Words by Bobby Emmanuel
In the modern era of football, it is common knowledge that the big boys of the sports industry will release a new and ‘improved’ upgrade near enough every season and for sure during every major international tournament. As a guy growing up in the commercial era of football, I have always shown a massive interest in the weapon of choice my favourite footballers would choose. From Ronaldinho’s signature Gold Tiempos to David Beckham’s iconic Adidas Predator, football boots were my thing!
This leads me perfectly onto introducing you to Toffem: Toffem is a Finnish boot collector who has taken his passion for football boots to the next level. He started collecting boots way back in 2006 and from then he has showcased his very impressive collection to over 220 thousand Instagram followers. We were lucky enough to catch the collector for an interview, talk to him about his 100+ collection and how his love for boots has grown into something massive.
14HQ: So, let’s start with a bit of a background of the man behind the page, when did you first fall in love with football?
Toffem: I would say I started collecting in 2006. In 2002, I started my playing career and on my wish list for that Christmas I had only one thing, that was for a pair of Adidas Predator Precision football boots. I even cut a picture of the boots from an advert and glued it on my wish list. However, the story ends sadly as by the time Christmas Eve came around, I didn’t get a pair. The reason I didn’t get them is the Adidas Predator Precision model was only produced during 2000-2001, It was sold out completely as it was an old model.
Did you ever play growing up and were you ever pro or semi pro?
Yes, I have played semi-professional football. About 300 games in the Finnish 2nd division. I still play football but nowadays in the 3rd or 4th division and only for FUN!
What was the first football boot you fell in love with?
The first boot I fell in love with was the Adidas Predator Precision. After that era, it was Nike Mercurial Vapor I.
What made you want to start collecting boots?
I got more and more interested in the history of boots and how they were actually made. You should know I always loved the best-looking boots but nowadays I’m more interested limited-edition boots and match worn professional boots.
How many pairs do you actually own?
I usually tell people I have around 100 pairs of boots 😉
When did you decide to start the page?
I started with photos and videos in 2012. As social media was growing, I felt that I wanted to share my passion with everyone!
What kind of content were you posting originally? Just unboxing videos and pictures?
Originally, I only posted like one picture a week, compared to now where I post 1-2 pics or videos a day. However yes, I originally posted simple pictures of the boots and most often holding the boots in my hand (still doing it, though).
What was the first post that really made your page grow?
That’s a hard one. I think one of my first pictures that showed others that I am a collector was a picture of my collection in one picture back in 2006.
Since the beginning of your page it has grown to over 200 thousand followers, what has been the key to your growth?
The key has been that I create my own content and that I take most of the pictures myself and edit them too. I always want to develop my style by creating new ways of making pictures. I also try to reply to my followers when I get comments on my feed as well as give shootouts to other pages by reposting some pictures that I feel are good content.
Do brands like Nike and Adidas give you the exclusives on new boots? Or send you new boots?
Yes, nowadays I do get some products from different brands to showcase on social media. This was one of my biggest dreams when I started my Instagram page!
What is your current favourite?
That is a hard question, I feel many boots have got what it takes to be a good football boot and some boots may suit one player better than the other. But I would say my current favourite is the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite I’m playing in them at the moment.
What is your favourite of all time?
Haha, the list is too long!
What’s next for @toffem?
Keep on creating content and trying to be better every day! Also hoping to be even more involved in the community of football boots.