football world Del Trotter in recent years, but by and large, they do come up with some absolutely stunning boots at very reasonable prices.

We’ll give an honorable mention here to @classicbootspl on Instagram here. He’s been unearthing some beauties there for a number of years now.

We do advise extreme caution when dealing with sellers on social media however. Things aren’t exactly all above board and you should never part with your money without using a a service like PayPal that offers you protections should anything go wrong.

5 Tips for finding classic boots

  1. Do you intend to wear your boots or display them as memorabilia?

First things first, decide what you’re going to do with them. If they’re going to be the center-piece of your man-cave and you don;t intend to wear them, you might go all out and get a pair brand new and in their original box.

After all, if you don’t wear them, treat it as an investment. Classic football boots will remain classic football boots long into the future.

If you’re itching to play in them though, you might consider a used pair in relatively decent condition. Old football boots had somewhat more longevity than today’s boots, so don;t be afraid of a pre-loved pair that represent a bit of value and that you won;t mind getting dirty.

  1. Watch for signs of sole separation and excessive wear

While the used boots will provide a bit of value, you don’t want to be buying totally worn out pair that have long since served their purpose. 

You won’t look as cool as you think, and they probably won’t last too long either.

There are 2 main  issues to watch out for with the realtor boots; sole separation and toe box wear.

Firstly, like the name suggests, sole separation is when the soleplate of the boot starts to come away from the leather/synthetic upper. What happens, is that the old glue that holds both pieces together from the factory dries out as it ages and fails to keep the two together.

Sole separation can be an ebay fix however, and we recommend Shoe Goo as it gives great adhesive, while being flexible enough  for the rigors of playing.

More serious than sole separation, is toebox wear.

For every time the previous owner struck one on the volley, it took its toll around the toe. This isn’t as easy to repair as sole separation, so be watchful when reviewing the photo before any purchase.

  1. Do your research on the size guide for the classic  boots your buying

Let us be clear.

The size of no two football boot lines are the same. Somewhat inexplicably, the likes of Nike and Adidas have never got to grips with making their sizing a uniform guide to the actual fit.

Most used football boots sellers will not accept refunds, so it’s up to you to do your research on how a particular pair fits.

Most sellers will give a guide on whether they advise to go up or down and half or full size in most cases, but it will pay to do your own research too. 

  1. Buy from trusted football boot website where possible

Take it from us, the work that goes into finding, listing and selling classic football boots means that we like everything to be as seamless as possible when we sell a pair.

Unlike Instagram sellers who offer no recourse and engage in shady practices like concealing wear with tactical camera angles, we try to be as honest and up front about the exact condition of the boots as we possibly can.

At Platinum Boots, we take care to note every point of detail when photographing boots, and also make customers aware of any flaws that might exist before they buy.

Although we tend to sell mainly ‘new old stock’, we do try to stock the rare football boots that exist in very small numbers in any condition.

Always use the magnifying glass feature to get close-up of any imperfections we’ve highlighted in the description of the boots.

  1. Know if you are buying a Pro, Semi-Pro or Club version of the boots

Most football boot silos are divided into categories of quality by the brand. For example;

  • Adidas Predator Lethal Zone TRX
  • Adidas Predator Lethal Zone Absolion
  • Adidas Predator Lethal Zone Predito

In the early 2000’s adidas realized that they needed to cater to the pros, the club player and the kids who wanted to play in the same boots as their hero’s at a reasonable price-point.

Adidas and Nike typically siloed their boot ranges in the way outlined for the adidas PRedator Lethal Zones above.

If you’re a boot nerd like us, you’ll want nothing but the best. But if you want to emulate Steven Gerrard with a 40-yard screamers on the astro on a Tuesday night, the semi-pro or club level boot may suffice.

If you see a classic boot you want, snap it up!

The reality is, old football boots are one of the most collectable items out there and they tend to sell pretty quickly if the price is right.

Our final word of advice would be to bite the bullet and buy what your heart desires. Stocks of deadstock football boots are extremely limited in today’s market, and even if you decide to move them on again, they will most likely hold their value in most cases, and even multiply in some cases.

Treat yourself!

We have classic football boots for sale

If you’re looking for classic football boots, Platinum Boots specialises in elite and top tier models. Whether it’s Predators, AdiPures, Tiempos or Total 90’s, we’re constantly restocking both new and used football boots from a bygone era.
Checkout our shop where you can browse by brand, size or condition by clicking here.

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