The Adidas Copa Mundial: A Timeless Classic

adidas copa mundial

It’s one of the most iconic football boots ever created, and four decades on it remains a cult hero. Spanish for World Cup, the Copa Mundial was released by adidas in 1979 ahead of the ‘82 World Cup in, you guessed it, Spain.

Copa Mundial (1979)

Manufactured in Germany, until recently, the original Copa Mundial featured a premium leather, an iconic fold-over tongue and a simple, but classic, monochrome design. The design has hardly changed in over 40 years, which only adds to its charm. It’s a boot adored by traditionalists. With the Copa Mundial, you know exactly what you’re getting. Comfort, stability, durability, protection, enhanced touch, power. The list is endless.

It’s a no-nonsense boot, designed for those who let their football do the talking. When adidas dropped the Copa Mundial, it fast became the boot of the ‘80s. Everyone wore them, including Diego Maradona. He ditched his beloved Puma Kings for the three stripes, which is massive when you think about it. While Franz Beckenbauer ended his career in what would turn out to be adidas’ greatest football boot of all time.

Later youngsters Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham would sport the classic silhouette before becoming the poster boys for the legendary adidas Predator franchise. Similar to the Predator, the Copa Mundial was well known for aiding pinpoint passing, ball control and whip. Three traits both Zizou and Becks relied heavily on throughout their successful careers.

Copa Mundial 25th Anniversary (2007)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Copa Mundial, adidas launched a commemorative boot which, like the original, was made in Germany. Only minor tweaks were made to the classic design, most notably an updated tongue with a blue logo. Other than that the aesthetic changes were few and far between, which was a big win for many. The boot was available in both FG and SG variations depending on preference.

Copa Mundial White Edition (2013)

2013 was the year adidas made a significant change to the iconic Copa Mundial. Much to the surprise of everyone, for the first time in its history, the Copa Mundial was dropped in a none black colourway. The upper leather was primarily white, while the famous three stripes and accents were black. 

This would be the first of several future updates for the Copa Mundial.

Copa Mundial Samba Pack (2014)

One year later adidas went a step further. To celebrate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, they launched the Samba pack bursting with vibrant colours inspired by Brazil’s famous samba scene.

The legendary adidas Copa Mundial silhouette remained the same, but it was now available in Solar Blue, Solar Green, Zest Orange, Blast Purple and Vivid Berry a stark contrast to the original black/white colourway.

Copa SL (2016)

In 2016 the Copa Mundial received its first major redesign, in terms of shape and technology, in almost 40 years. The silhouette was given a modern makeover. Re-engineered with a new synthetic upper and SprintFrame outsole the Copa SL was lighter than its predecessor. Despite still featuring the classic fold-over tongue and iconic black and white colourway, adidas’ gamble to redesign the original Copa Mundial went down like a lead balloon.

Copa 17.1 (2017)

The Copa 17.1 shifted towards a more modern design with modifications throughout the whole boot. A new compression tongue, which wrapped all the way around the foot, helped increase comfort, whilst kangaroo leather was used to improve touch. Despite the disappointment of the Copa SL adidas kept with the SprintFrame outsole, which featured conical studs for added traction.

Unlike the SL the 17.1 was available in numerous colourways including red/black and blue/black. This was the first Copa in almost 40 years that hardly resembled the original silhouette.

Copa Gloro 17.2 (2017)

For the Copa Gloro 17.2, launched in 2017, adidas combined elements from the iconic adidas Copa and less known Gloro models. The result was a unique offering for all traditionalists out there. Simple, no-nonsense colourways and a classic fold-over tongue with strap – which we all loved – helped produce a simple, but effective design. The beauty, as they say, is in the details

Copa 18.1 (2017)

Towards the back end of 2017 adidas made further adjustments to the Copa silhouette. The Copa 18.1 was launched with several tweaks to the tongue and upper. Most notably a one-piece tongue replaced the classic fold-over design, which provided a snug fit. A new internal cage on the toebox was designed to offer more protection and support. The changes were minor, but they made a massive difference in terms of performance.

Copa 19+ (2018)

For the first time in Copa history, adidas released a laceless version of the silhouette. The Copa 19+ was completely revolutionary and signalled the brand’s desire to completely transform one of its oldest and most iconic franchises.

Launched in 2018 and debuted by Paulo Dybala, the Copa 19+ features a leather upper and Primeknit collar. The ExoFrame outsole offers full control at high speeds thanks to its dual-density design, which is entirely brand new for the Copa franchise.

The Copa 19+ was initially launched in a white/silver colourway. Following its success, adidas made minor tweaks to the design. They launched the Copa 20+ in a number of bold colourways including Active Red and Silver Solar.

Today’s Copa silhouettes are completely unrecognisable compared to the original Copa Mundial launched in the late ‘70s. But one thing has remained the same throughout; adidas’ desire to create a boot that not only looks good, but feels good to wear.