Product Review | 8 Bits & Leather Cats For Summer

Thanks once again to the good folks at, my admittedly-minimal wardrobe has expanded by a couple of items just in time for summer.

I’ve got a handful of soccer shirts in high rotation, particularly in the summer, and the latest horse in my stable is the Puma Foundation Graphic Line Up Tee, featuring world stars of the game in all their 8-bit goodness1.

I’ve got the holy trio of (I presume) Maradona, Pele, and Cruyff sussed in the middle2. I’m going to go ahead and guess that the guy in the Cameroon strip on the far right is Roger Milla.

But what about the far left? Obviously a keeper (note the long sleeves and gloves), but which? Judging by the color of the kit, the time period, the badge background, and the “features,” all signs point to Peter Shilton. Sort of ironic that he’s next to Maradona, no? Shame the little 8-bit Maradona doesn’t have his hand raised above his noggin…

I’ve also added the Nike5 Gato Leather indoor soccer shoes, though I’ll primarily be using them outdoors as I get my daughter and some of her friends out on the fields in preparation for the fall season3.

Test play around the house and yard indicate that the primary strength of these things is comfort. I don’t get quite as good of a feel for the ball as I do with the (previously reviewed) Nike Air’s4, but grip on grass is significantly better. Comfort and not falling down are pretty big selling points for those of us on the far side of 35.

As, I suppose, are retro-ironic t-shirts. (sigh)

Product(s) for this review were provided to FBF by

  1. Remember the days? Weird thing is that there’s a gap in my soccer gaming on the console (well, pretty much all console gaming) from early 90’s Sega stuff to Fifa 2009 on the Wii. Sure I played CM and FM in those gap years, but the odd thing is that these blocky dudes stayed relatively fresh in the memory with no subsequent 16/32/64-bit “enhanced” experience to dilute them. ↩

  2. Though if we’re talking contemporary late 80’s or early 90’s, I’m not sure who the Brazilian is and the Dutchman is probably van Basten, right? ↩

  3. Can’t very well wear studs when practicing with 8- and 9-year-old girls, particularly given that their favorite “drill” is trying to get the ball away from me. Well, I mean, I could wear studs, but I’m not sure I’d be able to avoid toes with 4-6 of their little boots getting stuck in. ↩

  4. I’ve always worn Adidas/Diadora, though I’m starting to appreciate Nike’s efforts in the soccer arena. Still a bit narrow for my peasant trotters, but not bad. ↩

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