When it comes to the current market, winning the lightweight battle seems to be top of the list for the big companies. Puma have the 5.3oz V1.10 SL and Nike have the 7.8oz Superfly III, but the current leaders are Adidas with their super lightweight release of the F50 adiZero Prime – at 5.2oz. One of the biggest difficulties these companies encounter is trying to incorporate comfort while reducing the amount of materials used. The big question is have Adidas managed to pull it off with the lightest soccer cleat on the market? Having recently tested the regular F50 adiZero, I was keen to get my hands on the Prime for comparison. For testing, I wore the synthetic version of the Lightning White/Radiant Pink/Cyan colorway in a size 9US.
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I find it pretty amazing that Adidas have found a balanced formula between lightweight and comfort that works, but they have. Because there is so little material included in the construction of the adiZero Prime, my initial fear centered on how they would break in. To my surprise, the answer is surprisingly well. The region around the ankle and down along the heel is protected in just the right way with pretty minimal padding used. Add to that the fact the adiLite single layer upper has a very soft feel, and I would imagine most players will have these broken in after the first wear.
Having had their record breaking lightweight 5.8oz adiZero beaten by the Puma V1.10 SL, Adidas decided to get their title back with the release of the Primes. At 5.2oz, these things are almost featherweight! Adidas use a single layer upper (called adiLite) that includes no foam or lining, leaving it about as light as you can get. For comparison, if you add the weight of the left and right Prime, it comes in at a very similar weight to one Adidas adiPure IV boot – and I consider the adiPure to be decently light at 9.8oz!
Comfort and Fit
The adiLite upper used on the adiZero Prime actually has plenty of give to allow for a medium to wide fit – something that makes the shoe quiet unique. I wore a size 9US and they fit perfectly, so order true to size. Throughout testing, I only encountered one issue around comfort and that was the insoles. I started with the comfort insoles, but they started to move after a few games. I switched them out for the ultra-light insoles and this solved the problem. I have a feeling it was more of an issue with the insole than the boot – but I am interested to find out if other players have this issue.
The advancements on this range include a lightweight Last (soleplate), adiLite synthetic upper and the pretty advanced TPU support bands. All of these components combine to make the lightest shoe on the market. You can see the TPU support bands by looking inside the boot. It runs along both sides of the boot and is designed to decrease weight while maintaining a decently sturdy upper. Adidas push the boundaries with every aspect of this boot, so they easily qualify as technologically advanced.
I love the Lightning White/Radiant Pink/Cyan colorway that I tested. They would actually go pretty well with something Captain America would wear! But seriously, the one issue with the lightning white colorway is the fact they scuff pretty easily. The other colorways currently available include an Anodized Purple/Electricity, that might be better options if you want a clean looking boot.
Durability and Any Stud Issues?
My one concern centers around durability. To date, the upper is in good condition, but I can tell that they will start to wear at a certain point. To be honest, there is a trade off when you choose lightweight soccer cleats, and that is in durability and protection. The upper is not designed to withstand a full season like heavier boots that are built with more steel. Thankfully for professional players, they can change every week and don’t have to worry about a season’s wear. That is something that is important to keep in mind if you decide to order a pair. You will need to work on cleaning/drying them after each training and game to keep them in top shape.
I have worn them several times to date and encountered no issues with the multi-colored studs. In saying that, I will keep this post updated if any issues do arise. As it stands, and having recently tested the regular F50 adiZero, I really don’t anticipate the studs breaking.
The trade-off of durability and protection for a lightweight cleat is the biggest negative for players who are relying on their pair lasting at least a season. Also, the lightning white colorway that i wore turned out to be challenging to keep clean. The only other negative was the insole that moved during play – resolved by replacing it with the ultra-light version.
There is no disputing that the adiZero Prime pushes the boundaries in terms of technologically advanced soccer cleats. I was very surprised with the ease for which they break-in, and the comfort through testing was very competitive. You are of course giving up protection and durability, but if you take this into consideration before buying a pair you are going to love what the adiZero Prime has on offer. In game, they offer fantastic feel on the ball and you will notice a difference in weight as you move. In terms of positions, quick wingers and forwards are going to benefit from wearing them most, with playmakers also a favorable candidate. They have a list price around the $300 mark, meaning you need to be sure they are the pair for you before buying. But – since posting, there have been some great deals made available!
(*boots supplied for review by soccer.com)