SCOUTING REPORT: SOCKS THAT TURN HEADS – DFB SOCKS

There are many iconic designs throughout soccer history that most fans would be able to instantly recognize; there are even designs that would appear familiar to the more casual fan, perhaps even those outside of the soccer realm as a whole! The design patterns of the 1990 West Germany jersey is definitely one such design, and is arguably considered by some as the best soccer jersey of all time. This kit features stripes that resembles the German flag and embodies a very classic vintage aesthetic. The look is so popular that adidas decided to bring it back for the new 2018 home kit for the upcoming World Cup, only this time they didn’t use the original black, red, and yellow colors for the stripes, but the same pattern inspiration is all obviously there.

It’s not everyday that you hear about socks that turns heads and gains much attention from the fashion-savy people in the soccer culture community, but the “DFB Socks” by Nivelcrack manages to do just that.

Overall Design: The overall design is simple and straight to the point. It carries the iconic patterns of the 1990 West Germany jersey featuring the black, red, and yellow stripes with a white base. Nivelcrack was smart to not change the original design of the kit, however, they’ve added their own taste into it as there are some things in the world that you just should not alter.

Score: 5/5


Functionality: We here at KTTP like to try out products firsthand that we review for our Scouting Report series whenever possible. I own a pair of these myself and believe me when I say that these are some really high quality socks, not one of those cheap ones that usually loses its quality and strength in thread after a couple of wears and washes. It is a bit in the thicker end, so it may not be the most ideal ones to wear during the hottest days in the summer, but hey I ain’t going to judge you.

Score: 4/5


Wearability: The cool thing about this sock is that they would look good with shorts on, because you get to show off the cool patterns of the 1990 German kit, as well as with a pair of jeans that ends right above your ankle so that the patterns shows off occasionally throughout your day. The days of wearing colorful socks are in the past. I’m all in for white socks these days, so this is a must.

Score: 5/5


Details: If these socks were named something else and completely random and not “DFB” socks, fans of the beautiful game would still recognize this design as being inspired by the famous Germany kit and that comes down to Nivelcrack’s attention to detail in making sure the original design is resembled perfectly. Bravo!

Score: 5/5


Technology and Innovation: Not much innovation in terms of technology, but this design is refreshing to see on a pair of socks. I’m surprised it took this long for a brand to capitalize on the iconic design, and if there were any in the past and I just don’t know about it, please shoot me a message and educate me!

Score: 4/5

You can now purchase these socks by Nivelcrack from RBC.

OP ED: MLS & ADIDAS TEAM UP W/ PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS

Google “ocean plastic” and you’ll be taken down a disturbing wormhole of images of whales that starved and died from plastic ingestion, trash-riddled waves, and something called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. You don’t have to be an internet sleuth to figure out that plastic pollution in the oceans is a serious problem. Parley for the Oceans is looking for ways to combat the problems facing our oceans. From their website, “Parley is the space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction.”

Parley for the Oceans is looking for ways to combat the problems facing our oceans. From their website, “Parley is the space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction.”

Parley has already partnered with adidas on a number of sneakers made from repurposed ocean plastic and even collaborated with MLS last year creating kits for four clubs made from technical yarns using Parley Ocean Plastic.

This year MLS and adidas link up with Parley once again just in time for Earth Day with an even more expansive collab. This year’s partnership, in conjunction with MLS WORKS Greener Goals, is part of the League-wide efforts on and off the field to highlight MLS’ commitment to environmental sustainability. All 23 teams will feature the adidas’ MLS Parley kits during Earth Day weekend, Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. The 2018 edition comes in two colorways, non-dye and carbon, differentiating the two teams in each game.

