Every footwear company has the same simple goal – create a new boot that is better than the last! For the most part, Adidas is one of the companies that consistently raises the bar and they have continually released better and better boots. But, there is one recent example that I just can’t get off my mind, with the latest release in the range hitting an almost off key note compared to its predecessor. Thus, I thought I would take a closer look and get your guys opinion.
It is the adiPure IV SL versus the 11Pro SL. Although the new release does not contain the “adiPure” title, the nature of the release puts it in the same bracket as the IV. Kicking things off, check out the summaries I wrote for each boot:
- Adidas adiPure IV SL (review) – Extremely classy looking release. Features soft K-Leather upper and Adidas Sprint Frame outsole. Weighs 7oz. Original retail: $250
- Adidas 11Pro SL (review) – The lightest adiPure we have seen, this version features a combo K-leather/SprintSkin upper. Mixed reaction on release, but test well. Weighs 6.4oz. Original retail: $250
This post is not designed to criticize or downgrade the 11Pro SL, instead it is a post that examines the quality of the adiPure IV SL and highlights the difficulties companies face in creating improved releases.
Design – Who is Looking Best?
Right after they were released, positive reviews were flowing for the classic Black and Gold adiPure IV SL. Everything from the stitching through the forefoot to the intricate gold detailing on the side produces a very modern, winning look. They ooze sophistication and are a definite winner over what is actually a pretty traditional Black/Running White/Core Energy 11Pro SL. Even with the 11Pro SL taking on the signature Adidas colors, it looks slightly bland when placed side by side with the more supple IV SL K-leather.
Winner – Hands down, the adiPure IV SL wins out in the looks category.
There are a few difference of note between the uppers used on both boots. On the new 11Pro SL, Adidas employ a K-leather upper mixed with single layer SprintSkin around the heel. On the IV SL, the same thicker K-leather is used but a slightly more rigid synthetic is wrapped around the heel. There is also a very different stitching pattern placed on both. When it comes to the soleplate, both feature a SprintFrame design, except the 11Pro SL has been modified to accommodate miCoach technology.
Winner – This is a tough one, but including miCoach technology gives the 11Pro an edge.
Weight – Is Lighter Better?
As you might have gathered, “SL” stands for Super Lightweight – thus both sit below the average weight of a boot! When released, the IV SL definitely broke the norm and weighed in at an extraordinary 7oz. Then came the 11Pro SL, which weighed in at a pretty mind boggling 6.3oz. Reducing weight doesn’t improve comfort and there is little proof to suggest 0.7oz in a lightweight boot makes a difference.
Winner – I’m going to leave the “Is lightweight better” argument up to you guys, and call this one as a draw!
Price – $250 Chump Change
Both releases hit the market with an initial retail of $250. We normally see companies increase the price of their newer releases, but when you are talking about a release over +$200, it is difficult to ask consumers to pay more without offering an improved boot. The addition of miCoach is a positive, but then again it also requires you to buy a SPEED_CELL!
Winner – Adidas is the winner here, they are making you pay $250 for a pair of boots!!
Results – My Preferred Choice is….
When it comes down to it, I have simply been extremely lucky to be able to test both boots. Spending $250 on a pair of boots is not easy to do and there are not a great deal of players who can just drop that amount on one pair. But, if you want my honest opinion, I found the adiPure IV SL to be a far better boot, in both design and performance. Simply look at the box they came in and what it contained – I was especially fond of the free tub of leather food and cleaning cloth included in the adiPure IV SL box!
But don’t get me wrong, the 11Pro SL still has a lot of positives to offer players. This is a prime example of the challenges faced by large companies who need to keep innovating and producing boots that please a mass audience. If you ask me, I actually think the adiPure IV SL turned out to be a release that was hard to trump, or in other words it was a pretty pitch perfect release for its particular category. In an attempt to improve, Adidas went with a slightly more off-beat hybrid release with a trimmed down upper that would have worked had we not already been exposed to the adiPure IV SL!
What are your thoughts on both releases and which would you choose?