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Adidas Predator LZ Review

Adidas Pred LZ review

There are certain expectations that come with every new Adidas release, especially in the popular Predator range. Yet on this occasion and the Adidas Predator LZ (or Lethal Zones), Adidas has dramatically changed things up. The result is a boot built for 90 minutes of control rather than the much expected power. The design is very eccentric and the lightweight nature of the boot makes things even more confusing! I had the opportunity to take in the Predator LZ launch event in Los Angeles last week and it turned out to be a very educational experience. With that information in mind and having already worn the boots in 5 games, here are my thoughts on the new release.

For those interested in the Predator LZ, pairs can still be found at eBay.

What does LZ stand for?
LZ stands for Lethal Zones, or the 5 performance areas that sit across the upper. Each zone has been strategically positioned to help improve ball control, handling and feel for increased precision and accuracy with every touch. The five zones include: First Touch, Dribble, Sweet Spot, Drive and Pass.

Predator LZ review

Breaking In

These boots came straight out of their box and into a training session, and the following day I used them in a game. No problems to report. When you can put a pair of boots on barefoot and feel comfortable, you are off to a good start. The inside of the boot is lightly padded and very smooth. On release, there was controversy that Adidas had dropped a leather upper and PowerSpine for Synthetic and SprintFrame, but when it comes to comfort, they work out to be just as effective. In face, the SprintFrame soleplate offers a more natural level of flexibility. It only takes a few sprints and quick turns to have them performing at the level needed come kick-off.

Pred LZ Front

Predator LZ SprintFrame

The 5 Lethal Zones

Its quite obvious that the primary strategy for this release is the 5 Lethal Zones. Combined, they make up a new type of Predator that is designed for Control rather than Power. In a sense, this boot is more of a Hybrid that takes on a whole new category of boots. You might have spotted this summary on the Predator #UNLEASH post, but I think it sums up each zone effectively.

  1. The large First Touch zone has recessed ribs to cushion impact and stop the ball. It’s a vacuum effect for instant control.
  2. The Drive zone has a raised and thicker 3D shape following the natural curve of the instep to help create rebound distance and open the game.
  3. The Dribble zone is designed for quick contact with the ball and close control.
  4. The large Control/Pass zone is memory foam with a sticky coating on top. This ensures consistency, precision and killer passing.
  5. On the Sweet Spot zone 3D ribs ensure longer contact with the ball to generate speed and spin.

Adidas Pred Lethal Zones

Adidas Predator LZ Pass

Performance

Through testing, the one thing that I found out about these boots is the each Lethal Zone serves a very valid purpose. Adding to that, each zone actually doubles and can offer players an additional benefits in other areas. For example, the Dribble Zone, which I found to be effective when playing outside of the foot passes (think of the Ryan Giggs left footed cross from the right). The Pass zone also makes for a great region to take the ball out of the air with little rebound. But getting the most out of each zone takes time. Don’t expect to take these out of the boot and have each zone mastered, even if your current skill set is at a high level. There is a certain level of mental training that takes place through the first few wears. You will need to reset your mind in order to accept the zones and not think about them as you are trapping or controlling the boot. Again, there is a lot to soak in.

Adidas has transitioned to a Hybridtouch synthetic upper, which turns out to be very useful. It is very soft and the upper feels supple even with the added Lethal Zone components added on. To find out more, read our “What is Hybridtouch?” post.

As a winger, there were 2 zones that I was able to focus on and reap the benefits of a little more than others; Dribble and Sweet Spot. I used the Dribble zone while making quick turns and taking on defenders. Sweet Spot turned out to be extremely useful addition for swinging in pin-point crosses.

Predator LZ Power

Predator Sweet Spot

Design

This release is one that immediately catches your eyes, with the Bright Blue/Infrared offering a pretty unmistakeable look. Each of the 5 Lethal Zones has been highlighted in some way, to distinguish it from the rest of the boot. For those that want a more traditional Adidas look, it will be released. Even though the initial release is bold and colorful, Adidas don’t have any plans to abandon the traditional Black and Red colors we expect to see. On a final note, I definitely prefer this release colorway to that used in the F50 miCoach series!