This year’s kits maintain the classy, muted color palette employed in last year’s models. The subtle colorways devoid of major design embellishments that will be seen on all of the kits worn by MLS squads this weekend bring a sense of unity. For this weekend the attention will be shifted from individual design elements putting the focus on Parley and the great work they are doing. An added bonus of the understated kits is their accessibility and extreme wearability. It is easy to rock a gray or white shirt with pretty much any fit. Picking up the Parley kit of your favorite club is a way to keep it clean, both in terms of style and your impact on the ocean.

We applaud the work adidas has done with Parley and continues to do. Hopefully, as technology advances, we will see Parley Ocean Plastic used in more and more products. There seems to be no shortage of supply of plastic in our waters that can be repurposed for something positive. Make sure to catch an MLS match this weekend and see your favorite players rocking their environmentally conscious threads. Head over to mlsstore.com to get a Parley x MLS kit.

THIS WEEKS INSTAGRAM BEST 11

Another Friday has rolled around way too quickly, especially when you’ve had the type of hectic week we’ve had. While continuing our efforts on the site, we’ve also had to move offices, conduct lord knows how many back-to-back projects, and find ways to grow our team, all the while keeping an ear on the ground for what’s been happening within soccer culture. So before we can hang our boots in exchange for ones better suited for the Coachella desert, we’re still grinding away at the new (and far from finished) office to bring you our Best 11 Instagram posts of the week, curated as always by our very on Andrew Medina.

To highlight a few, we’ve got COPA Football’s homage jersey to one of the greatest grunge bands ever: Pearl Jam; LAFC’s limited edition recycled Jersey, a Parley x adidas x MLS effort for Earth Day, Bleacher Report’s Bayern vs. Real Madrid and Liverpool vs. Roma Dragonball Z-inspired animation, Zlatan and Shaq (of course), and Alexander Wang’s third season drop with adidas Originals to name a few. Have a look below to see our full Best 11.

Team Markkers FC @jasonmarkk for The Association.

A post shared by The Association (@associationlosangeles) on

Took the new @detroitcityfootballclub kits for a test drive

A post shared by Lindsey Pehrson (@lindspehrson) on

Bayern vs. Real Madrid Liverpool vs. Roma 11 more sleeps.

A post shared by Bleacher Report Football (@brfootball) on

XL vs XXXL @shaq

A post shared by Zlatan Ibrahimović (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on

New Alexander Wang x adidas Originals. Thoughts? 📷: @bryanluna.co #HSKicks

A post shared by HIGHSNOBIETY (@highsnobiety) on

In the run up to the World Cup, we are designing prints representing our favourite new national team kits. Our latest print available to buy is the Nigeria Super Eagles kit pattern. . . 'The footwear giant set out to channel the Naija, or “New Nigeria” identity exuded by the youthful, contemporary team, which is mostly comprised of players under 25 years old. Nike accomplishes this through chevron and floral prints in tonal greens. The Nigeria Football Federation gets a lime green/white chevron Fast Fit Vapor Knit home uniform and traditional dark green ensemble for away. The key feature of the performance wear is heat transfer technology 64% lighter than other top-performing gear, making it Nike’s most breathable. . Source: @hypebeast . . . #fifa #worldcup #Nigeria #NigeriaSuperEagles #nike #kitdesign #kit #jerseydesign  #abstract #abstractart #abstractillustration #print #football #footballkit #footballart #footy #futbol #futbal#calcio #footballart . @ng_supereagles @fifaworldcup @nikefootball

A post shared by From 12 Yards (@from12yards) on

Replay. From a different angle.

