Italian sportswear company Lotto yesterday unveiled the world's first laceless football shoe, the Zhero Gravity, in the UK.

The shoe is the product of three years of research and development and will be debuted at this year's FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Zhero Gravity acts like a suction cup, adhering to the foot without letting any air in. The absence of laces means the entire upper of the shoe is in contact with the foot, ensuring the player has total feel and control of the ball, Lotto said.

The upper is made of water-repelling, anti-abrasive micro-fibre, while the Neo Switch sole enables studs to be changed according to the state of the pitch.

Lotto's UK sales and marketing manager, Allan Cope, told just-style: "Other companies have launched trainers with less laces, covered-up laces or asymmetric laces.

"But this is the first totally laceless trainer. The micro-fibre is the key to the shoe. Plastic and leather are just not flexible enough."

Alberto Landi, Lotto Sport Italia's marketing and communication manager, told just-style: "People want perfection now. The Zhero is not only technically advanced, but good-looking. This is vital nowadays - especially for a shoe company from an Italian company. People won't look at the shoe if not, because there is so much competition."

Landi admitted that the idea of a laceless football shoe was originally viewed as an unlikely proposal, but he said: "You have to take up and consider ideas. Creativity is important."

The Zhero Gravity will go on sale in specialist stores in mid/end May for £140. The Zhero range includes two other laced models, which will sell for £90 each.

Chelsea Football Club goalkeeper Petr Cech is confident Gravity will add to his on-pitch performance during the World Cup: "I am impressed by the lightweight quality of the shoe. It is quite revolutionary."

Cope told just-style that Lotto's next big launch will be a tennis shoe next season, which will feature a high-tech cushioning system.