The news that the 'Champagne' colourway of the iconic 2002 Adidas Predator Mania made our week here at the Balls.ie offices when we caught wind of it at the tail end of 2016, and with the remake set to be launched in around three months time, we're eagerly anticipating what Adidas have up their sleeve in terms of the marketing push, and what players are going to actually play in the bloody beautiful boots.
But our love of Predators is insignificant in comparison to what a number of devout collectors hold for what many believe to be the peak of football boot engineering, and social media has hosted a number of leaked images of the upcoming remake in recent weeks as collectors have managed to get their hands on prototypes and sample versions.
'The Pred Shed' is an Instagram account run by one of the biggest Predator collectors around, and he has uploaded a series of photos directly comparing the remake to the classic version to give us an idea as to what has changed.
They look incredible.
We saw when the 2002 Predator Mania boots were re-released in the original colourway back in 2014 that there were some major differences between both pairs of boots, but this time it looks to be a more direct update with a number of modern features thrown in.
Football apparel gurus FootyHeadlines.com have outlined three changes that they have already identified. Firstly it's clear that the leather of the actual boot will be different.
The most obvious difference between the two Adidas Predator Mania Champagne football boots is definitely the upper, which is kangaroo leather on the original and a synthetic solution on the 2017 remake. In this, the 2017 Predator Mania is similar to the remakes that Adidas released in 2014 as the Revenge pack.
Also noticeable is the difference in the tongue, which is a big selling point for the boot as a whole.
The second thing that's quite noticeable is the shape and size of the tongue, which is slightly different in the two models. For a fun side fact, the tongue on the 2017 Adidas Predator Mania is actually the only part of the boot that is made of genuine leather.
And of course the studs and soleplate will be a more modern version, as the original blades actually proved problematic on some surfaces.
Last but not least, the sole plate and stud configuration of the 2017 Predator is entirely unlike the original. In short, it's the same one that's used on the FG Adidas Ace and offers more modern and lightweight traction.
There's not long to wait now, and while availability will unfortunately be limited, we'll be doing our utmost to secure a pair to giveaway to one of our readers, having seen that the love we have for the boots is widespread thing amongst our readers.
And if you weren't drooling enough already, have a gander at a section of the collection that 'The Pred Shed' has acquired over the years...