A post shared by Emilio Sansolini (@emiliosansolini) on

Friday mood 😜

A post shared by LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL. (@lifeafterfootball) on

SCOUTING REPORT: RED STAR FC COACH JACKET

The beautiful game of soccer truly speaks a universal language. Our collective love for the world’s sport breaks all boundaries and connects international borders. City Boys FC, a small soccer-inspired streetwear brand from Tokyo has recently collaborated with Red Star FC, a club that is also small in size, but large and rich in history, to release the “Red Star FC Coach Jacket” as part of a full collection which includes T-Shirts, socks, and a jacket. Ex-Manchester United and Red Star FC player describes the latter Parisian club perfectly: “Red Star is an underground, romantic, popular football club where there is absolutely no social status. People love it because it still has that old-school football vibe. The club was not built for just victory and winning. It is a very powerful symbol of freedom and creativity. Not a lot of clubs have that natural credibility.” Bellion currently serves as the Creative Director for Red Star and has been taking significant strides on putting Red Star FC on the map in a way where bigger clubs like neighboring PSG probably will struggle to emulate. Being the oldest soccer club in Parisian territory, Red Star FC has built a natural credibility with its supporters and its culture where other big clubs like PSG will feel challenged by the influx of big corporation influence and touristic environment. That does not mean PSG’s culture and credibility is any less or worse, but it’s just different. I think the decision for Red Star FC to have a full collection with a small Tokyo based clothing brand shows their reach and their ambition to continue in growing their value in working with authentic people that are in the “scene,” versus a going with a big name brand for sake of status.

Overall Design: This jacket had one design concept in mind and that was to keep it simple and clean. The whole jacket is black with exceptions in red for the embroidered Red Star logo on the front and the “RED STAR FC” font on the back. The collars add a nice classy touch to the overall design, and the jacket resembles a classic bomber jacket without the “puff.” For some, this may be too minimalist of a design, but Red Star FC is a club that values the story and its identity over results on the pitch and I think this jacket does a good job in bringing the spotlight to the main character of the story.

Score: 5/5


Functionality: What good is a good looking jacket if it’s not going to keep you warm? I was just in Toronto this past weekend and decided to wear this for the trip. Coming from Los Angeles, I forgot how cold winter weathers were. I was a bit worried at first but I have to give it to the City Boys team, they managed to kill it in both criteria of design and functionality.

Score: 5/5


Wearability: This type of jacket is probably one of my favorites to wear right now. Nothing too bulky and heavy with a good semi-shine material to give you a darker/urban vibe, and not just because of its black colorway. I wouldn’t really recommend this jacket on a slightly chillier night in spring as it has faux fur in the inner linings, which may lead you to unwittingly sweat as soon as the day heats up.

Score: 4/5


Details: For this piece I’d like to give a shout out to the details and how this jacket was put together in terms of stitching and choice of materials/fabric, and not in its design. The design is sleek and minimal and thus did not require too much attention, but you would appreciate the details in the overall fit and how comfortable it is when you actually wear it. As mentioned, the inside of the jacket is made with faux fur which adds another level of richness to the overall experience.

Score: 4/5


Technology and Innovation: I think the faux fur inside of the jacket really caught my attention and had a good first impression on me when I first wore the piece. It was not something that I was expecting from my first look at the exterior, and the fact that it wasn’t just a cheap shell of a jacket was innovative in its own way. Nothing too advanced in the design aspect, but overall I am impressed with this latest release by City Boys FC and Red Star FC.

Score: 3/5

You can now shop the Red Star Coach Jacket from Red Star FC’s website or from RBC for US customers

UNBOXING: MERCURIAL SUPERFLY 360 X KIM JONES

Here to kick off our official inaugural KTTP Unboxing video series we have the highly coveted, much talked about Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones. While we’ve dabbled in the Unboxing concept in the past, this episode marks our first full effort at highlighting all the details, notes, anecdotes and then some of the new soccer-related footwear releases that we feel deserve the limelight. To help talk us through the boots is our co-hosts Denise Jones, co-founder + EIC and all-around boss at sports hosting (who also apparently has some serious sauce!), and our very own soccer expert Andrew Medina, a face, and voice you’ll recognize throughout our platform (check him out on our KTTP Radio show if you haven’t already, and then be sure to subscribe!).

