New York City in general, and Brooklyn in particular, has a soccer culture that is unlike any place on the planet. There are weekday pickup games at all hours of the day for the free-lance, independent and unemployed. There are semi-professional club teams for serious players and coed and mens leagues for recreational players. There are professional franchises for serious spectators, woman's teams, social leagues, youth clubs, over 40's teams, and much more. Soccer in the city is a lifestyle. It's a space both immediate and local that anyone can join. It doesn't matter where you are from, or even whether you're a great player, so long as you are passionate about the game, you can find a place where you'll belong.
The Legacy Boot comes from being a part of this culture and being inspired by it. In our own search for a simple, classic, leather boot, we came up short. Or, at least grew tired of the same old choices and new gimmicks. So, we decided to build our own shoe.
The rest of the story take place in Chile and you can scroll down to read it. We thank you for joining us, we look forward to meeting you on the pitch!
In mid-2017 I sent an email to a Chilean footwear brand who had briefly opened up a shop in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood the year prior. I told them I was looking to make a very specific soccer shoe with a classic design and real leather feel. Half an hour later I got a call back from Eric, an Ohio native, living in Chile, who had been working in the Chilean footwear scene for about 5 years. He believed in the project, had played soccer on Ohio's big grass soccer fields with his brother when he was young, and saw the potential to source the right materials and find the artisan shoemakers to make it happen. In the most modest of ways the project began to take flight.
For the rest of the year we built prototypes, sourced leather and tweaked designs until we had a working shoe. On the eve of starting the first production we hit the biggest possible snag -- the Artificial Grass cleat molds that we thought were perfect couldn't be located in all of the sizes needed. A few were missing and had either been sold to who knows who or had been sent to the scrap heap. The delay caused our opportunity with the shoemaking workshop to fizzle, and we were left with almost nothing. No manufacturer, no cleats, no shoe maker, no boots.
We regrouped and set off in search of other shoemakers to resolve the cleat issue. Eric had heard about a workshop, a small 2-story building tucked away in an off-street in Santiago's shoemaking district, that could be a good manufacturing partner. There, Eric met the shoemakers and production manager, who were dedicated to building inexpensive, flashy-colored women's platform shoes and sandals for the local market. Eric proposed the soccer shoe project and immediately saw their faces light up. Later, we found out that three of the shoemakers had built cleats for Mizuno and Diadora in the 80's and 90's for the South American market. It was a fortuitous & awesome beginning and we got right to work!
Our first prototypes didn't come out as desired. The shoe was bulky, the leathers were too thick and heavy, the padding wasn't right, the stitching was unrefined. Sourcing the right leathers connected us to leather producers and took us deep into the tanneries, talking waxes, finishes, tanning processes. We built prototype after prototype, tweaking the design, sourcing the absolute highest-quality materials available. We took the lasts and found a partner to sculpt and shave time and time again until we had the perfect form. We became detectives and talked with everyone involved in or related to shoemaking with a "have you seen this cleat?" photograph. Months of persistence paid off and we actually found the rest of our cleat molds.
For nearly the entire 2018 year we tweaked the design and relied continually on our artisan shoemakers. With every new prototype we saw the twinkle of pride in their eyes -- building a product showcasing the best of their shoemaking abilities and, for the soccer players of the bunch, creating a shoe to remind them of their own "fútbol" glory days.
The Legacy cleat is the result of unrelenting persistence and unwavering desire. You'll be hard-pressed to find a soccer boot that was created more from scratch or from higher-quality raw materials. Every element, every material and design choice is the result of extensive consideration. It is my goal that Legacy soccer boots inspire those who wear them to not only elevate their game but also to honor those great international and even local players who make the sport what is is today and what it will be in the future. The Legacy boot really is THE beautiful boot for the beautiful game.