There is something that seems a little out of place when you start mixing the words “adiPure” with “Lightweight”, but that is exactly what you get with the Adidas 11Pro SL, even though there is no adiPure in the title! Over the past two years we have seen a definite shift from Adidas, as they look to lower the overall weight in their top range releases. There was plenty of mixed emotions when Adidas announced the removal of a K-leather upper on the adiPure 11Pro, but you will be happy to know it has been included on the SL version. There is a lot of positives to cover on this speed boot, with some controversial aspects in between.
For testing, Adidas sent over a pair of size 9US in the very traditional Black/Running White/Core Energy colorway.
Out of the box, the adiPure SL looks clean, with an extremely classic look that matches what we expect from the adiPure range. They feature a very flexible and soft K-leather upper that feels comfortable and natural from first wear. Through 3-4 training sessions they felt like they were breaking in with ease, except for one thing – the heel counter. Because of the thin upper, there is little protection between your heel and the counter that comes as part of the SprintFrame soleplate. I haven’t had a problem with this on other Adidas boots, but then again the SprintFrame hasn’t been used with an SL leather upper before. Thankfully, it didn’t cause any blisters and realistically it proved to be little more than an irritant when making quick twists and turns. After a few wears I completely forgot about it, but it is something that most players should anticipate.
SL – Super lightweight
Adidas has managed to drop the weight of this one down to a phenomenal 6.4oz. The thin K-leather upper is matched with Adidas lightweight SprintFrame outsole, resulting in a boot that goes against what we expect from an adiPure. It is the lightest adiPure ever released on the market.
Compared to the adiPure 11Pro?
There are several distinct differences between the regular adiPure and the SL adiPure, here is the simplified breakdown. The obvious difference is weight, and the SL comes in at 1.8oz lighter; 6.4oz compared to 8.2oz. In order to get this, Adidas use a K-leather upper mixed with single layer SprintSkin around the heel of the SL, while the regular features a Taurus leather. On the SL you get a SprintFrame soleplate (as used on the adiPower and adiZero range), on the regular version you get a PU outsole with Traxion 2.0 stud configuration. And finally, there are the obvious visual differences, with the SL holding a much more traditional look compared to the more modern regular version.
From first wear, you can tell that these are no ordinary adiPure. When you put them on, they are extremely lightweight and produce an extremely different fit right around the forefoot. The positive is that they you get to mix speed with an excellent leather upper – on the ball you get a fantastic natural feel with the layered stitching provides added flexibility. I am a huge fan of the tongue design, which sits right along the ankle line. It is padded perfectly throughout and contours very comfortable. I would like to see Adidas continue using this style on all releases! Keep in mind these boots do feature a thin upper, so you are going to feel it when you strike shots. On the flip side, I found they are ideal and compliment players who like to cross the ball.
The SprintFrame soleplate does exactly what it is supposed to, offering players plenty of stability and dynamic release from the surface. I haven’t had a problem with it on other Adidas releases and the same is true this time around, although it does seem out of place on an adiPure. Personally, I found that the performance of the PU outsole on the adiPure 11Pro exceeds that of the SprintFrame, but Adidas are going for lightweight on this one. On a positive, the soleplate does feature a cavity for miCoach technology, so if you have a SPEED_CELL, it is compatible with this boot.
I am loving the classic look of these boots. They come in the traditional Black/White/Red combo that we associate with Adidas boots. Up front you get a great looking black leather and this is combined with a splash a red through the heel and a white collar lining. You will notice that just under the ankle there is a region that is perforated, adding some ventilation.
How do they Fit?
Because of the thin leather upper, these seem to fit a little bit longer. I went true to size and they were pretty spot on length wise, with a little extra room than normal but not enough to go down a half size. If you are on the cusp of needing to go a half size down on any regular fitting shoe (for example the adiPure 11Pro, Nike T90 Laser, Puma King Finale) then definitely consider going a half size down in these. Players with wide feet can consider these also, the forefoot offers plenty of room and as a medium/wide fit, I found I had some extra space on the sides.
Straight up I have 2 negatives, one of which was the problem I encountered with the heel counter, as described above. The other is the mental adjustment of wearing a lightweight adiPure – there is something that doesn’t feel natural about it all. This is not necessarily going to affect their performance and for many players the concept of a lightweight adiPure might be a dream scenario.
A Note About the adiPure Range
There is a sense of confusion hovering around the adiPure range at the moment, highlighted by these boots. The adiPure has continually been a winner, with plenty of excitement surrounding each new release. But with the adiPure 11Pro and SL, the excitement was replaced with a lot of confused stares. I personally don’t expect the adiPure to be lightweight – it is a traditional boot that provides players with reliable performance. It seems that a mix of both the adiPure 11Pro and 11Pro SL would produce an ideal finalized product; take the 11Pro SL K-leather upper and design, and match it with the outsole of the adiPure 11Pro and an overall weight somewhere between 8 to 9oz. Perfect! But for players who specifically want a lightweight speed boot with a k-leather upper, Adidas has produced this boot for you!
Whats in the Box?
As always, the SL’s come in a sweet package. Adidas include an additional set of red laces, a boot bag, and a set of comfort insoles (lightweight insoles come in the boots) – all for a retail price of $250.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: Adidas has taken a heritage release and combined it with lightweight elements to produce a new type of speed boot. Features a really sweet, thin K-leather upper that offers an extremely natural touch on the ball. Has the ability to track stats using miCoach.
Category: Lightweight speed boot, the younger sibling of the heritage adiPure 11Pro.
Weight: 6.4oz – the lightest adiPure ever released.
Would I Buy Them: I absolutely love the heritage look, they are a solid performer, and I am impressed with how Adidas has put it all together. It is a strong maybe, the $250 price tag makes me slightly hesitant.
Player Position: An ideal option for wingers or outside backs who want a speed boot with a leather upper. Ultimately, I can see most players finding these to be an extremely useful tool in game!