When it comes to lightweight speed boots, Adidas has been pretty successful with their F50 adiZero series over the past few seasons. According to the German brand, this latest installment has been redesigned with a stronger, more aerodynamic construction and a new textured upper that improves control. It is a bold statement, but with the likes of Lionel Messi fronting your release campaign, there is sure to be an extreme air of confidence. But is the new design an improvement on its predecessor, or has Adidas jumped the gun with this release?
For testing, I wore a size 9US in the release Yellow/Black colorway, which are currently available on pre-order for $209.99.
Another bold colorway to accompany a new Adidas release. The upper has a unique feel to it, with an curtain like design adding some unusual texture. Adidas has shifted its signature 3-stripes closer to the front of the boot, something a lot of players focused on right after release.
It has been a common theme in recent times with Adidas releases, again these boots broke in super easily. It is an area that Adidas has really perfected. Right out of the box, the upper and soleplate offer enough flexibility to give you comfort right through first wear. Because it is a Synthetic, you won’t encounter very much stretch through wear, so the sizing stays pretty similar throughout. The inside of the boot is lined effectively and offers a smooth feel, with no hotspots to report.
Adidas has stuck with including a cushioned “Comfort” insole along with the thin, lightweight insole that sits in the boot when they arrive. I always stick with the comfort insole and I’d really advise other players to do the same. It might seem cool to be able to use a lighter insole, but in reality they won’t help you out in anyway. Any extra cushion and impact absorption you can get, the better.
A 3D Textured SprintSkin Upper
The biggest difference between this release and previous adiZeros is a 3D textured pattern on the SprintSkin upper, designed to elevate performance in all weather conditions. This water wicking material and an elevated ridge pattern are intended to allow water to slide off the cleat rather than be absorbed — keeping the foot dry and the cleat light even in heavy rain.
How do they Fit?
These come in at a very easy true-to-size fit. I tested the synthetic version, which is designed with a fit that won’t change over time compared to the Leather upper that will stretch over time. Something important to remember is that this boot is built on the same SprintFrame soleplate that its predecessors featured – so if you have worn the adiZero before, base your sizing off those boots.
Lets start with the SprintSkin upper that features a very unique texture. Adidas use a new raised pattern through the yellow portion of the boot, which is intended to provide better control in all conditions. I’m assuming wet weather is the real target of this technology, as it is intended to allow water to flow off the surface in an easier fashion. I absolutely buy the fact that it does help the water run off quicker, but Adidas also state it keeps the foot drier by ensuring less water is absorbed. But, if you have worn synthetic boots before, you will probably be aware that water soakage is at a minimal anyway. Added to that, I really didn’t notice any added grip or control in wet conditions – the upper still feels pretty smooth. Its an interesting addition, but I’m marking down the only benefit as the fact that it allows water to run off the surface faster.
If you look inside the boot, you will see an inner SprintWeb band construction that is there to offer increased stability in lateral and medial movements. In other words, because the synthetic upper is so thin, Adidas employ the band to provide extra strength and it does its job with ease. The boots weigh in at 5.8oz and the upper feels stiff enough to keep its shape over time.
The soleplate is left unchanged and Adidas run with the same SprintFrame we are starting to see used across all of their releases. What does this say about the soleplate? Basically, Adidas are very confident in it and to be honest, they have every right to be! I haven’t had any problems with it on any Adidas release and most players will attest to the positive level of traction it provides.
Compared to the adiZero Series
It is funny to think that the main talking point about these boots has surrounded the unusual forward placement of the signature Adidas 3-stripe. It says a lot about what this latest installment is all about and gives you an idea of what Adidas has done with them. That is, not a lot! There are minor adjustments compared to the last F50 adiZero, like the more defined heel design and the addition of texture on the upper, but the fundamentals of the boot are pretty much the same.
As Worn By Messi
When the worlds best player chooses to wear the adiZero, and has done for the past few seasons, it helps the stature of the range. And Messi has actually been wearing these boots since their release, with no other players taking them to the pitch until December 1st.
The Critics Notes
You know, there is not a great deal of negatives I can offer about these boots. Some readers will point to Adidas decision to move their signature 3-stripe design closer to the front of the boot. It is an unusual look, but it doesn’t put me off the design and I definitely don’t consider it to be a negative. One other note, and this is more of a careful observation than anything else. The miCoach SPEED_CELL sits in the cavity of the left boot, but what I have just noticed is that the cavity in the right boot is not fully filled in. As a result, when you wear the thin insole, the footbed doesn’t sit flush. It is not something I noticed while playing, but it is something that Adidas address with a simple fix.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: The latest speed boot from Adidas, designed for quick acceleration and the feet of Lionel Messi. SprintFrame, SprintWeb, SprintSkin….there is a lot of fast action on this one!
Category: Speed, speed and more speed.
Weight: The synthetic version weigh in at 5.8oz, right on cue with previous adiZero releases.
Would I Buy Them: They are a solid boot and they perform really well, but they are too similar to their predecessor to spend extra money buying them brand new. Now, if I was able to pick up a pair on sale, the answer would be a definite yes.
Player Position: Being that they are designed for Messi, it is obvious that they are a perfect option for attacking styled players, whether it be pacey forwards, attacking mids or wingers. I don’t see them as being an ideal option for defenders, as they don’t offer any extra power behind meaty tackles.