Lionel Messi's boots - a history of the Barcelona & Argentina star's best footwear

Lionel Messi Adidas Nemeziz 2017
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Goal takes a look at the footwear that has been used by the Barcelona icon over the years, from early flirtations with Nike to his own Adidas brand

What boots does Lionel Messi wear? Well, it turns out that the Barcelona star wears a lot of different boots.

The Argentina captain is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time and he has won four Champions League titles during his career, as well as eight La Ligas.

One of Adidas' star athletes, he is kitted out by the sportswear giants, who have invested heavily into crafting boots worthy of his abilities.

So what sort of footwear does a five-time Ballon d'Or winner use on the pitch? Goal takes a look at Messi's current boots, as well as some of the best he's used in the past.

Barca breakthrough in Nike boots

Given that he is now the top asset in Adidas' glittering roster of footballers it may be hard to believe that Messi originally favoured Nike footwear.

He wore Nike's Tiempo boots as he starred in Argentina's successful 2005 Under-20 World Cup campaign and also wore the famous Mercurial Vapor and T-90 at different stages. 

At the time, Messi was playing alongside Ronaldinho, who was - and still is - one of Nike's biggest stars, and the precocious Argentine was tipped as the Brazilian's heir in Catalunya.

A certain Cristiano Ronaldo was also making waves at Manchester United while donning the 'swoosh' during that period.

Lionel Messi Argentina 2005

Lionel Messi Barcelona 2006

However, Nike were denied a marketing dream team as Adidas ultimately lured Messi away from the embrace of their rivals and into the arms of the brand with the three stripes by offering him a more lucrative sponsorship deal.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Adidas F50 TUNiT

Lionel Messi Adidas f50 TUNiT 2008

After firmly nailing his colours to the Adidas mast, Messi was soon seen wearing the brand's footwear on pitches in Spain, Europe and across the globe.

Around that time, the Predator series of boots had been popularised by the likes of Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, but Adidas were beginning to explore new lines of design. 

Messi's speed, guile and all-round trickery fitted perfectly with the brand's new F50 design, which was built for players with that particular style of play.

From 2006 on, he generally wore the F50 TUNiT boot as he cemented his reputation as one of the best players in the world.

Adidas F50i

Lionel Messi Barcelona Adidas F50i 2009 CL final

The year 2009 was an incredibly successful time for Messi as he won a treble with Barcelona and he did so while wearing the blue F50i boots he helped Adidas launch.

The Argentine scored Barca's second goal in the final of the Champions League against Manchester United and he famously celebrated by taking off his boot and kissing it.

The year was topped off as he picked up his first ever Ballon d'Or, leading Adidas to explore new gold-tinted boot designs for their prize asset.

Adidas F50 Adizero

Lionel Messi Adidas f50 Adizero 2012

As Messi's star continued to rise, Adidas eventually started to craft boots specifically for the Barca talisman, with the new designs featuring his own personal branding.

Messi clearly felt that the F50 style suited him as he stuck with them in their various incarnations for the guts of a decade.

Some of the more memorable versions include the 2012 white and gold F50 Adizero boots, which cleverly acknowledged the Argentine's three Ballons d'Or wins (2009, 2010 and 2011) and featured the Messi logo on the heel.

Lionel Messi adidas f50 adizero 2012

By this time, the F50 Adizero design had migrated the stripes to the back end of the boot instead of the front and, later that year, Messi could be seen wearing a striking silver and orange version of the boots.

In the lead up to the 2014 World Cup Adidas opted to make some changes to their signature F50 boots and, of course, Messi was the main man to promote them.

The main design for the new F50s at the tournament was white with black and orange markings, similar in style to the Adidas Brazuca ball that was in use.

Lionel Messi Adidas f50 Adizero World Cup 2014

But, as was becoming the norm in the world of football boots, there was plenty of tinkering.

A variety of different versions of the Adizero boots appeared throughout 2014, with Adidas even producing a unique multi-coloured design for Messi's birthday, which took place during the World Cup in Brazil.

The Adizero F50 boots remained Messi's favoured footwear after the tournament, but he began wearing the newer monotone coloured style instead.

Lionel Messi Adidas f50 adizero 2014

Lionel Messi Adidas F50 Adizero 2014

Adidas Messi 15 & Messi 16

In 2015 Adidas launched an all-new range of Messi-inspired boots aptly named 'Messi 15' and they were regularly updated with various new colours for different occasions.

For example, the brand marked the occasion of the Argentine's fifth Ballon d'Or win by introducing a fresh platinum look.

Throughout 2015 and early 2016, being the brand ambassador he is, Messi wore the different Messi 15 designs brought out by Adidas.

The Messi 15 boots ranged in colours, from black and red to lime and red, as well as the aforementioned platinum editions.

Eventually Adidas and Messi moved on and the Messi 16 boots were launched the following year featuring a more metallic look that gave them a different, shiny appearance.

Like their predecessors, the Messi 16 boots were updated regularly, coming in a long list of different colourways and the Argentine would often mix things up.

For example, he may have worn a lime green and black style while playing for Barca, but favour a silver and blue style when representing his country.

Messi's current boots - Adidas Nemeziz

Lionel Messi Adidas Nemeziz

Messi is currently using Adidas' Nemeziz series of boots and has been doing so since 2017 when the range was initially launched.

The Barca star actually has his own particular design in the range, simply known as 'Nemeziz Messi', which incorporates his name into the upper of the boot on the sides and top.

They have come in different colour schemes and Messi initially played games wearing the white style with black and orange features.

He then moved on to the limited edition Argentina-inspired version, which are white and sky blue in colouring, a nod to the country's famous albiceleste national flag and team shirts.

Towards the end of 2017, the Argentine tended to favour the black, gold and orange Skystalker Nemeziz style. 

However, he helped Adidas to launch an new design in early 2018, featuring a silver, black and blue colour scheme.

Lionel Messi Adidas Nemeziz 2017 Argentina Adidas Nemeziz

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Since January, Messi has mainly worn the newest edition, but he has occasionally mixed it up.

At the time of writing, the newest Adidas Nemeziz Messi boots are on the market at £249.95, but the Argentina-inspired versions can be picked up at a reduced price of £109.98.

With the 2018 World Cup fast approaching, if recent history has been anything to go by, it won't be long before Adidas launch their next Messi-inspired boot