Adidas F50 adiZero III – The Review

Bryan Byrne November 20, 2012 20
Adidas F50 adiZero III

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.

First Impression

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.

Breaking In

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.

adiZero Inner SprintFrame

Adidas F50 adiZero Soleplate

In-Game Performance

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.

adiZero 3-stripe

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.

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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.

New Adidas F50 adiZero


4.5 / 5 stars     
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Bryan Byrne

Expert Boot Reviewer

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.

20 Comments »

  1. Jose November 21, 2012 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Thanks for the review! I saw K. Benzema wearing the black version on Saturday! I might prefer that color.

  2. chad November 21, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I'm a little confused: without considering cost are these an improvement on the old version?

  3. Abraham November 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Sorry but dec 1st? I was watching the AC Milan champions league match today and saw at least four or five players laced up with the new F50's. not that it really matters much, just curious why Adidas would allow it.

    • SuMingHS November 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      It's because the players are sponsored and they are adidas form of marketing. Choosing a release date also gives everyone an equal chance of purchasing the shoe and it hypes the product up.

  4. Nick November 28, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Hey Bryan, do you think you could review the adidas absolion lz?

  5. Aizat November 29, 2012 at 5:38 am - Reply

    Is Adizero III or IV?

    • Aizat November 29, 2012 at 5:39 am - Reply

      *Is it

      • BookaiBAD13 January 18, 2013 at 10:38 am - Reply

        It is the Adizero III.

        • Hugh Jass February 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

          It's actually the IV, not that it matters.

  6. BookaiBAD13 January 18, 2013 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Thanks Bryan for the review although I haven't a pair yet. Step aside the visual "negative", this boot offer some good upgrade from its predecessors. Looking forward to it but most likely I will be using the F5 or F10 or F30 since the F50 is limited in stock at my hometown.

  7. Steve February 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    I'm really curious to know if you have a review for the leather version around the site somewhere? I had one of the first incarnations of the F50 in the synthetic version, and although the boot wasn't bad, I learned quickly that I don't like the feel of synthetic versus leather. I actually switched to the previous edition of the Predators that RvP still wears, but in the leather version. I love those boots almost specifically because the touch is so comfortable in the leather.

    Either way, I bought the leather version of these in hopes I can find a pair of F50s that can mix their low weight with a super sensitive touch.

    • soccercleats101 February 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Not to date – haven't got our hands on the leather version yet!

      • mark June 7, 2013 at 9:14 am - Reply

        please do so. it is the one part of the new ones that changed the most. leather all over vs what they had before. the new synth is almost identical to previous versions. most people would prefer to see the review of "what has changed" vs the same review as the last.

  8. Diego Fontes March 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Would you say the synthetic will last longer on artificial turf than the leather upper? My previous leather adizeros lasted me about 6 months (college season) in turf then blew out…will synthetic last a bit longer?

  9. Daniel April 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I wear size 11 predator LZ, what would be my size for this shoe, most sites say 11 and a half or do they fit true to any adidas cleat worn

  10. soccerman April 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I have a pair of f50's exactly the same as these minus the adipower wording, and the sole is a little different, why aren't they the same?

    • soccerman June 21, 2013 at 6:57 am - Reply

      and what is the difference?

  11. mark June 7, 2013 at 9:24 am - Reply

    The leather version fit large about 1/2 size. Order down.

  12. Sam March 19, 2014 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Hey bryan.
    I wear a US 9.5 Predator LZ but it is abit too tight (in the forefoot due to my wide feet) and a little long at the tip. I'm planning to get these. Will these be more comfortable? Are they a little wider?

    • soccercleats101 March 19, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

      They are built on a very similar last, so the fit is pretty much identical other than the materials used in the upper and how they stretch over time. My advice would be to play it safe and go up half a size to ensure you get a comfortable fit.

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