We take a deep dive into the Egyptian sharpshooter’s boot choices throughout his career.
Thanks to the popularity of a certain diminutive Argentinian, almost every left-footed footballer with a low centre of gravity has been christened as the next “Messi” at some point of time. Once known as the “Egyptian Messi”, Mohamed Salah has definitely carved out his own path since his move to Anfield from Roma for £37million in June 2017, scoring an incredible 44 goals in his first season and firing Liverpool to both Champions League and Premier League titles in his subsequent campaigns.
Blessed with lightning quick pace, mesmerising dribbling skills and a keen eye for goal, Salah plays as an inverted winger for Liverpool, operating in tandem with another equally quick and skilful winger, Sadio Mane, to wreak havoc on opposition defences. Since his arrival to the Premier League, Salah has scored 107 goals in 168 appearances (as of time of writing), and is the quickest Liverpool player ever to hit 100 goals.
What Football Boots Mohamed Salah Wears Today (2021/22) – adidas X Speedflow.1
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The Egyptian King’s weapon of choice is the adidas X Speedflow.1 which perfectly complements his speedy style of play. The upper is thin light, yet extremely comfortable and stable thanks to the additions of a Primeknit tongue, as well as an AgilityCage. To aid Salah’s explosive burst of pace, the Speedflow tooling is engineered with a stiff and responsive carbitex spine, giving him that extra spring in the step when pushing off.
Let’s go down memory lane to see what Mohamed Salah has worn in his storied career.
Salah Football Boots 11/12 – Nike Mercurial Vapor 7
As any Vapor fan will happily tell you, we’re all better off not talking about the dark ages of the Mercurial silos aka the Mercurial 5, 6 and 7. The boot was stiff, not particularly comfortable, and had a strange glass fibre tooling that was okay, but carried a weird lace cover that only served to get in your way.
Not an issue for Salah though, the man rocked up to the U20 World Cup in 2011 in the iconic Purple/Volt Mercurial Vapor 7 before making his senior debut for the Egyptian squad a mere few months later.
Salah Football Boots 12/13 – adidas adizero miCoach
The fact that the adidas miCoach was more fondly remembered as the Ronald McDonald boot, thanks to its red/yellow launch colourway, tells you a fair bit about the boot itself. Yes the boot was still extremely light, but it didn’t quite have the same magic as that 2010 World Cup edition. It did add a MiCoach cavity, which allowed one to track their performance.
For Salah though, this was his pair of football boots which he wore in a match that arguably changed his life. Representing the Egyptian U-23 team in a friendly against FC Basel, the Swiss team were so impressed with him that they quickly signed him up, kick-starting his career in Europe.
Salah Football Boots 13/14 – adidas adizero 2013 Leather
Quite possibly the best leather variant of all the adidas adizeros, the 2013 adizero is one of those boots that I wish I still owned. The leather was deliciously balanced, with just the right amount of structure to keep you locked in and responsive, yet padded enough to give that classic leather feel.
Signed to replace future Liverpool teammate Xherdan Shaqiri in Basel, Salah had a pretty good first season in Switzerland, reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League and winning the Swiss League title.
Salah Football Boots 13/14 – adidas adizero 2014
I’m going to put it out there. The 2014 adizero boot was the best adizero, and one of the GOAT boots. While not as thin as the previous synthetic models, the hybridtouch upper had a nicer balance to it, with just that bit of padding to take away the sting of the ball – a more natural touch as I’d call it. The tooling also saw an upgrade to a bladed pattern, that was surprisingly effective on both FG and AG, giving you enough bite when pushing off without too much cling.
After 2 successful seasons with FC Basel, Salah signed for Chelsea in January 2014, probably the most tumultuous period of his career. Interestingly, Liverpool were also interested in signing him in the same window, but was beaten to the chase.
Salah Football Boots 14/15 – adidas adizero 2015
After the highs of the 2014 adizero came the low of the 2015 adizero. The boot wasn’t that bad, but didn’t perform to the standards that the 2014 adizero had set. It didn’t last long either, as adidas surprised the boot industry by reshuffling their silos into two – the Ace and X 15.1. Unfortunately, the X 15.1 wasn’t that great either, with adidas having to disguise past adizero models into the X15.1 for their pro athletes. All in all, not the greatest year for the German brand, football boot wise.
Similarly, Salah struggled during this period after his transfer to Chelsea, with then-manager Jose Mourinho publicly criticising him after a poor performance in the blue jersey against League Two club Shrewsbury Town. He subsequently joined Italian club Florentina on an 18-month loan, scoring on his first start against Sassuolo.
Salah Football Boots 17/18 – adidas X17+ Pure Speed
Thankfully, the X silo took a massive step forward when the subsequent X16+ and X17+ models were launched. Both boots were stylistically similar, adding a lace cover for a cleaner touch on the ball, while the forefoot was engineered with a lightweight foam for a nice natural touch on the ball – reminiscent to the 2014 adizero. The silo also dropped the FG/AG multi-stud tooling from the X15.1, reverting to a more traditional FG stud pattern, although it worked well still on both FG and AG.
Despite Fiorentina activating a clause in the loan to sign Salah permanently, the Egyptian rejected the move, subsequently signing for Roma on loan, before sealing the move permanently. There, he rejuvenated his career, scoring 15 goals in 42 matches to fire Roma into a 3rd place league finish and winning the club’s Player of the Season award. He continued his hot streak in the 2016/2017 season, scoring 19 goals in all competition as Roma were narrowly pipped to the title by just 4 points.
Salah’s boots followed him to Liverpool where he has staked a claim to be on of the best forwards the club ever had.
Salah Football Boots 18/19 – adidas X18.1
Similar to the X16 and X17, the X19 was a minor facelift of the X18, so we’ve put them together. But both carried on the trajectory of the X17+. Fondly remembered by us as the “People’s Speed Boot”, the X18/19 was an extremely comfortable speed boot, with a more accommodating fit and a Primeknit tongue that adjusted to your feet more easily. It also came with a unique off centred lacing system that veered inwards, to allow for a larger surface area when dribbling the ball with the outside of your foot. The + models also came as a laceless variant, but the .1 models were the clear superior choice.
While the X silo grew from strength to strength, Salah’s career exploded after his move to Liverpool, breaking goal record after goal record. Perfectly complementing manager Jürgen Klopp’s rock and roll football, the Egyptian broke the Premier League’s goal scoring record for a 38 game season as he took home the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals to his name in the 17/18 season.
The goal scoring records continued tumbling in the 18/19 season, but more importantly, Salah was able to exorcise the demons of the previous Champions League final. He scored the first goal in a 2-0 victory over Tottenham as he finally lifted his first European Cup.
Salah Football Boots 20/21 – adidas X Ghosted.1
The X silo took the next step in its evolution with the X Ghosted. Eschewing the more natural touch on the ball, the X Ghosted went with a razor thin upper that gave you arguably the rawest touch on the ball in the market at that time. Its claim to fame however, was the carbitex infused tooling, which had a carbon fibre spine inserted into the boot for a track-spike like feel. The end result was a boot that not only looked fast, but made you feel explosive as well.
As with his previous seasons in the Premier League, the 19/20 season was another goal laden one. But this was not just any football season. This was the season that Salah’s goals fired Liverpool into their first Premier League title in 30 years, bringing incredible joy to the red part of Merseyside who were reeling from the Covid pandemic.
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