Keen-eyed viewers of Bayern Munich’s derby destruction of Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening may have noticed that Mats Hummels made a minuscule modification to his Klassiker kit.
For reasons unbeknownst at the time, the Bayern centre-half intentionally played with holes in his boots after taking to the pitch with two small incisions in the big toes of each.
Speculation was rife(ish) on social media as to why Hummels had done such a thing, though it was left to the man himself to explain his decision.
Clearing up the confusion the following day, Hummels said (via Goal):
[The holes] had no impact. Both toes are a bit injured at the moment. It works that way too.
Maybe that will be a new model being developed.
Apparently, the defender was suffering with bruising on his toes and therefore snipped a ‘poke hole’ in each of his boots to help relieve the pressure.
It kind of puts us in mind of Jari Litmanen, who used to split the heels of his boots to provide extra support for his flimsy Finnish ankles…