When you have Lionel Messi performing so exquisitely in the F50 adiZero, there is always going to be high interest in the mid-tier option in the range. The Adidas F30 is a boot that holds an extremely similar look to the high-end release, but with a completely different set of performance characteristics. Rather than being a speed boot, these are seen more as a comfort option that will benefit players who value durability and a boot that will last longer than a month. When I had the opportunity to test the previous style F30 synthetic I was left pretty disappointed – this boot features a leather upper, so the question is are they better?
You can pick up the imaged F30 colorway and more from Soccer.com.
Sitting in the box, they look very similar to the F50 adiZero, except for the stitched on panels that make up the Adidas 3-stripe. Out of the box, the leather is extremely soft and the soleplate already feels flexible. Seem like they have a nice wide forefoot, meaning they will fit a large range of players.
There is nothing about the F30 that makes them stand out during the first few wears and that is obviously a positive thing. I did notice the forefoot fits a lot more snug than it does on the F50 and you need to give them a little extra time to stretch to a natural shape. I think this is related to the almost cross-stitched design across the front of the boot. The TPU soleplate is flexible from first wear and is an area that Adidas has found success with. Nothing major to report in this area.
What are the differences – F30 vs F50
- Visuals: There is very little to distinguish both boots. The only main differences are the heel counter, with none on the F30, and the lacing line. On the F30, it is a straight line compared to a contoured lining on the F50. Also, the tongue features the name of the specific boot (ie. F30 on the F30 and F50 on the F50)
- Upper: The F50 and F30 both feature a Calf Leather upper.
- Weight: F30 – 9.8oz || F50 – 6.1oz
Lets start with the general performance of the boot – everything is ship shape and I really don’t see any players having problems with comfort. The leather upper is extremely soft and it is definitely high quality. Inside the boot, Adidas use a silky feeling lining that makes them a boot you could almost wear barefoot. obviously this is not something you should do, but it is testament to the materials used when you can wear them sock-free without any problems.
The soleplate is also pliable and as stated above, it breaks in super easy. The actual configuration used is the same as on the F50, but because of the make-up of these boots, the performance level is vastly different.
This is where things start to go downhill slightly and you F30 fans are going to start disliking me from her on!
The F30 is seen to be an economical option, that is comfortable and durable. The performance of the boot seems to back all of this up. But the performance variable between the F50 and F30 leaves you wondering how they are part of the same family! I’m really confused as to why the F30 is such a clunky, slow paced performer. It is like playing Messi up top beside a current day Kevin Philips. Yes, Philips is strong on the ball and has proven to be a consistent performer over time, but put him against a Champions League back four and he will struggle to keep the pace, or even last more than 45 minutes.
Back to that soleplate. On the F50, the SprintFrame and configuration works extremely effectively – because they are designed for speed. But because this boot is more fully loaded, you don’t get that same acceleration benefits. Instead, they feel slightly sluggish and there were several times on natural firm grass that I felt the boots sticking. Under normal circumstances, I don’t state that the weight of a boot really impacts performance, but when we are talking about 3.7oz between both boots it is a definite factor.
Something else that is slightly odd is the addition of 3 sown on panels along either side of the boot. It adds nothing in terms of performance and I am left bewildered at why Adidas would sow on several sections of material to the upper. The same is true of the F50 and it is extremely odd!
It might seem like I am being slightly harsh on the F30, but realistically there are high expectations for a boot that is going to be a high choice option for players that can’t afford the same boots that Messi wears. Yes they are comfortable, feature a nice soft leather upper that provides a great touch on the ball and they are must definitely durable, but you are also getting a boot that carries more than it needs to. Plus, I can name several other mid-tier options out there that these don’t compete with.
Built With Durability In Mind
The obvious benefit to these boots, if you haven’t worked it out yet, is the durability factor. Everything about these is set to outlast many other boots on the market. One feature of the boot I like a lot is the plastic lip that comes up over the soleplate and onto the upper. If you have ever had problems playing on artificial surfaces where the little black pieces get stuck in between the soleplate/upper gap, this addition solves that problem!
How do they Fit?
They are a true to size option, but note you will need a few wears before they ease into their natural width. You will get some stretch during wear but not enough to need a different size. Through the forefoot they fit decently wide and could pass as a solid option for players needed extra space.
There are certain aspects of this boot that I am extremely disappointed with and to be honest, I expect more from Adidas. Why is there such a wide variable between the weight of the F50 and F30? These boots are 3.7oz heavier – a substantial difference. The result is a boot that feels very clunky and doesn’t compare to the performance of the speed boot. If you simply need a new pair that are comfortable and durable, these are a good option but if you are playing at a competitive level, you will need to look elsewhere.
The Skinny Summary
Highlight: A solid option for players who want a brand name that features a comfortable fit and an upper that will last longer than a single season.
Category: They fall into the economical category – not quite heritage or speed, but you do get added durability and value for money.
Weight: At 9.8oz, you might be slightly heavier than you expect, especially when compared to the superlight F50.
Would I Buy Them: They work pretty well as a back-up boot, but straight up they would not sit as one of my preferred options.
Player Position: Rather than recommending a particular position, I see these more as an ideal option for rec players. Since they are a well built boot, they are going to naturally suit defensive minded players more effectively.