Compared to the adiPower Predator

I feel like we were just introduced to the adiPower Predator, yet the range will go down as the stepping stone between a heavier Power boot and a lightweight Control boot. I am actually surprised the adiPower had such a short reign as I loved what the adiPower had to offer! There is not a great deal of similarities between both boots, other than the fact that they are designed by Adidas! You have a Power zone on each boot, but the upper, soleplate and technology has been radically switched up on the Predator LZ.

How do they Fit?

Because they are built on the SprintFrame soleplate, you are getting a very similar fit to a lot of other Adidas boots currently on market. Length wise, they fit very much true to size. The Hybridtouch upper doesn’t offer a great deal of stretch from first wear, but they are super supple and easily mold around your foot. Players with a medium/wide fit will find them to be ultra comfy. Through the midfoot, the boot looks like it is a medium fit, but there is some overspill that keeps your arch decently well supported – this of course being a pleasant surprise about the boot!

Gear SHow Adidas Event

Predator LZ Launch Event

We had the opportunity to attend the LA launch event for these boots and it turned out to be an extremely educational experience. We also got to shoot some footage for KickTV – check out the full episode here.

Critics Notes

This is a very complex release, with each different zones playing its own role. As a result, you find yourself trying to perfect each zone immediately. Unfortunately, this is the sort of release that needs time to really mold to match your performance. If you are a Predator fan and are going to stick with this release or future versions, it turns into more of a transition phase than a negative! The real negative on this release lies with the insole, which offers little breathability. At times I felt like I was wearing Aluminum foil on my feet, with the warm LA weather providing the oven like heat! It produced a very uncomfortable feel. As a result, I have switched out the insoles with an extra perforated pair I had.

For those interested in the Predator LZ, pairs can still be found at eBay.

The Skinny Summary

Highlight: An all new type of hybrid boot that features 5 Lethal Zones designed to improve ball handling, control and feel. Hybridtouch synthetic upper and a SprintFrame soleplate replace the tradition Leather and Powerspine seen on previous Predator releases.
Category: In a dramatic switch, the Predator is now a Control boot rather than a Power specific. It is almost a hybrid of sorts.
Weight: A lightweight 8.0oz, allowing for plenty of speed and acceleration.
Would I Buy Them: There is a lot about these boots that would tempt me to buy a pair. The added technology and ideal weight give it a certain aura of sophistication that makes them appealing. I would definitely have them on the “consider” list.
Player Position: Again, they are almost a hybrid of sorts and that makes them an ideal choice for most players on the field. The 5 Lethal Zones have something to offer each player, it is simply a matter of finding the zone that works most effectively for your game. Ultimately, anyone can wear these and reap rewards!

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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97 comments

  1. Brian, I usually love your reviews, but it seems like you have fallen into the trap if marketing, or your goal is to market these boots. THIS TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT DO ANYTHING. You do not have to master zones or any crap like that. It’s like if you switch to a hybrid car, you don’t have to master the hybrid technology. Just get something durable and comfortable.

    • "It's like if you switch to a hybrid car, you don't have to master the hybrid technology."

      So what you are saying is that driving a regular car is the very same as driving a hybrid car? I think you will find there is a substantial different experience between both!! And nowhere do I endorse the technology, I just let you know what to expect.

      • You said that there are going to be a classic red/black colorway?

      • Perhaps a better comparison would be between a bike with or without shock absorbers. When getting a new bike with shock absorbers, one would think, “hmm, this is nice. It makes bumps on the road not as bad.” You don’t have to master the shock absorbers. Some might not really notice a difference, like with the LZs. If the boots make you feel a little more confident, great. I have the F50s and the CTR 1’s. I like the low weight because it feels nice and I can get a more barefoot feel on the ball. I have a game tonight, and I will be wearing the CTRs because I want to feel comfortable through the game and not get blisters.

