The Full 90

Boot Camp with Michael Harrington

Gather a group of soccer players from any level, age or gender and they can all find one common topic to discuss/debate: What cleats do you wear?

After all, shoes -- or boots -- are the most important piece of technology a soccer player can bring to the field. Leather or synthetic? Nike or Adidas? Or Puma? Or Diadora? Black and white or purple and "electricity"?

Over the past few weeks, I grabbed a couple of Sporting Kansas City players -- Davy Arnaud, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington and Roger Espinoza -- to discuss this very topic.

Michael Harrington

Everyone I talked to remarked in some way about the fleet-footed fullbacks choice in shoes. He's an Adidas man and Adidas probably loves him because he likes to wear the flashiest shoes they've got.

The Full 90: I’ve seen -- and heard a lot about -- the purple shoes you’ve been wearing. Do you like wearing the purple shoes? Do you like the flashy shoes?

Yeah, I like the flash a lot. Always have. I remember way back when I was probably 10 years old and I got a pair of neon Valsports. I got hooked on the colors.

The Full 90: What’s your favorite color?

I’d say the neon yellow. I like that.

The Full 90: Have you worn the orange [F-50s] yet?

Yeah, I wore those. They tore on me. I got a yellow card [in the Vancouver game] for time wasting and my shoe was torn.*

* I had always wondered why Harrington was shown the card in that game. The seam split on him and he was in the process of swapping them out when the card was shown. The Full 90: The Valsports, were those your first?

That’s the first pair I remember.

The Full 90: Did you sleep in them?

Yeah [laughs] I think so.

The Full 90: How many shoes would do you go through in a year?

A year? I’d say close to 20.

The Full 90: Davy Arnaud told me when you first got here, you wore shoes that were too big. Do you wear shoes that fit a little better now?

Yeah. They fit a little better. That’s one of the first thing they told me, that I was wearing clown shoes.

The Full 90: What size do you wear now?

10s. I think I was wearing 11s back then. I guess it just worked for me at that point.

The Full 90: What’s the most important thing about a shoe for you?

I like the lightweight. You feel fast. I can definitely appreciate the comfort. The leather shoes are comfortable and light.

Wear it like a Pro

Harrington primarily wears the F50 adiZero. They come in a few bold color-combos:

Purple and "Electricity," "Electricity" and "Infrared" white and blue


I've seen Harrington wear the purple/orange and white/blue this season.

The super lightweight boots retail from about $200 all the way up to $300. These are the shoes Barcelona's Lionel Messi sells.

In case you were wondering, I'm guessing

a href=",r:18,s:0=1430=1175" target="_blank">these are pretty close to the pair of Valsports