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Soccer teams are very strictly color coordinated at the international level (and at most lower levels). The two teams must have matching uniforms distinct from each other, and additionally the two keepers must be in colors distinct both from each other and from the teams' kits.

But it seems like anything goes with the boots. Some players color coordinate with their kits while others just go for crazy neon. Is there any rhyme or reason to this? Are there any rules players must follow when selecting their boots?

  • They've even started wearing different colours on each foot... – Ste Dec 16 '14 at 9:04
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Match kits (shirt, shorts and socks), both at the national and club level, are designed and determined in advance. Bigger clubs have new designs pretty much every year, most likely to sell more shirts whereas national teams usually get a new design for 2-4 years (major cups).

Teams typically have 2-3 kits. The idea is to have a home and an away shirt, and possibly alternative(s) to ensure there is enough contrast between the competing teams on the field.

As for the boots, it's pretty much free.. Most players have sponsorship deals with brands and thus wear a shoe they prefer from that brand. For instance, Messi has long been a brand figure (even has a line of products) for Adidas and thus wears Adidas shoes. Similarly Cristiano Ronaldo and Nike..

Interesting to note that Adidas and Nike also produce the match kits for the respective countries. However I think this is merely coincidental, as I have seen players that wear shoes from a different brand than the kit supplier. I'll look for evidence :)

  • Interesting fact: some years ago there was a big discussion about players in the german national team (supplier Adidas) wearing Nike shoes. Adidas said they should wear Adidas shoes when playing for the national team and I think it was decided by court, that they can wear the shoes they want (their personal sponsor wants). The justification was that the shoes are classified as working equipment for the players. – Phab Jul 2 '14 at 7:46
  • Till then they realy had to wear Adidas shoes, when playing for the national team. Source (in german): sueddeutsche.de/sport/… (sorry for additional comment, 5min were left) – Phab Jul 2 '14 at 7:52
  • Also interesting: there has been speculations about Messi going to another club, as Barcelona is sponsored by Nike. It was claimed that Adidas offered to pay half (!) the transfer fee to get him to an Adidas-team, such as Bayern or Chelsea. There is a lot of money in good branding... – Qvist Jul 2 '14 at 11:48

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