    • Sorry, but you just don't know what you're talking about. Durability and comfort are NOT the only two factors important in a boot. Fit, weight, and materials used make an enormous difference in a boot and ultimately in a player's performance on the pitch. I've worn boots that are immensely comfortable and durable, but feel like bricks on my feet. Coversely, there are also boots that provide quite a nice feel for the ball and are lightweight but are unwearable because they don't have enough support.
      The new predator's lethal zones most likely do serve legitimate purposes, as anyone with an ounce of common sense can understand that different materials with different levels of firmness will assist touch (softer material) and shot power (harder material) if only ever so slightly

      • You really sound hypocritical of yourself on this one. “I’ve worn boots that are immensely comfortable and durable, but feel like bricks on my feet”
        I am not sure how you could find something comfortable and durable feeling like bricks. Lightweight is mentioned and if you can tell me you are a better player or that much faster wearing a 7.4 oz boot to a 10 oz boot than you are a much smarter man than I. I have know Bryn for sometime and felt that it was very unjust saying, ” Sorry, but you just don’t know what you’re talking about. Durability and comfort are NOT the only two factors important in a boot.” When clearly you do not have a tube of glue going on.

        • I was responding to Addison’s comment, not Bryan… As for boots being comfortable but heavy at the same time, you need only look at the Copa Mundial or Pele 1970 to see what I’m talking about

    • It doesn’t sound like you have ever worn a high end pair of boots.

    • I totally disagree with you.There is research and technology behind preds, I’m not saying is huge but it’s noticeable. I am a big predator fan and I have been switching them with adipures and copas over the time. Everytime I return back to preds I usually overhit my long balls and I can feel more power in my shots. So yes, it does take time to adapt to the effectiveness of these zones, it’s always been like that.

    • All I can say is you mau have wanted to pick a better analogy – I have driven a hybrid for the past 4 years and can categorically state that you have to change the way you drive as opposed to a conventional vehicle, otherwise it can in extreme cases perform worse than that conventional vehicle even.

      As for cleats tech making a difference I'm not getting into that – its pretty polarizing and people have made their decisions and are sticking with it.

    • so true! as long as the boot isn't super heavy, it doesn't really effect your game. 90% of it is just marketing strategy..

      but anyways, I like the "mental push" when I wear brand new boots so f**** it, I'll buy em probably

      greez from austria

      • I'm the same in that I like the "mental push" that comes with a new pair of boots. I've tried this pair on and I can say it really made a difference to my game – I'm a 'confidence-type' player though so it's not clear how much of a difference the confidence-boost made to my touch and ball skills versus how much the boots contributed to it.

    • you do not know what you are talking about. both types of cars are very different, and i know from others experience that the zones offer something. it is up to you to use it and use it well.

  2. Any chance of a side-by-side of the Nike CTR360 or other similar control boots? Now that would be very interesting.

  3. nice review, although our opinions on colourways are a bit different hahaha 😛

  4. Nice review. Not a big fan of sprintframe soleplate though. Hope Adidas has got rid of the stud pressure problem.

  5. I agree with Addison As a read the review I just thought I was reading a review from a adidas marketing guy Yeah the Padding is located on the places where you normally take most contact with the ball but that doesnt mean that those improve your skill or performance not true not any soccer shoe on the whole world can or will on the future its just about the fit ,how good you feel on the soccer boot, the confidence it gives you but don't start saying the Dribble Zone or Passing zone you found to be effective which actually may just help a 3% on your actual skills. All the way with Addison.

    • That's utter bullcrap. I'd like to see you use some yesteryear cleats and tell me that technology can't improve your game. Just because you don't know how to utilize the improvements doesn't mean they don't work. Most of these "Lethal Zones" do offer more grip on the ball, good or bad is up to the player.

      And you said it yourself, it may just help your game a little bit. But sometimes a little bit is all you need.

  6. Hey Bryan, in your opinion would you recommend the Nike Mercurial Vapor 8 or the Adidas Predator LZ? I'm having a really hard time deciding. Also, I currently wear a size 11.5 in the Adidas Adipower, should I stick with this size? Thank You!

  7. I think by mastering the zones he means it takes time for u to adapt to the rubber extras on the boot. I had to do the same when i was breaking in my ctr360s with those two dampening pads on the inside of the foot. The pads sometimes would make me under touch the ball to the point where i would try and turn and have the ball roll out in front of me,but instead it would just get stuck where i touched it. Same thing i think goes for these as all this new tech "improves" certain aspects of ones game it may make pieces of your game dramatically different at first causing you to undertouch, overtouch, etc, therefore requiring the player to get used to the new zones and "master them."

