Looks like we’ve got a new competitor on our hands. After weeks of speculation over the unlabelled whiteout boots that he’s been training in, Aaron Ramsey finally confirmed what we all suspected and stepped out for Wales’ recent Euro 2016 qualifier against Belgium with a big “N” on the side of his boots.
Ramsey first appeared in these mystery boots on the Arsenal training track in late October. With an all-white, dimpled upper, they are vey similar in appearance to the Nike Hypervenoms.
The “N” of course, belongs to New Balance, the American sportswear giants that own Warrior. According to reports, the US market is struggling to associated Warrior with football, despite a big marketing push over the last few years, having long been aligned with hockey and lacrosse equipment. It looks like the parent company are set to cut their losses and shift Warrior football gear back under the banner of New Balance.
After spending much of his early career in Adidas Predators, Aaron Ramsey would be a major coup for New Balance as they try to forge into an already competitive football boot market,. Another player who’s slipped out of the three stripes and potentially into the New Balance stable is Samir Nasri, who’s been sporting a whiteout version of Warrior’s Superheat silo this season. His former teammate Alvaro Negredo has also been wearing a similar model of Superheats after a career in Adidas F50s, whilst Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj is doing the same after his initial contract with Nike. Whilst none of these players have been officially announced as official Warrior athletes, it could be setting the stage for a bevy of world class talent to be unveiled in the newly formed New Balance football stable.
One player who is contracted to Warrior is Australia’s own Tim Cahill, who ended a near decade-long partnership with Adidas when he laced up with the American brand late last year. Starting out with their previous flagship model the Skreamer, Super Tim then moved onto their lighter speed silo, the Superheat, which was famously housing his left foot when he netted that sumptuously timed volley past Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen back in Porto Alegre in July.
Other Warrior contracted players who could soon be wearing New Balance boots include big Belgians Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini, Manchester City’s midfield enforcer Fernando Reges, young English star Tom Ince and Liverpool’s experienced central defender Kolo Toure.
There is no word yet on how or when Warrior will rebrand to New Balance, and it’s hard to tell exactly what will happen to those currently wearing Warrior silos, but by all reports, we can expect to see Warrior branded teams such as Liverpool, Stoke City, FC Porto and Sevilla FC in New Balance kits for the 2015/16 season.
Will New Balance try to correct the mistakes made by the daring and unapologetic strip designs of Warrior, or will they play it safe and offer more traditional footballing kits? Only time will tell, but for fellow boot and kit nerds like myself, you can be sure that we will be watching on with bated breath.
Scouted by Nick Leggatt