Shoes, or boots if you may, are the most important piece of gear for a footballer—for evading tackles, cutting through blades of grass to striking the ball in the right manner.

With the evolution of the game, the basic black leather boots have gone through many technological and design transformations and today, across all major football leagues, players are shod in footwear that not only enhances their skills but also adds colour to the playing field.

Just like every tennis player has a preferred racket, and a cricketer a certain type of bat, footballers also are particular about the shoes they wear on match day. For Lionel Messi, the five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, it’s the Pyro Storm Nemeziz from adidas. The German sportswear firm launched its latest shoe on Friday, which the Argentinian will wear this season when he plays for his club and country.

The Nemeziz stems from adidas’ vision to create a boot that offers more secure protection in the mid-foot and rear-foot areas. The boot design has also been influenced by other agility-based sports such as boxing, and also ballet, where dancers use tape for support and require nimble foot movement.

“Football as a sport also demands high agility from players, especially the forwards. The Nemeziz concept is inspired by athletic taping and its impact on a player’s stability. The combination of TORSION TAPES and AGILITY KNIT tech creates a lightweight, second skin-like fit. The lightweight cleats (protrusions on the sole of a shoe) are built to give emphasis on the agility of attacking players for perfect flexibility," says Hrishikesh Shende, director, football business unit, adidas India.

Shende says the Pyro Storm Nemeziz has been designed for firm ground conditions and is meant for players who have unpredictable and sudden movements on the football pitch.

Messi won’t be the only big name in European football wearing the Pyro Storm Nemeziz this season. Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler and Juan Mata of Manchester United will also put the shoe to test in some of the toughest leagues. In the Indian Super League, players Rowllin Borges (NorthEast United) and Jackichand Singh (Kerala Blasters) will also be wearing these boots this season.

Priced between Rs4,499 and Rs21,999, the shoes are available across adidas stores and on