  8. what are the benefits with the LZ’s compared to the predators I have right now.

    • I agree with CFC. I currently own a adipower right now but was thinking of switching to the new 11pro or maybe the CTR360 maestri. Than these boots suddenly turned up, I have no idea which to choose. Any reccomendations?

  9. i think there are nothing wrong with the review here ! He just pointed out the pros and cons of the boots. he was just showing his point of view. if they suit your playing style , then go for them , if not , u have plenty of choices out there.
    @bryan : i'm from Vietnam , i love your website but i think ur reviews are too general lately. Good reviews anyway !

  10. Hey Bryan nice review i have been waiting for these for weeks now!!

    I was just wondering which pair would you recommend for a fullback?

    superfly? or these new predator? when the price is not in concern

  11. The only boot that was released and had real technology on the upper of the boot was the Concave Classic. This adidas release is nothing more than a marketing spin. Please dont insult my intelligence, im very comfortable to think and decide for myself.

  12. I'm a bit sceptical on the dribling zone because I think it's to much on the outside of the boots, I think that the dampering pods on the ctr360 maestri II serves this purpose better..and seems like the sweet spot it's just something aesthetic..However I would like to try this out on the pitch..Bryan, I have a question: I wore uk size size 10 in the leather adizero (the model before the micoach) that after a bit of stretching fit me great..do you think I should buy these LZ in UK size 10 or 10,5 because they don't really stretch? than you

  13. With due respect to everyone for their opinions, I find some of them interesting. Bryan went through each of the technologies and gave his opinion for the LZ as he did same with, let's say, the recently reviewed Mizuno Wave Ignitus 2 since both are packed with technology. Yet there's much more flak for the way he reviewed Adidas.

    If Adidas hadn't hyped up the boots as much as he did (and I don't agree with the way and the amount this has been hyped it up, mind) and Bryan had reviewed these as he did, would some of the comments or feelings about this review be the same?

  14. Remember when Bryan would write actual reviews instead of kissing butt?

  15. Adidas totaly wasted their best line. Adipure n Preds. I can believe it. No K-leather. Gimmick tech, which doesnt help you in game any percent.
    You can do it better, i though this Preds are mine. But this is copy Mizuno Wave Ignitus and CTR360. Anyway I m back to Copas n Vapor WorldCup edition. Wait for better release.

  16. So are you guys saying that if you dribble, pass, drive, curl, and control a ball with these new predators after "mastering the technology". Then you immediately put on a pair of copa mundials and dribble, pass, drive, curl, and control a ball you wont be as effective?
    As much as I wish it was true, I really dont think it is.
    Is this really what you believe? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    • While I do think that there are some benefits to the R&D put into boots, I am inclined to agree with Nate above. Innovation will get you to a point, but the benefits are marginal at best. My intention is not to brag, but for some credentials, as a physician in training at a top 20 world medical institution (and was heavily invested in physics beforehand), I can tell you that shaving off grams and things like tungsten (silicon, etc.) do not make any appreciable input to your game. People argue calories saved, etc. If football matches went maybe three times as long as they currently do, the caloric expenditure between an 8oz vs a 12oz boot would make a semblance of a difference in fatigue, but that’s the extent of it. Of course, this is a call for discussion, so let me hear what you all think about sports science and simple leather boots vs. potential gimmicks (though I am a firm proponent of innovations in stud configurations and stability).

      • Hi Jon, I read about your interest in stud configurations, are there any proven best pattern in your opinion? (circular, bladed, etc.) I just had my knee surgery and your input would be helpful. Thanks.

  17. man, i know i havent won the giveaway and i probably wont:/ but the anticipation is killing me! is it friday yet????

  18. I know you said they are true to size, but I always like my foot feeling snug inside cleat. I am a size 9 as well, but would you recommend buying an 8.5?

