Traditionalists can rejoice after it was confirmed by the All Blacks that they will be giving the boot to coloured footwear during the World Cup next year.
The neon orange boots worn by the players in London last weekend and Edinburgh this morning have caused some angst, jarring so badly as they have with the marketing hype of the new jersey being the blackest ever.
The move comes after the release of the latest All Blacks shirt which has been described as their ‘blackest shirt ever’. This comes after players requested an even blacker shirt to increase the fear factor in a bid to intimidate opponents during next year’s World Cup.
But all that thinking was rendered redundant by the All Blacks wearing such garish boots that pulled the eye to their feet.
The intention, when plans for the jersey were first hatched two years ago, was to release the new look in July 2015, at which time adidas would have a mostly black boot in mass circulation.
By the World Cup, the All Blacks are going to be wearing different boots again that are exclusively black — with some of the players believed to have been trialling the prototype at training this week.
But a late decision was made to pull the launch of the new jersey forward to this month. The earlier launch meant the blacker boots — the pre-World Cup version will have a yellow trim — aren’t ready.
Adidas New Zealand country manager Quentin Bleakley said the “colour-up” boots the players were wearing would stay the same for the rest of the season.
He said he couldn’t comment on whether the boots would change for the World Cup.
It was only in 2011 that the team softened their stance on wearing coloured boots and the move was heavily criticised at the time and is now back in the spotlight.