Throughout the Unboxing, Denise and Drew go in on the all-over Cheetah pattern, a design decision inspired by both Kim Jones’ own upbringing in Africa, as well as the speedy nature of the animal that went hand-in-hand with the performance of the boot themselves. The two then break down the construction, wearability, subtleties, accents and the finer details, as well as highlighting their own opinions and thoughts on Nike’s storytelling ability and about the highly limited Kim Jones Mercurials in particular. Hit play in the video above to watch Denise and Drew go at it on the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones.

MIDFLD’S NEW MEANING FOR THE COLOR PURPLE

Can you walk by the color purple and not notice it? I dare you to try especially when you have Midfld’s latest “Dal Viola” collection right in front of your own eyes.

No matter how hard I might try, the collection is one I cannot help but be drawn to. Though its soccer inspiration is what initially intrigued me, I find myself now more enamored with this offering because of the impression that it has left on me that’s totally unrelated to soccer.

The collection reminds me to appreciate the beauty in everything. For Midfld founder Daniel D’Angelo, it is from the color purple, which is what “Dal Viola” means, that he too was able to appreciate all the beauty around him. The color, however, has taken on a richer meaning as it signifies all the great Fiorentina teams he grew up watching. He refers to the great Fiorentina players such as Socrates, Batistuta, Rui Costa, and above all Roberto Baggio, as players who left a lasting impact on him both for the fashionable jerseys they wore as well as the creativity, skill, and genius they showcased. This overall style is what Midfld’s latest collection replicates.

The collection puts a twist on a classic Fiorentina logo and includes the team’s signature color in all except one of its garments. It is spearheaded by a unique tribute to Rui Costa in the form of a vintage style jersey that utilizes shadow numbering as well as Gothic print on the back to honor the player’s Portuguese heritage. As the title of the collection suggests though, purple merely serves as a portal as Midfld brings with it a slew of other vibrant colors with their own meaning.

The color selection for this particular collection has both a stylistic and thematic purpose. While staying true to the design heritage of the club by incorporating all the colors that they use, such as purple, white, red, and gold, Midfld also stays true to its own aesthetic by maintaining that casual look with more of an athletic sportswear vibe this time around.

The selection, in the end, is compelling, but again Midfld is more than just about outward appearances. One of the brand’s posts on its Instagram page captures the true core values behind this collection through a quote from Roberto Baggio which reads, “you have to believe in yourself. You don’t believe that something external guides your life – basically, it’s you. You understand your defects. You learn to be happy.” In line again with its mantra, Midfld reminds us to find our space through the players which found their own.

It is when thinking about this message that it becomes easier to choose my favorite piece from this entire collection. I arrive specifically at Midfld’s tribute to Socrates in the form of a gold t-shirt with the number 8 on the left chest and the words “find the space” in Portuguese. As a player who not only dazzled me on the field, Socrates might be better remembered for his involvement in pushing for democracy in his native Brazil. His exploits thus expand the meaning of what Midfld has come to mean. It is not simply about finding your own space, but rather also realizing how your space can become a space for others as well.

Midfld’s “Dal Viola” collection makes it difficult to overlook the beauty of this thought. I hope you too can notice the beauty the brand has put before us through the color purple and pick up your favorite pieces from its online shop.

Images via Midfld.

ANIMAL PRINT STEPS OUT OF THE JUNGLE AND ON TO THE PITCH

For anyone that calls themselves a sneakerhead… in fact, most that are even remotely into sneaker culture will have seen at the very least one footwear iteration that boasts Nike‘s synonymous animal-inspired patterns & prints, be it from an Animal Pack or a Safari drop. The soccer realm, however, has finally received its long awaited follow up, Mercurial CR7 Safari being the first, into the animal kingdom – despite the amount of flash out on the market – thanks to renown fashion designer and director Kim Jones‘ efforts with Nike’s Mercurial Superfly 360. Cast in a blazing “Total Orange,” the boots’ upper brought on an all-over display of Cheetah-print, which in our opinion puts this design miles ahead of the game.

