The folks at Adidas are no strangers to lightweight releases and adding new dynamics to help freshen things up with their boots. Case in point this Predator LZ SL that takes the Predator range in a whole new direction. Just like the adiPower Predator SL, this version of the boot is designed with speed and acceleration in mind, while trying to include the Control-hybrid dynamics. It all sounds rosey and put together, but the big question is has Adidas pulled it off effectively?
For testing, we got a pair in the Black/Vivid Pink/Neo Iron Metallic colorway.
The box these arrive in is as ever impressive, with a very similar box to its predecessor. The boot itself is superlight and you can tell it is a boot built for speed. The graphics on this colorway is a little funky and I’m interested to see how each set of laces looks with the boot.
I’m going to elaborate on this section as I have some important opinions about this release. Honestly, I’m not a fan of what this boot stands for and am again confused at the whole concept of Adidas creating a boot that is essentially a slimmer version of the original but with an extra $30 tagged on. The price tag really isn’t a fan friendly decision by Adidas and in a sense it is a way of taking advantage of fans. If this release was priced at the same retail as the original Predator, I don’t think I would have a problem with it as the boot itself performs well. Vent over!
What’s in the Box?
I love getting extras in a box and as usual, Adidas doesn’t disappoint. Inside you get an extra set of laces, some lightweight insoles to give you extra playing options and a black boot bag. If you owned the adiPower Predator SL, you are getting the very same package.
It is something I continue to harp on about, but if you stick with the comfort insole you shouldn’t encounter any problems with these boots through initial wear. Adidas has done a good job of keeping comfort consistent, with an extremely similar boot shape and the very same SprintFrame we have seen on all new Adidas releases over the past few years. Since the Lethal Zones are trimmed down and less prominent, the upper is flexible and it will conform to your overall foot shape. In saying that, it is a synthetic upper rather than a leather, so you obviously don’t get that natural creasing that molds naturally.
Predator Lethal Zones
Adidas has gently trimmed down the 5 different Lethal Zones that are found on the Predator LZ to help lower the overall weight of the boot. Each zone is still displayed in all its glory and you can easily spot its presence. The one zone that loses pretty much all its purpose is the inner pass zone, which is stripped of its padded memory foam feel.
The one big difference with these boots is the use of a SprintSkin through the upper. For those not familiar with SprintSkin, it is a single layer synthetic material that offers a pretty efficient touch on the ball without feeling too thin. The nice thing is that the Drive and First Touch zones add some extra dimension and padding in just the right areas through the forefoot, creating the effect of having a thick and well protected upper. In a sense you are sort of cheating the system.
As a control boot, you do have extra elements on the boot that help you out and can improve touch. If you play in wet conditions, this is a decent option. Obviously, a K-leather is going to be the top option but with added materials on the forefoot that don’t add extra weight is a bonus. I actually thought the Drive zone served the most effective purpose and is definitely the area that mimics the performance found on the original version. Again, it adds that padded feel and extra rebound when you are looking to play long balls or strike some pin-point shots.
Then there is the soleplate. Adidas again stick with the SprintFrame and it is as effective as ever. Its actually nice to see a company come up with a universal soleplate across multiple boots. It creates an air of consistency and allows players an opportunity to become familiar with its performance. No problems to report with traction!
How do they Fit?
Again, this is an area where Adidas keep things very consistent. Since they are using the same soleplate, the only area where there might be a difference is in the upper. But I found that they fit equally as true to size as any other boot in the Predator LZ series. Even with a synthetic upper, you still get a very comfortable, snug fit that is ideal for a medium/wide fit.
About the Design
When you look at the upper, you might notice the unusual two shade line design across the forefoot, a Black and a Neo Metallic. I can see how Adidas were trying to create a different effect, personally I am not a fan and this is not a design that really gains my full attention. The Vivid Pink detailing almost has a purple look to it, probably related to how it reacts with the primary Black upper. Ok, so I have some serious advice when it comes to the choices you have – stick with the Black laces rather than the Vivid Pink (if you decide to go with this colorway.) I am all about having a little pop on your boots, but the laces create an extremely unattractive finished boot that you won’t want to go with unless you want to be pointed out for wearing the awfully unfortunate looking boots.
For me, the big negative on the entire Predator LZ SL range has been the colorways employed. We have 4 to choose from right now and I can’t say that any of them take my fancy. Adidas need to change up the direction and hit us with something that has a more mainstream colorway, maybe even a white with gold detailing to really change things up. The other thing to note is that even those these boots have “LZ” in the title, it doesn’t mean you are getting a boot that features the same Lethal Zones we have seen on the original boot. Everything is trimmed down on this one and this is a boot intended to be a super lightweight more than a control hybrid.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A boot that tries to incorporate a hybrid mold of Speed, Control and Power. A definite boot designed for acceleration, you have trimmed down Lethal Zones on the upper to aid performance on the ball.
Category: They are a definite Speed boot, and although I wouldn’t call them a Control boot, they do have more technology in the right spots than any other boot in a similar mold.
Weight: 7.3oz, which is lighter then the Predator LZ at 8.0z.
Would I Buy Them: I have a conflict with the price point for these and I’m not a fan of the colorways. Having tested the Predator LZ and knowing what they have to offer, I would stick with them.
Player Position: An ideal option more most players who want a light boot that features some extra padding through the upper. Defenders might be interested in trying out a pair, but ultimately they are also an ideal choice for attacking style players.