  19. Master the game, not the boot technology. fit is all that really matters in a pair of boots.

  20. Hey Bryan, I love your review and people are saying that this isn't a pred and that the predator line has changed. Well news flash people the game it self has changed! I'm sorry the predator doesn't use rubber studs and mesh upper anymore. The modern game has gotten slot more technical and ALOT faster. Boots are a big part of the game so they should adapt aswell. But anyways how is the durability on these like? could they last a season?

  21. Hey Bryan,

    Nice review. I've always used Mercurials & T90's. I was thinking about giving these a try. Would you recommend them for artificial grass?

  22. will you also review the absolion to please they seem the same but i dont know if they are

    • absolians are just cheaper predators, i would recommend getting the real thing, the actual predator lethal zones

  23. I noticed Adidas has a new AG soleplate available for the Predator LZ and 11Pro. It’s cool to see Adidas has this option on their top-level boots, instead of just takedown models. I’d like to see a comparison of the new Adidas AG soleplate vs the Nike AG soleplate, traction and comfort on turf, etc.

  24. hey bryan,
    In your opion what is the most durable boot from Nike, Puma, or Adidas?
    I really only care about durability comfort and style

  25. I'm going to be a CM this year, and I was thinking about getting the CTR's, but then when these came out I was wondering, would these be better suited for a CM in your opinion?

  26. Hey Bryan, for those of us who like to blast the ball with our front toes, where the first touch region is, does the first touch region affect the accuracy or power of our shot in anyway?

    • It definitely doesn't affect accuracy, and I don't think there is a great deal of power benefits. What it does do is allow for a cleaner strike, with the zone adding more grip on the ball.

  27. Bryan,
    Would you suggest these for players with narrow/medium width feet?

  28. I bought these last night and I'd say the biggest drawback is the insole for the reason that you stated above. I was wondering what kind (brand) of insoles you used and where you could get them to address the "heat problem".

    Also, I wore 8.5 for the nike legend iii elites (fairly tight fit), but 8 for these. I thought they would stretch a little over time, but after reading your review, I'm a little concerned. Should I switch them for 8.5's?

    Thanks for your input and great reviews!

  29. I am an amateur striker, and i need new cleats.. would you suggest me to buy these ones or the Nike T90 strike? Which one would be better for precision and power shooting?

    • nike tiempo or umbro speciali pro, both will serve you better than a shoe covered in rubber, or plastic in the case of the t90

  30. If I have copas size 5 should I get these in size 5 too or size 5.5 ? Im so confused, someone please help!

  31. i tried these boots on and found them very tight around the sides, do these boots get more comfortable the more you wear them?

    • I am wondering the same thing, as I tried mine on and not only do they feel very tight but they lose all of their shape and look like clown shoes. I have the T90 laser II's which I love how they fit (not really loving how the laser III's or IV's look) but they are on their last legs. I had predator's in the past which molded decently well to my feet but I don't know about the new upper. I think my biggest concern is that the softness of the upper causes the shoe to really lose its shape on my wide feet.

  32. My season is on its way to begin and I can’t decide which boots to get, I’m stuck between F50 adizero or Predator LZ. Any recommendations ?

  33. My season is on its way to begin and I can't decide which boots to get, I'm stuck between F50 adizero or Predator LZ. Any recommendations ? Thank you. Keep up the good work.

  34. Well I have a problem, my right foot is a medium/wide fit, but my heel is very wide, and my left foot is like my right heel, very wide. My general size is 11-11.5. I’m wondering of the shoe will fit, if not, then I’m going with the Adipower or CTR. Currently using the King Finale SL, comfortable and light, just looking for something different. Btw my passing is my best attribute, will this shoe help me with any other attribute? I have a decent shot, and all, I’m just wondering if the shoe would affect it or not

  35. I just recieved my pair yesterday and so far they are great boots!

  36. I have adidas f50 adizero size 9 should i get a bigger size on the predator lz or smaller ?
    Thanks

  37. i am a bit confused in adidas predator lz and nike mercurial glide 2.wat do u recommend??

  38. Can we expect a lethal zone sl review anytime soon?

  39. If you believe that the technology's in the boot are usless and all that matters is the fit than what are you doing reading a review about a boot that is purely based around technology? Buy a pair of Copa's and enjoy them. Obviously the people who are looking at these boots believe that the technology is effective and useful, and if you dont then keep your opinion to yourself.