Now, you may be wondering why the ex-men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton and the now current artistic director at Dior Homme is adopting the pattern of a cheetah onto not just a shoe, but a soccer boot at that. The reason behind the design is refreshingly straightforward. “I grew up in Africa and have always admired the strength of animals. The cheetah is the fastest land animal, so it makes complete sense as an inspiration for me,” the designer tells Nike News. Jones is not the only one who within the past month has decided to put their creative touch on a soccer boot.

We of course have Virgil Abloh – who coincidentally took over Jones’ role at LV if for some strange reason you haven’t heard that news already – and his Off-White take on yet another Nike Mercurial: the Vapor 360s. However, his design has the people divided, with one side approving of the Off-White stamp, and the other questioning the authenticity of his involvement in the game. In Kim Jones’ case, there’s no statement given by the man that makes it sound like he’s a soccer head, but rather a nonchalant (and perhaps more believable) mention that he likes the sport. The focus of his shoe then lies on the purpose of the design and its aforementioned link back to Jones’ upbringing in Kenya and Botswana.

For us at Kicks to the Pitch, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones boot falls exactly into our niche category of lifestyle and soccer, given the brand heritage of animal print, and how the Mercurials also followed the release of Nike’s Air Max 1 collaboration with Japanese sneaker and streetwear imprint Atmos. While animals patterns have been a recurring theme for not just Nike, but within the sneaker realm as a whole – think Vans, Supreme, Stussy, adidas, Jordan Brand, Reebok… the list goes on – Nike is without a doubt the head of the pack when it comes to tapping into the animal kingdom’s artwork. In fact, Nike and Atmos together have played a big role in imbuing the sneaker landscape with unmatched efforts in animal print; a case in point being the 2007 Atmos x Nike Air Max 1, Dunk & Court Force “Beast Pack.”

The recent release of the Atmos x Nike “Animal Pack,” however, which features the fur from the Leopard, Tiger, Zebra, Giraffe, and Horse, takes the whole animal print game to the next level. The combination of all five animals comes from the mind of Atmos’ creative director Hirofumi Kojima, and represents yet another example of when Nike trusts an outside creative to run with their wild ideas. Another example of that being Nike’s “What the” Dunks, and more recently the “What The” Mercurials. With the animal print – and the “What The” design for that matter – having expanded outside of lifestyle and into soccer territory, who knows what else we may be seeing in the near future, especially since the sport of soccer is really starting to make its way into more facets of both the mainstream and niche creative industries. Let’s just hope we get to see more authenticity within what’s to come as opposed to bandwagon jumping.

Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones images by Richard Gordon

SCOUTING REPORT: DIOS NECKLACE BY NIVELCRACK

So often now you see soccer-inspired brands release jerseys, shirts, pants, and shorts all year long but rarely accessories. The most accessory type of gear you would see would be a pin to possibly put on your hat, coat, or bags. Nivelcrack, a streetwear brand from Seoul, is once again testing its limits when they released the “DIOS NECKLACE” in both gold and silver. The release was an innovation in its own way in that not many brands care to include accessories like a necklace in their collections, and what better player to use as your design inspiration other than the one with the flashy lifestyle: Diego Maradona?

Overall Design: The name and the design of the necklace tells you exactly what moment in football history this is referring to: the infamous “hand of God” goal scored by Diego Maradona against England in the quarter-finals at the 1986 World Cup. A legendary move like this will not happen in today’s World Cup games due to the implementation of the VAR starting this year, but then again soccer is always full of surprises… This necklace takes the silhouette of that exact moment – kind of like the Jordan “Jumpman” logo – taken from a staged photograph of when Diego Maradona jumps up to extend his arm to score the goal. In the post-match conference, Maradona explained that the goal was scored by “…a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” Overall I think this design, which comes in both gold and silver, is ingenious. Taking one of the most iconic moments in soccer and using its image to replicate it into a necklace is simple, but it’s also one of those cases where in hindsight you can easily say “why didn’t I think of that?”

