When I think of power boots, the first that comes to mind is the Adidas Predator. This latest edition to the range (#11), the Adidas adiPower Predator, has been redesigned to incorporate more than just power, with an unfamiliar lightweight feel headlining as one of the main new additions. And just like previous releases in the range, Adidas has worked on creating an all new Predator Element that is designed to provide additional force and increased power when striking the ball. All of this, while finding a way to reduce the price of the release.
Over the past few weeks we have seen a slew of top class pros sporting the new boots, including Kaka, Van Persie and Beckham and the feedback from readers on the boots has been very positive since their release. With that being said, I have been busy testing a size 9US in the Sharp Blue Metallic/Electricity/Black colorway in order to bring you a full and comprehensive review!
If you are interested in a pair of adiPower, you can nab a pair at the soccer.com.
Adidas continues to switch their newest ranges to the Sprint Frame soleplate, and although it does lower the weight, it also produces a slightly longer break-in period. For the first session, they felt a little stiff. During the second session I started to feel a difference with how they moved as I twisted and turned. It took another few session, but they eventually felt comfortable enough to wear in game. Expect them to be stiff during the first few session, but it really won’t take them long to contour to your fit. Something I really like is the addition of a Nubuck touch heel lining. It helps keep your ankle comfortable in place and offers a nice soft feel.
The Predator Element
Adidas has re-engineered the entire Predator Zone in a pretty cool way and now refer to it as the Predator Element. Basically, a silicon rubber is strategically positioned and tuned to create a uniform surface with rebound effect, for those times when you need some extra power behind your shots. Up close, you will notice there are three different colored regions: Blue, Yellow and Black. As you move from the lowest blue region, through the yellow and to the top, the 3D fins on each section is gradually raised from the boot. On the blue section, the fins are the 2 blue lines that run along the center, while on the yellow section the fins sit either side of the black center line. I refer to them as fins, but they are more like areas where the silicon is slightly raised off the surface. The black honeycomb region that runs along the lace region is also a silicon rubber, designed to absorb any additional ball impact as you strike.
Comfort and Fit
Again, Adidas have gone for a Taurus, full grain calfskin upper – just like they did on the Predator X. This time around, I haven’t noticed as much damage to the leather after playing on turf fields. Taurus is not quite as soft as K-leather, but it still molds to your feet excellently. It will take a few sessions to break these in and they offer great comfort during wear. Right around the inside of the ankle region, Adidas have placed a Nubuck heel lining that allows the boot to sit super close to your foot. You also get a pre-molded EVA insole that sits perfectly in place. Another positive is the tongue, which is a very simple ankle cut fit. It is soft and sits comfortably where it meets your foot.
In terms of fit, you are going to be glad to hear that they will suit anywhere from a medium to wide fit! The soleplate is slightly narrow around the midsole region, but there is plenty of give in the Taurus upper that widens while providing support to the arch. Length wise, they fit true to size, so stick with the size you normally wear.
The adiPower Predator is an extremely high performing boot that is complimented by the new technology Adidas have introduced. The Power Element (as described in the above section) offers fantastic feel while shooting and, in my opinion, fulfills its intended purpose. The ball seems to rebound with additional power when you strike, and it absorbs some of the impact so that your foot doesn’t have to! The second addition to the boot is a new PowerSpine that runs through the soleplate. Along the forefoot, you will notice a small glass like region. This part of the PowerSpine helps create maximum shooting power by minimizing the energy lost while shooting. I can’t tell whether this actually makes a difference or not, but its inclusion can’t hurt.
Added to all of this, the fact that you are getting a 7.8oz lightweight boot only increases the value of the boot. The one negative I had while reviewing the Predator X was that Adidas had not found a way to reduce the overall 11.2oz weight, so for this to be address on this release is very exciting! Protection is usually the first concern I have when I think of lightweight boots, but with the adiPower Predator it never entered my mind. They feel strong and secure, yet they are superlight to hold. Kudos to Adidas for pulling this off!
Depending on what you like, there are several different styles to choose from in the range. This Sharp Blue Metallic/Electricity/Black colorway offers a pleasantly vivid mix of colors. The shade of blue used on the upper is slightly bright and is designed to stand out on the field without being overly dramatic. I like the colorway a lot, but I know there are plenty of people who have bashed how they look. This week, Adidas also released a Gold David Beckham version and a new Running White colorway. Alternatively, there is a Black version that are soon to be released and for those of you that like a more traditional Predator look, you don’t have long to wait!
Not too many negatives to report with this release as Adidas has done a great job of piecing everything together. The once concern lies in the break-in period, but I have found that this is similar with all Adidas boots that feature the new Sprint Frame. It is a case of giving up some comfort in return for an extra lightweight boot.
I like what Adidas has done with this latest Predator release. The overall look and performance of the boot is very competitive, and they offer a great mix of power with a lightweight feel. Holding a pair, it is hard to comprehend the fact that they fall into the power category, but I can tell you after testing that they have everything that you could require and more. Adidas advertising campaign on this range has been pretty “in your face”, so you know they feel like this boot will appeal to a mass audience. In terms of player position, it is difficult to pick out just one! Preds always suit defenders, and these are no different – protection wise the upper is solid enough to withstand tough tackles. You only have to look at David Beckham to know they are a midfielders boot. And for forwards, they add a completely new option, allowing pacey players an opportunity to wear a boot that falls into the power category! All in all, a successful release from Adidas.