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Throwback Thursday: The Incredible 2002 Adidas Predator Mania Cleats

The adidas Predator Manias were by far the greatest cleats the 2000s had ever seen. These cleats were years ahead of their time. This was back when the new millennium was still trying to find its way, there was this whole Internet thing, nobody knew what it really was, we were all a bunch of tadpoles aimlessly wandering around in our own way.

Not adidas. Not these cleats. They just … they slapped different. As a cool 12-year-old, I was a die-hard Nike kid but damn did I trade in my Tiempos for Predator Manias real fast.

I would even go as far as saying they were more incredible than the Nike Vapors when they first came out in the original gray with stripes of red. Aside from the fact I had a fat foot and had no chance in hell of fitting into the Vapors, Manias were so much better.

I mean, what’s not to like:

The sexy, slick design with the sleek three stripes. The rubber edges to help you bend it like Beckham. The tongue with the strap so you didn’t fall victim to the rain with velcro anymore. The hard plastic heel so no psychos would destroy your Achilles. Not to mention they came in black, silver, all-red and champagne. Not even cream-colored. Champagne. If you had the cojones to wear champagne cleats, people knew: “Hey, this kid, he fucks. He knows what’s up.”

You had style and you were still a baller. You could be a central midfielder or even, dare I say it, a forward. When you’re 12, who cares, you don’t need those Vapors. And don’t even get me started with the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. The term “Predator Mania” was basically just a synonym for that World Cup.

Look at the list of ballers who wore these cleats:


David Beckham

Zinedine Zidane

Steven Gerrard

Alessandro Del Piero

Half of Germany's national team

These cleats had everything. And everyone loved them. So much so adidas brought them back in the all-red. Don't call it a comeback.

Personally I wish they brought back the real old school blacks, but hey, I’ll take it. Bring back the good ol’ days.

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