Score: 5/5


Functionality: The necklace is about 57cm in length and the pendant has a width of 2.4cm and height of 3.7cm. It’s not the longest, but I personally prefer medium sized ones like this one. I own one of these myself and they’re a great accessory to throw on everyday for any occasion with confidence due to its sturdy feel from its construction of 925 silver with 24k gold plating.

Score: 5/5

Wearability: Remember when players were allowed to wear necklaces on the pitch? That is now technically not allowed for good reason to protect the players, but I can’t lie that I miss the look of the players running around with their necklaces bouncing off their neck/chest. One image I have of a moment like that is when Hwang Sun-hong of South Korea scored the first goal against Poland back in 2002 at the World Cup. The reason I bring up that point is to remind people reading that these would look good to wear both on and off the pitch. I don’t even think it’s that dangerous to play with accessories on but that’s just me being me.

Score: 5/5


Details: The pendant has enough details in it that fans of the beautiful game would be able to tell what this piece represents as soon as they look at it. The back of the pendant is a flat smooth surface and all the details are shown on the front; Nivelcrack has even included a soccer ball in the design. In my opinion, the one improvement that would’ve made the piece just that much better would’ve been to include the stripes of the Argentina jersey, but again, that’s just me being me.

Score: 4/5

Technology and Innovation:  As mentioned in the introduction, I think the “DIOS NeCKLACE” is innovative in its own way, not because of the design, but because of the refreshing take on an iconic moment in soccer and replicating that into a high-quality accessory, and not into basic apparel.

Score: 4/5

You can purchase the Nivelcrack “DIOS NECKLACE” through Nivelcrack or RBC.

SHUKYU MAG’S ISSUE 5 TALKS TECH WITHIN SOCCER CULTURE

SHUKYU magazine, for those who are unfamiliar, is a print effort out of Tokyo, Japan that introduces the realm of soccer through themes, topics, and categories that branch out into the creative sphere. While soccer – or football to the rest of the world – is without a doubt a leading sport the world over, there’s unfortunately only a handful of printed publications that do an amazing job at encapsulating the many facets of the sport’s culture. SHUKYU is one such example of doing it right, made obvious through its creative design, quality of writing, level of content and its overall aesthetic.

First debuted back in May of 2015, the magazine is now five issues strong, having just released its Issue 5 only a few days ago. Dubbed the “TECHNOLOGY ISSUE,” the book delves into the integration of technology within soccer culture, with themes revolving around how we view games in today’s world, how social media is changing the landscape, and even what the near and far future may look like, which could very well include robot players apparently. “We as football fans watch live matches on our smartphones, access daily information via social networking platforms, and are further approaching times in which we read articles that have been written by AI. Who knows that in 50 years or so robots will be playing at the World Cup, and events beyond our wildest imagination may be taking place,” states the mag’s Editor Takashi Ogami in the Editor’s Notes.

However worry not if you’re one of those “AI technology will be the end of humankind” types, as, despite its exploration into the positives and negatives of technology within soccer culture, the issue settles on the fact that “football is football so long as there are 22 players that run across the pitch aiming for the goal and pursuing the ball, and the enthusiasm and excitement of watching a match in the stadium is the same in any era.” With great articles coupled with stunning visuals under a very pleasing design, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up a copy of SHUKYU Magazine No.5 TECHNOLOGY ISSUE.

Head over to its online store here to order yourself a copy for ¥1,500 JPY (approximately $14 USD), as well as copies of their back issues, and although they’re written in Japanese, each copy comes with an English translation booklet. The store also features special collaborative merch that we can totally get behind, such as hilariously kitsch T-shirts, socks, and accessories, including the awesome “Yellow and Red Card” series with Hender Scheme. For now, check out a few examples of what you’ll find in issue 5 throughout.