  40. Should I spring and spend my money on the Lethal Zones or should I just get the Absolions which are one step down? Is there THAT big of a difference? I'm looking to use the boots for 2 years.

    • I'd reccinend the absolions. I have them and I don't think they have $100 worth of differences. The LZs have a slightly more leather like upper and weigh a little less. The zones are made out of the same material and will perform the same (where as the absolados have more plasticky zones (vs rubber). Also if you want them to last 2 years definitely get the absolions. Top tier boots are made with professional players in mind. Pros don't need a boot to last more than a couple games of practices. Good luck!

  41. I am a forward , and my respond time is very important. I have had F50 ,and Predators before. I am an Adidas man. If you were going to pick one what would you go with?

  42. Does anyone else have the problem of being too tight in the toe area? And are there any solutions?

  43. Wats in the box?

  44. Hi brian,

    I play striker and i am debating on getting the nike mercurial vapor 8 or the adidas predator lz. Do you have any suggestions/favorites?

  45. Hi Brian,

    is Adidas Predator LZ wider than Vapor 8? Or is it wider than previous Predator?

    Please answer !

  46. Hi Bryan,

    Could you rate these in order of waterproofness please?
    These (LZ)
    T90 Laser IV Synthetic
    Adizero MiCoach Synthetic

    Also, how do the SG version of these cleats rate?
    Finally, how would you compare these to the Predator X?

  47. It would be realy nice side-by-side with the Nike ctr360 maestri III

  48. Anyone know how they fit compared to the CTR Maestri II? If I am an 8.5 in the Maestri's, what size should I get in the LZ's?

  49. I picked up a pair and love them, except one fatal flaw, why is there no cleat to support the front ball of my foot? Very comfortable, aside from that.

  50. Nice review Bryan,

    I was wondering if you could help me out with this

    I play with the adizero but I'd love to give the predator LZ a try.

    Will I notice much of the weight difference between these 2?

    Im a speed player and I wonder if the predator lz will slow me down in acceleration or something?

  51. I bought 2 pairs of these the infrared color and the blue color I got a 9.5 in the blue and a size 9 in the red I had to stretch the red out a good bit because they were painful but now they seem to fit good the blue pair I love but they are just a tad to big but now I have noticed that the blue pairs upper is much softer than the red pair I have played in them both equal amount of time and I was just wondering why the smaller size red shoes upper still does not feel as soft as the blue pair does this have anything to do with the stretching?

    Please let me know

  52. The only dispute i have with this is the part about breaking them in. I just bought the white/yellow/blue colorway and after two 1.5 hour practices, they still need to be broken in a bit. And mastering the zones is frustrating!!!!!!!

  53. hi i was a size 10 in the adipower predators so should i stick with the same size for the lz's?

  54. if i wore the adipowers last year in a size 10 should i stick with a size 10 for these?

  55. bought em, and slipped em on within 15 min fot a ball deflected off a shot and.did a quick strike again and put a nice spin right on the corner. love the shoes great ball control

  56. Hey Brain, was thinking about getting a pair of these but the new sunburst tiempo legends really have me in a tough spot. Do you have anything to say on the striking end of these boots? I know you said they've become more of a hybrid but did you notice any difference in your shot with these boots? Thanks!

    • Well, you will notice a difference between the strike zone on these and the Vapors. These offer a little more padding and have more of a rebound compared to a closer feel on the Vapor. If you want speed, the Vapor is the way to go. But if you are looking to be on the ball more playing passes etc, these are better suited.

  57. Hey Bryan,

    Does the predator LZ tend to run big or small?

  58. Eduardo Desiervi

    Por favor enviar dirección para ir a comprar los botines ardidas.
    Gracias

  59. Hey Bryan,

    I'm curious about the difference between the FX and the AG stud pattern for use exclusively on artificial grass. Nobody seems to have this information. If possible, it would be interesting if you could compare them to the Tiempo Legend AG.

    Thanks in advance!

  60. Amazing i am reading this review now.

  61. Only for professionals I guess, this pair of shoes! I like the way how they arranged those five strategic position by the way!

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