There are boots and then, there are boots. Copa Mundial’s are the latter. Virtually unchanged since they hit the scene in 1979 Copa Mundial (Copa’s) have been worn by more professional, semi-professional, and recreational player than any other football boot on the planet. As a matter of fact, since 2001 these were THE most popular boots on planet Earth per the now defunct Footy-Boots website.
Adidas Copa’s are FG (Firm Ground) boots meaning that they are at their best on grass or turf which is firm – not necessarily hard (see turf boots). Yes, there is a difference! Their conical studs and placement of the studs is the secret of their success. Conical studs allow for better grip and release from the pitch as opposed to a more angular stud.
The uppers are make of K Leather (kangaroo) and are extremely soft and supple whilst being pretty rugged. With proper care they will last through several seasons and serve you well. For maintenance make sure that your Copa’s dry out after use. I recommend stuffing with newspapers as this draws out moisture. Store in a cool, ventilated area away from heat sources and do not keep them in direct sunlight. For the K leather care I use and highly recommend Chelsea Leather Food or, if you’d rather, Manchester Leather Food. I have only tried the Chelsea…
GOALKEEPER PERSPECTIVE: From my point of view a boot needs to be light, or reasonably so, and very stable. As a keeper, we are subject to fast starts, quick stops, direction changes, etc. so a boot needs to be ideal under all circumstances. The Copa’s, for me, do the trick. I still get the great soft feel and touch with the benefit of great foot hold, stability, and traction. There’s not much in the way of foot protection any more or less than other boots. For diving and resiliency to scuffing and marring the Copa’s hold up quite well. Due to the conical studs there is no binding or biting in the turf which can lead to trips or stumbles.
Let’s get down to the specs…
UPPER: Incredibly soft K leather upper with arc stitching across the toe box for added strength and touch on the ball. No frills design includes the trademark adidas triple stripe (white is defacto however with limited edition boots this changes with design) and simple print ‘COPA MUNDIAL’ (diagonally along the rear outside stripe) and ‘adidas’ (along the rear tab) adorn the boots. Very old school and classic look.
SOLEPLATE: Again no frills. Soleplate is in white for their traditional colorway yet can be black for their blacked our version. As mentioned previously the studs are conical and are arranged with 4 studs along the heel area, 7 along the perimeter of the forefoot and on in the center for stability and support.
UNIQUE FEATURE: If you are new to the Copa line then one of the items to surely make you take a second look at the tongue of the boot. This series of boots has the tongue of Gene Simmons. One question is how to wear the tongue? Folded over? Riding up the shin” Slipping over to one side? Cut off..? Well, it seems that the popular consensus is that there is NO consensus. I wear mine ‘loose’ and allow it to roll to the outside. I’ve never been a fan of folding or tucking and would NEVER cut off the tongue! That, to me, is blasphemy!
FIT and FEEL: As these are K Leather they will have a tendency to stretch so fitting is very important. As an adult, I bought mine to fit snug initially as I knew that they would loosen over time. If you traditionally wear a size 11, for example, then you might look into a size 10 again due to stretch. One of the most endearing features of the Copa’s is their feel during break-in…. it’s almost as if they are already broken in when you first lace them up. Due to the soft leather and thin soleplate break-in is literally minutes.
SUMMARY: In a world of wild colors, exotic graphics, and bold cleat patterns there is a reason why this particular boot has survived the test of time. While many of the Copa’s I see are worn by our more ‘seasoned’ players (over 30) I do still see the occasional Millenial sporting a pair of Copa’s. And as we advance further into design, material engineering, and marketing it has been interesting to watch this one boot remain virtually untouched. Sure, there were the unique colorways done for the World Cup in Brazil in the Samba colorways (my daughter, wearing #99, has the ‘Samba Slime’)
but that was pretty much cosmetic. There are also versions of the Copa available in an all white and all black colorways. My pair of Copa’s are in all black and pictured here. I also love the fact that the Copa Mundial’s are still made in Germany under presumably stringent manufacturing guidelines. To sum up the Copa Mundial’s in a word: QUALITY.