adidas and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto continue their creative partnership, this time stepping away from the confines of the Y-3 line to produce the incredible Yohji Yamamoto x adizero F50 football boot. Taking inspiration from traditional Japanese design, the boot’s upper displays a pair of imperial lion-dogs who, in ancient times, guarded the sacred ground lived on by the emperors of Japan. The traditional design has been re-imagined in the context of Japan’s modern sci-fi culture creating a spiritual connection between the past and the future. Only 2,000 pairs have been produced, with pairs being worn by David Alaba and Lucas Moura in games this weekend. Check out the interview with Yohji below where the designer discusses his thoughts on the project.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the design of this boot…
My inspiration is a mixture of ancient traditions and modern sci-fi from Japanese culture
…When the Gods of Japan lived on sacred ground, with a pair of these imperial lion-dogs.

I used the open-mouthed guardian saying “ah” as part of a Buddhist mantra. The sound signifies the start of the universe and the beginning of all human language.

How do you expect a player to feel when lacing these boots up?
I hope the inspiration of the boot harmonises with the players and gives them extra confidence to express themselves without any fear.

What do you say to those who don’t agree that boots should stand out on the pitch, like these f50’s certainly will?
People should feel free to express themselves. Just follow your own instinct.

This boot represents a bit of a cross-over between the worlds of sport and fashion. Do you see this as a good thing?
My desire was and is to make sportswear elegant and chic. I think fashion helps us to get rid of our inferiority complex and sports allow us to do it in a practical manner. We try to find something purposeful in the body. But where are we headed with this tiny space called body. I have been thinking about this contradiction and I always want to see if sport can be elegant.