Something that has always intrigued me is the influence of the Adidas Predator on the game and the way boots are made since it's introduction ten years ago.
Always revolutionary, boots haven't been near the same since.
The first, and biggest change, was the Predator technology itself. At the worst, it inflated the egos of player's worldwide, making them think they were capable of things they in fact, were not. At best, it has truly changed the game, bringing more bend and swerve into the game, and revolutionizing free kicks.
Another major change must be in the sole of the boots. For better or for worse, it's never been quite the way it was before the Predator revolution. Before the "traxion" idea, all boots were made with Round studs all across the bottom of the shoe. But with this new bladed stud technology, seemingly all companies have reverted to the blades instead of the rounded spikes, a huge change as any player will know.
A last thing is the idea of introducing something to hold down the tongue during play. Initially using Velcro for the 2000 European Championships model, and since adapting an elastic band for World Cup 2002, it has really changed the game, in a major yet subtle way. As any footballer will tell you, to don't want the tongue flopping around in a game. So before these Predator introductions, you had to either tuck your tongue inside your boot or tie it down with your laces. Both situations were not ideal because of increased pressure on your foot. But with the predator, now you had a way to keep it out of your mind and out of your way, leading to cleaner strikes and better play.
Many other changes have come from the Predator, including the heel counter, split sole, etc. It's often replicated, by companies such as Kelme and Hummell.
What changes will Adidas come up with next to change the way of the game?